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Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson
Hey Detourists! I HOPE you’re enjoying the last few weeks of 2017.
The Importance of Hope
HOPE is a strong word. In one of my favorite posts, Hard Core Survival Skills You Can’t Live Without,I discuss my “four hard core survival skills.” This is basically my recipe for resilience.
One of those skills is essential in making it from day to day: HOPE.
Hope is a job. It has to be actively created in difficult times, and it may be very hard to find. Sometimes, we need to lie to ourselves to create hope. It’s a fabrication, a willing suspension of disbelief, and a willingness to trust in something that isn’t there. As hard as this may be sometimes, without hope, we have nothing to hang onto.
And if we don’t hang on, how will we ever know if things can get better? This week, create hope yourself.
Here’s my HOPE HACK for the week:
Make creating hope a fun challenge…
Did you know that Green Egs and Ham by Dr. Suess was created as the result of a bet? Seuss’ editor challenged the author to write a book with 50 or fewer words used over and over again. That is how Sam-I-Am came to be!
Your Challenge: This week, be like Dr. Suess. Give yourself a time limit, or a restriction like a word count. And create something. Sometimes, limits are what we need to thrive. You can always download my free e-book of creativity exercises for that.
A Limit for Hope?
Limits and deadlines work! According to a study by MIT Sloan School of Management and INSEAD Business School, setting self-determined deadlines for completing a project improves task performance and decreases procrastination. Simply give yourself a set amount of time to finish a task. Sometimes, HOPE takes a bit of pressure to be created!
HOPE HACK #2: Another way to create hope is the look to the world of nature – a world of limitless, endless inspiration. You can discover some of my favorite ways to find hope in nature here, and also check out my post How to Lose Your Limits, Discover Magic and Love Your Detour.
Finding Hope When You Need it Most
When trauma left me dead inside, I turned to the world around me to find the life in it to bring life into myself. Open your eyes and look around you. Hope lives in the most uncanny places.
Now, here’s the dictionary definition of hope:
Hope means creating something when it’s not there. It may not be real, substantiated, material fact or proof, but it’s the tangible fuel that keeps us going from one day to the next.
HOPE HACK #3: Blogging/Reading/Writing/
Blogging: Starting my own blog opened a world of entdless inspiration. Even just journaling your thoughts helps!
Reading: How about a kid’s book? “The Soul Bird” is a wonderful children’s classic by Michal Snunit that has always kept me in touch with the awe-filled wonder that I love about being a kid. Is there a certain story that struck you deeply at a young age, that you always remember? I would love to hear some other suggestions!
“Not Just for Kids: The artsy, soul-filled motivation you need today. “https://amyoes.com/2016/10/
Journaling: If you’ve had a stressful month, art journaling is a proven, easy and inspiring way to find yourself again – the less of an artist you are, the better! Here’s the trick to getting started, and how it saved my life after trauma – https://amyoes.com/2016/11/
What do you need to hope for this week?
Book Updates and Hope
Sometimes, it’s hard to have hope at all. In an old journal, I found a passage of how hope enabled me to survive:
“A few surgeries later doctors told me once again, to just stop eating and drinking altogether. That’s the phase of my life when I became obsessed with cooking. so I could still have contact with food. When I couldn’t eat, my favorite thing to make was deep dish pizza. Staying connected to food made me feel again – even though it hurt and was terribly difficult. The smell of my pizza cooking in the oven made me cry, and the tears felt like home.
Maybe those tears are what gave me hope that one day, I really would be able to eat again.
Cooking gave me hope that one day, food would once again be part of my life.”
Sometimes hope can produce beautiful treasures. Back when I couldn’t eat (for one of the many times), I would spend my mornings cooking and the afternoons locked in my art room to pass the time. Let’s just say there were many edible and paintable creations from all of those years!!!
HOPE HACK #20000: Here’s a fun way to cultivate hope: LAUGH! Check out my post: If Humor is the Best Medicine, Here’s Why You’ll Love Being Certified in it.
Theatre Creates Hope Too!
Writing my one-woman musical Gutless & Grateful gave me hope through hard times. Thetare can be the biggest a lifeline in transforming trauma.
Why? Because sometimes it helps when we hear the stories of others. They give us footprints to follow.
The best Hope Hack of All
Here’s the secret: sometimes, we find the most hope when we hear someone else’s story. Today, think about any “detour” in your life. Think of ONE person that you met, just because of that detour.
Today, thank that person, who you never would have met, had your path been straightforward and simple.
Have a great weekend and happy, bumpy travels, Detourists!
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
― Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
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