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Happy New Year and the Magic of Barbra, Lenny, Robert, Roger, and a Grandmother!

I hope you were able to enjoy the holidays and spend quality time with loved ones and friends.

This edition of the Newsletter is focused on how we can have a more creative and satisfying 2024 and in the process, make the world a better place.

I was inspired to focus on this topic while listening to Barbra Streisand’s new memoir, “My Name is Barbra.”(1) The audiobook, read by the author in her honeyed voice, is an epic 48 hours long, while the hardcover book spans 992 pages!

Listening to Barbra, I feel like I have experienced a Masterclass in excellence, creativity, artistic and intellectual curiosity, perseverance, social activism, relationships, dealing with challenges, and truth.

Furthermore, I am energized by her qualities of purpose, passion, vision, courage, integrity, love, and vulnerability.

In addition to the extraordinariness of Barbra Streisand, I also learned a great deal about two other remarkable human beings this year, the late Leonard Bernstein and the late J. Robert Oppenheimer, via the movies, “Maestro“ and Oppenheimer.”

Bernstein and Oppenheimer share many of the positive attributes I describe for Streisand.

To have a finer 2024, how can we embody the characteristics of these three virtuosos to feel fulfilled and also make the world a better place?

Here are Some Ideas:

1. Passion and Dedication–by committing to our passions, we can feel actualized and the fruits of our work can contribute to societal progress.

2. Artistic and Intellectual Excellence–by striving for excellence not perfection, we know we have done our best, and the results of our labor may enhance society.: If you are feeling very stressed, and you are having physical symptoms such as chest pain, head pressure, or other worrisome symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. If all ok, then try this “4-7-8” Mindful Breathing technique popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil, to calm yourself down.

3. Social Activism–Streisand, Bernstein, and Oppenheimer have stood up for what they believe in order to create positive social change. We can, too.

4. Vulnerability and Courage–All three of these brilliant people have shown us that they have/had fears and foibles yet persevered with courage to achieve their goals. We can, too.

In a provocative and different take about how to have a better life in 2024 and also create a more humane world, I leave you with the thoughts of Roger Rosenblatt, an author and essayist, in his Guest Opinion piece in the December 30th, 2023 print edition of The New York Times:

“What if, instead of planning our exercise regimens, we focused our intentions on all that is undesirable in human activity — wars, bigotry, brutality, the despoiling of the earth — and sought to address it? What if instead of making a milquetoast resolution, we made airtight commitments?”

He writes about improving the world one step at a time, and in this way, “selflessness is self-improvement—the most meaningful and lasting kind.”

Finally, let these words from a 93 year old Grandmother to her grandson motivate us to take risks and try something new. He asks her,

“What’s the secret to being successful in your 90s?”

“Just try, dear. So many people are old at 60. They just want to sit all day. You won’t make it to 90 like that. You have to try.”(4)

On that note, I wish you a 2024 and beyond, filled with possibility, passion, love, vulnerability, wisdom, and contribution.

To Your Health,

Dr. Jill



1. Streisand, Barbra. My Name is Barbra. Penguin Random House. 2023.

2. The role the government played in his fall from grace was raised occasionally and in December 2022, the US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm nullified the decision to revoke his security clearance. Business Insider.

3. This Year, Make a Resolution About Something Bigger Than Yourself. New York Times.

4. A 93, Teaching Me About Possibility. New York Times.


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