Tag Archives: Support

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 309 :: beautiful kindness

5 Nov
{flying away}

The eagle has landed. And, even though It is so hard to say goodbye to my dear, sweet friends, it is so wonderful to have had the adventure in the first place.

I could have spent time in my jammies, playing games, sitting by the pool, walking in the park, shopping in the quaint boutique-lined streets, and gazing at the river and sunny skies (and eating glorious food!) with anyone. But life is better with forever friends — and adventures are too.

As I looked out my window high above the world today on my way home, I thought a bit about kindness. How it begins within the heart and then radiates out to all that is, and all that will ever be.

Kindness is beautiful.
So is friendship.
And so is saying goodbye, as long as we follow it with, “until next time.”

More tomorrow…


{until next time}

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 JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 171 :: golden kindness

12 Jul


I read a book a long time ago and something in it stuck with me. The Golden Circle. It was an asian tradition that placed a “golden circle” around the mother and baby after childbirth. It was meant to keep them safe, healthy and well cared for during the first days and months of being newly born. In my memory, I believe the families surrounded them in love and took care of all their physical needs.

Of course, now, I can’t find that book. Or that reference. But the idea still sits in my mind. What a KIND concept, whatever it’s called, I like “The Golden Circle.”

Recently I spoke with a dear friend who happens to be going through a divorce. Right at the time when I was getting married. Two major life moments. Two very important life transitions, each wtih their own ceremonies, decrees, emotional transformations.

These two moments have me thinking about the Golden Circle – or whatever it is really called! Whatever the name, I love the concept. And how lovely and KIND it would be if we could just request this sort of support from our friends when we needed it. Whether for a day or month. Or longer.

Of course, I think we can or could. It’s just the vernacular, the name, the concept that has to be defined first. So… I’m throwing this out there! Why not? In this year of kindness let’s create the language of a golden circle of support.

How kind!

More tomorrow….


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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 116 kindness is…

29 Apr

The Weekend.

Saturday. Saturday. Saturday. My ode to Saturday. I couldn’t have a more kind or generous thought about you. I LOVE Saturdays.

More tomorrow….

{happy weekend}

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 85 :: rainy sun

29 Mar


The sun will come out tomorrow! Man… it feels like it’s been a long winter. And today with the rain falling outside my window, I cannot help but think it is really not quite Spring yet.

Then, miraculously, the sun came out. Late in the day. Just to peek in and show its face. And that has me thinking that sunshine is kindness. Just as is the rain.

The kind of kindness that takes two to makes the flowers bloom, the raindrops dry, and the grass green.

Welcome Spring. You are one wet mess!
And I kind of like it.

More tomorrow….



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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 135 :: taking steps 

16 May

Day 135: Body.

So this happened. It’s a long story that involves a slipped arch, a shoe store and my feet. Which had me leaving with these:

It’s funny, this yoga thing. It has me more aware of my body. Something I didn’t think was possible after so many surgeries and recoveries and power yoga days before that.

But I am learning to pay attention to the signs. To listen more deeply to my body and all that she needs. Including shoes that are more therapy than style – although, I am getting used to the look of these leather straps on my feet.

It all boils down to:
More. Support.
And that is a beautiful (and very stylish) thing.

More tomorrow.


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JAMIE’S BLOG – DAY 78 :: the color purple

19 Mar
Over the last week these flowers have sprouted up in our backyard. They are beautiful. And purple. And so delicately pretty.

I wasn’t sure if they were a weed. They came out of nowhere and are growing in a circle in the middle of our backyard. They weren’t there last year. Or the year before. But they are there now and I have enjoyed watching them bloom, capturing the delicate rays of light that bounce off the round buds.

I asked if anyone knew what they were and a few people sent me this:  Muscari, or Grape Hyacinths. So I googled it, and indeed, they are not weeds. They are flowers. Bulbs. Sometimes called Baby’s Breath or Bluebells.

There are moments in my life when the irony of things cannot be ignored. This is one of those moments.

Last year, about this time, I began walking down a long road. One that would lead me to a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. It’s the same road my mom walked down before me. She, however, didn’t have the luxury of an early diagnosis. And that is where our paths divide.

On this long journey I began working with a medicine woman. She is trained in native cultures and spiritual ceremony. She advised me to create a simple labyrinth that I could walk each day to “unwind” my mind before I prepared for the doctors to slice and cut away my body.

So, I did.

At first I didn’t tell Justin what I was doing. I felt pretty stupid and let’s face it, out of my league, as I strung red string in the backyard around an interloping circle. But I have learned all too well that there are things you do when you have a diagnosis hanging over your breasts that you wouldn’t normally do, or talk about at dinner parties.

I was surprised when Justin said, “I’ve always wanted a labyrinth” when I finally came clean. This man is supportive of most things I do, but, really? Really.

So every morning all summer long, as soon as I let the dogs out in the morning I walked the labyrinth. They did their duty and I did mine. I walked a path in the dried out yellow straw-like summer grass. It was practically dirt from the 100+ degree summer. Every morning as I came to the center of the labyrinth I looked up directly into the sun. It was as if the rays of light soaked into every cell of my being. And then I took the dogs back inside and continued my normal person life. Until the next morning when I walked the labyrinth again.

As summer ended, so did my surgeries. With cooler weather the green grass returned to the yard and the labyrinth disappeared.

Until this week, when I looked out the kitchen window and noticed a crop of purple flowers growing in the center of the yard — exactly in the center of the yard where the labyrinth used to be.

When I told my medicine woman this, she laughed and said back to me. “Honey, that’s a hug from your mom.”

Like I said. Sometimes I question everything. And sometimes there are moments in my life when the irony cannot be ignored. This is one of those times. After all, my mom’s favorite color was purple.

Purple bliss.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore, do more.

  {what can you not ignore?}

2014 BLOG – DAY 78 :: engage your core

19 Mar

There is one proven way to make yoga more intense. Turn up the temp, make it hot and sweat a lot.

I am a fan of hot yoga and I was thrilled to find a new hot yoga offering at our gym. I was beyond thrilled.

So yesterday, after receiving my latest diagnosis, I went directly to a hot yoga class. I wanted to sweat it all out: the stress, the disappointment, the sadness, the shock of another surgery.

What I didn’t realize was I needed to be realigned.

The entire class was all about alignment. And since there were only two of us in attendance, the class was an intense practice of hands on realignment and repositioning.

Foot here. Hip forward. Toes up. Heart forward. Lift up the ribs. Sink into your buttocks. Move left. More forward. Dip. Bend more. Sink less.

And then I learned a phrase that hasn’t left my mind since: engage your core. 

As I squeezed in my stomach to engage the proper abdominal muscles, and then more, and then more, more, more as I engaged my core, I realized something profound.

Everything was easier. And more intense.

With each move the instructor remind me to engage my core. After hearing it a few times I realized the significance of the phrase.

Engage your core. 

It hit me on a much deeper level than the sore tummy muscles I woke up with today from yesterday’s hot yoga alignment.

Engage your core. 

Today, when friends called me to wish me well and to remind me that my latest diagnosis indeed SUCKS.

Engage your core. 

Receiving encouraging notes on Facebook from people I love and adore.

Engage your core. 

This morning, while on a conference call discussing strategy with four incredibly talented women who are rocking it in the business world.

Engage your core. 

This afternoon, when I talked with my Thyroid Surgeon who took such great care of me last fall and tonight promised to help me find the perfect surgeon for this next journey.

Engage your core. 

Connecting with my family and Justin’s family.

Engage your core. 

Finally, tonight, when Justin slipped and told me that he emailed all my friends and asked them to reach out to me to keep me occupied (instead of Googling a diagnosis).

Engage your core.

I think it’s a recipe for peak performance across the board. And it’s a reminder to me that everything is easier when you engage your core.

It’s more intense, it will make you sweat, but it makes everything easier.
All it takes is a tiny realignment.

Engage your core. 

More tomorrow.

{who is your core?}

Day 346: cut up, burned out and fried

12 Dec

Cut it out!
Tonight, that is precisely what I did.

All the innards of my bras now lay in the garbage can.

Well, at least the metal fillings do, the underwire part of the bra that promised cleavage —something I’m not sure I ever had, even with my best and brightest bras I bought.

So, now, they be gone.  It was a little tip from Donna Eden this past week as I sat in one of her workshops and she explained how the little spindly wires interact with the body’s energy systems and clog toxins around the breast, lungs and heart.

Turns out there is an entire book dedicated to bras and breast cancer called Dressed to Kill.  I haven’t read it yet, but I feel like I have enough information to cut out the metal caps of my own cloth cups.

Speaking of…
“Cutting it out” could be the answer to many issues, including what I promised to write about today — burnout.

I learned a bit more about burnout this past week from Joan Borysenko.

You know my friend Burnout right?
I’m sure you’ve met before, at some point in time in your life.  Ironically, the term “burnout” was first coined the year of my birth, 1974.

Here are the top three symptoms:

– Emotional exhaustion, that feeling of having your plug pulled out of the socket. It’s a feeling of being depleted emotionally and physically.

– Compassion fatigue, feeling like you’ve lost the ability to empathize, maybe you become short with others or your otherwise glass-half-full-self feels cynical.

– Loss of competence and confidence. Enough said. 

The problem is, apparently burnout is often diagnosed as depression, which is then unnecessarily overmedicated.  The real difference between burnout and depression is that rest will resolve burnout, where it won’t make a dent with depression.

As Joan explained this weekend, the first step to burnout is in most cases the passion and the purpose that comes with a calling.  A dream job.  A higher purpose.  Something that takes all of you down a path in life.

Some tell-tale signs include:

  1. Being driven by an ideal
  2. Working like a maniac
  3. Putting your own needs last
  4. Feeling miserable and being clueless why
  5. The death of values
  6. Feeling frustrated, agressive, cynical
  7. Emotionally exhausted
  8. Destructive self comfort
  9. Isolation
  10. Inner emptiness
  11. Feeling like who cares and who bothers
  12. Physical and metal collapse

(Sounds to me like the trip I took down Corporate America Lane.)

In general, the problem with burnout is that it usually ends in accidents (like car accidents) from the mental collapse and physical exhaustion.

There is hope! And it starts by CUTTING IT OUT.
The best advice Joan gave was to start by stopping.

Stop doing.
She suggests making a compassionate connection, maybe with nature or people or some activity that brings you joy.  And, to stop doing anything that drains your energy.

If you want to see more, her CNN video is here: Fried Video and her book is here.

Whether it’s bras or burnout, the bottom line is — we all need good, quality support. Even better when it’s comfortable too. 

Day 242: what gives you support?

30 Aug

If you’ve followed along the course of this year, you already know that I love the work I do with Women on Fire.

Tonight was no exception.  We aired a live chat broadcast from Women on Fire Studios with Debbie Phillips discussing How to Create Endless Support for Yourself and Avoid Burnout!

Tonight, Debbie asked this question: “who gives you support?”

And I made a long list in my head.

When I was a young girl I thought support for women was basically a brazier, an over the shoulder boulder holder, otherwise known as a bra.

“Support” was never really openly talked about when I was in my formative years; as something to give out, to practice, to fine-tune, and a plan of exactly how to establish it in my own life.

Being a supportive neighbor was a clear lesson taught at home ~ specifically when we borrowed an egg from one neighbor or lent a stick of butter to another.

Being a supportive friend was an important lesson taught in school ~ namely when my third grade teacher took every single girl out of the classroom, left the boys in their desk seats, and lectured us girls in the hallway to be nice to each other, to stop forming cliques, and to only say nice things about each other.

Being a supportive citizen was taught in Girl Scouts ~ especially through community service badges.

Building my own support system was never really a challenge.
It was a given and given to me.

It was modeled in many ways, through my supportive parents, friends, community members — the kind of support that tends to grow up around you when you live in a family, a neighborhood, a school, a community for 18 years.

But, then, somewhere in the process of growing up, moving away, and bouncing up, down and around on the ladder called career, I soon learned that “SUPPORT” does not come standard with a job description.

I found that jobs change, bosses turn over, friends get transferred, neighbors move on to cheaper, brighter, more-windows-with-a-better-view-apartments or a house in the burbs.

Sometimes competition rears its ugly head.  And, sometimes, sadly, people say one thing and do another.

In absence of living in a bubble of support, I had to learn to piece together my own semblance of it through a mentor here, a co-worker there, and a morning phone call with my friend Sara on the drive to work everyday.

With cup of coffee in one hand and steering wheel in the other, my morning commute was turned into a support call.  While driving in and out of cell service zones and dropping calls all along I-90, Sara and I would question everything, review our daily dilemmas and give each other advice.

It was a daily dose of incredible support.
But, even still, I never once thought of making a plan, a real strategy of how to put an entire SYSTEM of support in my life.

And, that’s why I love working with Debbie. 
Everything she shares through Women on Fire builds inspiration, strategies and support for women.

Here are some of Debbie’s key points that she shared tonight, when it comes to giving yourself support in order to avoid burnout:

1. Make a plan for what you need to get through a stressful time. Do you need friends? Family? A therapist?

2. Dedicate yourself to eating healthy and exercising.

3. Set boundaries for yourself. How much are you overextending?

4. Feed your creativity. Creativity is a powerful antidote to burnout.

5. Learn to manage stress. You have more control on stress than you may think.

As Debbie went over this list* tonight, it occurred to me that The Promise 365 has actually helped me build an entire SUPPORT SYSTEM over the course of these 242 days.

I thank you for being a part of it, for being here with me and hope you know I am here for you too.

Here’s to 123 more days to go!


(*This list is just a sampling of what Debbie shared tonight, but it’s a great checklist.  If you want to find out more, please check out Women on Fire’s website at www.womenonfire.org)

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