Dear Tanya,

Tomorrow, I celebrate another birthday.

As I sit and think of where I was a year ago, of WHO I was a year ago, I can’t quite take it in.

I wish the ME today could have written to that person a year ago.

Here’s what she would have said:


September 11, 2015

Dear Tanya,


Happy Birthday!!

It’s the first birthday you’ve spent away from home in many years , and you’re a little sad.

And a little scared of what lies ahead.

You’re in a new city, away from the comfort, familiarity and security of home, and that terrifies you.

You’ve had to put on a brave face for your family and friends, but they don’t see the scared, teary child- woman who wakes up at 3 am and wonders what the *#!* she’s done?


What you don’t know, my dear, is that this will be your year of living deeply, a year of living out your dreams, some way beyond what you can now imagine.


You will find yourself making new friends as you sit quietly in your new gym; feeling hopelessly lost. That someone will turn to you and say hi, and ask you about yourself? You’ll hold back tears as you explain why you’re here. The ache in your heart because you miss your home hidden by the smile you’ve learned to paste on.

This gym will become your daily lifeline and you’ll change your body, and your mind as you learn a whole new way of exercising.


You’ll learn to drive on the opposite side, and plan trips based on when traffic is light. And gratefully say a prayer when you finally make it back from your first one-hour drive. Eventually you will master the art of changing lanes on the highway.


You’ll enroll in the course you’ve wanted to for so long and have your mind stretched beyond measure. You’ll have to learn medicine from a new perspective and often question whether you ever knew this stuff?? The Anatomy and Physiology books will be brought out and you’ll immerse yourself, once more, into basic medical science, remembering that THIS is why you loved medicine. That this new way of patient - centered medicine feels so much more like the medicine you envisaged practicing as a child.


You’ll immerse yourself in home-making and learn how satisfying home-caring can be. The scent of slow-cooked Beef Bourguignon, clean towels neatly lined up in the cupboards and a gleaming bathroom stall will make you beam. (Who would have thought?)

That the pangs of guilt you’ve felt at not being there for your kids, and being consumed with building your Practice , will be offset the moment your son tells you he always wanted a mom who cooked as you take the lasagna he requested out of the oven.

That you will be overjoyed that you decided to be there for your daughter as she admits that she spent her lunch hour on the first day of her new school in the bathroom . That being there for her during that adjustment period will be one of the best gifts you can give to her ( and to yourself).

You’ll learn the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. When the highlight of your Friday night becomes the latest episode of Hawaii-5-O. Through these times, you’ll discover a quiet strength you didn’t know you had, and how much your faith will sustain you.


You’ll get news that friends and colleagues have passed away, and spend the day you learn of the death of one of your mentors fighting back tears and feeling deeply saddened that you’re unable to attend his funeral. Your heart will break when you remember the good times.

This will happen more than once.


You will meet new people, people who will change your outlook on life and how you do business.

You will attend Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Level 2 Masterclass - it HAS been on your bucket list for several years hasn’t it?  There you will meet your tribe, your soul-sisters, people who just get you. Your layers will be peeled away, and you’ll show who you really are.

You will discover how truly miraculous life can be. 

You will learn to listen to your intuition, to that inner voice that has not been allowed to speak for so long, and you will write and speak and share your story.

 Share your stories in Huffington Post, as a published author on Amazon, and on your blog.

As you share your story, you will help people accept theirs, and learn and grow in ways they never thought possible.

 You will have a major AHA moment when you realize that saving a physical life is fulfilling but nowhere near as fulfilling and soul- satisfying as saving someone’s spirit and psyche.


This coming year, you will learn what you’ve always known - that there a many, many ways to heal.

You will learn from workshops and conferences and several textbooks.

 You will learn from coaches and mentors, and new friends.

And, most importantly, you will learn from your experience, you will learn from LIFE.


So, my dear Tanya, cheer up, put on your happy face.

Blow out the candles and eat the cake.

Remember, as Christopher Robin said  “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”