seeking light

Seeking Light

Whether it’s the state of our world, personal anxieties, health issues, or relationship struggles, there is a lot of weight in the world to bring us down. As a challenge to myself, lately I have been seeking out stories and wisdom to lighten my mind and inspire my everyday life.

I’ve been finding the light everywhere. A nurse that lovingly held my hand and comforted me at the doctor’s office. A woman that thanked me for giving her “hope in a cookie.” A brave actress that chopped off her hair as a sign of solidarity. These people and stories are there if we start to look for them.

For this reason, I created the “Living Inspired” category here on my website. I want this space to be filled with your stories, your inspirations, your motivations. I want to know what gives you hope, puts you at peace, and brightens your everyday. No community has made me feel more welcomed or inspired than the community of friends I’ve found on my journey to wellness, and I want this to be a comfortable, warm place for us to share the light.

To start the conversation, I’ll leave you with a quote that’s been inspiring me lately:

“Fearlessness is not the absence of fear, but the bravery to do it anyway.”

Here’s to living well in spite of our challenges. Here’s to stepping up when overcome with fear. Here’s to doing it anyway.

Be Well,

Jennifer Esposito

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Comments (21)

  • Carmindy Reply

    Love your new site honey! So proud of you! ❤️❤️❤️

    August 24, 2016 at 3:30 pm
  • Stephanie Reply

    Talk about a light…you are such a light to me and my personal hero to hear what you went through and how encouraging you are to others to never give up. My whole life I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression which in the last year crossed over to full blown panic attacks and a retreat from life followed by my dr saying go to therapy there is nothing we can do. On the outside I looked like I had it all but within the walls of my own world things were crumbling. Severly low testosterone followed by an ovary shutting down at age 37 and PMDD?! Then blood sugar problems followed by severe adrenaline fatigue and now a rash no one can identify or treat that is so severe I have had it straight for 4 months now that even the most potent steroids don’t touch. For the love I can’t wear pants! And no test has confirmed celiac or a sensitivity cause I guessed it three weeks before they did my skin biopsy and went gluten free. I told the Drs this but they said it wouldn’t matter it will tell us either way. Two days ago got the call no sign of celiac blood test or biopsy and I just feel apart crying upset knowing I have this but no one can diagnose it. And I’d most likely have to gluten myself 3 more months to get a positive. I was in a very dark place and I saw your interview by divine intervention (I know it )and you told people like me to not give up . For the first time I saw someone like me. Someone who was going crazy but completely not crazy!!! You said…Keep pushing them to do it right and go to a new dr. Keep going! I want you to know I was giving up, I was determined and decided that from now on I just have to live a life dead with no energy, rashes, blood sugar problems, diarreha, and no hormones and no pants! You gave me hope and a path and I pray to ever be able to recover like you and maybe one day get all the way to New York and eat a bagel at your shop…all while wearing pants. 😘 I’m not giving up. Thank you so very much for being my light to borrow.

    August 25, 2016 at 11:55 pm
    • Tina Reply

      I’m with you girl totally! Hang in their! Keep the faith…knowledge is power and we HAVE to be our own advocates!!!

      January 30, 2017 at 12:46 am
    • Susan Reply

      Get the book Medical Medium by Anthony William. Sounds like it could be Epstein Barr virus.

      March 5, 2017 at 9:58 pm
    • Adela Reply

      Keep strong my dear! <3

      March 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm
  • SIlverado Reply

    What gives me hope are sites like yours that tell a story I can relate to. A gastro took an oral history for 10 min before my colonoscopy at 56 and asked ‘Has anyone ever talked to you about Celiac? ‘ I said, “What’s Celiac?’ I had been trying to lose weight,50 # over 3 years, so I had not had sugars or flours for 18 months. I was not a candidate for an endoscopy at that time but he sent me to see my regular. Dr who did a blood test.- found out later it was Not a celiac test but an IBS test.. When the Dr. called 5 years ago and said ‘ The test is negative, but the best course of action is a gluten free diet, click,’ I took a crash course in gluten free via the Internet for the first year. Then I went to a new Dr. and requested a referral to a registered dietician who understood Celiac and NCGS. The dietician has been the best money I have spent for medical care! With education about where gluten hides in food, condiments, shampoo, medications, etc. And the importance of keeping a food journal, I started to do much better. After 8 months of getting the gluten out and getting sicker and sicker and sicker every time I got cross contaminated, he sent me back to my Dr to get a prescription for a gluten free diet due to dermatitis herpetaformis. It’s the back door way to get diagnosed. Your site was one of the first I found that made sense. I read your book, and was comforted that I was not the only one who dealt with this for a long time before the puzzle pieces fit together. Healing has taken a long time. I have had to try new foods slowly and carefully. After 4 years of healing, I got brave enough to try your baked goods and mixes. It took me a while to get it that I, and my health, were worth buying the best gluten free food from a dedicated facility that I could afford.
    What gives me peace is knowing that going out to eat, to a potluck, to a party, or traveling, I can take Quinoa Bread, tasty muffins, and bagels, with me. I don’t feel left out anymore. I can have something special, too.
    What brightens my day is that your advice to never give up has led me, this July, to my first real Dr. who knows about and understands Celiac. She is working with me to get my Vit D levels where they need to be, understands what to watch out for as I age, and I know from previous experience that this will make my life much easier and healthier.
    I want to say that your willingness to share your story, fight the good fight for us, provide safe food, and evolve as the circumstances required, to continue advocating for us. is admirable. I, for one, have greatly benefited from your education and support, and I appreciate all that you have done over these many years!

    August 26, 2016 at 2:11 am
  • Frank Walker Reply

    Hi Jennifer! Thank you for sharing your story & for this website!
    I don’t have the same condition you have but I do have a rare medical condition that I was not expected to survive as a baby. My next birthday in May 2017 will be my 50th!

    My story can be found here: http://prunebelly.org/about-us/meet-some-survivors/

    September 21, 2016 at 11:27 am
  • Cheryl Rose Reply

    I was diagnosed with celiac almost 10 years ago. I also have diverticulitis which I had part of my intestines removed because of it about 3 years ago now. I just took my first meditation lesson. Something I would like to do more of. Your story was inspiring. I ordered your book from Amazon earlier today when I saw you on Access Hollywood Live telling a bit of your story. I’ve always admired you as an actress and now I admire you as a survivor and a strong empowered woman. I can’t wait to read your book. Thank you for putting all this out there into the light.

    October 3, 2016 at 8:11 pm
  • veronica don Reply

    I knew only of your work as an actress and was dismayed when you left Blue Bloods. I was glad to see you now on NCIS. Interesting to me is that you always seem to ” glow.”
    I am also a Brooklyn girl. Though of a different generation.
    Came across this site this evening and I look forward to continuing the conversation about health, well-being and just being our best.

    October 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm
  • Sheila Reply

    Hello Jennifer,
    I was diagnosed with Celiac this year and left completely overwhelmed trying to navigate this journey that lies ahead of me. Seeking answers has been nothing short of frustrating and disheartening at times. However, I am a determined lady and continue the quest.
    Which leads me to this, I recently and fortunately came across your book, “Jennifer’s Way”. I couldn’t put it down, cried through most of it in a sense of relief, and finally felt like ‘I wasn’t alone’. You are a blessing, an inspiration, and your work is empowering.
    I am extending the warmest and most grateful “THANK YOU”, to you, for sharing your journey with the rest of us! : )

    October 19, 2016 at 11:53 am
  • Amanda Moon Reply

    Hello Jennifer. Thank you for Jennifer’s Way. Thank you for all you do.
    I am a Celiac. Finally diagnosed in March 2015. Symptoms/being sick my whole life. I am a fitness professional and I’m all about living a happy, healthy lifestyle from the inside/out. It’s a mind body connection! What inspires me…? What gives me hope, peace, joy, happiness…? God! What brightens my everyday..? Starting my day off with my tea and prayers and giving thanks to the lord. Life is always going to be challenging but it’s all about how we choose to handle things. If I choose to let the stress and anxiety and depression get to me then I know my whole body will suffer even more than “my normal” not feeling good. I tell my clients this quote: “Fear is what stops you, motivation is what keeps you going” Your so right Jennifer, if you open up your heart and eyes motivation/inspiration/love/peace/happiness it’s all around us. I always tell myself that things could be so much worse. People say to me, “Amanda, it must be so hard to eat like you eat all time or to not go out to eat or to have to prepare all your own food or to not be able to eat certain things…” No that is not hard, there are so many other things in life that are hard. I choose to do all that because I want to be healthy and feel the best that I can. People don’t choose to get Cancer or to have Celiac Disease or any other Disease or illness but we can choose to take care of ourselves the best that we can. Yes, it’s tiring sometimes, but so what.
    Having the right morals and values motivates me. Honest, humble people inspire me. Life is a beautiful thing and I am so very blessed to have the life that I have.
    Keep pushing through whatever it is you are going through. Don’t ever give up hope! Choose to live a happy healthy lifestyle! You are all loved!❤️
    Thank you everyone for sharing all your stories that inspires me😉

    October 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm
  • Lisa Madigan Reply

    Thank you for everything you are doing to educate people. I don’t have celiac, but I was recently diagnosed with “Undetermined Diffuse Connective Tissue Disease” (what????). I have been wandering around, lost, for the past 6 months…not knowing what to do. I hate taking medications, but – of course – that is what they gave me. I just came to the realization, because of your site, that I need to remove everything from my diet to see what is causing me pain. You give me hope and strength that I can do this. I just started to remove things today and am praying that it will go well.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, and for the encouragement that you give.

    Lisa

    December 12, 2016 at 1:03 pm
  • Jo Reply

    Jennifer, Thank you for sharing your story. I read your book in a day and a half. I couldn’t put it down. I was diagnosed with celiac in Oct. of this year. My numbers were one of the highest my doctors have seen. I was also diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis to gold jewelry and black rubber, with irritant contact dermatitis to the blue dye in blue jeans, as well as other products. Up until the last 8 years I have been healthy and then my immune system went crazy. My liver enzymes were elevated also. We now believe that that is due to the celiac. While I didn’t have the stomach issues you had, I did have the bloating, pain, night sweats and inflammation throughout the body and some nerve issues. I live in a rural area where gluten free products are limited, so it is challenging. I do find that the medical field seems to be limited on what they know about this disease and I research a lot myself. Thank goodness for sites like yours! With the help of these sites, I was able to figure out I had celiac a year before the doctors verified it. Please continue doing what you’re doing. You’re helping a lot of people. I’m sorry to hear of your cancer. Praying you will remain cancer free. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 14, 2016 at 11:27 pm
  • Diane Terry Reply

    I recently saw u on Kathy and Hoda on the today show making ur lentil soup. It’s absolutely fantastic! Upon that, I went to the library n read ur book and ur bout with celiac disease! My brother has chrohns disease n I have seen thru the years how he suffered. He has his special diet also like yourself n is finally doing fine. I just had to write to tell u what an inspiration u are!!!! Thank you for everything that u have done! I plan to purchase ur new cookbook that I hear is coming out sometime this year. Love you!!!!

    January 31, 2017 at 9:13 pm
  • Kim Reply

    Just saw you on Harry so I looked you up! We have someone in our family with celiac. Anxious to tell her about your website! My daughter started selling Norwex 2 years ago & I love it. So enjoy cleaning with no chemicals. Chemical free! Thanks Jennifer!

    February 16, 2017 at 12:30 pm
  • Joanna Davis Reply

    Jennifer, you are my hero! Last year I wrote to tell you about the beginning of my journey with celiac disease. I am 72, now one year gluten free. Without your book and your encouragement I would still be suffering. I am hoping to start a gluten intolerance support group this year in my area. I have researched celiac disease through scientific papers, celiac sites, etc. my internist is so impressed by my knowledge, she said she was calling me for consultation about her celiac patients. I even spent an hour talking with a nurse in her practice who was recently Dx with celiac disease. I am a nurse and an MSW social worker in clinical practice in SC. I have an enquiring mind. When I was no longer lactose intolerant, I found a scientific paper written by Dr. Greene at Columbia University, which addressed this. I have loved doing all my research. My hematologist wants me to write up my case study and present it locally to physicians to educate them. I made believers out of my skeptical doctors when they saw the changes in my blood work over the last year. I told them that medicine was no longer taught to look at disease empirically, just test, test, test and treat the numbers not the patient.
    I found out eight months ago that my father’s Italian family is riddled with celiac disease, one of his sisters died with celiac dementia, her son, my first cousin is now in a nursing home with celiac dementia. All his children and grandchildren have celiac, as does another first cousin’s children and grandchildren. My father had huge gastrointestinal problems all his life, bet he had celiac disease. I have a sister whom I am sure is a celiac and she refuses to believe it and won’t get tested for it. Her grandson has been Dx with celiac, and his mother is going to be tested.
    Anyway, your book changed my life, in a very positive way. Yes, being a celiac is a challenge, but worth being gluten free. I have taught myself to bake gluten free and eat clean. Eating out is another issue, as is, these so called gluten free processed foods on the market. I do not buy anything that is not certified gluten free, I am way too sensitive to gluten to take a chance.
    At the airport, they were going to take my natural peanut butter away from me and I threw a fit, told them I was a celiac and need that peanut butter to survive the trip. I made quite a fuss, they relented and let me on the plane with my peanut butter! For crying out loud, at 72 I hardly look like I am going to blow up a plane with peanut butter. Take a note from your doctor that you are a celiac for you carry on items when you travel. Celiac meals are nothing to write home about on board a 13 hour flight and who knows how safe they really are anyway. I don’ t want to spend 13 hours in the bathroom on the plane with explosive diarrhea!
    Thank you, thank you Jennifer you saved my life with your book. I loan my copy out so much it is shop worn and recommend to lots and lots of people to buy your book, and visit your web site.
    Hope to see you at your store in NYC when I come sometime this year.

    May 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm
  • Sara Reply

    Jennifer –
    You are indeed an inspiration! I greatly appreciate your courage to take on Celiac Disease, and to benefit others with your perseverance. Within the last couple of years I was informed of my gluten-intolerance and have chosen to make even more changes to my lifestyle to accommodate that. I am a therapist (working with soldiers with drug/alcohol problems), so seek inspiration to pass on, as well as for myself…. I tweaked the quote on fearlessness a bit, to feel more alive energetically for me: “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear, but the courage to act anyway.”
    Keep up your great work; with the bakery, your inspired journey, and your work on NCIS!

    June 12, 2017 at 9:25 am
  • LadyGrace Reply

    Miss you on screen. You are a wonderful actress.

    July 2, 2017 at 9:55 am
  • Donna Reply

    I am so proud of your book, interviews, and all you have done to give people information to help people suffering with celiac disease. I work in the medical field and wish I could say our all our gastroenterologists, were as interested in improving their knowledge and diagnosis of this disease as you have been. (80% still undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or undiagnosed costs the healthcare industry a lot of money, I still can not see why insurance companies or medical system is still so disinterested.)

    September 7, 2017 at 7:32 am
  • Bill Reply

    Your story is inspiring. Never, never give up! You are so right go with your gut every time!

    September 15, 2017 at 7:42 pm
  • Sage Millere Reply

    To Best Friends abound; “Truths’ Definition: That, which cannot be ‘Destroyed.’ Thus, ‘WISDOM.'”

    September 19, 2017 at 8:30 pm

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