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GIFT DAY 097: 30-day gratitude challenge: day 21

7 Apr

Day 21 over here . . .of the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge.

I am grateful, begin each day with a grateful heart, jamie eslinger,
What are you grateful for today?

Today, I am grateful for:
1) My new friend Cait
2) Sunday afternoon yoga
3) Lazy Sunday night TV (hello, The Voice!)

And the good news!? 
We’ve made it to 21 days, a habit forming benchmark, in the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. Are you feeling the power of gratitude, positive thinking, and finding some good vibes in your daily life?If not yet, try to focus on what brings you joy during this next week. And, guess what. . .I’ll be right here with you.

It’s a new week.
Anything could happen.
Here’s to you!

More tomorrow.

Lovemore (fearless),


{Start your week off with gratitude! Share what you’re grateful for in the comment section below.}

Want to make a promise of your own?
Head on over to The Promise Daily and sign right up!

Day 268: have a theme song? (REPRISE)

25 Sep

I had a profoundly wonderful conversation with a friend today that made me remember this blog post from last year. So, I opted to republish tonight because I think it is significant.

This one’s for you my dear…believe in yourself.


On Day 149 I wrote about how I held on to this blog for one more day after seeing the movie Bridesmaids and it’s absolutely 80’s theme song Hold On by Wilson Phillips.

Later, Cheryl posted a fantabulous question:

My question to you is: if you had to pick ONE song as your THEME song, what would it be?’

Now, that’s a great question, especially during this year and through the course of The Promise 365.  So great, I am dedicating an entire blog post to it.  So, thank you Cheryl, from the bottom of my heart.

Here we go…

Before I share my theme song, I want to share what I think about theme songs ~ I believe in them.  I always have one.

I blame Whitney Houston.
If it weren’t for Whit, I wouldn’t have started my love affair with theme songs.

You see it all began at a 6th grade slumber party.

It occurred during a lip-sync competition in my friend’s living room.  My song was Greatest Love of All and I was stage ready, with hair brush in hand and collar turned up I stole the shag carpet living room stage with wood paneling backdrop.  I practically had the audience (five other 12 year-old girls) crying by the time I was done with that little number.

At least that’s what I remember.  I put my heart and soul into it.
And, yes, that may be right about the time I realized not everyone sings into their hair brush microphone in front of the bathroom mirror and bright vanity lights at night.

But, I won the lip-sync competition and was properly rewarded with a bag of Doritos and a movie we watched on a “VCR” ~ have I properly dated myself yet?

That was circa 1986, but it doesn’t stop there.

Zoom forward to 1991, a first kiss, a first fall for love and a first really bad choice in theme song.  Justin came into my life right about the time Paula Abdul came on the national scene.  Which explains why our first song will forever be remembered as Rush, Rush ~ one we couldn’t rush fast enough to regret (the song, not the first kiss!).

There was my high school senior song, Right Here, Right Now by Jesus Jones.  That was 1992 and it came into my life following my diagnosis of cancer and months of treatment followed by the hoopla of graduation, college acceptance, and a new frontier I was grateful to explore, leaving the IV’s, radiation and surgery behind.

(As a side note, the rest of my graduating class voted for Joker, by Steve Miller Band).

Five years later, after college and dating and break-ups and the craziness of trying to grow up, I celebrated my 5 year remission mark by renting out a bar and throwing a party in Washington D.C. with all my brand new co-workers who had known me for all of five minutes.  There’s nothing like meeting someone for the first time with an intro of:  “Hi, I’m Jamie. I had cancer, want to come to my remission party?”

It worked, the bar was packed.  I hired a band and they brought another band to open for them.  And they played my theme song.  What was it?  Alive.  It was the “I’m still alive” part that got me drunk, singing at the top of my lungs.  Hey, I was 22 years old.

A few years later I experienced the first deep loss of my life.

It was also the moment that I had my first encounter with a mystical force that is beyond words.  My mother passed away after a long battle with breast cancer.

On the night she died, I was over 1,000 miles away from her in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  In the middle of the night, I woke up and bolted straight up in bed.  I looked at the clock and stared with confusion until I fell back asleep.  I later found out that was the exact time of my mother’s death.  Shortly after her funeral this song found me, 1000 Miles by Vanessa Carlton.  In fact, it still finds me, at the most appropriate times.

There were many happy years with lots of happy songs, jobs, condos, marriage, until of course there wasn’t.  Disaster struck.

I left my home, my marriage and my life all in one night. 
That’s another story for another day, but my theme song got me through it.  Whenever Pink came on the radio belting out So What I turned up the volume and screamed from the top of my lungs.  I did that for two years until the divorce papers came through signed, sealed, and delivered.

And, that pretty much brings us full circle, which brings this little story back to Justin.

We reconnected on Facebook, of all places, fifteen years after that first kiss.  Well, you can’t blame us for “rushing” into anything.  You could say we took our time or maybe held our breathe, or a little of both.  Either way, Just Breathe by Pearl Jam played in our hearts and minds as we moved to a little island off Cape Cod to figure it all out.

And, now, to answer Cheryl’s question. 
My current theme song of 2011 for this Promise of 365 Days is….

Drum-roll please.

I could have chosen Raise Your Glass or Firework or so many more.  But here’s where I landed, for a year of focusing on my head, heart, body & soul:

Believe In Yourself by Brad.

Because, I believe you can do anything…
If you believe in yourself

I would love to hear some of your theme songs.
xo ~Jamie

Day 156: what’s in the way of your view?

5 Jun

It’s cold here. 
I’m cold.

And, it’s not just because I recently drove from Florida where it was too hot to wear long sleeves (let alone socks, rain boots, sweaters, long underwear and sweats!).

Maybe my blood has thinned … regardless, it is bone-fide, teeth chattering COLD here on Martha’s Vineyard.

And raining.

The high today barely felt like 60 degrees.
My fingers are frigid and I am bundled under a wooly blanket as I prepare for another long, cold, night thinking …where is the love with this weather?

Okay, so I’m a sissy when it comes to being cold.
I am a sissy with a capital S when I am COLD and WET.

As I sit here sipping hot water, I keep spinning positive affirmations through my mind:  “It’s warm inside, I am warm inside, it’s hot in here, I am burning up!”

It’s not working.
But, it’s worth trying.

Because I know we are what we focus on.
We are what we believe.

Just like this beautiful photo I took in the harbor the other day on my iPhone (colors enhanced with Picasa).

Beautiful, isn’t it!?

But, look what was in the way of this pure-blue, pretty view: a beached, yellow banana boat.

Same beach.
Same scene.
Different photo.
Different view.

It makes me realize… sometimes the view is only as beautiful as we want it to be.

Now, I’m not so sure that solves my shivering dilemma, but it’s worth thinking about until it gets hot in here.

Other than ice cubes for finger tips, I do wonder….
What else is in the way of my view?

Day 108: what are you afraid of?

17 Apr

What are you afraid of?

It’s a question I have been batting around for a while.

My answers really don’t make sense.
For instance, I am more afraid of a teeny, tiny spider in the corner of the room than I am of speaking in front of a room full of thousands of people.

Doesn’t compute.

Today I listened to a little Tony Robbins and was surprised to hear him say this:
“Stress is actually fear.”

It makes sense, but it’s just one of those things that is so simply obvious, it is mundane — and brilliant — at the same time.

I think I need to reevaluate my fear factors.

It’s not about what I am afraid of, but instead, what stresses me out.

The new question should be:
Where am I stressed? 

Game changer.
Light bulb.
Like I said, Tony… brilliant.

What stresses you out?

Day 101: simple spring cleaning

10 Apr

Ah, it’s that time of year.
Detox and De-Clutter Deadlines.  

Today, I read an article about Spring Cleaning and De-Clutter and it got me thinking…

About the clutter in my bathroom and on my desk and around all the places I dwell.

More than picking up the clutter off my desks, tables and counters, I think it’s time for me to get some clutter out of my closets.

One suggestion in the article:

For every new item of clothing you buy, give three to charity.

And, I like that.
So tomorrow, I think I will take the piles of clothing (that the consignment shop passed on) to a local charity — after I go by the consignment shop and pick up the $18 I made this week on my items that sold.


But, more than anything I think the best place to start with the de-clutter project is somewhere else.  Somewhere deeper and a little harder to reach.

That would be the clutter that lives inside my head.

And, I can’t think of a better time than Spring to clear out the old and get ready for the new …ideas, projects and pursuits.

Day 29: may the force be with you

29 Jan

I am back from vacation, not quite back to reality and glued to the television.  Pup and I are watching Oprah’s Next Chapter with George Lucas.  (Well, Pup is snoring, I am watching.)

I love seeing the genius behind the vision, the visionary behind the creative genius.

More than anything, I am moved by this simple statement from Mr. Lucas on his own brand of success:

Don’t listen to your peers. 

Don’t listen to your parents. 

Don’t listen to your culture. 

Only listen to yourself.

So simple.
In all my readings, research and experience so far, it seems all gurus point in the same direction  — within.

Listen to yourself.
All I can think in my own head, to myself, right now, is:

May the force be with you.

Day 16: what does it take to start a new beginning?

16 Jan

What does it take to actually TAKE your first step, to create something, to start anew?

I pondered this question today as I listened to a podcast about change.

The question that stuck out in my mind most, was this:  What needs to shift inside yourself, in order to have your dream?

Later tonight, my computer sent me a targeted email (something, it seems, only my computer knows how to do) sending the perfect message at the perfect time.

The message was from iTunes, suggesting I might be interested in an array of Apps from the New Year, New You store.  I clicked on the link and found everything I need in an App to fix my body, mind, money and time.

As I looked over all of the Apps it occurred to me that something was missing from the store.  While I could buy everything from a yoga instructor to a debt calculator to a gorilla workout and a personal training session with Jillian Michaels, it was missing the most important thing.

The store was missing commitment, passion, and love.

Not that the Apps aren’t powerful and useful.  They are.
But without passion, commitment or love, it’s hard to make an App do all the work on its own.

I thought of this tonight as we began the first call of many for the new You Can Do Anything Coaching Group.  This is a group of women who are making a commitment to themselves for an entire year.  This is a group of women who have passion to make changes, to take on adventures, to live at a new level and to discover more about themselves.

This is a group of women who are investing in themselves for an entire year.

When I think about what it takes to start something new or to create something, I remember that it’s more than just buying something from a store.

It’s a true commitment to self.
And, it’s having faith in the process.

In the words of Martin Luther King:
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

May love be in your heart and faith be at your side.

Day 15: what bugs you?

15 Jan

Last night as I snuggled with Pup I felt a bump on his ear. 
It was a tick trying to bury himself in the way only a dog tick can do.

My first reaction was “GROSS!”
My second was asking Justin to fix it.

Which he did.
As the disgusting little creature navigated the palm of Justin’s hand like it was taking a walk in the park, my fear set in.

Justin suggested I try to hold the tick in my hand.

“You mean HOLD it?”  I asked, baffled, wondering who on earth would hold a bug in their hand.

He thought it would be a good way for me to get over my fear (my goal this year).

I reacted with complete and utter grace.
By profusely refusing and shaking to the point of tears forming in my eyes.  I may have even screamed.

My first close encounter with fear this year.

I just can’t hold a bug in my hand.
I can’t stand it, I can’t even stand the IDEA of it.

Here’s the ironic part: I know this is ridiculous.

In fact, just this past Christmas, I watched in awe as Justin’s little five-year-old niece jumped for joy when opening her most prized gift — a bug collector.

At five years she can do what I cannot. At five years she can do with JOY what I cannot fathom.  How humbling.

Tonight, this message serendipitously popped into my inbox, from the Chopra Center:

What small step can you take today to release what’s no longer serving you, opening the space for more light, energy, and joy?

I know my fear of creepy, crawly things does not serve me.
And, I know it’s time to let it go. So I’m working on a small step forward. I suppose I have a five-year-old in my life to show me how.

What fears are you ready to give up?
What else no longer serves you?

(If you want some inspiration for the next 21-days, you can sign up for the Chopra Center 21 Days of Inspiration email here.)

Day 361: the wrap up part 1 :: head

27 Dec

Here we are, closing in on 365 days and the end of this year.  And, what a year it has been.

So much has changed in my world, in this year, that I am dedicating a full day to each of my promises: head, heart, body and soul.

Because if I have learned anything this year, it is this: the magic is in reflection.

Part 1:  head

I began this year cramming my head with information, studies, research, data.  All to figure out the best way to take care of my body and soul.  The more I learned and packed into my brain, the more I realized one overriding theme:  I was utterly confused.

Eat only protein!  Stay away from meat!
Only raw foods!  More green smoothies!
No cold foods! Only raw milk! No dairy!
No gluten! Whole grains only!


Raw foods, Paleo, gluten, dairy, it’s enough to make eyes pop out of said head.

But the biggest challenge for my brain has been something that took more than a cookbook and something bigger than a diet plan to overcome — it was my perfectionist tendencies.

Because I want to be perfect.
But I’m not.

And it all surfaced in my writing, or rather my promise to write something everyday AND make it public.  Deep down I wanted everything to be funny, and witty, and smart, and inspiring and just plain not crappy.

But, some days, I just didn’t have the words.  Or any thoughts.  Or the inspiration.  I thought everything I wrote sucked, or wasn’t quite right, or (GASP!) sported spelling errors.

And then somewhere along the way I realized it didn’t matter.

Because I did not make a promise to blog funny, and witty, and smart, and inspiring and just plain not crappy content all year long.  I made a promise to take care of my head, heart, body and soul and write everyday to stay on track, to have accountability — to myself.

And, there is something magical that happens in the brain (I think it’s a super high tech scientific chemical reaction) when you make a promise and keep it, no matter what — no matter the lack of inspiration, the loss of a good idea, the public scrutiny, the sticking your neck out — you realize that whatever comes from your heart is perfect.

It’s powerful.  It’s moving.
And it’s just right.

Day 354: are you making a commitment for 2012?

20 Dec

I woke up this morning to walk along the beach and see the sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico.

What woke me up at this early hour? I had a commitment to meet Debbie on the beach to film a portion of our year-end video.

It was so beautiful and serene I wondered, why don’t I do this more often?

The answer is pretty simple of course.  I don’t always have a reason to go, a person to meet, an appointment, a commitment to keep.

And, that is the secret sauce, isn’t it?  Commitment.

Whether it be working out, eating better, taking a break, or taking care of ourselves, sometimes all we need is a little commitment to push us over the “think about it” line and into the “just do it” arena.

Which kind of sums up my year.

With eleven days left (eleven days!!) I can hardly believe this year is almost over.  But, in my heart, I know the work has just begun.  Taking care of my head, heart, body and soul is really a life-long commitment.

It’s easy when the pressure is on, but how will it be when I take this public promise private?

It’s a good question.

That’s why I am officially re-upping The Promise 365 for 2012.  The rules will be different and my promise will change (which I will share with you soon!).

But, here’s what I love best — you can join me.

So, what do you want to do in 2012…
Eat better, do less, laugh more, watch the sunrise?

It’s a good question.

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