I love my life.
My name is Jaycie Voorhees, and I am a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. As a kid, I begged my mom to let me take piano lessons. She finally succumbed when I was 8 years old and I would play for hours, often straying from the notes on the page to play the notes of my own story. My love for music continued through junior high and high school, then, combined with my genuine love for people, led me to the field of music therapy. I received my undergraduate degree in music therapy from Utah State University in 2007, then my master’s degree from Colorado State University in 2011. I built my company, Harmony Music Therapy, to serve individuals with special needs and mental health challenges, and it is now the largest employer of music therapists in the state of Utah.
For now, that learning begins in our own home and neighborhood. For years I dedicated all of my energy to the three most important things in my life: My husband, my four children, and my business. I have many passions and desires, but my greatest endeavor, and hopefully greatest accomplishment, is providing a safe and loving home for my family. On any given day it may look like I’m failing, but I am learning that it’s not about always getting it right, it’s about having the desire to love. So I let my true desire be my refuge, knowing that my intent is to love even if my actions don’t always reflect that desire.
My greatest desire in life is to reflect divine love back to every person I meet. My hope is that my work, whether it be as an entrepreneur, a mother, a music therapist, or an author, will help others, including myself, to sense and believe in our value, and I want to find a way to mirror it back; not just for my family, but for all people I have the privilege to meet.
One of my life goals for our family is to travel the world together. I want to take off for months at a time, show our kids that people live in all kinds of different ways, and that, despite our differences, we are all one human family. I dream of taking them to Africa, South America, Asia, and Europe, not just to see the sights, but to embrace the people.
Before Nick and I had kids, we did jungle treks in Indonesia, built adobe homes in Mexico, and rode zip lines in Costa Rica. Now, our version of high adventure includes Disneyland, Yellowstone, and that one time we drove a motorhome to Bryce Canyon National Park in 18 degrees, and the furnace shut down at midnight. We ended up with ice coating the inside of the windows as I paced back and forth with a screaming infant, logging 4,000 steps in the middle of the night. Fortunately, the other kids didn’t seem to mind.
Becoming an Author
I am working on a Self Help Narrative Nonfiction about being real with each other. Naturally, the title of my book is “I Pick My Nose”
My book was born when, as a confident and successful mother and entrepreneur, I suddenly found myself a shameful spectacle when a stranger caught me picking my nose at an intersection. The display that awakened within me the instinct to hide as I scrambled to secure my true belonging with others, with myself, and with God.
My book, I Pick My Nose, is about being real with each other. Why? Because we desperately need to connect. We need to realize we are not so separate. I struggled all my life with connection, and always wondered why, when I had everything together, nobody seemed to want to get close to me. But as I embarked on this writing journey, I discovered I had been the one holding myself back from the relationships I craved. I hid behind the belief that I wasn’t good enough and that I was unwanted, and my protective walls held me back from true authenticity. The crazy thing was that I didn’t realize my self-imposed limitations until I did some digging.
I have had a great life. My mom stopped a generational cycle of abuse, and I grew up with everything I could ever want. From my position of strength I genuinely wanted to help people, which is why I became a therapist. As a therapist I had a tendency to consider myself a “healer” to the wounded. However, it was my desire to show others a “better way” that pulled me away from them. I wasn’t better. I was wounded too. When I realized I too was broken, my pieces finally fit right where they were supposed to: beautifully integrated with my human family. Not behind, not in front, but in a great web of true belonging.
I want this book to help us feel compassion for ourselves and others.
I want this book to inspire us to be more vulnerable and open.
I want this book to let the pain of our past pass through us instead of building walls around it.
I want this book to help us feel more connected to the people in our lives, and to help us realize that we all belong. Together.
My dream is that we will have a world with more open hearts, more authenticity, and more vulnerability.
Writing this book has changed me more than I could have ever dreamed. Honestly, I thought it wouldn’t be all that hard. I’d put in the hours and get the words down and that would be it. But, as I dug in with the subject matter, I was buried in the heaviness of my life experience. I wondered if I could really write in a way that would be meaningful to others. I experienced self doubt, dug up buried experiences and emotions that diminished my worth, and I felt like a presumptuous fraud. I couldn’t pull myself out of bed and I left work meetings to go cry. But, all the while, I knew I needed to experience those dark emotions to fully understand my message. Embracing the darkness was exactly what brought the story out of me.
My purpose in my writing is not to expose all of the things people hide. Rather, my purpose is to show that we are not as different as we think we are, and that we are doing much better than we think we are. Our failures are not as divisive as we believe. Rather, our failures and weaknesses are a springboard for compassion when we see each other as we are and reach out to help each other, grateful we are not the only one.
My dream is that we will have a world with more open hearts, more authenticity, and more vulnerability. We need to stop pretending we’re “fine” and start holding on to each other instead, knowing we are all struggling.
I am currently in beta read and expect to be finished with the project by April 30, 2020.
I am looking for opportunities to speak, be a guest on podcasts or other interviews, and have a presence in any outlet where I can share this message of vulnerability and authenticity.
I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you are up to and I’ll let you know when my book is coming out and any events you might be interested in attending.