Wise Women Wednesday: Rebecca Jackson Aydelette

Rebecca Jackson Aydelette.jpg

Q. Who are you? What is your background? 
A. Most important to me is that I’m part of a big, beautifully messy family. I’m 27 years married to my partner and best friend, Phillip, Mom to four grown and mostly grown kids and Ra Ra of one spunky GRANDdaughter (who will be a big sister is a few short weeks). I’m a daughter; I grew up as an only child, but when I was 42, I got a bonus dad, a sister and two brothers when Mom remarried after Dad died. I’m a daughter-in-love, a sister-in-love, a mother-in-love, an aunt, a niece and a granddaughter.

I grew up on the coast of North Carolina, specifically, at the end of a mile long dirt road, which ran through woods and a tobacco farm and ended on the shore of the White Oak River near Swansboro. Roaming the woods and the shore and being on the water informed so much of who I am.

My journey through college took me 9 years, 6 schools and 3 states and 4 changes of major. I finally graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Fine Art with a Concentration in Ceramics. When I graduated, Phillip and I had been married for a few years and we were expecting our first daughter. I kept my hands in clay for as long as I could, but eventually, as our family grew and we moved around several states, I chose to focus on family.

 Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Q. What is your work?
A. I’m at a junction with my work. I’m seventeen years into a nineteen-year journey as a homeschool mom and three years back into being a potter.

Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I’m working on becoming a Certified Aromatherapist.

Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Two things, actually. Neither is in the recent past, but both were pivotal in my understanding and acceptance of my life as being multi-purposed and multifaceted. Instead of feeling a single strong call in one direction, I have felt different callings in different seasons of my life.

In 2012, I signed up for a weeklong pottery retreat in Montreat called Arts and Sabbath. At that point, I’d been away from pottery for fifteen years. I was both excited and afraid to get my hands back in clay because I didn’t know whether pottery had waited for me . . . whether the dream in my head was still the dream in my heart. But as soon as I felt the clay, it was like coming home and I knew it was still there waiting for me and for the time when I could pick it back up and focus on it.

Then, about five years ago, I started using the word “no.” For years, I had filled my calendar with other people’s priorities and I had essentially become a professional volunteer. I was giving my best parts to everyone else and my family and I were getting the dregs. There are so many good and worthy places for us to give our time, but realizing that all those good things weren’t my “God-things” allowed me to listen to my heart.

 Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?  If not why not what's stopping you? 
A. I have three deep interests: pottery, spirituality and alternative healing modalities. The work I most want to be doing involves merging all three and bringing it to others. I’m not doing that work yet, but I have a vision of what it will look like and how I want to get there.

Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Do your best; some days your best is outstanding, some days it’s mediocre and some days, your best is failure. Keep showing up anyway; it's about forward movement and progress, not perfection.

Also, there’s no one right path. There are many ways to reach your destination, none anymore or less important than the others.

 Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. “It is what it is” and “I’m not (or my pottery isn’t) everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s ok.”

Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. At this point in my life, creating is more about my calendar than desire. I schedule time in the studio and guard it carefully. I find that creativity, for me, is about showing up and being present.

Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Last year, I got my first tattoo. It’s my daily reminder to live with “harmony.” By nature, I’m a peacemaker and peace-seeker; I crave quiet and calm. But sometimes, creating peace in my life comes at the expense of excluding other things that are important and meaningful to me.  Instead of living a one-dimensional life of either/or, I want to always remember to live a multi-dimensional life of both/and . . . harmony.

 Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Q. What's your favorite yoga pose? 
A. Pigeon is always good, but Shavasana. Its like a period at the end of a sentence; a breath; a pause. It’s a moment to digest all that came before it and to reset for what will come after.

Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. By being present. My morning ritual is vital to my being present throughout my day. My ritual varies a little bit, but every day starts with at least one quiet cup of coffee. I have a cabinet full of pottery mugs, most made by people I know, the others given to me by people I love, so coffee is akin to beginning the day with a treasured friend or family member. Most mornings include a candle or incense and journaling. Some days, journaling is simply a brain dump and other days, I uncover important (to me) truths. At its core, my morning ritual is about connecting with my heart.

 Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography

Photo by Haley Aydelette Photography