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Sunday, January 24, 2010

You Gotta Have Hope!


Welcome!


Today I want to speak to you about something that we cannot live without--hope. Hope is something that the world is starving for. To hold hope in your heart one must nurture positive thoughts.

I believe we make the choice every day to have a positive and hopeful heart. Negativity invites failure. Studies show that people with a high level of hope do better in life, including professional success and well being.

Today I am featuring author Sue Patton Theole, who wrote the book "Growing Hope". Theole writes that there are four factors that have been driving the erosion of hope and the growth of despair.

1) Personal pain and how we deal with setbacks, stress, and tragedy

2) Media mayhem and madness--the constant onslaught of bad, ugly, and violent news

3) Economic iffiness--leaving us feeling economically vulnerable

4) Sandpapered senses, due to the bombardment of constant stimuli: cell phones, noise, black-berrys, to-do lists, too much caffeine and sugar--causing us to numb-out, and/or "blow a fuse"

Theole advises us to find balance in your life and to create a personal oasis. We will be talking about these things in the weeks to come.

Here is an exercise Theole calls:

A PRACTICE FOR GROWING HOPE IN YOUR HEART

"Take a moment now and focus on your heart, allowing yourself to sink into and absorb the love that naturally emanates from it. In the theater of your mind, visualize warm, cool, soft, breezy. . .? Talk to your heart even if you feel silly doing so. Thank it for all it does for you, and ask what it would like you to do for yourself, and the greater good. Pay attention, and accept any insights or feelings that come, or don't come. Simply hanging out with your heart provides a wonderful and potentially healing oasis. Try this exercise whenever you're feeling devoid of hope."

Here is a poem from my unpublished book tentatively named "Waiting for the Rest of Your Life". Enjoy!

This Is Your Brain; This Is Your Brain On Overload!

I obsess, I must confess--
Obsess about obsessiveness!

That tune in my head that plays over and over
The fondness I feel for that dark Russell Stover

Lost for hours shopping in T. J. Max
Searching and pawing through racks and racks

Lying awake at night at 1:05
Figuring out plots from Desperate Housewives

Feeling distracted, my time is not free
With television, laptop, Blackberry, and Wii

Caffeination, frustration, discombobulation
Could I please have a real vacation?

And:

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

--Emily Dickinson


When the world whispers

"Give up,"Hope whispers, "

Try it one more time."

--Author Unknown

Resources:

"A Plan to Make Your Hopes Happen", Judy Jones, September 2009 more.com

"Growing Hope", Sue Patton Thoele, Conari Press, 2004

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