Hope is a GOOD Thing!

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I’ve been thinking a lot about HOPE lately, and my past and present feelings about it.

I used to be quite a tentative “hoper.” I would hear all the time AND say to myself frequently:

“Don’t get your hopes up!”

But I have a new attitude about HOPE recently.

My thought is that life is scattered with hopeless moments. There are times when you wish you had even a fragment of something to look forward to. Those are depressing times. I’ve lived those times… OFTEN, and far too recently.

I’ve decided that when I finally have something to actually hope for, DANG IT – I’m going to get my hopes UP! I want to stand on the rooftops and shout it out! “I HOPE!!” I LOVE how I feel when I am HOPE-FILLED.

It feels SO GOOD!!

Sure, what I’m hoping for might not actually happen.

Often I end up being disappointed, and that’s my forever excuse for not being hopeful in the first place. But isn’t it worth it to just allow yourself to feel joyful with HOPE? At least for the precious time to wonder and imagine that maybe something GOOD is about to happen? It is in our moments of hope when our imaginations soar. We see life as an endless sea of possibilities! It’s such a wonderful place to be… even if only for a fleeting moment.

At least you HAD that moment. You felt it. You held it. A moment to raise your face to the sun and smile, grateful for the feeling… because for so long you have felt such void of hope.

And because you allowed yourself to feel that hope, maybe you’ll allow yourself the treat of feeling it again.

I know I will.

It’s a wonderful place to be.

“Hope is a good thing,” Stephen King writes in Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. “Maybe the best of good things.”

I totally agree.

 

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The HOPE & SUPPORT Challenge – for Suicide Awareness Month – WHO’S WITH ME?

2878660a0be6531e2b579500927cf379One of the most fundamental reasons why I call my business “Create-A-Way” is to communicate to others that there is always a WAY. There have been painful times in my life when I felt totally STUCK, even in recent years. Struggles are overcome and new struggles take their places.

It’s just life.

We ALL go through times in our lives when we need encouragement. Sometimes EVERY DAY.

So I suggest a CHALLENGE for September.

Send a piece of snail mail to at least one person every week this month (starting today) who you know is having ANY kind of emotional stress. It can be a Facebook friend (message them and ask for their address), a loved one, or maybe even an acquaintance (does someone at work/school seem depressed/overstressed lately? Leave an anonymous supportive note on their chair).

Why send/give a physical note or snail mail? An email or an electronic message or even a text is too quickly dismissed. It might make them smile for a moment, but sending a letter or card or even a postcard means SO much more. It means you care THAT MUCH MORE, and you are SERIOUS about sending them your message of support and love. A physical note can be kept as a memento. It can be tucked into a journal or under a pillow. It can be treasured.

Please leave a comment as a way to mark your commitment to the challenge to send a message of love and encouragement to someone you care about. Even if you only do it once this month… BRAVO.

And if you’re reading this post AFTER/BEFORE September, I challenge you to send that snail mail to someone TODAY.

Trust me… there is always someone around you who is in need of a little emotional support.

My Arizona Adventure Story ~ Hope and Faith Rewarded

I have recently returned from a miraculous trip. I flew to Arizona from Cleveland, OH chasing a dream with nothing in my pocket but hope and faith. My husband cared for our two young kids (ages 5 and 3) while I was gone for the weekend to attend an Artist’s Way workshop facilitated by Julia Cameron in Sedona, AZ.

The workshop was merely an excuse for the trip. The real purpose for going the distance was to meet with Julia Cameron (creator/author of The Artist’s Way) to gain her basic support for a book I am writing which highlights her work in a big way. This book is a concept that has been brewing for a couple years and this spring the vision finally became clear – not only how to write the book, but how to gather support from others in order to assure its success and publication. Connecting with Julia Cameron in some way was essential.

Regarding meeting with Julia Cameron, I was warned not to expect too much – that sometimes she doesn’t even do book signings, let alone speak one-on-one with some stranger in her workshop. Nevertheless, I followed my instinct that this was the ideal way to meet my goal to talk briefly with Cameron, having exhausted every conventional way to get in contact with her.

On the long flight to Arizona, all I could think was “I will either return highly disappointed, or with the greatest success story of my life

Me and Julia Cameron

so far.”  By the end of the weekend, I was elated to know I was returning with a testimony! Not only was I given the chance to talk briefly with Julia and present my materials and a couple gifts to her, but I also had the rare opportunity to have a brief (recorded) interview with her as research for my book. JACKPOT!

Getting back home to Cleveland, I felt as if the weekend trip was a dream. I wanted to SHOUT it from the mountaintops. I felt I was coming home with PROOF that when you follow what you feel with all your heart (I think of it as following God’s lead), miracles happen and our faith is rewarded. Sometimes it’s a long journey to find that reward. This particular journey was an expensive one – an investment. Now I just have to finish writing the book! I feel God saying, “OK, I’ve done my part to help you out. Now it’s your turn!”

I hear you, God!

I have many friends who are in an opposite stage of their lives, feeling stuck and hopeless at times. I want to reach out and hug my dear friends by sharing them my story of hope and faith rewarded. From Sedona, I sent postcards to my dearest friends and family, writing messages of hope and happiness. I felt like Andy Dufresne (Shawshank Redemption) writing that note of hope to Red, encouraging his friend to not give up: “Remember… hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping this letter finds you, and finds you well.”

My note to anyone reading this: Don’t give up on your dreams. They will never give up on you.

“I find I am excited, so excited I can hardly hold the pencil in my trembling hand. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man starting a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain….
… I hope I can make it across the border.
I hope to see my friend and shake his hand.
I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams.
I hope.”

Stephen King, “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” – from short story collection, Different Seasons.