These last couple weeks have been a bit hard.
So, I went on a quote hunt and I found these bad boys.
“Neuroeconomist Paul Zak has found that hearing a story—a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end—causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin. These chemicals trigger the uniquely human abilities to connect, empathize, and make meaning. Story is literally in our DNA.” — Brené Brown
“We have to be continually jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way.” — Kurt Vonnegut
And I just gave up trying to be a real painter and threw paint and things around and made a giant scribble this week and those it is not terribly technically adept (especially when I think of my artist friends’ works), I kind of am okay with it because there is joy under all that chaos.
Right? There can still be joy underneath all the pain and worry, the anxiety and grief. Hope. Sometimes it’s hard to hold onto, but it’s still there, damn it. It’s still there.
In an article for Psychology Today, Karyn Hall writes that when trying to find a path for hope:
“Find a clear path. Being able to see how the steps you are taking will lead to desired change is critical to having hope. If you don’t logically see how what you are doing can have a positive result, then carrying out the plan will likely be difficult. Write down each step that you need to take to get where you want to be. If someone else is working with you, then push him or her to explain how the steps lead to the results you want.
“2. Look for role models who have found solutions. There are many, many people who have overcome tremendous adversity. Reading their stories and surrounding yourself with supportive messages and people can help you build hope.
“3. Do what you know you can do. When you are in despair, taking one step that is out of your routine can help break the sense of powerlessness you have. Make your bed. Cook dinner. Talk to a friend. Take a step you know you can do and that action can make a difference over time. Keep doing it, and then try to add more actions. Overcoming the inertia of helplessness can help you build hope.
4. Perform an act of kindness. Doing acts of kindness can have a dramatic effect on your mood and outlook. Kindness triggers the release of serotonin, so it has an anti-depressant effect. It also calms stress and helps reduce pain.”
For me those things sometimes help. But what also helps me sometimes is:
Getting outside. Just going outside and seeing the world makes me have hope because trees? Trees are lovely.
Getting exercise. I like endorphins. They are my friends.
Remembering the good. Thinking about victory and kindness. It’s not so much about finding role models for me, but seeing how wars have ended before, how pandemics have been dealt with before, how individuals have been brave and good and triumphant.
Creating something. It might be muffins. It might be a poem or a story. It might even just be creating a cleaner space, but tangible things? They help ground me. Even singing in the shower–if I can force myself to do it–can make a different for me, lean me towards hope.
How about you? How do you find hope?
The third book in Rosie and Seamus’s story of adventure, mystery, and death is here!
Sometimes the treasure is not worth the hunt . . . .
When a little boy goes missing on a large Maine island, the community is horrified especially almost-lovers Rosie Jones and Sergeant Seamus Kelley. The duo’s dealt with two gruesome serial killers during their short time together and are finally ready to focus on their romance despite their past history of murders and torment.
Things seem like they’ve gone terribly wrong. Again. Rosie wakes up in the middle of the woods. Is she sleepwalking or is something more sinister going on?
What at first seems like a fun treasure hunt soon turns into something much more terrifying . . . and they learn that things are not yet safe on their island or in their world. If they want to keep more people from going missing, Rosie and Seamus have to crack the puzzle before it’s too late.
To buy it, click here, and let me know! I might send you something!