The Day Everything Became Crystal Clear

beautiful fall day in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Recently, I had a very…bad…week. I thought I’d share a very personal story with you, in the hope that it helps you enjoy Thanksgiving with more gratitude.

(Gratitude is the highest vibration emotion ever recorded by ECG and EEG!)

Robyn and her cat, CharlieMy 17-year old son texted me, while I was in San Diego at a conference, that something was wrong with our much-loved cat, Charlemagne.

Charlie wasn’t yet 2 years old, and he was fine when I left. He’s never been sick. When I got home the next day, I found that his back legs were paralyzed.

The next day I took him to the vet, and she said she would run some tests, that it looked like heart disease and blood clots.

Thirty minutes later, the vet called me to tell me Charlie had suddenly just taken one deep breath and…died.

The next day, I went to court against my children’s father.

While we’d never been to court before, we’ve been to many legal mediations over 9 years, and I’ve incurred many thousands of dollars in legal bills.

To save money, I had released my attorney, and represented myself in court.

And the judge awarded me everything. Including my attorneys’ fees, since my ex-spouse’s violation of court orders caused the legal fees in the first place.

But then, the judge, scrolling through the online court system, told me he couldn’t find the bill from my attorney, filed as an affidavit with the court.

Turns out, she forgot. So, my children’s father got to walk away from that large bill, and I was left holding the bag. All due to a technicality.

I wish those were the worst things, in my very bad week.

The next day, we found out that my new book, Vibe, had pre-sold well over 15,000 copies, prior to the week it published. The book project itself represented 18 months of hard work: landing the deal with Simon & Schuster, writing, and editing several times, and marketing it for months leading up to the excitement of publication date.

And that day, I learned that even though I outsold 9 of the 10 authors who made the New York Times bestseller list that week–even Oprah–my book somehow didn’t make the New York Times list.

If I’m telling the truth, I may have thrown a little pity party. I felt like I shouldn’t have so many sad things happen to me, rapid-fire. I went to bed early.

The next morning, after the bad news of the NYT list ignoring my book, I was at tennis practice, and my teammate, Susan, said,

“Hey, congrats on your book. I was at a care facility last week, and I met a lady who is a big fan of yours. She was showing me your book and was all excited about it.”

I asked Susan where the care facility was, and what the lady’s name is. It turned out she was just two miles from my home. The next day, I stopped by, hoping to sign the lady’s book, and chat with her.

Merry, it turned out, is 63 years old, though her skin looks 35, as if she’s never been out in the sun–and she has a long, blonde braid.

She was in a twin bed with two other ladies sharing the room. She sits in an old, broken wheelchair, because she has no income, no pension, no husband, siblings, parents, or children—and the broken wheelchair she sat in was recently gifted to her.

Her eyes got wide, as I walked into the room, and she whispered:

“Is it you??”

It turns out, she didn’t have my new book, Vibe, at all, as I’d assumed. She wouldn’t likely know about it, since she has no access to social media, and has never sent or received a text in her life, doesn’t own a smart phone.

Her entire life is lived in a corner of a shared room, in a rundown care facility.

She picked up the 2007 first-edition, self-published version of my 12 Steps to Whole Foods course, next to her bed, and handed it to me.

She pointed at my photo, in the Intro, and said, “That’s you!”

“Yes it is,” I told her, “a long time ago!” She told me about the public lecture I had given, many years before. Her neighbor had offered to drive her to it.

Half the pages were torn out of the 12 Steps course manual.

She picked up a large, 3-ring binder, to show me where the rest of the pages were. She had been tearing out the pages, one at a time, cutting off the ragged edges with scissors, and putting each page in plastic sleeves, in the binder.

The 12 Steps to Whole Foods manual was extensively marked up with highlighting, careful notes in the margin in ballpoint pen, recipes circled that she wanted to try.

The 10-year old manual looked like it had been well loved, well used, dog-eared.

Only it wasn’t. Because Merry cannot cook. Merry can’t walk anymore, 26 years after her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis when she was just 37 years old.

She told me about her life. How she tries to get to the exercise room every day, to stand (or sit, when her legs won’t hold her) holding onto the rails of the vibration plate.

She told me that doing so wears her out, and after one of these “exercise” sessions, she sometimes sleeps for 36 hours.

She told me how she would love to eat a healthy diet, as she’d read in my 12 Steps to Whole Foods manual—but she would somehow have to get the ingredients to make a green smoothie. And a blender.

Reading that manual, and looking at the photos, for her, is like reading a travel book for someone who dreams, someday, of seeing the world beyond her back yard.

Merry told me that the only vegetables served at the budget-conscious care facility are severely overcooked–alongside ham, pie with cool whip, and the usual cafeteria fare, to cater to the mostly elderly population in the care facility.

I asked her how I could help her. I left with a resolve to use my own resources to get Merry a large, daily green smoothie.

She told me, with determination in her voice, several times: “In just a few weeks, I plan to be leaving here.”

But, Merry came in, walking, 10 months ago—when she fell, and her landlady broke her own rib, picking Merry up off the floor–causing Merry to realize that now, finally, she needed a higher level of care.

But 10 months after walking through the front door, Merry’s health has declined to the point where she can no longer walk at all.

“I’m going to get out of here, though,” she told me, several times, resolve in her eyes.

Autumn, sunshine, fallen leavesWhen I left that day, I walked out into the parking lot of the care center. It is mid-November here in Utah, but we’ve had an amazing indian summer, and the sun was shining.

I could smell the decaying leaves all around me, a smell I’ve always loved. I stopped, by my car, struck with this thought:

I am walking across this parking lot. I just walked out of that facility. No one in there can walk out here.

I am standing out here in the sunshine. Where I could run, across this parking lot, if I want to.

And I’m going to get in that car, which is available to me all the time, and I’m going to drive it.

To enjoy Saturday night out with my girlfriends.

And because I have a job and access to cash and credit, I can buy myself dinner, and enjoy the evening doing whatever I want.

As I got lost in total awe and gratitude at my incredibly blessed circumstances, I noticed that, in the middle of the parking lot where I was standing, tears were rolling down my cheeks.

I threw my head back, and felt the sun on my skin. I took a few deep breaths, amazed and awed by my healthy body and mind.

Any vestiges of my pity party from earlier in the week melted away. I felt like the luckiest, most blessed, happiest person alive. I was flooded with compassion for another living being whose suffering was real and yet, she wasn’t complaining, and her vibration actually uplifted me.

I realized that my “problems” weren’t worth losing even a moment of happiness over.

I hope you take a moment to focus on the good, to show more love, to find someone to serve, and to remember what you have to be grateful for.

P.S. Of course you will want to know if I’ve adopted Merry and am helping serve her needs, and I am, don’t worry!

248 thoughts on “The Day Everything Became Crystal Clear

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  1. Thank you for sharing. Yes we ARE all blessed. When feeling down, to put things into perspective, I recommend this Good Read: MERCIES OF A COVENANT GOD, The Life of John Warburton (1776-1857). And thanks for the Health Mate Sauna presentation. Joe said it met with great success and I ordered mine 11/18/17. Thank YOU.

    1. I have read some of that, long ago, Melinda. Thank you and God bless. You are going to love your sauna. One of my favorite things ever.

  2. I love this story, Robyn. You’ve helped and inspired me in so many ways since you started your website, and we’ve never even met. Words are truly powerful. Thanks for these most timely words of encouragement. Sorry to hear about your trouble triad. My cat Oscar (19 years old) recently died and I’ve been just so sad without my constant little companion. I’ve been praying for comfort. I’m taking your words here to heart. Thanks for giving me something to pray about besides myself. Please do let us know how things go with Merry. Thank you.

    This reminds me of a story I just heard today –
    A farmer found a horse in his pasture. His neighbors commented how fortunate he was. He responded, “Who knows if it is good or if it is bad.”
    The next day the farmer found several more horses on his land, and once again his neighbors commented on how fortunate he was. He replied, “Who knows if it is good or if it is bad.”
    His son was riding one of the horses, fell off and broke his leg. His neighbors commented on how awful this was. He had the same reply, “Who knows if it is good or if it is bad.”
    Soldiers came to his house to recruit all able-bodied young men for war. His son had a broken leg so could not go with them. . .

    Romans 8:28 And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. . .

  3. Thank you for sharing this amazing story of Merry. You’re truly inspiring me that life is too short and there are many needs out there that require our attentions. I can see why God connected you with Merry because you will be doing even more amazing things from now on, to enrich people’s life…..continue your good work. May He bless you and your family and of Merry too. Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Amy

  4. Thank you for that story; I needed to hear every word. You brought tears to my eyes while adjusting my attitude! God bless you, and god bless Merry as well!!

  5. When we have problems they usually pale in comparison to people who have very serious problems. You were grateful for the good things you have, and that is healthy. I’d also view the 15,000 sales of your book as a wonderful achievement. Few authors ever sell that many, especially before the book is even widely available. As for the ex-husband/attorney/legal fees—nearly anyone who is divorced can relate to your pain. My own divorce cost nearly a million dollars (and it wasn’t me who wanted out of the marriage). It took more than a decade to recover. And my new wife and son are a wonderful.

    1. Wow, Eric, so happy your life is going well albeit the price to pay was a LOT! We process and move forward. Blessings to you and your new family!

  6. Hi Robyn.
    Thank Robyn for sharing your story and about Merry. It is truly a touching story. I am truly sorry to hearing about your legal issues. I believe that God will bless you back for what was lost. No matter what happens in your life, just remember never to give up. God is with you every steps of the way. I will pray for you and your family.
    May you and your family’s have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day!.
    Mary Beckett

  7. -you will be a blessing to Merry (love her name), she will also bless you, and perhaps you are meant to influence the “care” facility where she lives. Blessed Thanksgiving to all!

  8. Hi Robyn,
    I believe that you are a very strong and gifted person. The fact that you can open up and share personal hurtful, disappointing happenings is a testament to that. Your sharing has helped me remember to be grateful daily, and to get back to my morning practice of writing down something I’m grateful for before I leave the bathroom! May you be blessed with answered prayers when you need them.

  9. What a great story. Life brings us hardships at times but there are always others that struggle worse. It is a blessing for both of you that you and Merry crossed paths. I love what you do and have followed your teachings for a few years now. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    1. Thank you Sue! So glad we all agree that hardships are a fact of life but how we react is key – processing well and moving forward with gratitude.

  10. Oh no what a time you have had !!! I’m really sorry that you have had such a rotton time. But hold your head high that you are being watched over from heaven and when your hurting he is hurting too. What a beautiful thing meeting merry too showing thaat determination pays off in the end SHE GOT TO MEET YOU X your such a strong determined women who has soooo much more good to come to her and do in this world . I will be praying for you BIG HUGS

  11. Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry for your loss and the legal issues. I know both can bring sadness to our lives. Love that you were lead to Merry who blessed you, who you can now bless as well. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

  12. Great story about Merry. I firmly believe that once you meet someone you must never forget or lose touch with them. This is why I take to time to call, text, or e-mail friends often. I am presently writing to a Navy friend of my husbans’s who has COPD and heart issues. No good prognosis. So, I started sending him my husband’s old Navy photos to cheer him up. Also send him jokes and funny pictures to lift him up mentally and to give him a chuckle and a smile. It works.

    Never forget Merry. She needs people who care now more than ever. Her health will deteriorate faster if she’s left behind. We have to be grateful and compassionate. Your legal situation will be resolved, you’ll see. And the SPCA has a kitty waiting to be rescued by you. Do it. It will be God’s gift to your soul to rescue an animal in need of a home. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and your many blessings. And share a little turkey with Merry.

    1. Thank you Stella. I love your name, by the way! Agree to all you so kindly shared with me. We have a new kitty friend – Finn.

  13. Thank-you Robyn.
    The woman’s attitude and outlook can certainly be held up as an example for all of us to consider and measure ourselves against.
    However, I am also impressed with and want to thank-you for being vulnerable about yourself.
    The story, all by itself, would have been great to share with your readers but the inclusion of your own shortcomings and how it taught you once again to consider your own blessings (as we all need to do) instead of your perceived losses (and I am not minimizing them but just measuring them against hers), was risky and I applaud you for doing so. It’s not easy to do that with those who know and love you but, to trust others is an indication of humility, strength, and willingness to grow. And that willingness to trust others is a much needed virtue, so thanks for being brave!

    1. Wow Luke, thank you for your kind and generous comments. T’was a important week in my life, for sure – moving forward in gratitude for life, lessons and the people I meet along the way! Be well!

  14. Very touching and inspiring story to remind us all the real meaning of this wonderful holiday, despite all the marketers doing their best to ruin it with Black Friday nonsense constantly blaring at us. It reminds me of a quote I learned in the 8th grade, “I cried when I had no shoes, and then I met a man who had no feet!” We all, especially in the USA are far more blessed than most of the 7 Billion on the planet, and while gratitude is indeed the highest vibration, complaining/griping must surely be the lowest. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving in Utah, and thanks for all the good information you provide.

  15. Incredible story Robyn – thank you for sharing. You are a good human being and I am so appreciative of the fact that we can work together. Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Robyn, you are a wonderful person. Thank you for the Thanksgiving story, and all best wishes to you for happiness and continuing success as the Green Girl.

  17. Wonderful story, especially at Thanksgiving! But I thought you were going to say that after Merry started drinking green smoothies every day, her MS had stopped progressing and her strength started to return! Wouldn’t THAT have been a Godsend!

    1. Shirley that would be a hallmark movie for sure but we are going to put that intention out there and get her on green smoothies every day!

  18. Robyn…a great tear-jerking story & this would be a good read for your next book writing as someone commented already!!! Thank you for sharing. You are in God’s hands. You are an amazing person. I have purchased some of your things & will be getting your Vibes book too.
    I don’t know the reason for all your legal/court hearings…but I will pray for You & God will take care of this too.
    Sorry to hear of your loss. I never was a fan of cats until my daughter brought one home & I fell in love with little Chloe. My daughter, Paige got her because she was looking to move out on her own & she has brought so much comfort & joy to her as well as a companion.
    God bless you with rich blessings & enjoy your THANKSGIVING!!! Love, Selena

  19. Awesome. We are so blessed to walk and be healthy. I bought your 12 steps to Whole Foods and still studying it. God bless you!!

  20. Robyn, thank you for taking the time to share the story. It did spur me on to more gratitude for my life, my health, my family, all the simple blessings in my life. Keep on. Your work helps so many people.

  21. Hi Robyn,
    My husband who is also my dearest friend and soulmate past away recently after an illness and failed surgery. His passing was tragic in many ways. Although he was 17 years younger than I, it was always clear to me that he would “graduate” first from this earth since he was a master teacher in the area of love, kindness and compassion and transformed many lives by his presence and just showing up in this world.
    With all I know about transitioning from this life one would think this made his passing easier but nothing can really prepare one for this event. It feels as though there is no oxygen left in my life and every breath is hard fought. Like you, I now focus on finding ways to be of service to others and this experience has opened my heart to compassion in a new and quite unexpected way. Staying in a space of gratitude has helped to keep perspective and on my bathroom mirror have pasted the following reminder: “Thank God for what you have and trust God for what you need.”
    Thank you this place for holding a space of gratitude as a shining example of life flowing through you on it’s way to mastery.
    Marysia

    1. Ohhhh Marysia, I am so sorry that you are going through this and that your dear husband is gone. Thank you for commenting and may you heal and be happy again.

  22. Aww Robyn…you don’t even know the power you hold on people you don’t even know. To make someone feel the way you make them feel….just by taking a little time out of your busy life. It means the world to people!!!

    I’m truely grateful for you Robyn. You have changed my mind set in so many ways. You are My High Vibration & I have the utmost Respect for YOU!!!

    Keep doing what you are doing. You’d be surprised how many people look up to you!!!

    Much Love ❤️ to you Robyn!!!

  23. Awesome story. Make it a book. It is a testimony of what God can do. Gratitude is a healer. Helping others is a healer. Thank you for the reminder to be continually grateful to God as we serve others.

  24. Robyn, what a beautiful and well timed story. May we all be grateful at our many blessings. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with family, friends and all that you love.

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