Saying goodbye and beginning again…

I said goodbye to my dear friend and colleague Patty Hammett last week. She was the Administrator of the Conversations with God Foundation with whom I have had the pleasure of working with for over thirteen years. She and I shared our common passion and common mission with the CwG Foundation of giving people back to themselves, which in CwG terms means helping others to recreate themselves anew in their next grandest version of the greatest vision ever they held about who they are. Last week’s column on being angry at disease was based in my grief around losing her, another dear friend gone to cancer, but it also inspired me to recommit to helping people find holistic solutions to everyday living problems.

Patty left her physical form, yet I feel as if she is here with me right now. In fact, I will tell you that I feel her inspiration and words flowing through me as we speak. I imagine it is a similar feeling that Neale Donald Walsch must get when he is having his conversations with God. I hear Patty’s voice nudging me, inviting me, guiding me, and all I have to do is let it flow. This is a wonderful feeling and important for me since I have been asked to fill her shoes at the CwG Foundation as the new Administrator and Program Director. I loved working with Patty, and it seems our work will continue; I feel a profound sense of gratitude for this. My sense of sadness is coupled with this overwhelming feeling of her presence right here, right now, which causes me to feel something other than sad. I am not sure there is a word for it, but I am at peace. So this week’s column is written by Patty Hammett, here to inspire JR and YOU to be the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about who we are.

When I was asked by Neale Donald Walsch and Will Richardson, the CwG Foundation board President, to take over the leadership of the foundation, I will tell you that I felt it potentially to be too daunting a task for me. We talked for several hours about it, and still I wasn’t sure if I could do the foundation justice. It is interesting how fear and doubt will show right up when we are offered opportunities that we know in the moment will change our life forever for the better, yet still they show up as if they are there to protect us from all that good about to be bestowed upon us…”can’t have that” says fear! I left with my head swimming, wondering if I had made the right decision, second guessing my choice, feeling uncertain if I could pull it off. Would I make Patty proud?  Oh, God, how am I going to fill those shoes? It seems my prayers were answered the very next morning when I awoke full of excitement and passion; the ideas began to flow out of me. They were pouring out of me faster than I could write them down or express them to others, and that is when I realized Patty’s presence had replaced the fear. It was the moment I knew that she was still here, that I was not alone in this, and that I could do it. She was literally flowing through me.  She was using my hands just as she is doing right now to express these very words to you. She was in spirit, that is, inspiring me.  And then I had no doubt.  I knew I was not alone and that we could do it. Call it what you will, but when you have this kind of an experience, being in spirit, something inside of you shifts. That is the God Experience.

And God knows I needed a shift. If you read my columns, you know that I have been moving through the loss of a marriage which ended in betrayal, the loss of someone I care for deeply, the loss of hopes, dreams and desires now never to be fulfilled, at least not with her. It is said that God never gives you more than you can handle.  I wish God didn’t have so much confidence in me sometimes! And yet as promised, the gifts of shift continue to reveal themselves as understanding replaces pain. The messages of Conversations with God, along with my training as a grief and recovery counselor, have helped me through the toughest of times for sure, but it has also set the stage for my personal transformation in a direction I would have never thought possible. Without the loss, this current version of me could not exist. Without the change, this current experience could not take shape or form. And as always, good comes out of bad to create great. And now Patty, unburdened by physical form, shows up to remind us all, through me in this moment, that life is always working in our favor. A message I will continue to speak as long as I have breath.

If you have been inspired by the messages of CwG or any spiritual writings, you know they are here to remind us to remember who we really are, especially during the times when it would be very easy to forget. That is also the job of angels, both here and there, to show up and help us to remember, to guide us through, to be the light unto the darkness. Patty was an angel in physical form who now has shown up for me as an angel to guide me through the next chapter of my life…and for this I am forever grateful.

As I write this, the sun has just peaked through my window, a new day is born, how appropriate as a rebirth takes place before my very eyes. Having and holding these kinds of experiences make the tough times worth the price of admission. Having people like Patty in your life makes life worth living.

So I begin again. I take the parts from the old version of me that work and I leave behind the parts of me that no longer work, knowing they served me well for they brought me here. With gratitude I say goodbye and begin again.

I am ready to take on this new opportunity to be a messenger and helper at the Conversations with God Foundation. One of my very first actions will be to create a partnership program, an opportunity where we can co-create together, the bringing forth the messages of CwG through the living of your purpose, passion, and your reason for being. If you have been touched by the messages of CwG and wish to become a grander version of yourself through the living of your life purpose and doing so in partnership with the CwG Foundation, if this sounds like something you would be interested in learning more about, then please reach out to me. I will be creating programs going forward to give opportunities for others to be of service, but I am also going to be looking for those in spirit, those inspired individuals that would like to create with us, to ensure that the legacy of the CwG messages continues long after we are gone. My realization once again through the loss of my dear friend Patty, and now through her inspiration to me, that the messages of Conversations with God changed my life forever, and it continues to do so. My gift to give back is to ensure that these messages continue to touch the lives of those who are reawakening to who they really are. This I know makes my dear angel friend Patty smile, for it was her passion…and still is.

If making a difference in the world while ensuring the legacy of CwG sound like something you want to explore with the CwG Foundation, reach out to me:  JR@CWG.ORG

Thank you, Dear Patty, for all that you have been, are now, and forever will be…an angel without end. May you guide my every action to benefit the world we serve, together forever, in love and in spirit. Your friend – JR

(J.R. Westen, D.D. is a Holistic Health & Spiritual Counselor who has worked and presented side-by-side with Neale Donald Walsch for over a decade. He is passionate about helping individuals move beyond their emotional and spiritual challenges, transforming breakdowns into breakthroughs. His coaching provides practical wisdom and guidance that can be immediately incorporated to shift one’s experience of life. As is true for most impactful teachers, J.R.’s own struggles and triumphs inspired him to find powerful ways of helping others. Sober since June 1, 1986, J.R.’s passion for helping individuals move through intense life challenges drove him to also specialize in Addiction and Grief Recovery. J.R. currently shares his gift of counseling & coaching with individuals from around the world through the Wellness Center, Simply Vibrant, located on Long Island N.Y.  In addition, he operates “Change House” a place where people come to transform, he also works with Escondido Sobering Services and now serves as the administrator and program director for the Conversations with God Foundation. He can be contacted at, or to book an appointment, write

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  • Ionic Breeze

    Wow. Great article, J.R. 🙂 I loved all of it. i guess your experience reminds me of my own with death. I mean the death of very very close loved ones. Your experience with Patty was similar to mine with my grandmother, who passed away last november. I knew of it before it happened, because my conversations with God told me so. I was warned, I guess, about them. I was told the end of October, but I missed it by a week. Anyway, nothing prepares you really for that, when it is a close loved one. My grandmother was my life. She truly was an angel, too. I could tell you so many stories about her angelic behavior and there are many who know this to be true. She was gifted, a seer, they call them. She knew things before they happened, and here is something that has affected me even now that I think more about meditation. She used to meditate, and she was born in the late 20s, so she was not exactly new ager. We used to run around the house like crazy kids and she would say, “ok, kids. Be good. I’m going to my room to meditate now.” I would say this was an important part of her life, but that’s just an understatment. She lived God’s love, truly she did. She was a good heart in the way Jesus was. Truly she was. She always identified with Mary Magdalene, and truthfully, she had that heart in action. She donated a church to the Catholic religion. I sigh, but. .uh. .that’s here for God, because she was doing her heart work, she believed. She also was known as a “Butterfly Lady.” She could land a butterfly on her head and hand by merely calling out to it. It was the wierdest thing. In fact, the local paper did an article on it and referred to her as “the Butterfly Lady.” She would give anyone a shirt off her back, and did on many occassions right then, right there. I used to wear her shoes and . . .dear God. . .I see this is turning into a personal thing about my grandmother and her death recently, so maybe I will post this on my own personal blog. I’ll be back with that link later. For now, I just want to say thank you for this. It is lovely 🙂


    Ionic Breeze

  • Laura Pringle

    I sent this via email, but will re-iterate it here:

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your story with us, and showing us that even those in positions of importance and respect have doubts,fears and feelings of inadequacy.
    Reading your column made me realize that we probably never feel up to the challenges handed to us in life~, but I guess we have to trust that we can rise to the occasion. If your heart has agreed with the mission laid out before you, (as it looks to me from what you wrote!), then half the battle is over! 🙂 Congratulations! I’m sure you are quite capable of handling or at least delegating the workload and responsibility you’ve been asked to manage.

    I have felt in my heart for many years that true longing to show people what I have learned, from the awesome things that astrology has helped me understand about character differences, to the peaceful way that I felt after reading Neale’s books. His channeling of God’s words has brought me so much peace and understanding, I am eternally grateful. I feel they are true for most people, and if we adopted the ideas he’s presented, the world WOULD improve.

    However, I would never have gotten to the point of listening for his words and absorbing them, if it hadn’t been for astrology. I’ve asked a few times on this site and others, if he or any of his team have had much experience with astrology. From the lack of response, I’m guessing it isn’t something they or he considers relevant to this forum/subject.

    It would be going off on a tangent, I realize, but ever since I first learned about it IN DEPTH- I’ve known deep down that it holds valuable information that, if widely understood, could foster the kind acceptance and respect for differences in character that could enable people to see that having differences is OK, and it’s PART OF THE PLAN. I can’t adequately describe the important sense of knowing I have in my heart that if the information was more accepted and widely understood, the world would improve.

    There are some people I just can’t relate with, and can’t effectively communicate with. Once I learned astrology, and saw that my own energy field is very strong with fire- and air-sign energy, I grasped that my energy is quite concentrated. It helped me understand why I rub lots of people the wrong way, and in what areas I could use a little coaching. Where my weaknesses are. I looked at the positions of the planets on Neale’s birthday, and I saw definite gifted aspects between the planets that govern communication skills, and understood and trusted that his skills were truly a natural gift.

    My point is this: Understanding astrology helps PINPOINT the areas we will feel challenged, and when, and also helps us to KNOW OURSELVES. It is a valuable tool in self-understanding and in understanding others. I don’t care about predicting events, I care about uniting people, and informing them. I want to contribute to the cause you guys are embarking on, but I also want to spread awareness of astrology’s value in psychological therapy. I think both can be accomplished by the same forum.

    PLEASE: Read the astrology primer, Joanna Martine Woolfolk’s THE ONLY ASTROLOGY BOOK YOU’LL EVER NEED. It’s very basic, but once you read it, you’ll want to know more. I guarantee you will. 🙂 Then, let me know if we can somehow utilize my in-depth knowledge of astrology to help others via a column or article. I’m excited to spread the knowledge I have, and I truly care about people.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, and for taking so much time and effort to help others. What a wonderful life- calling!

    Oh, and regardless, I’m interested in helping with your cause in any way I am asked to. I think I have much to offer. I Just published a book of poems, Meanderings of a Wayward Spirit. I will send you a copy if you would like, let me know. Hope to hear from you! Best Wishes, much blessings:) Sincerely, Laura

  • Ionic Breeze

    HI Laura,

    I read your response and I haven’t had a chance to read everything, but I do want to say that I, too, began questioning more than what I see with astrology. I love astrology. First, it was in literature, and i love literature, so I was curious anyway as to why Chaucer, for instance, talks about in the canterbury tales and so many I can’t remember.. I need another coffee I guess. Anyhoo, what I do know is astrology is a science and we are learning as we go with science that love is energy, but this energy grows and expands as we expand here. For me, I was absorbed in it. I even, God forbid, he should find out, consulted an astrologer before I married. I won’t discuss what was said, but oh my God,there was some truth to it. i do know that we can create charts from every point we think we are in in life. At the time I consulted the charts, I believed I was at the mercy of the charts. Then, I started watching what happened and how it happened and who and what and all that. Finally, I came to the conclusion that i beyond the stars and so is all life, so do place my creative energy on a finite, fixed chart point? Hell no. not now, and you shouldn’t either, because you are Goddess creating your reality with what you perceive as happening. I stopped even really looking at it closely, but I can tell you where every planet is in my chart. If I can remember Hi maybe I should have another coffee indeed 🙂 I have a square apparently that I don’t accept. I take all the trines I want 🙂 But, don’t give me those squares in my chart. I send them right back and say, “Fix it, God. I don’t want that square. What do you meeean I have a square in my chart? I don’t have a square. . I have a trine. .it’s called Christ in me, and jumps time. .redoes time, and I hear time is not real, according to CWG . .I think he said that. i know my God is saying it through my ear. Time is Us is what I hear these days. We can jump it. We can move it back if we like or forward in time here to all time, notime, zone lane zone. . .oh dear God. .here he goes another darn channel that i don’t understand coming through. i’ll just hang up here and let him go. Hi Alright. Sorry Laura, but here we go another channel for you through me Hi

    “i heard that, Michelle. I just did. Oh be still. I am not a hot dog. I am a salami sandwich, but hot dog. Beleive me. You don’t know what’s in that. Alright, I’m back. Really, I’m back. Laura, Love, you are me. You just are. Just know it, love. You can jump time, love. you just can. It’s hard to grasp, but we do redo things in life. We just do. I am energy, and so are you, love. All your love energy is with all you love everywhere you ever loved in all love. You are all love, and so is all you love, so know that all you love is you, and everywhere you go in life, you will be with all love. i know. I talk this seemingly appearingly goingoningly talk all day, but you do too, love, and you can talk to all you love, love. Just know it. Just do. hi I’m done. You are? Yes. I am. I said what I wanted to say to Laura. What were we even talking about? I forgot. Oh yea. Let me add this. We are time. All life is time today. What I mean by all life is time is this. God is alive at a breakfast table of all life and all life is in that One Room we Are speaking to every particle of All Life. We are having a grand day and all are welcome to join in Hi Love, God I Am through me named you named I Am Hi

  • Ionic Breeze

    oops a typo. Here it is the regular way it should be Hi

    “Finally, I came to the conclusion that i am beyond the stars and so is all life, so do I place my creative energy on a finite, fixed chart point now? Hell no.”

  • Laura Pringle

    🙂 Oh, ok, I just got to this. Thanks for channeling to me!!! <3

    Don't get me wrong, I don't suspend making life decisions based on some arbitrary chart, but, rather, I consult the planets' positions to understand just why I am feeling some sort of way, and how long this might last, etc.

    Also, I can see what it symbolizes in the larger sense, and also learn how I might be more sensitive to someone's differences in viewpoints, what way of relating might be best for the energies involved.

    And yes, it helps a lot in determining how I will get along with someone, whether we will have a harmonious understanding or a conflicting relationship. This part is invaluable, trust me!!! It has never steered me wrong!

    In my chart, the energies are really concentrated, It's a Cardinal T square of Libra rising with Mars in 12th, conjunct my ascendant, Venus is 90 degrees away on 4th house cusp, In Capricorn, and Saturn in Aries is opposing my asc. in the 7th house. Square city, very challenging, yes.

    Not to mention numerous 12th house Libra planets opposing my Aries Moon in the 6th. And Pluto opposes my moon. It's a tense configuration which feels like a war within myself most times, and learning astrology helped me deal with these energies on my own rather than projecting the confrontations and arguments onto others. 🙂

    It's cool to see that your energy is watery, (very empathetic, intuitive, and nebulous)–and with Gemini and Virgo in the mix, it compels you to verbalize, which I just love, love, love!!! I bet you are such a loving and reassuring presence in person, a true healer.

    Thx 4 sharing the story of your Grandmother. She must have been a really progressive and amazing person. So sorry she had to pass from our physical realm. You must really miss her.

    If ya don't mind me askn, I'd love to peek at your chart, just need the birth info, (Ya know, day, time, city,) which you can email me, if you're concerned with privacy. I love studying people's charts!