I’ve been sitting here reviewing the past year as 2016 draws to a close and thinking ‘what a roller coaster’ this has been! The first thoughts that came to me were those of pain-losing my brother, a dear friend having a stroke, another dear friend’s struggle with her sister’s health and even financial worries. Why is it that the pain invades us first and often we forget about the joys and beautiful lessons learned throughout the past year?

I decided to change my thoughts, live in the present and celebrate new ideas and birth! Yes, I know everyone tells you that, but do we practice it? I am about to have a grandson—my daughter is having her second child tomorrow! Is there anything more joyful than a new life? A little soul that actually does live in the present—he only needs love, food, rest and a new diaper- oh, if life were that simple once we age? There is so much beauty and love all around us and, often, we don’t take the moment to notice something as simple as a smile! Sure there’s a lot going on in this world that causes us stress and pain, but in some way that’s all part of life—nobody gets through life unscathed.

So, for the rest of 2016 and for 2017, let’s put our focus on the beautiful little things that we often over look. Yes, be present, be present now! The past is gone and the future is just the past projected forward into worry and concern. You have absolutely no control over the future—too many of us have realized that! The only thing you control is how you react in this moment—why not make it happy?

My wish for you during this beautiful holiday season, no mater what your religion or beliefs, is to enjoy each little moment-it’s a muscle we don’t use very often! If you exercise it, just like other muscles, it will grow in strength and you won’t have to remind yourself to stay present because it will be a part of you.

Enjoy your family, your friends, your lover, and even the meeting of a new stranger. Stay open and warm and wait until you see what happens—it feels like a miracle, but it’s really just the best part of life!

Take care and be well. Wishing you peace throughout the coming year!