A Hope for Success

The Tortoise and the Hare, in the Aesop’s Fable by that name, each had a hope for success as they competed against each other in a foot race.  People and, in this instance, fictional animals generally do not enter competitions or races unless they have a hope for success.

A hope for success permeates all society. 

Even before a child is born, most parents hope for the baby’s success in being born a living, healthy baby with ten fingers and ten toes.

And later most parents hope for:  the child’s successful child development, cognitive and educational success, success in making friends, success in spiritual development, success in finding a life partner, and success in becoming a responsible person with a successful career, etc.

As children mature into adults, they begin to assimilate some or all the parent(s) hopes for them, and they develop their own hopes for success.  Therefore, it is important that children, at an early age, learn both how to win and how to lose with dignity and grace.

Children and adults learn a valuable lesson from the fable about the Tortoise and the Hare:  It takes more than self-confidence to succeed.

The Hare was very confident he would succeed in winning the race; but, as we later learn, the Hare’s self-confidence did not help him win.  It was the Tortoise who won the race, and he succeeded in winning by using a steady, stay-on-course, put one foot in front of the other, and keep-on-moving positive, mental attitude.

Henry David Thoreau could have written about the Tortoise when he said:

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

The Tortoise kept the right mental attitude toward success. Thomas Jefferson said:

 “Nothing can stop the person with the right mental attitude from achieving their goal:  Nothing on earth can help the person with the wrong mental attitude.”

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”…Harriet Beecher Stowe

Without a steady, positive, mental attitude, people do not have much hope for success.  Former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot said, “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success.  They quit on the one yard line.  They give up the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.”

There is much evidence that people who keep a positive, mental attitude–a steady, stay-on-course, put one foot in front of the other, keep on moving, never-give-up attitude–are more likely to succeed than those with greater self-confidence and ability who do not keep such an attitude.

If you like this article, you may also want to read:  A Hope from Confidence, A Hope for Moral Courage, A Hope in Failure.

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A Hope in “Just A Minute”

How many times have you heard yourself or someone else say, “Just a minute.”  If given just one more minute, people hope to do a plethora of different things, which they apparently believe can be accomplished in “just a minute.”

I suppose that is why there are so many authors who have written books about what can be accomplished in just a minute:

The One Minute Manager, The One Minute Entrepreneur, The One Minute Millionaire, The One Minute Apology, One Minute Wellness, One Minute Reader, One Minute Bedtime Stories, etc.

So, what is the true value of just a minute?  Simply answered, people are born in a minute, live minute-by-minute, and die in a minute, and the value people place on the minutes in their lives can only be determined by them.

Kevin Welch said, “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read them.  But all that is going to matter is that little dash between them.”

Art Rainer similarly said, “On each grave marker is a dash between two years. The dash is time, and that is where we are, in our dash. And before there is some year placed on the other end, we need to figure this thing out.”

Some authors have tried to help people “figure this thing out” by writing books such as The Power of Now and Be Here Now, etc. These writings are profound; but, very simply stated, the dash between the two dates on a tombstone represent a few or a multitude of minutes filled with hope.  How people use those minutes filled with hope is their choice.

“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.”…Stephen Vincent Benet

“Since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.”…Benjamin Franklin

“The only way to live is to accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle, which is exactly what it is; a miracle and unrepeatable.”…Storm Jameson

“Two things are as big as the man who possesses them–neither bigger nor smaller.  One is a minute, the other a dollar.”…Channing Pollock

“I lose my temper, but it’s all over in a minute,” said the student.  “So is the hydrogen bomb,” I replied.  “But think of the damage it produces!”…Spencer Tracy

“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty-seconds of happiness.”…Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t waste a minute not being happy.  If one window closes, run to next window–or break down a door.”…Brooke Shields

“Time needs another minute.”…Sly Stone

“Man as long as he lives, is immortal.  One minute before his death he shall be immortal.  But one minute later, God wins.”…  E. Wiesel

“I’m terrified about the day that I enter the gates of heaven and God says to me, just a minute.”…Maureen O’Hara

 

 

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For a list of twenty things that can happen in one minute, visit http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2010/01/30/20-things-that-happen-in-1-minute-graphic/.

For those who have seen the movie Forrest Gump, the following YouTube video is the summary of his entire life.  It proves that “Life is but a vapor…here today and gone tomorrow.”  So please enjoy and make the most of the minutes you have.

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Hope Unites Globally – HUG Award Guidelines

PLEASE NOTE:  You should send this post or a link to this post to all those you nominate to receive the HUG Award. 

Please do not change or use another image for the HUG Award Image©.  Please do not alter–by changing, shortening, or adding to–the text about the award and how to share it with others.  Either copy the entire article as it is on this page, or please include a link back to this article, when you post on your blog or share award with others. 

I ask you to please honor this request and help me keep the integrity of the award as originally designed, so that future award recipients will know what an honor it is to receive this award.  Thank you, Connie Wayne

 ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES for HUG AWARD©

Hope is an expectant desire; a confidence in a future event; a ground for trust and confidence; to think; to look forward to with trust and expectant desire.”

The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at A Hope for Today at http://ahopefortoday.com, which promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people.

The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they:  Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness

The HUG Award© recognizes and honors those who help keep hope alive in our current world, which is plagued by war, natural disasters, and economic recession.  They nurture hope, in any of the above areas (in italics),  by the work they do, or in their personal lives with things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc.

The HUG Award© is for anyone, anywhere in the world, who meets the guidelines and wants to be nominated for the award. Please leave a comment on this page if you are interested in receiving this award, or if you would like to nominate someone else for the award.

The HUG Award© is for people who, without giving up or compromising their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, are able to nurture hope and respect the dignity of all people. 

The HUG Award© is for those who, without bias or prejudice, use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.

The HUG Award©is for people who have a hope or an expectant desire that the work or talents they use in things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc., will make a positive impact on the world.

These people do not have to actively use the word “hope” in their work or creative talents.  They only need be conscious of their desire to make the world a better place for everyone.

These people use their available resources–a smile, a hug, a helping hand, a listening ear, a voice, time, money, possessions, education, personality, talent, websites and blogs—to make a positive impact on the world and make the world a better place to live.

The HUG Award© is not specifically a website or blog award.  It can be given to people in your community, at your employment, at your place of worship, etc.  Please make sure they have a copy of these Guidelines, and please don’t forget to submit their names back to this site.

HUG AWARD© IMAGE for RECIPIENTS of HUG AWARD

HUG Award© Image:   Those who receive the HUG Award© may paste a copy of the original HUG Award© image into an Image widget on their website or blog by simply copying and pasting the following image URL into an Image widget:   http://hopesfortoday.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/hug-award1.png.  As the link URL for the image, please insert http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/.

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GUIDELINES for NOMINATING OTHERS FOR THE HUG AWARD© 

1.  If you receive a HUG Award©, you may nominate others who also meet the above guidelines for the award.  You may nominate as many people, websites, or blogs as you want to nominate to receive the award.  I do ask that, upon receipt of the award, you nominate at least one other person.  The award is also not time limited, so you can nominate new people or sites you encounter in the future.  Please try not to nominate those who have already received the award.

2.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTACTING YOUR NOMINEES and telling them you nominated them for the  HUG Award©AND when you contact them…

3.  Please link this page:  When you contact your nominees for the award, please include a link to this page, http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/, so they will have the same information you received about the award.  Then, they also can perpetuate the award by nominating others.  AND…

4.  Please post a comment on this page at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/ with the name and the complete website or blog address of the site(s) or person(s) you nominate.   

5.  If you know, I would appreciate you informing me of the geographical location of your nominee(s) and /or their site(s).

6.  Social Media Sites:  You may also copy and paste unchanged copies of the original HUG Award© and HUG Award© Guidelines’ wording to other social media sites such as Facebook and Linkedin.  You may also print original copies for your personal use for display, etc.

7.  You may print a copy of the HUG Award© Guidelines for people you nominate, who do not have a website, blog, or social media account to which they can paste award and Guidelines.  If they have email, you may email them a copy of the original HUG Award© and original Hug Award© Guidelines.

Thank you for your help sharing HUGs (HUG Awards©) with the people of the world.  Blessings, Connie

The Hope Unites Globally HUG Award© and the HUG Award© Guidelines are the copyright of Connie Wayne – ©Connie Wayne 2012 at http://ahopefortoday.com.  They both may be copied and shared in accordance with the Guidelines established in this post.

 http://ahopefortoday.com

Hope Unites Globally

Free Internet resources and tools have helped me receive early blog confirmations to support my belief that hope unites globally.

“Thank You” to WordPress for providing me a free blog platform, which allows me to know who my blog visitors are.

“Thank You” to the people with different spiritual backgrounds–Buddhists, Eastern and Western Christians, Muslims, Taoists, Yogas, and others–who are either “liking,” “commenting,” or “following” my blog articles.  I consider this as evidence that the language of hope transcends spiritual boundaries.

“Thank You” Flag Counter for the free Flag Counter I recently inserted on my blog.  I consider the stats from The Flag Counter as evidence that the universal language of hope transcends global boundaries.

At the same time I am embarrassed for not remembering where countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia are located, I am humbled that people in countries that far away are reading something I have written about hope.

Even though this website/blog is only about six weeks old, I have met so many wonderful, new blogging friends.  “Thank You” blogging friends.

Thanks to the free Internet resources, tools, and friends I have met, I have been able to learn some of the spiritual and global boundaries, I believe, the “universal language of hope” in A Hope for Today’s articles has crossed.

I am so thankful for the early confirmations of my belief that hope unites globally.  It encourages me to do even more to spread the message of hope to all citizens of the world.

That is why I have created a Hope Unites Globally HUG Award© for people who are embracing and hugging the world with hope.  Be sure to read my next post about the Hope Unites Globally HUG Award©.

I would really appreciate comments from people of different spiritual beliefs about how they also believe that “hope” crosses spiritual and global boundaries.

A Hope in Failure

A hope in failure is a hope that we never give up.

A hope in failure is a hope to learn

from our mistakes, and keep trying to succeed.

A hope in failure is when we “Don’t Quit.”

Please enjoy the YouTube video below of the inspirational poem “Don’t Quit.”

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A Hope in Human Diversity

Because of my love for diverse colors, foods, clothing styles, music, books, art, nature, and eclectic household decor, I believe my life is similar to a kaleidoscope with its many beautiful colors and intricate, changing patterns.

Because I also love learning about different nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities, I wish I could have been a participant in The Human Library Project in Toronto, Canada. about which I recently read.

The Human Library Project was held on November 6, 2010, at the Bloor/Gladstone library branch of the Toronto Public Library, the world’s largest public library.

I wish I could have been among those who used their library cards to check out a volunteer “book” for a half-hour.  I could have had a very personal, one-on-one conversation with several different people from different backgrounds whose lives make good reading.

The first Human Library Project began in Copenhagen about ten years ago.  Its purpose was to help break down prejudice among people of diverse backgrounds.

I believe the Human Library Project and other similar cultural diversity projects may go a long way toward helping people appreciate, accept, and include God’s diverse human creation in their lives.

Children and youth study Biology, Botany, Zoology, Geography, and Astrology in school, which help give them an appreciation and understanding of the diversity in the natural world:  flowers, plants, trees, animals, insects, seasons, stars and planets, oceans, rivers, streams, and geological regions.

As adults most people have learned to appreciate and enjoy diverse foods, which are already included in their diets:  German sauerkraut, Italian spaghetti, Irish potatoes, English Tea, Danish pastry, Swiss cheese, Mexican tacos, etc..

But for some reason, some people still have difficulty appreciating, accepting, enjoying, and including God’s diverse human creation in their lives.

If local libraries and/or schools cannot emulate the Human Library Project, possibly people can find their own ways to educate themselves about human diversity by becoming more familiar with people from different backgrounds.

Some of the people with diverse nationalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds are neighbors, co-workers, or fellow students.  They may welcome an opportunity to share with you personally or share with a group or organization to which you belong.

In my opinion, it is way past time for all people to accept, appreciate, enjoy, include, and actually find hope in human diversity.

A Hope from a Ridge-Pole: Balance

In the book Anne of Green Gables, Anne’s experience on the ridge-pole of Mr. Barry’s house nearly ended in despair and not hope.

Her classmate and rival Josie Pye dared Anne to walk the ridge-pole of the house, and Anne took the dare because she thought her honor was at stake.

Anne told her best friend, “I shall walk that ridge-pole Diana, or perish in the attempt.”  Not long after Anne began walking the ridge-pole, she lost her balance and came tumbling down into the bushes that broke her fall.

Needless to say, ridge-poles should not be used as tightropes upon which only experienced acrobats know how to walk and balance themselves.

They are, however, a good indicator of a house’s condition.  If the ridge-pole of a house is out of line and sagging in the middle, the house is out of balance.  And when a house is out of balance, the doors will not close.

The sagging house condition is remedied when the center sill, which supports the ridge-pole, is raised by placing solid rock between the beam and the foundation.  Then, as the center sill is lifted up, the house falls into place, the ridge-pole no longer sags, and doors open.

When life sneaks up on people and knocks them off-balance, they often look like houses with sagging ridge-poles.  Like the sagging houses, however, their sagging, out-of-balance condition can be remedied.

When people’s spirits are lifted up and held in place by a solid mental, physical, and spiritual foundation, their lives can become balanced, things can fall into place, and doors can open.

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A Hope for Renewal

Many Romans have already started the new year with anticipation and hope for renewal by ridding themselves of the old.

They have done this, not in a symbolic way such as making New Year’s resolutions, but by pitching out the window old things such as clothing, furniture, cracked dishes, and household accoutrements.

Therefore, on New Year’s Eve, many people stayed in their houses or motels for fear of something possibly falling on their heads.

Religions and spiritual concepts teach the value of renewing the mind, spirit, and body.  The new year is an ideal time to make a holistic evaluation of our lives.

It is also an ideal time to start fresh by discarding old, tired, negative thought patterns, renewing our spiritual lives, and initiating healthier eating and exercise  habits.  It is a time to decide what we can do to make ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually fit.

I always have loved the scripture in the Bible from the book of Isaiah, which relates to the renewal of spirit and “mounting up on wings as eagles.”

Now that I am older, I love the scripture even more because I have learned more about the life cycle of eagles.

I loved reading, what is considered by many, a myth about how an aging eagle renews itself during the process of old-age moulting.

Have you ever had nail-biting, hair-pulling, beat-your-head-against the-wall  life experiences after which you desperately needed renewal?

If so, you will enjoy watching the YouTube video below.  The YouTube video was made from a PowerPoint presentation, which has to be read.

You may realize, as I did, that in our older physical and spiritual years, we can renew and “mount up on new wings as eagles.”  We can still fly high and strong and accomplish far more than we previously may have thought possible.

Two of My Neighbor blogs are a health site and a holistic healing energy site.  You may want to visit their sites via the links on My Neighbor page above.

There are also some good My Neighbor blogs for religion, spiritual living, and inspiration.  These Neighbor blogs may help give you some additional ideas to help start your new year in a positive way.

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A Hope from a Hummingbird

The short YouTube video included with this article is a story of hope from a little hummingbird who, I believe, practiced the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

 “Be the change you want the world to see.”

In my opinion, this statement means that each citizen of the world–regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, stature, religion, political inclination, or social-economic status– must do what he/she can do to make the world a better place to live.   Each person can make an impact on the world.

When people want to live in a world of love, compassion, hope, joy, and peace, they begin to internalize and overtly practice and share these qualities.  Then, those people become catalysts for world change.

I hope this video challenges you, as it did me–to always do what I can, even if it seems small by comparison to what others can do.  I will be a hummingbird.  Will you?

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A Hope for a Connected Life: Global Unity

In 1954, Albert Einstein spoke about a hope for a connected life when he said:

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

In the book The Color Purple, the character of Celie had a wonderful epiphany of what a connected life is, when she said:

“One day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me:  that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all.  I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed.”

Like Albert Einstein said in the above quotation, Celie’s epiphany “widened her circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature.”

The Native Americans use a phrase, Mitakuye Oyasinto express the thought that all creation are relatives, and we are all one.  Chief Seattle said, “We are all connected and whatever happens to the Earth, it will happen to the children of the Earth.”  Lakota Holy Man Black Elk said:

 “Peace…comes within the souls of men and women when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the Universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan Tanka (the Creator), and that this center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. explained:

“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny… and for some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.  To reach our potential, we must be mutually supportive of one another.”

To hope for a connected life is to hope for a life connected to the Creator, to ourselves, to all people, to the natural world and rhythms around us.  It is a hope for the oneness of all Creation, as well as a hope to reach our potential by being mutually supportive of one another.


Copied from Moment of Love Website at http://www.momentoflove.org/

The brief statement below reminds us of the common humanity we share with all people in our world. Take a moment to read these words slowly and drink in the beautiful message here. By choosing to focus less on what divides us, and more on what unites us, we can more effectively build a brighter future for us all.


Every person in the world has a heart.

Every heart has a place within that wants only to love and be loved.

Let us connect with that place of love in our own heart

and in the hearts of all around us.

Let us take a moment now to open to the heart connection

we share with all people through love.

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A Hope for Last Year’s Husks

Last year is gone, leaving in its wake a menagerie of “husks,”  

for which there is yet hope. 

“Wherever there are bright new wings, there’s always the ‘husk of waiting’ somewhere in the corner,” says author Sue Monk Kidd in reference to the spiritual art of cocooning.

Life is full of cocoons.  We die and are reborn again and again.

Therefore, there are always discarded “husks of waiting,” in the corners of our lives.  There is hope, however, for the further usefulness of these husks if, instead of leaving them in the corners of our lives, we celebrate them as trophies and give them a place of honor in our lives.

Then, every time we view our husks as trophies, they can remind us of our triumphs, and we can remember what we discarded, created, gained, or learned while we lived in our “husks of waiting.”  We can also celebrate the metamorphosis or the transformation of life that occurred and the new life that emerged from those husks.

“If I have inside me the stuff to make cocoons, maybe the stuff of butterflies is there too.”

Taking Trina Paulus’ quotation one step further, I say, “If I have inside me the stuff to make cocoons and butterflies, maybe the stuff to make trophies from the cocoons is there too.”

Even though cocoons or husks often represent dark or negative times in my life; nonetheless, they were a part of my life, and I try to celebrate and honor all parts of my life by attaching positive outcomes to negative experiences.  That is why I like the idea of transforming husks into trophies.

Here is a short list of “husk of waiting” trophies:

Husk of Mistakes Trophy:  Knowledge emerged from my mistakes.

Husk of Failures Trophy:  Triumph and success emerged out of my failures.

Husk of Shortcomings Trophy:  Self-forgiveness emerged from my shortcomings.

Husk of Sorrow Trophy:  Sorrow gave me a greater knowledge and appreciation of joy.

Husk of Grief or Loss Trophy:  Compassion and empathy emerged from grief and loss.

Husk of Fears Trophy:  Faith emerged out of the husks of fear.

Husk of Suffering and Pain Trophy:  Comfort and/or healing emerged out of suffering and pain.

Husk of Poverty Trophy:  Gratitude emerged out of periods of poverty.

As well as many other people, I still have a few 2011 “husks of waiting” in my life.  In 2012, I not only want to emerge transformed from these husks, but I hope for a day soon when I can drag the husks out of the corners of my life and honor them.

I hope to transform my “husks of waiting” into trophies that serve, in the new year and my new life, as reminders of their meaningful and useful purpose.

Have you learned the purpose for any of your “husks of waiting,” which you are willing to share with readers?  If so, I hope you will share about it in the Comment Section below, or you also could leave a comment to let me know you read and enjoyed the article.

Happy New Year, Connie

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A Hope from a Windchime

I have learned to have awareness and appreciation of the simple things in life that give me strength, peace, and hope for today when I need it the most.

I had such an awareness and appreciation during my recent experience with a windchime.

After my sister suffered a heart attack, I slept on a cot in her hospital room for several days; and, needless to say, I slept very little and very lightly.  Later, while my sister recuperated at home, I stayed with her for several more days.

At my sister’s house I was able to sleep more; but, because I wanted to hear her if she got up during the night, I still slept very lightly.  Amazingly, however, I slept very peacefully.

I owe the peaceful sleep to the neighbor’s windchime, which was like a Tibetan singing bowl that hummed throughout the night, resonating with my spirit, to entrain me into a semi-meditative trance.

Whether awake, asleep, or somewhere between, I was aware of a soothing tranquility that tiptoed into my bedroom and enveloped me with calmness and peace.

The slow, peaceful, rhythmic movement of the windchime created a melodic lullaby that embraced and hushed me to sleep, over and over again.

Somehow I was consciously aware that the windchime mesmerized and held me in its magical sway.  As it lulled me into a calm rest that my body needed, even though my mind resisted, it soothed and hypnotized me with whispers of strength, peace, and hope.

Every night, as a heavenly breeze animated the windchime, it was as if I heard God breathing outside my bedroom window.   The gentle breath of God repeatedly stirred the windchime to make it dance and sing its beautiful, magical lullaby throughout the night.

The windchime faithfully sang every night, all night, like a mother singing a lullaby to her sick child:  “Sleep my child, and peace attend thee, all through the night.  Guardian angels God will send thee, all through the night. “

And every night the peaceful lullaby resonated in my spirit to remind me that I could calmly rest, renew my strength, and have hope for my sister’s full recovery.

The windchime was not as large as the one in the following YouTube video, but it had a smaller, similar sound.  Listen, and you will understand how God used a simple windchime to give me hope for today when I needed it the most.

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A Hope from Winter: More Light

As winter days become longer and more sunlight gradually and slowly returns to the earth, winter is the season of hope. The earth wraps itself in a cocoon of hope and awaits its re-birth in the spring.

In its cocoon, the earth is quiet and appears to be sleeping or resting, but it is not dormant or stagnant.  The earth is still moving and re-generating itself through a metamorphosis of life.

Winter is also the season of hope for many religions and spiritual people, and their winter celebrations are celebrations of hope and light.

Even though they represent diverse spiritual beliefs, these celebrations all have several similarities.  They are events for which people carve time out of their busy schedules to celebrate with their family and friends.

And, during these times of celebration, families and friends often give gifts to each other as expressions of their love, and people are much more charitable to the needy.

These winter celebrations are reminders of humanity’s great need to share more spiritual light with one another.  By sharing more spiritual light, more hope, love and compassion are shared with all humanity.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these winter celebrations of greater light, greater hope, greater love, and greater compassion could last all year?

As more spiritual light gradually and slowly returns to the earth, people will no longer view each other as strangers, but as fellow human beings with the same need for hope, love and compassion.

Regardless of your personal religious or spiritual beliefs, may you be blessed with and share greater spiritual light during this winter season of hope.

I hope you enjoy the YouTube video below called “Don’t Call Me a Stranger.”

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A Hope That Ripples

The following is a wonderful “hope” quotation by Robert Kennedy.  It is about ripples of hope and how they can build into a current to sweep down mighty walls:

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal,

or  acts to improve the lot of others,

or strikes out against injustice,

he  sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,

and those ripples build a current

which can sweep down

the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Please watch and listen to the following, beautiful video about the Ripple Effect.  The Ripple Effect is rooted in the belief that we are all connected by our shared Humanity.

If you enjoy the video, please send or share this article as a Thank You to those who are creating a ripple effect with their lives, words, art, music, work, and humanitarian and volunteer efforts.  They are helping to change our world one ripple at a time!!

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A Hope from Sandpipers: Unity

One must sit and watch sandpipers to understand the hope they manifest for humanity.

Sandpipers scurry along the water’s edge of a sandy beach, and together they magically ebb and flow with the rhythm of the tide.

Then suddenly the sandpipers appear fused together as one large bird, as they unanimously burst into flight. The salty air lifts them to ride in unity over the wafting ocean.

As they fly, they look seamlessly joined and held together by an Unseen Life Force. They lilt and turn as a single large-winged bird; no bird acts alone. They act and move in unity, by one inner knowing or instinct that flows through them all.

The sandpipers overtly display a unity in nature that does not yet exist in humanity.  They secretly challenge people to listen to their own inner knowing from an Unseen Force, which can join and hold them together as one.

The sandpipers model and give people a hope for unity, a hope for oneness.

Enjoy watching the ebb and tide of the sandpipers as they fly and cascade to the ground in the following YouTube video:

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A Hope from a Wisdom Marinade

Amidst all the challenges, choices, and decisions in life, who among us does not hope for wisdom? Wisdom, however, does not always come easily. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people, but many fewer wise people.

Why? Because wisdom is not knowledge learned.  Wisdom is knowledge earned because a person has lived it.

KNOWLEDGE EARNED:  We may often envy other people’s wisdom; but, upon closer observation of their lives, we may not envy what they have experienced to earn that wisdom.

AUTHENTIC LIVING:  Actress Jane Fonda said, “You can’t really be wise until you are authentic.”  Becoming real or authentic is a process, so wisdom is earned by process living.  To earn the knowledge to become wise, sometimes a person must go through a process of pain, suffering, or loss.

In the children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit, by Marjery Williams Bianco, the Velveteen Rabbit describes the process of becoming authentic or real:

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly…”

Author Sarah Ban Breathnach has written much about authentic living, and she said, “An authentic life is the most personal form of worship.  Everyday life has become my prayer.”

LETTING GO:  Again speaking about wisdom, Jane Fonda also said, “Wisdom is knowing what you don’t need anymore and letting it go.”

To become wise, people must be willing to let go of old knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, dogmas, and doctrines that no longer align with their authentic life and truth.  That same wisdom also helps people simplify life by letting go of possessions and relationships they no longer need.

AWE or REVERENCE for the CREATOR:  The Bible offers yet another definition for wisdom:  “The fear (the awe or reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

A WISDOM MARINADE:  Author Marianne Williamson offered a very insightful definition of wisdom when she wrote:

“Wisdom is like marinade. First you take what a book said, or what a teacher said, and then you mix it with your own ideas. Then you add experience and pour in a few buckets of tears.  Add memories of lost love, a pinch of personal humiliation and a teaspoon of deep regrets. Add to that a cup of courage. Leave it to soak for a few years and–voilà!–darn it if you have not become wise.”

Following Marianne Williamson’s advice, I mixed together what I have learned and written about wisdom with what she, Jane Fonda, Sarah Ban Breathnach, and the Bible said about authenticity and wisdom.

Voilà!–a new marinade for wisdom.  I think I will post this recipe, this marinade for wisdom, on my refrigerator door:

A HOPE FOR WISDOM IS A HOPE TO:

1) live in awe or reverence of the Creator

2) live knowledge earned from experience

3) live and let go of what is not needed anymore

4) live an authentic life

5) live personal form of worship and everyday life that becomes prayer

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I hope you enjoy the YouTube video below of Jane Fonda’s interview about wisdom.

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A Hope from Bozo, the Bop Bag: Resiliency

Punch him, slap him, whack him, or smack him, and Bozo the Clown Bop Bag amazingly wobbles back into his original, upright position.

Bozo’s hope for speedy recovery is his resiliency.  No matter how many times Bozo gets knocked down, he springs back up and lands on his feet.

How can Bozo be so resilient?  He is resilient because he has a weighted bottom that helps him stay centered and grounded.

How many times has life punched you in the face, slapped you upside the head, and knocked you down?  If you are like me, you probably learned that resiliency is not always easy during those times.

Like Bozo the Bop Bag, however, we are also designed with a center and an inner stabilizing power.  Our inner power of faith is the weight, the anchor that helps us stay resilient during the difficult times in life.

Find your center, ground yourself there, and cling to the anchor of your faith. Then, like Bozo the Bop Bag, you have hope for resiliency and recovery from difficult times.

The Japanese Daruma Doll is much like the Bozo Bop Bag.  It is a roly-poly doll with no arms or legs.  It has the same resiliency as the Bozo Bop Bag, and it is a special doll for the New Year.  Children can make Daruma Dolls from plastic Easter eggs or old egg-shaped, plastic pantyhose containers.

Simply mix two tablespoons of Plaster of Paris with two tablespoons of water and pour into bottom half of the plastic container.  Fasten the container halves together with tape, and then let children draw faces on them with marking pens.  Parents can use these to teach children about resiliency.

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A Hope for Happy Feet and Dancing Shoes

“Happy Dancing with your shoes, helps you chase away the blues,”

sings purple Barney, the children’s TV character.

As Barney dances to this song, he makes others hope for a pair of happy dancing shoes.

But wait!  Don’t people need happy feet to do happy dancing?  Don’t worry.  Barney teaches how to happy dance with your shoes, but the little, barefoot penguin in the movie Happy Feet teaches how to dance with happy feet.

You and your children can watch both of them dance on YouTube videos.  Between the two of them, they definitely show people how to do some happy dancing.

If these two, awkward-looking characters with clumsy-looking feet can do a happy dance, there is hope for anyone to learn to dance.  So, get ready to let your happy feet do some happy dancing with your shoes.

Barney is not the only one who believes that happy dancing helps you chase away the blues.  There is factual evidence that dancing elevates the mood, because it raises the endorphins in the brain that help heal stress and depression.

Dancing also benefits the heart and cardiovascular system, and it increases lung capacity.  It strengthens muscles and helps with coördination and balance; and, it raises good and lowers bad cholesterol.  There is also evidence that senior citizens who dance regularly cut their risk for dementia by 76%.

So, click your heels together and get those toes to tapping.  You don’t have to know how to dance, and you don’t have to become a social dancer.  You can dance, as a form of exercise, in the privacy of your own home.

Dance is movement, interpretation, and self-expression.  So, just get moving to the music of your choice, interpret it, and express it with your feelings.

You can even use your dance or exercise as a time of praise and worship.  You can dance before God, as David in the Bible did.  Author Marianne Williamson says, “There’s a saying, “Religion is not to be believed, but danced.”  …living our religion in such a way that it becomes a dance, a celebration in which we open our arms and say yes to life.  The point of the spiritual life is that you dance the music God pipes in you.”

As Lee Ann Womack’s beautiful song says, “I Hope You Dance.”   Dance with your happy feet in your happy shoes, chase away all your blues, and get healthier while you are dancing!

I hope you enjoy the YouTube video of Lee Ann Womack singing “I Hope You Dance.”

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A Hope for Wholeness

People who live fragmented lives hope for wholeness.  They may not realize it, but a hope for wholeness is a hope for balance and variety.

The creative work of living a whole, healthy life requires learning how to find balance in life, and balance requires variety, the spice of life.

Even though wholeness is often pictured as oneness, wholeness has many parts.  Each single part is a part of the whole, contributing something essential to the whole.

Life becomes imbalanced when one part of life rules or dominates all the other parts, i.e., “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” says an old proverb.

Use this illustration to visualize a state of balance:  Visualize two children on opposite ends of a teeter-totter as they practice “setting the table”.  The children “set the table” when the teeter-totter balances itself, and neither end of the teeter-totter is up above or below the other.

In order to “set the table”, sometimes the teeter-totter is adjusted to compensate for the difference in the weight of the children.  After the adjustments, each child has to distribute or balance his weight on the teeter-totter to “set the table”.  Then, the “table is set”, and the teeter-totter is balanced.

When life gets out of balance, a person might need to make life adjustments to “set her table” or restore balance to her life.

People need to balance work with play; sleep with activity; sameness with change; structure with spontaneity; social activities with solitude; noise with silence; physical exertion with rest; inside activities with outside activities; and a balanced nutritional diet, etc.

Then, in turn, each of those life parts needs to have its “weight distributed” or balance itself.

I love the Biblical passage from Ecclesiastes that begins , “To everything there is a season”,  because it is a passage about balance, i.e., “There is a time to plant and a time to reap”… “A time to build and a time to tear down”.

This Biblical passage challenges me to ask myself these questions:   “What is it time for now?”  “What can I do to restore balance in my life today?”  “How can I attain wholeness in this moment?”

I and others, who hope for wholeness in life, should daily balance our lives.  The Creator has created a plethora of things we can choose from to holistically maintain our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being or wholeness.

Please enjoy the Byrds singing, “To Everything There is a Season” on the following YouTube video.

“A Hope for Wholeness” article is the copyright of Connie Wayne – © Connie Wayne 2011-2012. All rights reserved.  You may re-post this article if you include my copyright notice and a link back to this article.

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A Hope from The Fabrics of Our Lives

Chenille, corduroy, velvet, satin, seersucker, cotton, and dotted swiss are fabrics of our lives.  It just so happens that these are my favorite fabrics because of their unique textures and the tactile experiences I associate with them.

You may ask, “How can or does fabric have anything to do with hope?”  That is an easy question for me to answer.   Food, water, warmth, and shelter are all comforts in life, and they all give us hope.  Fabric is a less significant comfort, but it also can give us hope.

When I was a little girl, every year at Christmas I received a chenille bath robe; and, to this day, there is nothing more comforting than wrapping myself like a caterpillar in a cocoon of chenille.

Chenille makes me remember my childhood and my deceased parents, and those memories comfort me. Wrapped in  memories, I am enclosed in arms of comfort, love, and hope.

Add the sensual experience of holding, smelling, and tasting a cup of hot chocolate to the chenille tactile experience, and I am in a zone of superfluous comfort.  Suddenly, all is right in my world and my hope is renewed.

For some a comfort fabric is found in a favorite, old ball cap; a ragged old shirt or blouse; a favorite pair of old house slippers; a worn-out pair of jeans; or even a fuzzy, warm blanket or satin sheets.

Because God made us sensual human beings, I believe that everything God created is for our comfort and for us to enjoy.  When we enjoy our sensual experiences, they comfort us; and in our comfort, it is easier for us to have hope.

I am so grateful for all my senses and all the wonderful textures, fabrics, colors, sights, tastes, and sounds in life.  I cannot imagine how life would be without them.  They give me such comfort and such hope.

Take a moment to remember and be thankful for all the wonderful things that have brought you comfort in life, as you watch this beautiful YouTube Video with Aaron Neville singing “The Fabric of Our Lives”.