In her book Positivity, Barbara L. Fredrickson writes, “As I see it, there are two basic responses to hardship. Despair or hope. In despair, you multiply your negativity. Your fear and uncertainty can turn into stress. Your stress can morph into hopeless sadness, which in turn can breed shame. Worse than this mushrooming negativity, despair smothers and snuffs out all forms of positivity. With positivity extinguished, all possibilities for genuine connections with others are lost. Despair opens the gate to a downward spiral that may well lead you to rock bottom.
Hope is different. It’s not the mirror reflection of despair. Your hope, in fact, acknowledges negativity with clear eyes. More important, though, your hope kindles further positivity within you. Even the most subtle shades of hope can be a springboard for you to feel love, gratitude, inspiration, and more. And these warm and tender feelings open your mind and your heart and allow you to connect with others. So hope opens the gate to an upward spiral that empowers you to bounce back from hardship and emerge even stronger and more resourceful than before.
Some people — either genetically or intuitively — seem to understand the gifts of positivity better than the rest of us. We call those people resilient. They are the ones who smile in the face of adversity, reframe bad events as opportunities, and adopt a wait-and-see attitude about future threats. This doesn’t mean that they never feel bad. They bleed just like everyone else.” Continue reading
I am reading Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming and it is an excellent book. What a journey she travelled from the South Side of Chicago sharing the top floor of a house with her parents and brother to the White House. She remembers being drawn in when she went to listen to her friend Barack, a law student doing a placement where she was a lawyer, speak at a community meeting. He said, “You can live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as it should be.” You can have hope. Continue reading
Oprah said it years ago. And author Rachel Hollis reminded me this week. About gratitude. Daily gratitude. And how it is a game-changer.
So as my kids prepare for the last day of school before summer, I am starting my own mini gratitude movement. Continue reading
Author and activist Glennon Doyle said, “Keep going. That’s all you have to do, ever. You really don’t have to be amazing, or fierce or beautiful or successful or good. Just keep going, please. Slowly is fine. Crawling is fine. No feeling is final. Except hope.” Continue reading
I went to see A Wrinkle In Time with my daughter yesterday and it was magical. I read Madeleine L’Engle’s book as a child but didn’t remember the story. I was so moved by the movie’s message of being a warrior of hope. Of travelling to places that have only been dreamed about. Of fighting the darkness that manifests in people who put you down and judge you. Of being the light and overcoming hurt. Continue reading
Last night I saw the Golden Globes. I always hold my breath for a good speech when I watch award shows. Who will say something that resonates, that makes you think, that makes you cry, that makes you dream bigger?
Then Oprah was called to the stage. She was, as always, authentic, powerful and speaking the truth. Continue reading
This week the movie Darkest Hour will be released. It tells the tale of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in World War II having to decide whether to make peace with Hitler or fight on. So much of Europe had already fallen to the Nazis and Britain almost lost everything at Dunkirk when regular folks in personal boats had to help bring the British soldiers home to fight against the German attack. Continue reading