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
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise
Just like moons and suns,
With the certainty of tides
Just like hope springing high
Still, I rise
Excerpt From Maya Angelou poem, Still, I Rise
First, I wish to share the recent honor I received to be a guest on this wonderful podcast Dog Save the People, hosted by John Bartlett with support from a great team that includes, Jack, Maggie, and Scott!
Once you listen in continued support of Hope Has a Cold Nose, I encourage you to listen to other episodes that you can find on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or by visiting
So much good information about organizations and individuals who serve those who serve us humans so unconditionally!
Speaking of unconditional, as I write this month’s update, the two expert teachers – Ginger and Kutana – are basking in the outdoor air beside me, grateful that the humidity has dissipated and in its place are a pleasant breeze and dancing butterflies, and that the only thing they “have” to do today is nap and dream of chasing squirrels and of pointing birds with a raised paw and tail aimed horizontally straight.
In addition to their daily lessons of unconditional acceptance and love, I have been listening to their wisdom regarding authenticity.
Each have innateness unique to their personalities. Authentic to Ginger is her introversion, a more serious aspect in her approach to things. She is someone who puts others first, a desire to please. Among her starting places is a strong sense of responsibility, listening, and not challenging who she believes to be in authority. She also considers herself the office manager when I am working. She is on high alert to keep watch of others who might try to distract me. Like a vehicle or a squirrel getting a little too close to the window out of curiosity. After all, that squirrel might just knock on the window and disturb my meeting or writing!
Kutana is more social and sees interruption as opportunity to do something out of the routine. And, oh, boy, is Kutana observant of anything new, different, and now within her reach! Ginger likes to be a few steps ahead of me on a morning run, but still in close to the next steps of my feet. Kutana likes to blaze the pathways for us three. Kutana’s quick and ever exploring curiosity is the balance to Ginger’s steady patience to not hurry the journey.
Kutana has a serious watchful take it all in dimension to her, but oh does she thrive on every day is a day of joy! Her motto is to live wide open, including periodically treat the house as a racetrack from room to room because mom, I might just spontaneously combust I am so happy I don’t know what else to do! And though Kutana has a deep desire to please, she has a fierce independence, determination, and a need to honor what is innately her true being. She first chooses to listen to her authenticity, then in a close second, but second, listen to others who might be trying to guide her to stay safe or to better actions then she might be currently choosing.
Each have their authentic traits unique to who they are as individual pawed beings. They also have natural tendencies as members of the canine species. For example, there is their love of sniffing new scents to sleuth who has been in their yard since the last time that they walked the parameter. Both love to walk and run outside, especially if the humidity has waved goodbye. And then of course there is their innate traits such as their certainty their only purpose in life is to love people unconditionally.
Even when canines may be at the hands of harm or unwantedness, they keep their hearts full of hope and love.
In that nothing is coincidence way in how I believe life’s moments flow, my husband and I turned on a movie a few nights ago starring John Travolta Life on the Line. Based on a true story, it was about the power company linemen who keep our homes and business functioning with light, often at the risk to their own lives. It was a movie blending joy and sorrow, including scenes of one character who was experiencing PTSD after his deployment.
Though he wasn’t the main character, the movie showcased his emotional distance from his family as well as two scenes in which he attempted to take his own life. I couldn’t help wondering as I watched this movie what others would think when watching it. Would they hold compassion? Or judge? Or not even pay attention, focused on when the next scene would feature the star of the movie?
My husband and I watched this movie, went to sleep, had a storm roll in, and we lost power. I immediately though of the movie and the information shared at the end about the fallen linemen. I thought about who might have left their families at midnight last night to answer their emergency calls that hundreds of homes were now in the dark.
I thought about the anxiety rising in customers who worried of being cool in the abnormal heat and humidity, or the impatient customers because, well, they’ve developed an impatience with feeling out of control. I pondered and reflected if I was holding more empathy for what it takes to restore power having just watched that movie. If I hadn’t watched that movie, would I be more impatient or already trying to move to Plan B or Plan C for that sense of controlling uncertainty? Would I be in the peaceful place I now found myself in if I hadn’t just watched Life on the Line?
Recently I was listening to Neil Pasricha’s 3 Books podcast in his interview with Douglas Rushkoff who, among his books, authored Team Human. Neil and Douglas were engaging in dialogue, and Douglas was sharing about two stories – one from the 1960’s and one from our history approximately four to five years ago. Douglas talked about the power of perception and how quickly people discerned in the 60’s that the story was not true and how more recently the second story, also untrue, was perceived as absolute in facts.
Douglas shared this perspective. People don’t know how to surf reality. They trust the facts and not their soul. Everything is taken literally. There’s no metaphor.
What is our innateness for each of us as individuals?
What is our innateness as humanity?
In our dance of grace between opposites in the flow of life, have we collectively chosen to stop dancing as a team?
Have we chosen to stop listening to our souls?
Last month I wrote about a sacred journey I took to the summit of Mount Adams. It included sharing about one of our teammates who, at the last days, could not join us on the climb. I wrote these words:
He could not join because judgment is in the lead of humanity’s actions and reactions… [he] is now fighting a raging war of collective anger and hate directed from perceptions and emotional pain towards stereotypes and labels…Appearance many are holding as certainty there is no gray nor exceptions nor any other view but absolute.
Innate to our Mount Adams teammate as an individual is his gentle and humble heart, his fierce bravery, his desire to serve. His desire to serve in active duty, as first responder, and for his family, friends, and anyone in need. Most recently amidst all the struggle he is currently moving through, he spoke not what others could do for him and his family, but what he could also do in return: it’s helping others that has always helped me with all life’s obstacles.
What I can’t help thinking most of all is innate to him as an individual is also innate to his
From his soul
Gentleness, humbleness, bravery, a desire to serve others we care for.
Words to describe being human.
From how I choose to see.
A very dear friend reframed my mountain climb experience for me in metaphor for the journey through our current world transformation. You started at the base in anger, you found hope at the top, and you found joy on the way down, for as I sat 9000 feet up processing through my emotions of a very profoundly moving day, a hummingbird (a spiritual symbol of joy) flew inches from my nose left and then back right again.
My continual dance of grace between wishing we could be more like our wise teachers with paws and fur to unconditionally listen not necessarily to always accept, but simply to compassionately appreciate that we might build far more bridges
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. – Dalai Lama
P.S. The Writing of Book 3 has begun! Stay tuned! Hope in the form of a Moose: Inspiring Stories of…
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