Fall is truly one of my favorite times of year. The brilliant colors, the sound and scent of the leaves as I walk upon them. Being so present in the moment with all the beauty around me. Then the process of letting go as the leaves begin to fall. I hope each of you have stopped once in the fall to watch a leaf gently fall from the branch to ground. It is truly one of my favorite mindful moments. I feel so fortunate to live in a state where we have the four seasons. Each season brings fresh insights and awareness as well as sensory delight. For many of the women who enter here, letting go can be a challenge. Letting go of their substance use and other life patterns that no longer serve them is never easy.

I too have made the decision of letting go. It is time for me to move out of my role of Executive Director and begin to have more time for my family and myself. My family has been very supportive and patient of my work in making this happen. There were times when I thought it would never come to be and I wanted to give up, however when you are given a calling you cannot give up. The journey of Mahala’s Hope has been so humbling and rewarding and everything else in between. All of the people who helped me along the way by listening to a vision of how treatment for women can be different and a much richer experience for them. How we can incorporate nature daily, as well as other components that are not in traditional treatment settings which can truly be trauma responsive in a safe and supportive setting. To bring this vision to fruition and see that it really does work and creates a better treatment experience for those that come here. In the very beginning, one woman said to me, “thank you for following your dream so I can follow mine.” I will never forget her or that statement, it still hangs on my bulletin board. Our actions will impact others, it is up to us to choose in what way. I am truly a different woman today due to having been inspired by each of the women and their families. The courage it takes for a woman to enter treatment and begin her journey runs deep.

The Board of Directors and staff will remain strong as the search for the new Director is taking place. I want to thank each of you for being a part of my journey. You might be a donor, volunteer, staff past and present, friend, or family, and I could not have done any of this without you. Please know I will keep you in my heart for who you are and all you have done. To all the women and family members, I wish only the best for you. I will always remain a part of Mahala’s Hope.

May you be at peace. May you be happy. May you be safe. May you be free from pain and suffering. May you awaken to the light of your true being.

In deepest gratitude,
Sandy Hardie