Published author, leadership and organizational development mentor, inspirational speaker, advocate for cold noses as healers Architecting a social movement of unconditional listening one voice, one story at a time
Dear Hope Has a Cold Nose subscribers.
Hello to each of you.
“The law of attraction states that whatever you focus on, think about, read about, and talk about intensely, you’re going to attract more of into your life.” Jack Canfield
I don’t know his name, though we have talked several times. I know that his wife is earning her degree as a musical therapist and that he is working two jobs. I know that each time we exchange in dialogue, he asks about the progress of Hope Has a Cold Nose. He shares how he looks forward to reading the stories. Most recently when he asked about the progress, I shared that I had eighteen stories. I have a goal of twenty to twenty-two, as that is symbolic given the statistic, I further said. The look on his face communicated that in each of the times we had talked, the significance of twenty to twenty-two had not been part of our conversation. My face flashed that I was surprised it was a statistic he didn’t know. When he asked, and I answered, once again his face communicated an effort in trying to absorb that twenty-two individuals reach a point daily in which choosing to live feels much harder than choosing physical death.
As I reflected more on how this gentleman was not aware of the suicidal rate for veterans, I began thinking about three personal guiding principles. One is in respect to how I believe our thoughts act as a magnet to draw in more of what we focus on. A second one is in respect to nothing is coincidence and there is purpose in everything that takes place, including pain, trauma, and tragedy. And the third is that we learn best through opposites. I anticipate in previous messages I’ve talked about how we cannot fully know such things as joy, or hope, if we don’t also have intimate experience with sorrow, and the weight of feeling there is no hope.
Very recently someone dear in my life passed on information to me about a non-profit who provides financial assistance to families whose pet faces a cancer diagnosis. This organization assists with such things as paying bills for biopsies, amputations, medications, growth removals, and they will pay 100% of medical costs for dogs in shelters. Without the sacred privilege of knowing the full details of what founded this organization, their words we assemble “Roo Cancer Care Packages” which contain items Roo loved during his diagnosis speak volumes about giving purpose to what I can only imagine was one of the greatest losses. Their purpose speaks of hope, and it speaks not of an ability to eliminate cancer, though this would be a wish we could all hope for. Their purpose speaks of meeting life in how it brings that which we cannot always influence or control, looking pain and grief in the eye, and compassionately being there not necessarily with a capability to fix, but with a lifeline that says you do not walk through this pain and fear alone. This organization: https://livelikeroo.org/ cares dearly about every dog and their humans on their journeys to fight against canine cancer. Their focus is not on how much cancer exists in canines, but on what small part they can play in assisting in the fight.
There is a balance between waging a fight against the “enemy” that has caused the pain and looking for purpose and possibilities that communicate the tragedy did not happen in vain. In the wise words of a sage who crossed my path many years ago when I could not shake the tragedy of a news story I had heard. Chris, everything that happens – good, as well as tragic – is planned. If you make a positive change in your life because of this accident – perhaps you drive slower when the roads are icy or you express love more frequently – you will give purpose to why this accident happened. You will make it matter that it did.
If you visit my web page https://www.hopehasacoldnose.com, you read the words: my perception is the world needs hope. Each time I hear or read about another life synonymous with suicide, my heart searches for what else can be done to help those who are reaching a point in which the pain to live is too great. And then I think about the eighteen co-authors thus far of Hope Has a Cold Nose, whose personal testimonies of pain, trauma, sorrow, despair and…hope are the “Roo Cancer Care Packages” for others. Each co-author has found that their best friend in fur has not eliminated the pain, grief, or fear; each co-author has found an unconditionally loving and non-judgmental support system to look their pain and grief in the eye and whisper you do not walk through this pain and fear alone.
I can’t help wondering, if we were to focus our energies on what small part we can positively play in assisting those on their “fight” against pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair, and we started to highlight more how many individuals find hope and something to live for, would we begin to draw in more hope and reasons to live? I have shared this perspective with people before that if we wake up believing it will be a great day, we have set the intention to look for everything great about the day, even if it rains. Our eyes, ears, and mind are focused on finding all that is good in the day. Exactly the opposite that if we wake up certain it will be a bad day; we look for every reason to affirm that it is. If we look for more stories of hope, will we find more people who are hopeful? If we utilize the stories of suicide to fuel what we could do in opposition to the enemies of hopelessness, what might we create that ensures these losses were not in vain, and ultimately reduces twenty-two to zero?
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates
Eighteen stories are complete and or in process for the manuscript of Hope Has a Cold Nose. The goal is to have twenty-two stories. Feel free to share this email and encourage others to subscribe to updates regarding the progress of Hope Has a Cold Nose to its published state by visiting either link below. If you know of someone that would like to share their story for Hope Has a Cold Nose, please have them contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, with deep gratitude and awe, I am pleased to share that I have a formal agreement with the Wing of Rehabilitation, a branch of the Israeli government, in which they are supporting the writings of twenty Israeli veteran stories of hope that they can share with veterans they service in Israel. My intent is that on this journey, I can further learn from Israeli veterans their experiences and words of wisdom I can share with veterans in the United States, for the current suicide rate in Israel is next to zero. The search for, and the discovery of, hope does not have boundaries; it is Universal. It is an essence of humanity’s ability to flourish. Or not.
What small part can I play in assisting in the fight against pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair? Hope Has a Cold Nose and perhaps Hope Has a Cold Nose volumes I, II, and III will guide the way.