Jackie Trottmann Bio
I chose to write my bio in the form of some major life questions. Why? I’ve learned that living your life with joy and flow requires that you think of success differently. It’s living life from your core values, not by the measurement of our culture or credentials behind your name. Alas, to reach out for speaking engagements, I’ve listed that experience on my Speaking Page in case you are curious.
Perhaps you can relate to my life’s journey, I know that my email readers do.
So, I hope you enjoy the questions and that you will ponder and answer these questions for yourself too.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ever since I could hold a crayon, I wanted to be an artist. I fully intended to become a commercial artist when I graduated from high school.
Enter the inner critic. We all have one along with an inner counselor. My inner critic said, “Hah! You’re not Norman Rockwell. What makes you think you can be an artist?” So, just like that, I didn’t pursue a career in art. I dropped out of college to pursue a career in advertising.
If I had the opportunity to talk to my 18-year-old self, I would have said, “Of course you’re not Norman Rockwell, silly, you’re YOU!” (Thank goodness, with age comes wisdom!)
I never regret the three decades I spent in the advertising business. It led me to the path I’m on now. Which leads to the next question.
What do you do for a living?
While I might not be an artist using a paint brush on a canvas, I am now a writer using a pen to paint a story on the page. God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement, is my first book published by DreamSculpt, an imprint of Waterside Productions. I also love speaking, because I love story telling. That artist side has led to my creating products to help people learn to be still, let go, and trust themselves, others, and God. (How? These meditations are a great way to start.)
I find it interesting that when you are young, you are asked what you want to be? As an adult attending any kind of social or business function, you are asked, what do you do?
I was so busy doing that I forgot how to be.
I mentioned the critic and the counselor that we have within us. The counselor is the still small voice that leads us and guides us. You can call it your gut, your heart, or your instincts. It is that deep knowing what is right. I would define it more deeply as your soul, your true essence. My still small voice was screaming for me to leave the corporate world behind. Thanks to my husband Robert, he gave me the permission to quit and do just that.
At first it was liberating. That was until the fifteenth and thirtieth of the month rolled around. Gone was the big, fat paycheck. I didn’t realize how much my self-worth had been linked to my title, position, and income.
That’s why the next question is so important to answer. Determining what are your core values.
What are your core values?
Core values are what uncompromising principles that you live by. When you live your life from your core values, your life has greater peace, power, clarity, and purpose. My core values are:
I live foremost from my faith. The Bible is full of truth and wisdom, so I quote it a lot. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” When you live from a place of truth, you are free.
When you tell the truth (with love), speak the truth, are truthful with yourself, you can face what you need to change or be at peace with decisions you make.
I want to have compassion for others, for all of God’s creation, and compassion for myself.
I love deep, meaningful relationships, especially having soul-centered discussions. Nothing thrills me more than when one of my readers writes to me and says, “When I receive your emails, it’s like you know exactly what encouragement I need at the time. It’s like you’re in my head!”
I used to think having joy meant being in a euphoric, blissful state. Truth be told : ), with that definition, I didn’t feel joy very often.
Joy for me is a feeling of deep peace, expansiveness, and contentment. I feel joy the most on Sunday. I take Sunday off and unplug from my computer. For some reason, my brain explodes with ideas to write about. Part of the reason for that is that I’ve given myself permission to just be.
On Sunday I am also usually out in nature. The mere reality of being-ness, being out in God’s creation with none of life’s demands clawing at me, helps me to feel a oneness and connection with God and all that is. That is a feeling of joy. Which is a great segue to the next big question.
What is your image of God?
I believe this is the biggest single question that anyone needs to answer. The answer will determine how rich your life will truly be.
Growing up, my image of God was the great judgmental scorekeeper in the sky. I was trying to please God, but always felt I fell short. I was afraid that if I stepped out of line, God would squish me like a bug.
All of the talk of sin, salvation, forgiveness, and more sin, confused me. If I was forgiven, why do I have to be told every week at church that I’m a sinner? Church didn’t encourage me, it discouraged me, so much so that I turned away from my faith for twenty years.
I became very successful in my advertising career (the material world) during this time period. However, the stressing and striving took its toll. My soul was dying. I began to seek the God I knew had to exist.
My image of God has changed from judge to loving Guidance Counselor, Parent, Loving Partner. I believe that God created us to love us. There is a yearning inside of us that only God can fill. Experiencing God’s love means experiencing God’s Spirit inside of us.
Experiencing God’s Spirit produces fruits of the Spirit. Just like an apple tree produces apples, God’s Spirit within us produces fruits of the Spirit which are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control. Who wouldn’t want to live life with these qualities?
For the last decade I’ve spent hours each morning being in God’s presence, getting to know God instead of trying to please God. The God I know now is the Great Encourager. I share that encouragement in God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement.
So, what is your image of God? I am amazed that we have access to God, the Creator of everything and that God loves us and cares for us so much. When we surrender and trust God fully, life takes on a spiritual flow and ease.
What brought you joy in the last year?
I was at a vocational workshop. The leader overheard my, “What do you do for a living?” comment. She came by the table and said, “The next time you’re at a gathering, ask the question: What brought you joy in the last year?”
What brings me joy is writing. It’s what I was meant to do. I have what I call my magic time. It’s 5:30AM-8:30AM. No one is up, especially between 5:30-6:30AM in the house. The world is not fully awake except for a few early birds (feathered and otherwise). The house is still.
It is in the stillness that God speaks and opens the faucet of inspiration. It is magical. It’s a place of flow. I aspire to live my life from that place of flow.
What also brings me joy is making connections with people. It’s living life from those core values.
Spending time with my husband Robert, traveling the world together, (this picture was taken in Lugano, Switzerland on the border of Italy), attending our wonderful church, singing in the choir, getting together with friends, walking our dog Wilson, are all joys.
I hope that by sharing and answering these questions will help you answer them for yourself.
They are answers that have helped me to live a life with greater joy, flow, and fulfillment. I hope they will help you do the same!