Tag Archives: inspiration

Project Inspiration: the boyfriend, Chris Hynes

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my boyfriend, Chris Hynes has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  He is the make-my-heart-beat-faster-life-adventure-personal-iron-chef-always-says-i-love-you-caring-strong-family-loving-very-sexy-stand-for-greatness-slow-down-to-enjoy-life boyfriend in my life.

And he is the one that inspired me to embark upon this adventure that is Project Inspiration. 

We were sitting at Starbucks.   I was feeling so lost.  I had this strange feeling of not being enough and there was this large gray cumulus cloud parked right over my head.  How that ugly cloud got there and pulled the parking brake to a heavy hault, I do not know.  So, Chris looked at me over his homework and then took the time and closed the computer.  He said to me, “take your pen and write down all the names of people that have inspired you, shaped who you are and that you are thankful for”.  So, I began to list them out one by one – he reminded me of a few.  And then he told me, “tell them why, maybe it will show you the way”….

Dear Chris Hynes,

I love our love story.  From meeting you our first year in college in the dorms to emails from Australia, to post-college long distance friendships lasting over gchat, to carefully selected mix tapes, a surprise “I love you” bomb to a surprise long distance relationship and to a surprise “I am moving there to be with you and this is happening” into a no surpirse…amazing life adventure together. 

I love you. 

I love you. 

I love you.

What I wanted to let you know, Chris, is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every single day.

You. Inspire. Me.  You literally create your life every single day.  From going back to school for a dream job and your dream life, to riding the crazy rollercoaster that has been our love adventure, to the recent plunge to California and for taking a sturdy and strong stand for your “best life”.  I look to you for that reminder to keep creating mine – even when it might be scary, even when it might take sharp turns or fast drops, cross country moves and even when it seems impossible – you are my possible.  Thank you for being that stand for you and for me.

Even though I argue and pompously shout from the rooftops that I said “I love you” first – it was truly you who said it first.  Maybe not out loud or even with your own words…but you said it first.  Be it a mix tape with love songs, a plane ticket to see about a girl or never giving up on my interesting ways; thank you for loving me and not being scared to show it first.  Your ability to be vulnerable has inspired me to be more emotional, more compassionate and more open to you, to others and to myself.

Chris, you are my restart button, my feet on solid ground, my moment to breathe. I believe my ways as an achiever and to do lister, wear whatever I want, follow the rules type, be great and goal set are what make me radical and what make me crazy.   But life gets funny when you become a ‘we’; your life shifts in the most beautiful way, if you allow it.  Thank you for the earthquake of a shift you have been in my life and for the always available restart button, fresh inhale and being my someone to lean on.  I am so grateful for who you are.

And finally, I just love you because.  And that is it, simple and confusing, small and big, cool and nerdy.   I don’t have the right answer all the time, or the why behind everything, or the aggressive plan of attack – I just love you because I absolutely, definitely love you. 

Chris, you are nothing short of my everything.    You inspire me every single day.  Thank you for showing me the way.

I love you.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Your inspired girlfriend,

Jacki

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Project Inspiration: Amanda Casgar

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my dear friend, Amanda Casgar has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  She is newer to my World, but just as much impactful.  She really is the hostess-with-the-mostess-stand-for-your-goals-in-the-utmost-powerful-way-insanely-innovative-powerful-total-New-Yorker-that-walks-fast-and-talks-fast-loving-poopoo-platter-creating-joke-teller of a friend.

Dear Amanda,

I remember sharing a hotel room with you on one of our numerous trips to Vancouver for work.  We were talking, laughing, sharing and you said, “hey, can we be friends for a long time?”.   I had never been asked that question directly, and of course, my immediate response and reaction was, “yes please!”.  And I meant it.  We phone one another often, and by often, I mean a lot and we have the luxury of the work connection, however, some times work friends become real life friends and I am so happy we made that shift.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every day.

First and foremost, you are my goal stand.  And I wish I could think of a cooler analogy and I am sure you will think of one in 13 seconds, but you stand for my goals.  Period.  I say I want to do this, here comes Amanda with an opportunity.  I am thinking maybe I should go this direction with my goals, here comes Amanda with advice and someone to connect me to.  Now, I know you are the ultimate matchmaker for people.  But I am so happy that I was already taken in the love domain and you took the path of matchmaking my deepest, scariest, most radical goals with possibility in my life domain.  I am inspired by how you stand for me, how you stand for others.  It pushes me to listen, listen, listen to and be in possibility and find opportunity in the coolest of ways. 

Amanda, you are the epitome of the phrase, ‘hostess with the mostest’.  You can make a full on snack bar out of an empty refrigerator.  You can make a roundtrip grocery shop in 17 minutes for a full week of delicious-ness, in what would take me at least 92 solid minutes.  And this truly reflects how much you care for other people; how much you care that there is an environment for people to feel comfortable, satisfied and always  just enough wine.  I admire your party-throwing abilities and how you care and love others so they feel invited and ‘at home’. 

You are a funny human being.  I smile and laugh so much when I am around you.  You have this quick wit, one liner, loud type of humor that everyone gravitates to.  Never a dull moment, be it in a yoga class, a full on dance party, or on a 5:30am run, in which I have no idea how you enrolled me to be up that early;  you lighten a mood and throw out some vocabulary word we all have no knowledge of and then make another joke about that.  You relate quickly to your audience, connect and truly leave a legacy.  It is a true gift to be someone who people never forget – you are one of those people.  I am inspired.

You are the Director of Innovation.  When it comes to creativity energy and cool ideas, I call on you.  I look forward to every conversation and especially the future you will create, as it will never look the same as the last idea, as yesterday; it will never be old news.  You will never be old news.  So fresh, so vibrant, and some times risky.  I am inspired by your thought process and the way you stand for it; it allows me to think big, be a bit risky and ask for more in all areas of my life.

And Amanda, you are just fun.  I know every time we get together that I will walk away smiling because we had radical conversation, deep belly laughter and get real moments of presence and gratitude.  Always the life of a party, always a good time; I would definitely opt to be stuck in an airport with you for 8 hours any time. 

You are a great friend I am so happy to have in my life.  The true life of a party, the host of a party and the entertainment at the party; one might ask, “how do you do it all?”.  But that is who you are and it is amazing.  Thank you for being my friend now and for a long time, for standing for my goals in the most beautiful way, for being a perfect host and rocking life on the regular with your huge ideas and innovative ways.  I am so inspired by you.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Chris New

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Chris New has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution. He is that there-for-you-any-time-every-time-Midwest-hearted-turned-California-dude-slash-uber-hipster-on-a-beachcruiser-with-a-prius-great-taste-in-music-loves-me-full-heartedly-stands-for-me type of best friend.

Dear Chris New,

We met.

In a Bar.

Celebrating.

Obviously.

Story of our college life. Really, story of our friendship life. I strut into Kilroys during those IU college summers when you really think you ‘own’ the town. I saw you just yelling so loud, smiling so big, happy and free. I said to myself, “I want to be best friends with that guy, right now”. And so it was. And be it with my family, just the two of us, with our friends in Vegas or on the sand, we have been partying ever since.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every day.

Chris New. You are a radical best friend, and by radical I mean the true definition of the word. Extreme, to the limit and extraordinary. I remember when you made me promise to wear jeans twice a week to go out and have fun with you. I tell that story all the time. As my best friend, you pulled me out of a funk and brought me back to reality.  In a language that made sense. “Jacki, no more legging and yoga clothes – put on jeans!” I am forever inspired by your ability to speak to people you care for in a way they understand. Thank you for speaking my language and bringing me back.

You are a live-it-all-right-now human being. There is an 80’s song that is my definition of you, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears; it opens with, “welcome to your life, there’s no turning back….”. I mean, do you play this song every morning? Because you took that welcome mat and RAN with it. I am inspired by you, your life choices and your ultimate enjoyment of who you are. It is a constant reminder to live my life now, because there is no turning back or do overs.

You are a part of my family, Chris New. Period.

I really love that you go to concerts and movies solo. I think it is so cool that you don’t miss a favorite band or rad concert because everyone is busy – you buy the ticket and treat yourself. It inspires me to not wait on anyone else to plan something, just go and be happy.

And on that note, Chris, you are just freaking cool.  You are.  Cool music, cool dive bars, great foodie foods, flannel…you are who you are.  You do not try to be anyone else, or look good with ego or do things that don’t feel right.  You are self aware and so true to your values.  It is very beautiful.   I am inspired every single day to be me, as you have been such a great example in my life.

You are the life of a party, the true meaning of friendship, and someone I will always have a space for in my heart.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally, being on reality tv with me, getting P90seXy day after day, making me go out and be your best friend, for loving my family, sticking it out through the hard stuff, for being cool, and for loving Christmas as much as I do.  I am always inspired by you.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: my Grandma, Linda Paulin

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my grandmother, Linda Paulin has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  She is that always-vibrant-youthful-loud-as-ever-church-lady-noodle-making-granola-baking-best-house-for-Christmas-love-best-house-for-love-love-friend-mentor-life-long-cheerleader of a Grandma.

Dear Gram,

There is something about you and grandpa, your house and the lake you live on that allows me a sense of peace.  Something about how much I love you, how safe I feel in your home and how loved I feel in your arms.  Something about our phone conversations that last forever, your laugh that is so heartfelt, and your mothering and grandmothering nature. 

And all those somethings are really my everything.

So, what I wanted to let you know, is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every day.

My favorite place in the world is your house.  The long rocky trail to get there, the shady trees, the RV in the driveway, the fake deer in the front yard, the calm lake in the back, and you waiting to give me a hug every time in the house that always smells like your favorite scent, vanilla.  You hear the old saying, “she made that house a home’ – and you have done that.  There are so many fond memories of Christmases past, 4th of July fireworks, my college laundry in your washer and dryer and many hands of Euchre with family and friends.   I am inspired by what you have created in that house and am so grateful to feel an unconditional invitation any time, all the time.  Thank you for allowing me a place to escape, be loved and truly appreciate my family.

 There is a beautiful aura about someone with strong virtues.  You never fail me with interesting, heated, confident conversation.  And though we do not always agree, be it about religion, the St. Louis Cardinals, books, cooking…there is a level of respect.  You know who you are, what you like and what you don’t like.  I am inspired by your strength, ability to speak openly, and confidence in who you are.  You live a happy life and I am inspired to be strong, speak openly and be confident everyday in who I am. 

Alright, let’s get this one out there.  You are one of the loudest humans I have ever met in my life.  You sing loud in church, you speak loud in person, and your laugh seems as if it could carry across the Universe.  I recently led a goal coaching seminar and I received feedback that when I got really serious about something, my voice went softer.  I realize now I need to channel my inner grandmother, speak up and be heard.  I have something to say and I do want everyone to hear it.  Be loud, Gram.  Because it provides me a channel to speak from!

One thing I will always remember when you and Grandpa embarked on your US travels in your radical home on wheels of an RV:  “don’t depend on me to have a full bank account when this life ends.  I am going to use it and enjoy it right now”.  Now that is living life to the fullest.  I really believe that I have the coolest grandparents on Earth.  You both inspire me to live it up, live large and be happy.  Every single day. 

I sometime wonder your capacity to love people.  You have Grandpa (a job in itself), five children, fourteen grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and all your church ladies!  You give, and you give, and you give.  I understand now why they had to put a pacemaker on your heart a couple of years ago.  Because for all the people it beats for, I would need a pacer, too.  I love your big hugs, your giving nature and your absolute inability to say no to helping a friend in need.  I am inspired to race my heart for others and be of service for the World.

Grandma, thank you for loving me unconditionally all of my life.  Thank you for taking care of me, for inspiring me every day to stand for what I believe in and stand for it loudly, to live this life to the utmost ability and to love others with my entire and whole heart.  You are a teacher, my family, a best friend, and just amazing. 

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Your Inspired Granddaughter,

Jacki Carr

p.s.  Happy Birthday, Gram.

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Project Inspiration: Erin Thomas

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Erin Thomas has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  She is that  freaking-hilarious-and-knows-it-huge-hearted-party-of-a-good-time-up-for-anything-make-you-have-real-conversations-when-you-don’t-want-to-unconditional-loving-always-forgiving-always-guiding-best friend.

Dear Erin,

I can still close my eyes and feel the way I felt walking across the threshold of your apartment in The Villas, Sex and the City intro music playing over and over in the background, red wine waiting on the glass coffee table and a safety net catching me every step.  I was in that age twenty tornado just flailing and you grabbed my arm and pulled me out.  Best friends ever since.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every day.

Erin, you are one of those great greats of a friend.  Period.  You pick up the phone.  You check in.  You call people out.  You lift people up.  You forgive in a way only real friends do.  Your capacity for love in a friendship is endless. I am inspired by our relationship and truly aspire to be for my friends and family who you are as a best friend to me.

Always up for a good time, you are a true partner in crime when it comes to a party.  Doesn’t matter what we are wearing, who we are with or where we are headed, if I am with you, I am in for adventure.  And don’t even get me started on your dance moves.  I am inspired to never ever feel sorry for partying.

Erin, you are beautiful.  Say it in the mirror three times.  Because you are.

Be it a bagel shop, a yoga studio, a dear friend or an accepted invite, you are loyalty.  When I wade a little deeper in the vocabulary pond, you are devotion.  And that is a beautiful quality.  To be devoted, attentive and true is something I most cherish in you.  Stepping into a new career, becoming a yoga teacher, and being a yoga teacher; your life shifts are inspiring and a true testament of your amazing future.  I see it.  I enjoy it.  And I am inspired to keep shifting in my life and devoting to creating my future.  Thank you for being a great example, a true leader in this.

Let’s talk about the humor card, because you were dealt it.  And you are not afraid to tell anyone and everyone that you are most definitely and without a doubt the funniest person you know.  I laugh out loud and often when I am around you, on the phone with you, or looking at your life photos on facebook.  (smile)  Laughter is a form of emotional balance.  Don’t forget that, because when you provide me with a bit of balance, I am forever grateful, forever thankful and forever inspired.

Erin, thank you for never giving up on this twisting and winding roller coaster of a frienship you and I stepped into.  You are, in the words of Tina Turner, “simply the best“.  Thank you for loving me, for shifting in the most powerful ways, and for making everyone in your life laugh.  I’ll be seeing on the yoga mat, in a car driving around some lake or posted up at the bar.  And I can’t wait.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: my Mother, Marti Carr

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my mother, Marti Carr has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution. You probably have one of these: the do-everything-talk-through-anything-ridiculously-good-looking-super-woman-best-friend-rockstar of a Mom. Let’s compare notes.

Dear Mom,

You are the beginning. There for the first breath, to the first step, my first dance recital and as my PE teacher, from boyfriends to the mother/daughter talks to friendship.

You’re my hero, Mom.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are, has and continues to shape who I am every day.

You love what you do and you do it damn well. You are a great teacher. And you are a teacher not only to your students, but your friends and family, as well. You teach from your heart, you teach for greatness and you are ones of this life’s greatest leaders. The passion you have inspires me to live a passionate life in all domains, even when it is not easy.

Mom, you cry at everything. Absolutely everything. Your tear ducts are on overload and it is a beautiful thing. Some people see crying as a weakness, relate it to pain or sadness. I look at your tears and see you feeling life. Allowing life, people, love and conversation to move you to an emotional state, and it is so empowering. I used to be naively proud of ‘never crying’ because I am so ‘macho’ or ‘hardcore’. Lame. Now I look to feel, be and have more moments in life that rock my emotions. Thank you for being open and feeling the World around you; it inspires me to do the same.

My life evolution has been so interesting, as I am sure most can relate when their relationship with their parents begins to shift to a radical friendship. I recall watching you teaching when I was young as one of your many students during Lap Day standing for kids’ health, watching you at 6am when we used to work out together before school and we were quite the mother/daughter duo, and watching us now in conversation for possibilities at the kitchen island in our home. You are there for it all, you are my Mother, my teacher, my hero, my friend. The ability to shift and transform in relationship is one that takes patience, listening and kindness. Noted and you are appreciated to the infinite.

I am in love with your relationship with Dad. Quite the pair, I am grateful for the life I have, the family you both built and foundation you have paved for me. You both hold hands, kiss in public and smile at one another. I hope that Chris and I are as much in love as you and Dad are 28 years later.

And finally, Mom, I love you. As I sit here thinking of my final note to type out – I cannot put words together. Tears scurry down my face behind my horn-rimmed thick glasses, my heart beats a beat faster and I sit here in such gratitude and amazing peace for a mom, a family and a life that moves me to tears. I am you, crying over something I cannot explain. And that is beautiful. Thank you.

Thank you for giving me life and loving me, Mom. I am inspired every single day by you, your work for possibility and greatness, your stand for your family and your ability to shift and cry over the unexplained in this beautiful life that Mom built. You are my mother, my teacher, my hero, and my friend and I am forever grateful for you.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Your Inspired Daughter,
Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Matt Hoglund

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Matt Hoglund has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  You probably have one of these:  the talk-for-hours-yoga-loving-possibility-seeking-share-your-goals-and-dreams-with-brutally-honest-and-well-dressed best friend.  Let’s compare notes. 

Matty,

I remember that sunny day you walked through the glass double doors at lululemon athletica Santa Monica and thinking, “Hmph, how did this guy get the job I applied for?”.  Ego talking.  Recurring theme, I am aware.  From our shared yoga dates to work drama, our amazing coffee evenings or late night wine chats, match.com winks to cleaning out my closet and sharing possibilities, I am so happy you got the job and walked into my life that day.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are, has and continues to shape who I am every day.

You, Matt, are possibility every day.  I envision when you wake up there is an inspirational book of quotes next to your bathroom sink to read while teeth brushing, you have a daily declaration on your mirror every morning,  and  you leave the house standing upright and walking with an air of “today is the day to be great”.   And I envision this because when I speak to you via phone, you ooze with greatness.  I am inspired by your mentality, your ability to believe in yourself and who you choose to be each day.  And, I believe in you.

Matt, you look good.  And I mean really good.  Your fashion sense is unreal and you have no qualms sharing what not to wear.  As I recall, you saved me from the insanity that was packing to move from LA to Chicago by shipping out 3 large black gallon garbage bags to goodwill.  It was not the sheer and utter honesty when you held up the pink and black polka dotted skirt that was size 2 and you looked at me like “that is never going to happen every again”; what it really was:  is who are you are.  We had a great time cleaning out my closet, we had a great time making fun of my fashion sense and you allowed space in my life.  Space that was not there before.  I am inspired by the space you allow people by being you.

Your decision to leave a job to create one that would fulfill all areas of your life is inspiring.  You choose possibility over fear and that in itself is a rare gift.   Go ahead, check him out:  www.matthoglund.com.  You’re not going to live a mediocre life and neither am I.  Knowing we are in it together keeps me excited – and calling you every other day for accountability.  Thanks for picking up the phone.

The ability to be open and patient definitely allows you a leg up.  A long leg up.  You thrive on feedback to be better, you listen listen listen then ask questions and you allow yourself and others time with no judgment.  I yearn to write ‘envious’ – however, that is not the correct word.  I am inspired by you as a great leader in my life.  I continuously work on patience and listening and you are such a guiding light.

Lastly, I will not leave out our one night of amazing dance moves at Circle Bar.  There it comes up again – that fearless movement, literally.  We showed that dance floor and Santa Monica community who was boss that night.  And to me, that sums up how you live your life.  Create it, show them who is boss and dance because you can.  So inspiring and I will continue to shake my groove thing with you.

Thank you Matty for going against the grain, having a different conversation and beautiful worldview, and for teaching me everyday to be a great human being.  The experiences I have from our friendship are ones that I am forever grateful.  I will continue to be a name that shows up on your caller id, and I look forward to every encounter; as every time I am in a different and greater space than I was before we connected. 

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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