Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Power of Hope

Hope. Hope is a powerful thing.

According to Webster's:

  • to cherish a desire with anticipation
  • to desire with expectation of obtainment
  • to expect with confidence, trust

I love this quote by George Iles-"Hope is faith holding out it's hand in the dark."

Hope is what's left after discouragement has taken a toll on your soul. I think if hope had an enemy it would be discouragement. Feeling discouraged or beaten down can be a lonely place because it questions the reality of your belief. Discouragement is that "yeah, but" part of ourselves that takes a look at the cold hard facts of an issue. It's the part of ourselves that is the number cruncher, the odds maker.

Hope doesn't care about the odds though. Hope stands up and defies the numbers. In spite of everything that discouragement can throw down to present it's case it's still possible to have hope. Hope is like knowing that someone is in your corner. No matter what punches your opponent can throw you have hope waiting by the bench with a bucket.

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a seminar through the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation. The Dallas area group's coordinator Cathy Ingels enlisted the comic genius of guest speaker Suzie Humphreys. 

Ms. Humphreys was great. She admitted having to Google Sjogren's to learn more about it before speaking but was quick to add that we're all facing something. Whether it's a chronic illness, changing work environment or just life. We all need a good laugh in the face of unfriendly odds.

She ended the session by asking if we had any questions. I was expecting a Q and A session mostly about her time here in Dallas as a local media celebrity. In talking with members she began to learn more about Sjogren's. She was so compassionate about learning more to understand it's challenges.

In true Suzie Humphreys spirit she fired us all up. "What you need is more funding! You need to get the word out! You need someone to stand up and fight with you!" She started a rally.

I have hope. Call me silly but I know if they can grow human ears in petri dishes they can find solutions to many illnesses.

What ever struggle lie in front of you I hope that you can stand up and with faith plunge forward.

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul- and sings the tunes without the words- and never stops at all." - Emily Dickinson


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Don’t re-live the past. Don’t pre-live the future. Live fully in the now. | notsalmon

Love this photo. It looks like she's just given in to that yummy scent of fresh grass and has fallen into Earth's soft blanket. (Click on the link below)

Wander a bit in Karen's site. You'll find some peace if not a kick in the booty to take on the day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Tiara, Football Pads and Night Vision Goggles

One day last week my preen-cess of a niece asked my sister if she would wear one of her preen-cess tiaras to work that day. To appease my niece my sister said yes. In the chaos that is shuffling little preen-cess to school and fighting traffic my sis had forgotten to take her tiara off. She strolled past heavy glances on her way into work and it wasn't until someone complimented her pretty tiara that she even remembered it was on.

That's her story about how the tiara wearing came about. My brother would wager that on some unconscious level she really wanted to wear her tiara all day. And why not? Why not wear something that makes you feel special and confident?

I've been scouring the internet this week looking for clear concise evidence that wearing a tiara has some scientific baring on psychiatric wellness. Sorry gals, I couldn't find anything.

I thought my sis might be able to find a term for it with her experience working in the psychiatric field.
"What would they call that?" I asked her.
"Grandiose?" she replied.
"No...there has to be some term for the way a certain thing can change the way we carry ourselves. Like wearing a great suit boosts your confidence in a big meeting."

I'm still not sure what you call it. I am for lack of scientific proof going to refer to it as The Tiara Effect.

I did learn that the sparky "Wow! I'm wearing a tiara!" feeling is triggered by the same part of the brain that we feel "fright or flight" from. Further digging led to a video describing how Navy Seals are taught to retrain the signals triggered by the Neo-Cortex part of our brain. The power of the mind never stops interesting me.

Having my eyes open wide for ideas to confirm my Tiara Effect Theory I read a blog post on the Positively Positive website by Jason Selk. It is a very good article about his experience being the Sports Psychologist for the St. Louis Rams and trying to turn their thinking around to a winning team. His article Advice On Looking Adversity Straight In the Eye was great. He explained how his approach to his mental game plan that week shifted when he began to see the team as undefeated. He described how different the mind works when looking from a vantage point of having already won. Confidence can be fostered by perceiving success.

This clicked with me. As Selk explained it was his "as if" approach that really turned things around. Act "as if" you already______________. You can fill in the blank. Ask and you shall receive times a dozen.

Wearing a sharp business suit = You're already successful
Wearing a tiara = You're already noble, you've won the crown. ('re a preen-cess)
Suiting up for a big game = You're part of a team

From a winner's vantage point the view is sweet isn't it? Mission accomplished... pageant queen waves...firm hand shakes after big deals made...hats off to you! You winner you!

(Scene from The Big Bang Theory)