BLUE was created one year ago in order to share Jackie Reynolds’s entries whilst she embarked on her own spiritual journey while living a creative life as an artist. Without knowing where the blog was heading, Jackie knew she wanted to share her experiences and passions with us all. We ask Jackie how she is encouraging spiritual empowerment for living a creative life and why she really wants to see millennials taking human connection more seriously.
My name is Jackie Reynolds and I am an Actress and Singer living and working in Manhattan. I also am a group fitness instructor at the new rowing studio, Current Fitness, located in Tribeca!
Throughout my journey of working and traveling as an artist, and also discovering my love of teaching fitness, I have felt compelled to write in order to inspire others.
I started my blog, BLUE, one year ago to develop my voice and share my passions in hopes of motivating others who are on a similar path. My mission is to continue to mould my passions of entertainment, fitness, and writing to create a platform where I can spiritually empower as many people as possible who are also living a creative life.
I moved to Manhattan five years ago once I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Like many artists out of college, I had a BFA and big dreams. These past five years have been completely unpredictable, thrilling, terrifying, and everything that I needed to be who I am today.
I found myself waiting tables and getting right into auditions around the second or third day of me arriving in New York. In the first two years of living in the city, I found myself freelancing with agencies for Commercial and Print work while also signing with my Manager.
Even though I was finding work regionally in and around New York, I still struggled with working in the restaurant industry. There is zero shame in having a survival job as an artist, but I just knew I needed to be fulfilled in other ways.
I was not happy.
That’s when I started working in the fitness community, and that is when my quality of life changed drastically. For the better. Fitness and health have always been a massive passion of mine, so having a place that felt like home while also doing what I loved allowed me to align with my true self and discover who I was.
At the end of those two years, I booked my first National Tour! Being on the road and working with some of the most incredible people I have ever known was a dream come true. After those 8 months, I was back in New York and back in auditions while working at the same fitness studio.
This became a very transformative time for me because while I was back in auditions, I felt dis-aligned from my calling of performing. The artist life is full of rejection and self-doubt, and to go from such a high from my first tour to being back where I started in the big city, made me emotionally unstable.
I suddenly didn’t know what I wanted anymore and chasing my ‘dreams’ felt robotic and too routine. I needed to make a change and do it all differently. I needed to develop a deeper level of connection and meaning behind my purpose and my calling as a performer.
Without even realising why I was doing it, I began finding spiritual guidance through yoga classes, meditation, reading, and writing. All of these outlets were very new in my routine, but I created time and space for myself to dive in and dig deep.
That’s when I created my blog! Writing suddenly became a huge part of my life. After maintaining a journal of my spiritual journey while I continued to audition and work/travel, I felt compelled to have a platform to share my experiences of following my passions in hopes that it would inspire others to do the same.
This transformative time was extremely uncomfortable, but extraordinary all at once. The amount of growth that comes from living a spiritual life is astonishing and the more I lived it the more I wanted to share it.
About six months after my tour and only two months after my blog became published, I booked an international cruise contract with AIDA Cruise Lines. I worked overseas for about 7 months and have been officially back in the city since July!
Traveling and working abroad while also writing and working on my alignment every day was a gift. Being able to grow and develop my skills with people all over the world is what fueled me to strive to become a coach. Since I’ve been back, I have been working as an instructor at the new rowing studio, Current Fitness, where I am able to use my voice in person to help motivate people to work hard and feel good.
I am currently back in auditions and I am delighted that I have reached a point in my career where all of my passions have found a way to mold together.
My day usually entails running around the city from morning until evening. I tend to work my schedule around my classes at Current Fitness and I am teaching almost everyday.
Auditions and gigs in the city keep things interesting. Whether I am prepping for a Musical Theatre audition and preparing my music, or scheduled to be on set for a commercial shoot, no week is the same! If it tends to be a quieter day, you can usually find me in a café working on playlists for my Current classes.
I launched my blog one year ago. While I was living my artist life in the city and auditioning in between gigs, I was eager to find a deeper connection to my purpose as a performer. Staying spiritually aligned allowed me to go after my goals and dreams differently. I began journaling about this transformative time and felt compelled to share my stories in hopes of inspiring others who are also living a creative life as artists, entrepreneurs, etc. Living a life like this is unbalanced, completely wild and full of surprises. It’s a life lived following your passion and intuition, and I wanted to have a place to project my passions and what moved me to keep going in order to empower others to also take risks and believe in themselves.
We row to the flow of the music.
As a performer, it has been awesome to bring my artistic skills to the workout while also adding my philosophical views on life as inspiration in my coaching. Now I am working on developing the playlists for each class in order to set the emotional tone.
My mission is to use my voice to inspire the rowers to challenge themselves and to find their inner strength throughout the class. My love for fitness is all about incorporating a healthy lifestyle that makes you feel better. This class is meant to lift your spirits even hours after the workout.
Making the choice to live a creative life is not easy. Not many people are encouraged to follow their calling or passionate ideas. It requires a huge awareness of yourself and of your purpose, and also comes with a lot of fear.
Once you make the choice to embark on your journey, it doesn’t necessarily get any easier. In order to find any sort of success, it requires continuous action and a lot of failures until you find it. That is where TRUST comes in.
Failure as an artist results in a lot of rejection, self-doubt, and anxiety. And as I continue on this path of following my intuition and calling, it is a constant reminder to trust the journey.
Finding and making it my purpose to share empowerment to stay aligned with your spiritual path is something I make a point of voicing every day in my classes and in my blog. Developing my voice in motivating people is something I hope leads me to bigger and better opportunities to reach more and more.
Yes, I am such a morning person! But my tips are meant to help you even if you are not a fan of mornings. My morning rituals have become so important and necessary in order to set myself up for success. With them, I am able to leave my apartment and start my day with a sense of readiness and purpose.
- Affirmations instead of noisy alarms. Whether it is a daily affirmation app, a podcast, or a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, positive affirmations have the ability to completely switch our mindset in the morning. Right now I am really into the Chalene Show podcast. Having something that is not only motivational but takes you away from all of your screens and stress is a sure way to set you up for success. An affirmation to start your day is merely a reminder for our brains to align to our authentic selves. These morning reminders bring us a moment of stillness, reflection, and in just one breath can bring us a sense of peace.
- Movement, I love a good morning workout. If I don’t have time for a class, I set up a YouTube Yoga video and take at least 15-20 minutes to stretch and get a sense of where my body is on that day. I usually teach in the mornings, so if I am trying to keep it easy, then a nice gentle yoga stretch is the perfect way to get my blood flowing and to let my brain get into ‘go mode’.
- Mindfulness. Having a sense of emotional awareness is key to freeing ourselves from our daily anxiety and stress. My time for mindfulness is usually in the shower or actually taking ten minutes from my morning to meditate. Change your perspective, and you can change your life.
I am a very accessible person. Networking, maintaining relationships and meeting new people are my jam! I love supporting my friends and rooting for people doing what they love and I find that having that genuine human connection builds me up to my highest potential as well. A constructive use of social media can also take your voice far and is a great way to find that support for your business.
I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to work as an instructor for Current Fitness. It has been a gift to have this work where I can find my voice in pushing others to reach their highest potential. Let me be clear, I cannot do any inspiring if I am not inspired myself by the strength and determination I see from the rowers in class.
I do some prep before every class but no class is the same and you can’t predict how the energy is going to feel on that day. I make the playlists to set the tone, I use my energy to navigate where I want to take the class spiritually that day, and I am constantly finding ways to add more intensity in the workout to create a deeper connection to the mind and body.
When you connect your movements to music it allows you to free your mind in a way where suddenly we are opening ourselves up to feel. I want to continue to provide a safe space for people to feel okay to feel. The workout is already intense, so to create an emotional journey through music and movement takes them to another level in finding their inner power and strength.
When it comes to business, (as a millennial) I would like to see millennials taking human connection more seriously. Social media is fabulous because we are able to connect to a larger mass on a day to day basis and run our business from our phones, however, a real human connection is what really makes a difference in any business. To not only share what makes you/your business shine on your page but in your everyday life!
I loved reading ‘Fire Starter Sessions’ by Danielle Laporte. She talks all about building your business and living your life on your own terms. One of my favorite pieces of advice was about branding yourself for self-promotion.
“You are the expert on YOU. It’s always better to be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. Image is a fragile thing. Sincerity is rock solid.”
It is so easy today to get caught up in other’s successes and what I like to call to ‘compare and despair.’ What I have learned is that no one’s journey is the same and so when we do that, it actually slows us down. Comparing your journey to someone else’s creates a negative and judgmental outlook on those around you.
Releasing that judgment and staying connected to your own personal timing is when we are really aligned with our true path.
I don’t believe I ever have an even balance between work and social life. Don’t get me wrong, I make time to work hard and have fun, but if my social life is thriving, it’s probably because my work life is not where I want it to be.
And vice-versa! There are weeks where my work is defining my entire life, and there are days where I am out on a Tuesday night with my girlfriends. I am an extremely social person so I take maintaining friendships very seriously, however, I feel that it is important to give focus on certain things when it is time to give it! It’s all an ebb and flow.
Working on a ship was not my ideal lifestyle, but the timing of that contract in my life was fate. I had been in a spiritual rock bottom for a few months, and as I mentioned before, I turned to journaling, meditating, and I started to pray myself out.
During this time period, I prayed for travel and for my craft to be used. (I even made a list of the top places I wanted to see before I was 30)
The audition and callback for the Cruise Line wasn’t even a highlight in my week. I was so burnt out that I didn’t think for a second that it would be what was next for me… When I received the offer, they asked me to be in Germany for rehearsals within the week. I was at a phase in my life where I didn’t have anything holding me in New York and I could pull it off! It became the highlight of my career because that contract answered every prayer of mine. It was almost as if the Universe was just saying “here you go!” I trust in this magic!
I am most satisfied when I see the work that I am doing is creating a positive and happy environment. Whether that is performing on stage, or teaching at Current, creating joy and community is the ultimate satisfaction for me.
My idea of success has changed over and over again. I believe life gives us continuous opportunities to reinvent ourselves so I have a sneaking suspicion success may look completely different to me in the next few years.
At this moment, success means going all in with my craft and calling for empowering others. Dedicating each and every day to grow and moving forward towards the highest good for all is my mission every single day. I am pumped to see where it leads.
#BEYOUROWN to me is a celebration of women’s individuality and strengths. It is a place where women are inspiring other women to create their life on their on their own terms in order to follow their joy and authentic purpose in not only their business but their life.
It is daunting yet fascinating to be in a position where everything in life is evolving. My big ideas are coming together and there are many things I feel passionate about and excited to see through.
I plan on developing my classes more intently every day, maintaining my blog, and getting seen for new work as an Actress in the city. Anything is possible, and all I can do is my best and say ‘yes’ to the ride. So, perhaps your guess is as good as mine!
Instagram : @jackie_reynolds