For the last few months I have been waking up without an alarm clock. I get out of bed, open my bedroom curtain and the sun is always just beginning to rise, starting with a tiny sliver of color peeping over the horizon. The first time I saw it, it took my breath away. I had not slept well that night and when I saw the sunrise, it felt so reassuring. 

Now every morning, I go to the window and check to see if my timing is the same… and almost every morning it is! And every morning it puts a smile on my face. 

2017 was a very hard year in many ways. For some, it was traumatic. Like many of you, I have sought ways to gain strength from acquiring knowledge, taking action and finding support from others. And for me, that has proven to be a great strategy. 

However, these last few months, watching the sunrise every morning has reminded me that resilience can also come in the quiet moments. Those times when no one else is influencing or teaching us. Just being in the moment and allowing our inner guides to take over. 

I noticed the power of this kind of down time over the past few weeks, with both of my sons home for the holidays. I took many more days off from my “have-to-do” stuff than I normally permit myself to take. We played cards, made big breakfasts and family dinners together, went for hikes and even went bowling twice. I felt so relaxed, in the moment, calm and centered. Being so at peace with my family time made me realize how much better I feel when I balance the work that I love with the time that I need to take for myself. And in retrospect, I recognize how much strength I drew from these calm and quiet times, when I was able to just “be.” 

A close friend asked me to choose a word for 2018, not a resolution, but a word that can be my guide for the year. This word is designed to help me stay centered and true to myself in all areas of my life. After considering the idea for the last month, I have chosen the word RISE. For me, RISE conjures the image of the rising sun: strong, undeterred (even when the clouds make it hard to see), bright, bold and full of warm energy and light! 

I love this image, and feel so comforted by the concept. I am excited to be at the beginning of 2018, feeling renewed strength, focus and determination. I am so grateful for you! This community has provided me with a constant source of enthusiasm, support and growth throughout 2017.  Let’s RISE together in 2018!

And if you feel so inclined… think about picking a word or a phrase that will inspire and connect you to yourself for this year. I would love to know what you choose (if you feel like sharing). 

Ready to RISE to any challenge,

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