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,
First and foremost, may each of you and those you hold dear continue to be wrapped in health and well-being during our current time.
There are only two ways to live your life. One as though nothing is a miracle. The other as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein
When I wrote last month’s update with the opening statement before a multitude of countries began temporarily closing, I didn’t anticipate that a month later the stay-at-home orders would remain in effect and the world as we have all known it now finds itself in a collectively large arm-wrestling match between uncertainty and hope.
Last month I shared my perspective that in this significant time of uncertainty for so many, I feel peace – and hope – in a certainty that we are healing as Earth and as humanity. I feel that now more than ever, it is time for the co-authors of this book to share their stories, for they will not only fulfill a mission of helping their Brothers and Sisters who may be struggling. Their stories of hope and resilience will inspire the world as the world begins the collective journey of healing its pain.
Over this past month, this feeling only deepened that the storytellers in Hope Has a Cold Nose will inspire the world as the world transforms through the isolation it is now experiencing. As I heard the pain of isolation these veterans have known, I could not help thinking that compassion for and understanding of invisible wounds will grow; these veterans can – and will – be a testament in how to overcome.
I am an alumni of Gonzaga University, and over this past month they have been facilitating exceptional webinars to foster connection and community, to inspire faith and hope, and to rally change agents to help create new beginnings for the greater good of humanity. One webinar was by the Dean of Education, Dr. Yolanda Gallardo. She shared much wisdom in her words about community centered hope, or said another way, the focus is we’ve got this, not just I’ve got this.
Dr. Gallardo spoke words as if she could read my heart. What gives us hope is a sense of purpose. Our stories are connected in this moment. Our stories have always been connected. Actions are important but sometimes just listening to someone else is a huge gift. As Dr. Gallardo shared a very personal journey that she is on with her family, and more specifically her father, she spoke of the gifts we receive in the hardest of times. A deeply sorrowful and deeply beautiful time. This time we are in brings the level of hope to an entirely different place.
There have been enduring practices of hope for years. Dr. Gallardo used examples of hospice care, health care workers, teachers, and paramedics. There have been enduring practices of hope for years, but we don’t talk about that a lot. How can we…keep the conversations going with those who have engaged in enduing practices of hope?
I would add, how can we keep the conversations going with those who have engaged in enduring years of service for us? How can we as a collective community engage in conversations of hope? As Dr. Gallardo so eloquently communicated at the end of her talk: we are living in a moment of unity. Let’s grab onto it and do something with it.
Recently I heard someone speak this: every experience I have had has prepared me for this moment. No truer words for me as I write this month’s update. It is in deepest gratitude to twenty-two extraordinary storytellers bravely willing to share their trust, their hearts, and their biographies with me – and with you, the future readers – that I share the manuscript for Hope Has a Cold Nose is now complete. The manuscript has now begun the first formal step towards publication. Yes, Hope Has a Cold Nose is on its way to being available as the book it has been meant to be!
Meant to be. I am someone who believes that every moment offers us a sign if we are open to receiving it. Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her book Eat, Pray, Love: But I was always coming here. I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand, exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen. I was given a sign to create Hope Has a Cold Nose, and through many steps along the journey in the past two years, the signs have continued to communicate “keep going”.
I will close with this sign that affirms for me that the world needs these twenty-two extraordinary stories you will find in Hope Has a Cold Nose.
One day a few weeks before we learned my soulmate in fur, Roo, had cancer, she and I went for a run. It was mid-morning, and we encountered an owl in a tree who spent a few minutes talking with us. Whhhhooo Wwhhhoooo Wwhhooooo it communicated as I held sacred awe at the miracle of this encounter during the daylight. After a few minutes, this beautiful wise majestic soul outstretched its wings and flew over Roo and I so close, I could have reached up and touched its wings, or so it felt.
Fast forward to the week after Roo left Earth, and I found the courage in my pain and sorrow to go to this same spot on the trail, a trail that held abundant memories of my running partner, soulmate and teacher of my own personal hope and faith. Before I did, I had asked Roo to send me a sign affirming my belief that death is not an ending, nor goodbye. I stood at this spot where Roo and I had integrated with this beautiful, wise, majestic soul, tears flowing down my cheeks, to then look up and witness the owl fly into the tree by where I stood.
Ever since these two significant moments, the owl has held a very special and deeply personal meaning for me and is a very powerful sign for me to affirm “keep going”. I could share many significant moments in my life in which the owl has appeared since those two days. Let me share just two more.
Fast forward to the day I announced the publication of my first book and a run I decided to take in celebration of that significant achievement. It was mid-afternoon. I can now “hear” you exclaiming what you know you are about to read. Yes, at the same spot on the trail, I paused at what had become a sacred spot for me. After a couple of minutes of stillness sending thanks into the Universe for the gift of Roo, and an owl flew through the trees towards me. I knew Roo was happy that I had given purpose to her cancer and to her and my collective story.
Fast forward to yesterday, April 24, at 3:30 p.m., just prior to hitting “send” for the manuscript to begin its journey to a published state. I stepped outside with our puppy and then I heard a voice. A beautiful, wise, majestic soul whispering “yes!” in its Whhhhooo Wwhhhoooo Wwhhooooo.
Hope Has a Cold Nose is a book meant to be.
Truly it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us. – Meister Eckhart