From the Publisher - January 2017

PublisherFrom the Publisher

“The New Year is a painting not yet painted;
a path not yet stepped on; a wing not yet taken off! Things haven’t happened as yet! Before the clock strikes
twelve, remember that you are blessed with
the ability to reshape your life!”

— Mehmet Murat ildan


For me 2016 was deplorable, seriously, the worst year of my life, so far. It was a year of loss, rejection, disappointment, sadness and betrayal. I meandered through the year with horrendous hurt in my heart and bleakness in my eyes. I had to remind myself to smile, something that is usually involuntary for me a hundred times a day. My life was knocked off its foundation. A couple severed friendships, a few broken dreams, one failed marriage, a botched vacation, a sick mother, an empty nest, a home lost to the storm, a BFF who lost her son and an insurmountable amount of stress was what I faced almost daily. Some days, I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and keep sleeping. Other days, I would sit in the parking lot at my office, waiting for tears to subside, so I could go in, head held high and carry on. Last year, I wrote in the January publisher’s letter that my word for the year was “connection.” Ironically, it has been a year defined by disconnection.

Nonetheless, I feel like the most blessed person alive. I have my health, my children, my mom, a supportive extended family, a stellar staff, fabulous friends, sweet dogs, two great magazines, kind neighbors, a beautiful temporary home, a good head on my shoulders and even distant acquaintances who have shown me amazing acts of kindness. These factors, along with grasping onto God like never before, are who and what have moved me to dance in the midst of the storm.
I have made up my mind that 2017 is going to be ridiculously fabulous—at least the parts of it I can control. I’m beyond allowing those bad things to diminish my life, my happiness and my peace. I refuse to permit these hard lessons to harden my heart. I have come up with three words to live by in 2017: Limitless, Inspired and Grace. I have put a lot of thought into these concepts and know they will propel me forward, keep me strong and nurture me in times of pain.

Limitless: Lately I move through the day with self-imposed rules, which translate into self-imposed limits. I learned a long time ago we only live as big as we dream. I’ve always been one to march to the beat of if there’s a will, there’s a way. However, 2016 stole that from me. No more. 2016 is no longer the boss of me! I am bursting through the dark ceiling to come alive. One of my favorite quotes is, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman) I’m alive. I’m Alive! I’m ALIVE! I want to accomplish things I’ve never accomplished, even things that have seemed out of reach. I have my goals ready. I am praying way over my head. Truly, the only thing limited in this life is the number of days we have on earth. I’m ready to make everyday count. I hope you are, too.

Inspired: This issue’s theme is Be Inspired, meaning find people, places and things that influence you to be your best self. Inspiration is everywhere; like miracles, it’s up to us to open our eyes to see it. One never knows when inspiration is going to show up, so it’s best to be on the lookout. Some of my best inspiration comes while I’m in the shower. It has nothing to do with showering and everything to do with being quiet and uninterrupted. It’s hard to find inspiration in an over-stimulated environment. My biggest sources of inspiration are my friends, the ocean, quotes, art and reading. I can get lost in any one of them. I love to drift out of the mundane to a place of inspiration, where I can truly feel my gut move and realize something is so possible. Living inspired is powerful. It is how we gear up, gain momentum and grow. This is the year to do it all!

Grace: My children went to a Christian school. In that arena, the word grace was used constantly. However, I never fully understood it until recently when I was talking with my counselor. He used the word grace about three times and I stopped him. I said, “People use the word grace all the time. I hear about God’s grace, but I don’t think I fully understand what grace is. Can you explain it to me.”

He said, “Two words: Unmerited favor.” I asked him to explain further.

He continued, “Grace is when you give something to someone whether they deserve it or not. Grace is when you love someone even when they don’t deserve it. Grace is when you receive God’s favor even when you don’t merit it.”

For the first time I fully understood grace and I broke down. “I have shown grace a lot,” I cried. At that moment I felt validated and grace became my new favorite concept.

When you put limitless, inspired and grace together you get the acronym LIG. 2017 is indeed going to support LIG. What in the world does LIG mean? Life is good, of course. There are silver linings everywhere. But this year, in the name of limitless, I’m going to turn it up a notch and say, “Life is Grand!” Let’s be grand together. I hope you have a happy New Year. Welcome, 2017... you're a sight for sore eyes.