Even though I look back every year with amazement, gratitude, some sadness, and lots of smiles, this year seems more significant than some.  A lot happened to everyone this year.  People lost loved ones, celebrated births, reached personal and professional milestones, celebrated and mourned losses in life, and wins and losses in politics.  Yep, it’s been a full 2016, hasn’t it?

For me, it has been a year of rich personal growth and peace.  The mundane parts of life, such as moving again, the loss of my father, adjusting to a retired life that is busier than when I was working, working on my book, Navigating Your Hospital Stay, has been approached with mostly calm and positivity, thanks in part to the support of loving family and friends.

I also attribute a great deal of the profound abundance I was able to experience this past year to a program I undertook called “YQ” (for “you quotient”).  As you all know I still consider myself a “new” widow, with Bruce being gone 2 years now.  I still grieve his passing every day – and probably always will – but his passing left me with a blank canvas on which to paint this next stage of my life.  How cool is this?

Yes, it is cool, but it was also daunting.  In many ways, being a nurse, caregiver, friend, and wife had focused me so “outward”, that I had lost my own voice.  I needed to find again the things that filled me with passion and brought me joy – to add color to my canvas.  I doubled my prayer efforts and Michael Cavotta and Jen Margolis appeared on my path.  Michael is the creator of YQ, and Jen (beautiful Jen), is his co-facilitator.  They took me back to my core, the me that was the best and most true.  They supported my spiritual beliefs, they helped me clear away years of debris that accumulated and obscured that “authentic” self.  Jen and Michael worked with me to find ways to incorporate those things that made me feel joyful and alive into my daily life so I could always (well, almost always) stay and interact with the world as the authentic me.  I cannot thank Michael and Jen and YQ enough.  As you can tell, YQ factored heavily in my 2016!  I would encourage anyone who wants clarity, richness, and authenticity to be a part of their daily life to check out this program!  Google Michael.

I know a part of our nation’s citizens have allowed politics to rob them of their hope for the future of our country.  Our current First Lady said that after the election, people knew what it felt like to not have hope.  While that may be true for some, it is certainly not true for me.  I have hope.  I always have hope.

My wish for you all in 2017 is that you review your values, that you act on what you believe in a peaceful, meaningful way.  That you seek to care for those needy in your community.  This is where change starts.  That you worship in whatever way you choose.  That you realize you are a small part of something much larger.  That you embrace tolerance and not divisiveness, and that you seek out the many ways divisiveness is disguised.  I wish for peace in your hearts, so you can spread that peace outward.  I love you all.   Happy 2017 – 365 new opportunities for change!

Love, Robin

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