Carpe diem, the Latin proverb translating to “seize the day,” has been a part of Edina resident Jasmine Brett Stringer’s life since high school.
It was during her junior year that a classmate’s brother passed away, and “it was the first time I realized that life can change in the blink of an eye,” she says. Fast-forward to today and Brett Stringer is now a speaker, author and lifestyle expert. She is founder of the lifestyle brand Carpe Diem With Jasmine, author of the blog Carpe Diem with Jasmine as well as the inspirational book Seize Your Life: How to Carpe Diem Every Day and is a regular lifestyle contributor on WCCO. The road Brett Stringer took to get here is peppered with stories and moments—some of them difficult and some of them spectacular. But all of them, Brett Stringer explains, were filled with lessons.
Brett Stringer came to Minnesota from Atlanta 11 years ago to work for a major company in the Twin Cities area. When the company went through a restructuring and she was laid off, Brett Stringer was tasked with reinventing herself. “I think of that layoff as a huge gift,” she says, “as paid time off to think about what I wanted to do.” Writing and speaking about carpe diem was a natural fit. She uses the knowledge that life can change in the blink of an eye, coupled with her platform as a well-known lifestyle expert, to inspire others to live in and enjoy each moment.
Throughout her book, blog and speeches, Brett Stringer weaves together a collection of stories, her own and those of others that have touched her, in order to get her message across. One idea she continuously comes back to is gratitude. She shares the story of a friend’s recent post to Facebook to emphasize her belief in gratitude. Her friend was posting about the four-year anniversary of her spouse’s passing, and although the post was filled with sadness, Brett Stringer’s friend went on to say she was grateful for the time she had been given with her husband.
“I was so proud of her,” Brett Stringer says. “To get to that point of gratitude after where she was.” In her book, Seize Your Life, Brett Stringer recommends keeping a gratitude journal and writing in it every day. She explains this mindfulness activity can include anything, big or small, from “I am grateful that I can blink my eyes” to much grander thoughts.
Brett Stringer also speaks about vision. She keeps what she calls “vision boards,” pieces of cardboard covered in colorful photos, magazine cutouts and inspirational quotes. These vision boards are an embodiment of her dreams and goals for life. Brett Stringer shares a quote from Maya Angelou in her book, “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” Brett Stringer holds fast to the idea dreams can be turned into reality, and she has experience to back-up this belief.
Brett Stringer has looked up to Oprah Winfrey her entire life, and she always knew one day they would meet in person. When Brett Stringer attended one of Oprah’s live shows, she was ecstatic when Oprah invited her backstage after the show. Because of this experience and many more, Brett Stringer believes in the power of creating space in her life for dreams.
Although none of us may know what the future truly holds, we might all do well to emulate Brett Stringer and take a look around at the beautiful moment surrounding us. Are you surrounded by family? Delicious food? The buzzing heat of a summer afternoon? What are you grateful for?