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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