Blog world… we meet again.

Hey there sweets, thanks for coming to my blog.
As you’ll quickly learn, my writing style is raw and authentic, as I uncover what I really want this beautiful life to look like.

My plan for this blog is to explore my passions which include the following…

  • Wellness
  • Self love
  • Relationships
  • Humor (obviously)
  • Photography
  • Etc. << because I’m mysterious… but also because lists are hard

So if you’re into any or all of the above then I’m over the moon to have you here on my blog! Lets journey together…

J xo

2 0 1 7

Last year I wrote a blog post reflecting on 2016, you can read it here.
It was interesting to go back a whole year later, re-read it and reflect on 2017 which brought it’s own unique set of challenges, adventures and celebrations.
There’s a lot of power and reward in going back and seeing how you handled the highs and lows and to see how far you’ve come.

All this to say, I decided to do another reflection blog post for 2017.
Here goes!

I remember seeing the above post on Instagram and loving it so much.  It was simple but powerful and looking back, my 2017 looked a whole lot like that.

2016 was a really hard year for me. Because of the hardships 2016 brought, it became a year of learning of new tools and resources that would better my life in the long run.
2017 was a year of utilizing those resources.

I made ‘Be Well’ my theme for the year. I set my priorities around meditation, gratitude, movement, nourishing my body, rest and de-stressing.
I reclaimed what feminine beauty meant for me and chopped off all my hair.
I began incorporating yoga into my routine and found it to be one of the few forms of movement that gets you moving while encouraging mindfulness and celebration of self.
I realized the power of my mind, how much impact my thoughts have on my reality and that the one thing I do have control over is how I react to things.
I learned how damaging the world of diet culture had been for me and unfollowed every (solely) fitness, weight loss or transformation social media account I had been feeling crushing guilt from. And never counted a damn calorie that went in my body.
I learned how healing being in nature is for me and made every effort to be outside, preferably barefoot.
I showed up to therapy, put in the work and got to a healthy place where I felt it was no longer necessary for me to continue going.
I took baths. So many baths. And learned that they will always be a part of my self care.
I quit my job.
I accepted a new job and could not love it more.
I was lucky enough to go to the beach in Florida, vineyards in California and the mountains in Colorado.
I helped my sister pack up her house as they moved from Houston to Tennessee. For those of you who don’t know, Tennessee feels incredibly far from Austin.
I tried hypnotherapy and absolutely loved it.
I made the commitment to get up early every morning and start my day with meditation, writing, a focus on gratitude, movement and breakfast. This was quite possibly the best gift I’ve ever given myself.
I got off medication for depression that I’d been on for 7 years.
I paid off the significant amount of credit card debt I wracked up in 2016 and found the true meaning of financial freedom.
I was more vulnerable than ever on my blog.
I went on dates with nice guys and I went on dates with ass hats.
I struggled with balancing enjoying single life and missing relationship life.
I learned that everyone’s reactions are a reflection of themselves and that it is not in any way my responsibility to take on someone else’s shit. This was a big one.
And, most importantly, I learned to love myself in the highs and in the lows and vowed to never speak the words “new year, new me” EVER again. Praise.

2017 was a hard year, a great year and an empowering year.
Can’t wait to write my 2018 blog post, just get ready.

Namaste y’all,
xoxo -J

M e T o o

For those of you who read my blog, you know it’s a vulnerable honest space, but this is my hardest post yet. I’ve sat with it for some time and thought about if I want to share it, have the guts to share it and what my motives are in sharing it. But something wouldn’t let me shake it. This is a topic that so many women are made to feel ashamed of, including myself. So I’m writing to release that shame, as my writing often does for me.
This one is fragile, though.
Trigger warning: sexual assault

At first I couldn’t say it. I went through different stages
– “how are other women being so honest and raw?”
– “is it really going to make a difference?”
– “i don’t owe my story to anyone”
– “these women are so brave”

I still believe that no one owes anyone else their story. And that there are countless women who could respond to the “me too” movement but have, with every right, decided against it. But I decided that I wanted to share as my way of bringing light to the magnitude of the issue of sexual assault.

Me, too.

In so many different ways.

Men I’ve trusted and felt safe around, only to be reminded that maybe some men aren’t all that safe.

A stranger who asked me, “do you know how much d*ck control you have with those tits?” followed by “come up to my room and have a drink” followed by “yeah, I’m married, what’s the big deal?”

The man at work who had to hold up a piece of paper, mid conversation, to cover my body from his line of vision because “my breasts were distracting him from staying pure minded”.

The man who, while on our first (and only) date, assured me that if he could show me his cock, I’d be unable to withstand f*cking him.  This, shortly after telling me that the sound of my voice made him erect for the entirety of our conversation.

The multitude of men, complete strangers, who have felt it appropriate to walk up to me and grab my chest without speaking a word to me.

The men who heard my no and ignored it because, with enough pressure, sometimes that no goes away.

The men whose hands I can still feel around my wrists.  Who felt the only way to show their dominance was with physical aggression.

The man at work who told me “pretty thick lips for a white girl, bet they’d look better around my d*ck”, within minutes of meeting me.  I was a teenager.

What I struggle with the most is the complete lack of shock factor when something like this happens now. It has become my norm.
If you hear…
“boys will be boys”
“it’s just locker room talk”
“grab ’em by the pussy”
“were you drinking?”
“what were you wearing?”
“well did you keep saying no?”
it can start to feel like the norm.

Which is exactly why I felt called to write this post.
It’s unacceptable. It’s not the norm. There needs to be more accountability.
If reading this made you uncomfortable, it’s because it should.
Men, call men out for outdated comments, jokes and actions that turn women into sexualized objects. Make them feel uncomfortable the way so many women have been made to feel from their behavior.
Teach your boys how to treat girls.
Give your girls a deeply rooted foundation in the knowledge that their worth is immeasurable.
This is the only way it can change.
Women, listen when other women bring these stories to you.
Cry with them, care for them, support them, love them.
Leave any preconceived notions or judgement and just hold the safe space for them.

And if you have experienced assault of any kind, it was not your fault.
You did nothing to deserve it.
I encourage you to speak with someone if it feels overwhelming, scary or confusing.
You don’t have to carry it alone. ❤
Me too.

c o m f o r t

Addie – “Comfort zone, go!”

Me – “Dammit, I should have never told you about that”

Zilker Botanical Gardens
And I walked across the trail of stepping stones which suddenly seem a whole lot smaller and easy to fall off of when you’re to the halfway point and can’t turn back.  I’m fairly sure I heard the snickers of young children walking by who had done it with ease. But they were not going to rid me of my joy!

This is a small example of a much bigger realization I’ve had lately.  Let me offer you guys some context.

Back in September I was visiting a friend in Colorado and something about those beautiful mountains always puts me in a reflective state. I had just finished a journal that narrated the exciting, at times difficult, journey of my last year. I wasn’t looking for a theme for my new journal, but one just kind of came to me.  And, real talk, I wish it hadn’t because I like control and security…. which is the exact reason it came to me.  Oh self awareness, you double edged sword.

Words from my journal entry on 9/10/17 – “I’m grateful for the strength I’m finding in myself to go outside of my comfort zone. Maybe that’s the next chapter.        …oh god”

If you’ve watched a TEDtalk, been to therapy, or read a self help book chances are you’ve heard about the comfort zone.  I’ve heard about it many times and kind of shrugged it off as relatable for someone planning to climb Everest, speak in front of thousands of people with crippling stage fright, or face any kind of bigger challenge in life.  It’s actually relatable for day-to-day stuff too, though.

I, mostly without realizing it, make a lot of choices based off of my comfort zone and I’ve missed out on things because of fear.  Fear of rejection, failure, humiliation, injury and so on.  I’ve limited myself and my experiences because of these fears and that’s just a steaming pile of bullshit.  I decided to write a list of things that I haven’t done out of fear, thinking it would be hard to think of more than a handful, and then my pen hit the paper and the list kept growing and growing.  It was for sure one of my bigger “ah-ha” moments in life.

I don’t want to limit myself anymore. Life is way too damn short and there’s far too much to experience. Yes, I think it’s still important to balance this with listening to myself/my body and my needs, but double-checking myself when I automatically say no to something and asking myself why.

Hence my good friend Addie checking me by saying “comfort zone, go!”  She was right, an old narrative of falling and getting hurt all the time when I was a kid was keeping me from walking across those damn stepping stones.

Y’all, I just realized the metaphor… stepping stones… haha, gold.

Anyway, I did it! And it may seem small to you guys, but I make small decisions on the daily like that because I limit myself and what I’m capable of.  I truly believe the more I say yes to those small moments, the less it will have to be a conscious decision.

Here’s to stepping outside of our comfort zones, I’ve heard that’s where the magic happens.

And if TEDtalks are your thing, I found this one to be incredibly informative:

xoxo -J

t h e r a p y

I remember it like it was yesterday
And in another sense, it feels like forever ago.
I walked into her office and immediately noticed the calming white noise machine, the scent of lemongrass that caught my nose from the stream of air diffusing as she offered me a seat on the couch, on the floor or wherever I felt most comfortable.

Starting a relationship with a new therapist is always hard.
This was my third therapist.
Here I was, starting all over again. Telling my story and laying my biggest insecurities at the feet of this stranger in dire hopes she’d be able to help me put the pieces back together.

I was late to the appointment because I got lost and went to the wrong office.
As a highly sensitive person (HSP) this was not the start of our relationship I’d envisioned.
I ran in, panicking and reassuring her that I will be on time moving forward and apologizing relentlessly. She got me a glass of water and sat down on the floor opposite me. She assured me that my lack of punctuality was very much forgiven and she completely understood.

She then started to explain how transitions are hard for HSPs and encouraged me to take a breath and let it go, she seemed to have.
Hesitating, and uncertain of her method at the time, I took a breath and let it go.
As best I could at the time.

We dug in.

In the next few sessions to come I asked her, with that same panicky tone from my first session, “what’s the plan? what are the goals? what’s the timeline?”

Staring back at me with kind eyes, she shrugged her shoulders and said something along the lines of, “hm. I’m not sure, do we need a plan? It’ll be ok, we’ll figure it out”

It was in this moment I realized I was a control freak.
NO PLAN? She was talking crazy talk. And yet, I kept coming back.

I went therapy with Dre consistently from July 1st 2016 to September 5th 2017.
The work we’ve done in that time is beyond anything that I could have envisioned, planned for or set a timeline for. I would have limited myself if I did. I see that now.

When I started working with Dre…
~ I couldn’t say the word balance without cringing. It was something I thought was unachievable for me and I wanted to punch the face of every person who said the word so freely. In a session recently I said it when describing my lifestyle changes. Dre, smiling, pointed out “you didn’t even flinch.”
~ Emotions flooded me and I would become paralyzed, unable to move. I’d be overcome with self judgment and resist leaning into what I was truly feeling. I now have the ability to titrate my emotions and I feel them without letting them rule my life.
~ I took on everyone else’s shit around me and carried it like it was my own. After a lot of hard work, I now have healthy boundaries and am able to see when someone’s words/thoughts/actions are all about them and have nothing to do with me.
~ I used to think health was obsession with diet and exercise, which meant I was a failure. I now see health as a full spectrum of mind, body, spirituality and love of self. I have found the tools that work for me and use them in my daily routine. I’ve never been healthier in my whole life.
~ I saw things as black&white, goodorbad. My mindset was linear. Dre helped me see that growth is never linear. It’s messy. But beautiful.
~ I took 2 anti-depressants every single day and have since weaned off from the start of 2017 and am now anti-depressant free for the first time in 7 years.

Ultimately, I found freedom.
I found the strength that had always been within me and learned the invaluable lesson of how to change my world with the power of my mind.

In our last session, we mutually agreed that my narrative has been consistently positive and maybe our work here, at least for the current chapter, was finished. A moment of that old panic came up for me and left almost immediately. I felt ready. For the first time ever I was deciding to end, for now, my therapy process in a healthy way.

The appreciation I have for our time and work we’ve done together is hard to capture in a single blog post, but this was my humble attempt. 🙂
For anyone considering therapy I encourage you to take the leap and try it.
And, maybe I’m biased, but if you’re looking for a therapist and don’t know where to start, especially if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person, I cannot recommend Andrea enough.

You can see her website here, The Science of Story.

From the bottom of my sensitive feeler-of-all-the-feelings heart,
Thank you, Dre.

xoxo -J

R e s i s t a n c e is futile


I vowed to myself at a very young age to be financially secure.
I was going to know precisely when my next paycheck was and the exact dollar amount, down to the penny. I was going to do whatever it took to have the security I craved.
I was to be free from any and all anxiety around money.

I wouldn’t have the credit card debt.  I was far too responsible and self aware to let debt creep up on me. Having debt meant you were out of control and something was terribly wrong. No no, that debt business can stay far away from me.

I wasn’t going to obsess about money the way other people did.
I wasn’t even going to think about money.
I felt that money had never provided for me so I had nothing to say to it in return.

I didn’t allow myself to dream of what I really wanted to do with my life.
Dreams didn’t make money.  Stable careers made money.  Any lingering dreams hit the back burner, I had to start working. Still denying that a single part of it was for money.

I fought money. Pushed it away. Refused to recognize my resistance around it.
Convinced that I wouldn’t be like the people around me swimming in debt or struggling with how the mortgage was going to get paid.

Until the so very recent day came when I learned that the fighting and pushing is only drawing in that which I fear.

What I resisted persisted.

The minute I was old enough to work, I took a job.
I remember holding my first paycheck and squealing. Two weeks of work. $99.
I was rich!
This was it.  The freedom from money I’d always dreamed of.

Until that paycheck wasn’t enough and I needed a job that paid me more money.
The same money that I didn’t need or certainly wasn’t obsessed with.
Funny thing about obsessing over not obsessing about something?
You become obsessed.

Explain that to my career in accounting, my daily tracked budget, my credit card debt I swore I’d never have and my gut wrenching knee jerk reaction to money.

It’s fascinating, really.
Yes, at first the realization is incredibly disheartening.
You’re telling me what I’ve spent my whole life fighting has become one of my main points of focus?
But fascinating, still. It goes to show the kind of power we have.
Every ounce of my conscious mind was on board with a life free from money stress, but my subconscious had still been living out of the deeply rooted narrative I wrote as a little girl around money.

What would happen if I let go of my resistance towards money?
Let go of my obsessive nature to not obsess?
What would that open up energy and room for?
So it goes to show, my friends…. resistance is futile.

F r e e d o m

After focusing on my health, vibration and self as of late, I was confused when old feelings and memories started to surface.

“But I don’t believe those things about myself anymore”
“But I’ve processed that relationship and have moved on, why am I thinking about this now?”
“But I’ve been able to prioritize my health lately, why do I feel depleted of resources to keep going?”

It felt like failure and like I’d fallen one hundred steps back. I found myself fighting off negative energy, uninvited old narratives and memories of people who had hurt me in the past.

Why was this happening?
I was doing it all!
The smoothies for breakfast. The meditation. The breath work. The sleep. The yoga. The cooking. The affirmations. The grounding. The gratitude.

So why was this happening?
And then it hit me.
This was not me falling one hundred steps back. This was me stirring up the things that had taken deeply rooted homes within me. This was me assessing what stays and what goes.

My mindset shifted from a place of judgment to a place of research. I stepped back and simply took note of my behavior. Not trying to analyze or change why I was behaving that way, just noticing. Carefully tracking what was surfacing and did my very best not to question why. I held onto these words and repeated them over and over, “there is no failure, only feedback.

I remembered my work of letting go of my all-or-nothing mentality and saw that I was no longer acting out all those old habits. I gave myself some, but did not give myself all.

These are steps forward NOT back!

Shifting my mindset from fear of these feelings to love for them put the locus of control back in me.  Instead of pushing them back down or not letting myself feel them, I sat. I noticed. I watched. I did not judge myself.

…is this what freedom feels like?


P o w e r

I’ve searched for years to taste what power feels like
Inner, overwhelmingly strong, unshakable power
I’d marvel at others who seemed to have an unlimited supply
What I wouldn’t give to know their secret

I’ve sought my power from external things
Thinking that if I could just get to that lush greener grass
I’d have all the answers I’d been seeking
Not knowing that all along everything I needed was inside of me

Up until recently, I saw power as an achievement
Something obtainable and permanent once I held it in my hand
I didn’t know if I’d ever feel what true power felt like
Or if I was even deserving to know

It is with much work and gratitude that I’ve come to see power as something completely different…

Power is helping someone | when it would be easier to walk away
Power is loving | when it would be easier to hate
Power is committing to see the good | instead of focusing on the bad
Power is sharing your gift | even when the fear feels crippling

and still…

Power is saying no | even though your people-pleasing voice warns you otherwise
Power is unconditionally loving yourself | if you can give it to others, why not yourself?
Power is prioritizing yourself | because you are important beyond belief
Power is speaking your truth | even if your voice shakes
Power is asking for help | because it takes a village

P o w e r  is breaking the patterns that have limited you for far too long
P o w e r  is forgiving yourself should you go back to those old patterns and loving yourself enough to try again

To your unending power, my friends.
Go on wit’ your warrior selves.

xoxo -J


A l l  or  N o t h i n g 

I wish I was less seasonal with my writing.  Truth is, if I’m not bleeding truths onto the pages, it doesn’t feel worth it to write.
I think it links into this narrative that I picked up at some point in life,

“All or nothing”
“Go big or go home”
“If you’re going to do it, you better really do it”

I used to say “I’m an all or nothing person.”
But I don’t want to be that anymore, so I’m working on restructuring my words to mean something different.
In the past, this all or nothing mantra has fed my relationships with people, alcohol, food, work, my body and so on.

I was talking about it recently when someone asked me, “well, what if you had less- (whatever it was we were talking about… ok fine. pizza. we were talking about pizza) – what if you just had less?”
In my head my subconscious yelled out “EVEN THE NOTION!” and I immediately went into that deeply rooted pattern mindset of “yeah, but if I’m going to do it.. I’m going to really do it” because otherwise… what’s the point, right?

“I’m just such an all or nothing person”
My lips are tired of mouthing those words and my soul is sick of believing it.

Where did this “go big or go home” truth come from?
Why is that my truth?
Does it have to stay my truth?

These are the questions I’ve been wrestling with lately.

And then I realized something.
I’m really powerful.
We all are.
We take for granted the power we have in our minds. Our mind can send signals to our body telling the body we are safe, in danger, on the beach, with a loved one. And our bodies don’t know any different.

That is great power.


And so I thought about this narrative I’ve carried around with me for as long as I can remember. And I thought, I’m choosing to carry this, I don’t have to if I don’t want to, I can let this go.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life is that what we focus on and believe to be true, will be. And sure, some of the things I’ve told myself for years have become little comfort zones, even if they are cruel and self harming.

But I’d rather feel discomfort in changing how I talk to myself and eventually reach where I want to be, than stay in the negative self talk because it’s what I know.

So I’m not an all-or-nothing person.
I’m a person seeking balance and neutrality.
And part of that neutrality is realizing that sometimes I’ll be all, sometimes I’ll be nothing, and sometimes I’ll find balance.
And all of it’s ok.

There’s no failure, only feedback.


I d e s e r v e to take up space.

To the man that pushed passed me in the grocery store and I quickly responded with “oh, sorry, excuse me…”

I deserve to take up space. 

To my ex that wanted me to shrink down to what he believed was society’s version of the type of woman he should be with…

I deserve to take up space.

To my teacher, at the Baptist high school I went to, who threatened to fail me until my opinion aligned with his…

I deserve to take up space.

To the girl in my middle school gym class that pointed and laughed at my body and asked if those lines on my stomach were from being attacked by a lion…

I deserve to take up space. 

To the media that has tried tirelessly to brainwash me into believing I’m not good enough…

I deserve to take up space. 

To the church that said I was worthy of love if I fit their very conditional guidelines…

I deserve to take up space.

And to younger Jess that felt such pressure to be perfect, that was “too sensitive” and “felt too much”, that stood out by standing so much taller than the other girls…

We. Deserve. To. Take. Up. Space. 

Don’t S h o u l d On Yourself

The images of Buddha bowls, gym selfies and transformation photos are no longer serving me.  I believe strongly that if something is no longer serving me, I should release it and let it go.  And so I did.
Let me explain…

For many years I have followed social media accounts promoting healthy living.  For a season, I found this to be extremely motivating and encouraging.  However, this season has ended.

It is no longer helpful for me to see the decadent healthy meals someone planned for their entire week.  In the same light, it is no longer helpful for me to see the circuit workout someone did at the gym that day.  I have great respect for people who set a transformational goal and achieve it and they have every right to share it with the world, it’s just that it no longer promotes health for me, just shame for not doing the same.

My point in sharing this is to release those of you who may feel similarly but feel guilt for doing so.  Because I know I have felt that way at times, especially lately. Feeling like I should be going back to obsessive meal planning, I should be working out 6 times a week and I should be keeping up with the community I follow on social media.

dontshould.jpg (1)

My name is Jess Watson, and I’m a recovering “should’er”
Some examples of my old “should” patterns are…

-I should be working out
-I should put everyone before my own care
-I should eat healthier
-I should handle stress with healthier resources
-I should just lose the weight
-I should stop being so sensitive
-I should only wear black
-I should do everything perfectly, or not at all

I’m done should’ing on myself. I’d like to encourage you to, too.

So I went through every account I follow on Instagram that’s sole purpose is fitness, healthy meals, or weight loss and unfollowed all of them.

It was unbelievably freeing.
I began following accounts that encourage self love, body positivity, self compassion, and whole wellness (emotional/physical/spiritual).
The difference in my feed is incredible.
Before, my feed was leaving me feeling defeated and unlovable because I wasn’t like those other people. Now, my feed makes me feel courageous, brave, beautiful, strong, healthy, and more lovable than I ever realized.

Which sounds better to you?

To me, true health is loving whoever you are right now.  I’m done waiting to love myself until I reach an unobtainable goal.
I am far more likely to cook myself a nutritious meal if it’s out of care for myself and far less if it’s out of a place of feeling inadequate because of my body.
I am far more likely to stress less and have lower cortisol levels if I’m celebrating my individuality than if I’m trying to hate myself into loving myself.
I am far more likely to prioritize self care and mental health if I see myself as worth it rather than tracking my imperfections.

A lot of people are threatened by the self acceptance and compassion movement. And it’s understandable. If we truly love ourselves, we may not need to spend as much money on beauty or anti-aging products to hide ourselves from society. If we feel safe to take up space in the world, how will weight loss programs make their profit? If we care deeply for our entire being, we may not put up with toxic people the way we did before.

I’m very comfortable threatening those things and am happy to stand with an army of people doing the same.

Won’t you join us?
Just for five minutes… find one thing you love about yourself.
Just for five minutes… dance and celebrate the body you are in.
Just for five minutes… think of what makes you beautifully unique.

And maybe tomorrow, just for six minutes.
Until it becomes your norm.

Until next time,

xoxo -J