During my four years as Head of Program and Guest Experience for Golden Door Elysia, I have learned so much about people, about myself, about the world. I am so appreciative of those I’ve met, the lessons I’ve learned and how they have helped shape me.

One of the true privileges about holding this very special role, is having the opportunity to come to work every single day and be real – have real conversations with real people about real life.

Talking with our guests about their real lives – from their joyous glories to the depths of their unbridled sadness and everything in between – I embraced lightness and shared smiles often, however, I tried never to shy away from the difficult conversations, because the hard stuff is where we learn big. And if we are willing to sit with the darkness, we eventually remember the light will come and here is where we can find our true grit.

2017, for many of us personally here at Golden Door, has forced our hand – are we in fact willing to sit with our own darkness to make it through to the light?

It seems so clichéd, yet inevitable that with each year that passes, we find ourselves with less than 6 weeks to go until a new one, potentially wishing the year away or wondering how on earth the time went by so quickly and what even happened? Did I do enough? And so often with that question comes a swift and glaring “NO”. There was not enough time, I didn’t achieve enough. I worked too many hours but didn’t save enough money. I didn’t spend enough time with my family, didn’t love enough. I’m not enough.

This year, let’s count down differently.

I’m deciding right now, not this year. I’m choosing to finish out this year differently. I want to commit to making every day of 2017 count, even if there are only 36 of them left until the New Year – imagine, with a different perspective than “not enough” how you could make every single one of them count?

And from me, this isn’t just lip service or another positive thinking reframe that is often associated with our well-meaning wellness industry. No, this is a matter of dire personal importance.

2017 hasn’t just been a challenging year for me. It has ultimately been the most utterly tragic and yet the most sublimely blessed year of my entire life.

It is the year that I got to give birth to my very first child, our beautiful son, Ashton. Precious, perfect, blessed. It is also the year that, three heartbreaking days later, we had to say goodbye to him. My most tragic goodbye. Who would’ve guessed that lung disease for our child would factor into my 2017? Not me.

So, I sure as anything could simply wish this year away, will it to be over and wallow, waiting for a brighter 2018. But there are 36 whole days until the New Year and I’ve decided that I want to make every single one of them count. Because who knows how many more we have. And because that is the kind of person I want to try and be – a person who is willing to have hope and a person who remembers to choose happiness, despite it not always being easy.


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