I heard therapist Esther Perel say in a podcast recently that living in the moment is only feasible when there is a door open to leave that moment if you wish. However, that door was closed countless times during the pandemic which left us sitting in uncertainty and sometimes despair. When would things return to what we remembered as normal? Would that ever happen? Continue reading
Hope. It is such a little word with such big consequences. It allows us to see tomorrow as another day, another chance, another chapter, another path.
We hope that things will work out, that things will get better, that things will go back to normal. Whatever normal ever was. Continue reading
As I sit in uncertainty during these strange times, I came across Desiderata by Max Ehrmann and it reminded me to maintain focus on the good, the possibilities, and the hope for things to come. Desiderata means ‘something that is needed or wanted.’
Ehrmann wrote, “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
It is a still a beautiful world. May we hold on to that thought and live accordingly.
When I drove my two sons from Canada to North Carolina in 2019 for the World Irish Dance Championships, we took a detour on the way home and stopped in Washington D.C. We toured the Capitol and all the monuments and were so impressed with the history. As Bono once said, “America is an idea. Ireland is a great country, but it’s not an idea. Great Britain is a great country, but it’s not an idea. That’s how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history.” Continue reading
It’s my birthday week. And what a year it’s been. A year we never saw coming and one we will never forget. I decided to write a little poem to share my birthday wish. May this be the beginning of a year full of hope, health, happiness and harmony.
My wish for my children is to be ethical and bold
And not always do that thing that they’re told.
By society and friends and the story in their head
Let them live by their hearts and by passions be led. Continue reading
We’ve lost our confidence.
And we spent our whole lives building it. From learning to walk, to receiving our report cards in school, to earning degrees, getting promotions, buying property or taking vacations.
All those activities told us we were doing okay. That we were moving in the right direction.
Then suddenly, all that certainty was gone. People lost jobs. Schools closed. We became isolated in our homes not knowing when we might be able to go back to life as we knew it. Continue reading
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