Meet Haven HeARTist and Alumni, Jacqueline Neligan

Jacqueline Neligan is a Haven alumni and artist behind Rosie’s HeART on Instagram. Jacqueline’s creative approach to integrating and staying connected to her self and her learning has inspired many in The Haven community. Today, we’re excited to share the behind-the-scenes of her daily process and how connecting with others and opening her heart birthed Jacqueline’s inner artist. There are many ways to continue to learn and grow and bring The Haven home and we hope Jacqueline’s fun, thoughtful and creative approach inspires you to find your way!

How did your daily doodle practice and Rosie’s HeART come to be, Jacqueline?

I began “waking up” when I attended a Haven Communication and Relational Living Toolkit at Royal Roads.  I was amazed by the power of the real, authentic and congruent communicating that was happening in the room. At the time, I was struggling in a marriage and didn’t realize how unconnected to myself I was. I had invited my husband to go to the Toolkit with me and he chose not to join me. I had always prided myself for believing to know, do and be what other people needed of me. I really did not who I was under the layers of who I believed I needed to be. I attended Come Alive at the end of my marriage and the that marked the awakening and discovery of who I am.  

A year later I attended my second Come Alive experience and I have not looked back.  I deeply value ALL of my Haven experiences including the post-Come Alive Integration programJourney to Self, Moving Forward: Life After SeparationInner Wisdom: Finding the Goddess Within, Career Re-visioning and Process Oriented Conflict Facilitation.

After my first Come Alive, I went on a meditation retreat in India.  This is where ‘Rosie’s Heart’ came to me. I think it was the first time I had a real sense of loving myself. I started doodling one day and she appeared.  

On December 1st, 3 years ago, a friend/mentor invited me to find ways to connect to myself on a daily basis through her winter solstice, Decide to Thrive, advent calendar. Spending time each morning, drawing and seeing what Rosie would have to say to me became my practice. 

Rosie's HeART doodle inspired by The Haven

I still get up every day and draw…sometimes it’s easy, sometimes not…kind of like life.

My middle name is Rose, and Rosie has become my own self-love saviour. I have cultivated a relationship with this part of myself. I am inspired by my desire to live wholeheartedly. “Rosie’s heART” is a daily journey of exploring a diverse array of feelings as a heartiest™. Rosie has taken on a life of her own. I started sharing my reflections and Rosie’s Heart with friends and family. She started as a spark of inspiration and I have been fanning the flame ever since.  She has helped me navigate through my daily journey of life.  I call her my Heart Therapy! 

When in programs at The Haven, I would bring in a daily drawing to share as part of my check in.  I have been encouraged by many people at The Haven, other participants and faculty.  I started an Instagram page @rosiesheartt and I have turned Rosie’s Heart into mini-books for friends.

My daily practice with Rosie is a way to look back and see where I have been.  I also make an effort to start each month with a theme for myself about what matters most.  Rosie inspires me to stay on track with my intentions and actions.  At the beginning of each month I reflect on what matters most and post the image where I can see it every day.  

Another part of me is coming forward now in my daily drawings.  Her name is “Pricilla” – she’s my shadow personality.  I also have established more characters whom I call “my committee members”, two of them named Hope and Grace…sometimes they meet each other in a drawing and have conversations.  

Doing this practice has taught me to step out of my comfort zone. I don’t consider myself an artist.  Creating and sharing is still an edge for me.  Allowing Rosie to keep emerging and blossoming is my daily evidence that I have choice in what I do and how I do it.   

What does The Haven mean to you in 3 words? 

Community, Connection, Growth

What’s your deepest learning/impact from time spent at The Haven? 

Holding others able and learning about self-responsibility. 

I was deeply moved during my Come Alive(s) when people were vulnerable and shared their stories. It gave me such comfort and a sense of strength and safety to share my own.  Seeing how we are all connected in our stories and our life challenges.  I truly know we are all connected – our root systems connect with each other’s root systems.  It is such powerful container for learning and connecting us to our inner beauty.  

The longer-term ripple effects are the best outcomes; my connection with my family and friends and how I can be a leader in my community that support families.  I am the Executive Director of Ladysmith Family and Friends – Connecting 500 families to community and community to families.  

Leap into March with Rosie's HeartThe communication tools I learned at The Haven, connecting with myself and others, and my commitment to growth has me inspired to keep on track with my goals. 

I yearn to create a community for people to show up in their own unique ways and support each other.  I am a Nana now and wish to guide my grandchild to stay connected to her authentic self, to not become disconnected to herself and give pieces of herself away like I did. I want her to be who she wants to be. I love witnessing her raw life force energy and she inspires me to stay connected and feel my own.  

Ten years ago I was disconnected to myself and desperately trying to be who everyone wanted me to be.  Now, I am able to look back, through my own and Rosie’s eyes and love that person. I cherish who I am now because of the journey I have been on and am forever grateful for The Haven.  

Rosie will continue to blossom into herself and the endless possibilities…and I wish the same for everyone!

For daily Haven-inspired reminders and inspiration for your own practice, follow Jacqueline (and Rosie, Priscilla, Hope and Grace) on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rosiesheartt/?hl=en

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