41.88425° N, -87.63245° E
42.277927° N, -85.58176° E
In twenty-nine diverse neighborhoods that hosted 40,000 diverse running souls, in the restaurants of River North, and on such streets as Jackson Boulevard.
The Bank of American Chicago Marathon.
I, along with one of my best friends, joined approximately 39,998 other runners through a cheering section that would rival the best Super Bowl half time shows ever created!
A heart of America’s land.
Some spectators may have been at a sideline for their vested interest in a specific runner. And yet. Partiality wasn’t present. Only Acceptance. And Sincerity. And Genuine Celebration. And Care. Voices holding the signs of a face or name of runner were the same voices that cheered you’ve got this to thousands of pairs of running shoes making their way past where they stood.
Some spectators were there simply to encourage a group of “crazy-minded” or “adrenalin junkies” or “inspiring” individuals who felt drawn to run twenty-six and point two miles on a chill in the air Fall Day among the tall skyscrapers and historical homes of a “Windy City”.
When volunteers and police officers were thanked, they responded with thank YOU.
To forty thousand “invaders” of their home?
The tones spoke the attitude.
We runners were forty-thousand guests.
Though the person who coined Chicago as the “Windy City” was spot on when they did, from what I experienced, the W could begin the word
In the starting place of our hearts.
A few years ago, when I was earning my MA, I remember a professor who further awakened my starting place heart about how our heart exists not only in our chest, but that there is a heartbeat felt in our stomachs and there is a heartbeat in our brains. It is one of my favorite feelings when I begin meditating to put my hand on my stomach and feel the heartbeat that greets my hand back.
A heartbeat at our cores.
From an article titled The Heart has its own Brain and Consiousness written by Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., Raymond Trevor Bradley, Ph.D. and Dana Tamasin, BA,
Most people think of social communication solely in terms of overt signals expressed through language, voice qualities, gestures, facial expressions, and body movements. However, there is now evidence that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or “energetic” communication system operates just below our conscious awareness. Energetic interactions likely contribute to the “magnetic” attractions or repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social exchanges and relationships. Moreover, it appears that the heart’s field plays an important role in communicating physiological, psychological, and social information between individuals.
Experiments conducted at the Institute of HeartMath have found remarkable evidence that the heart’s electromagnetic field can transmit information between people. We have been able to measure an exchange of heart energy between individuals up to 5 feet apart. We have also found that one person’s brain waves can actually synchronize to another person’s heart…The results of these experiments have led us to infer that the nervous system acts as an “antenna,” which is tuned to and responds to the electromagnetic fields produced by the hearts of other individuals. We believe this capacity for exchange of energetic information is an innate ability that heightens awareness and mediates important aspects of true empathy and sensitivity to others Furthermore, we have observed that this energetic communication ability can be intentionally enhanced, producing a much deeper level of nonverbal communication, understanding, and connection between people.
It is 14 days later since my weekend in Chicago, and I am still thinking of the individuals my path walked beside who did not have homes they would be going to in their foreseeable futures. Grace. Dignity. Non-judgment. Respect. I wish you well. All these elements their electromagnetic field transmissions seemed to convey. They held a cup they hoped would collect silver or green, but they never acknowledged it in their hellos, have a good day, how are you today? greetings. Individuals of humanity whose paths intersected for seconds and in those brief moments, the only thing present was I see you. Let’s see each other.
A few days after the race, in that nothing is coincidence way that I believe life flows, my mom sent me a link to this story by Steve Hartman. My mom did not yet know how much I was touched by the homeless gentlemen who I crossed paths with in Chicago. This article an affirmation of Grace. Dignity. Respect. Let’s see each other.
I recently read an article written for Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper I’m a Death Doula. These are 10 Lessons I’ve Learned About Living from the Dying by Diane Button. Among her lessons she’s learned includes these.
Lesson No. 1: The ordinary is everything. A client who had traveled the world and dined at countless impressive restaurants recently shared with me what she was going to miss the most when she dies: her morning bowl of steel-cut oatmeal, the sound of birds, and conversations with her daughter. Over time, she came to understand that a truly joyful and meaningful life includes quiet time, a healthy lifestyle, plenty of sleep, a spiritual practice, everyday acts of kindness, time shared with others, and fewer material possessions.
Lesson No. 10: Show up and finish well…But there is another equally dynamic and relevant aspect of life that my clients consistently reveal as a major component of a meaningful life. It is often expressed as a question: Did my life matter? Did I make a difference? Is the world a better place because I was here?
Mother Teresa guides us to “do small things with great love.” It’s about everyday acts of service. If you are willing to show up, you can make the world a better place. If you can offer someone a smile, you can make the world a better place.
How are you showing up?
What is the starting place of your heart when you do?
In the Angels sent to walk this Earth with us.
Like the owner of Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo. Dean Hauck.
Divinely put on my path not just for her wonderful support of both of my books in her bookstore. Each time I have the honor of talking with her voice to voice or in person, she ALWAYS is the messenger of the words I am in most need of or most meant to hear. She is a role model in her words of wisdom and in her grace in how to have a heart of gold for others without diminishing one’s own worth and joy. Like her words carrying a meaning similar to this: Life is too short to be sad for the choices others’ make. You need to focus on what you are meant to do. She is exquisite in her dance of grace between opposites, I am inspired by her humility and generosity along with a willfulness of spirit and self-respect. She is a pillar for fostering and maintaining belonging in community and a lighthouse shining the power of written words. Though her encouragement that affirms it is time to put serious priority on book three has me walking out of her door feeling invincible in what calls me as writer and author, it is her presence that has me walking out her door feeling in awe that I just spent minutes with an angel that walks the Earth among us.
Listening to the whisper that keeps growing louder and louder. IT IS time for creating book 3. After all, I’ve started a pattern of publishing a book every four years after embarking on two-year adventures writing manuscripts; 2024 is fast approaching for the next publication. That means the balance of this year and 2023 is…Between the Dash here I come!
What is Hope to you? I would love to read and hear your thoughts. I’d love to share them with others via email or on my web page at HOPE IS | -Hope Ascends (hopehasacoldnose.com). I welcome your handwritten messages or drawn pictures to the address below. Or feel free to email me.
P.O. Box 327
Gobles, MI 49055
ATTN: Hope Is
26.644588° N, -81.8651° E
I am blessed to have a dear soul come into my life in the past few months, and as I have gotten to know her, I learned about her living in a home just a short distance from the path of Hurricane Ian. Recently she sent me a video of the heartache far and wide that Florida now experiences and among her words were these. So many buildings are down that now you can, once again, look across and see the Gulf of Mexico and on the other side, the bay.
As I stepped through my empathy, I was reminded of words I recently heard retold from something written by Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison says when she writes about water memory. She says, “You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places to make room for houses and livable acreage. Occasionally, the river floods the places. ‘Floods’ is the word they use. But in fact, it’s not flooding. It is remembering, remembering where it used to be. All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.”
Mother Nature. More powerful than all of us fortunate to walk among her trees, mountains, and lakeshores.
I began my dance in grace between opposites. I danced in grace between my heart that went out in compassion and empathy to the gentle, sweet, fiercely determined and resilient runner my friend and I talked with before the Marathon start whose home and boat were part of the footprint Ian had left in his stomp through Florida. Yet, in a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles movie kind of way without the humor, this dear soul was not going to let what life had brought her unexpectedly to hinder her will to run her first marathon she had trained long and hard for. She was choosing to say in response to a storm blowing in the power of doubt with are you sure you can do this? with her certainty, WATCH ME! I AM ABOUT TO DO JUST THAT!
And on the other end of the pendulum in that dance is my soul that believes at its core that the world cracking open right now physically, emotionally, mentally, and spirit-lly is because a Universe is trying to get back to where it was, in balance and in harmony.
For some time now I have been pondering on the ways I can be a part of new beginnings that lead us to balance and harmony. How best can I leave this world better than when I entered it? How I believe is that we choose the life we enter into, at the time we enter it. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Eat, Pray, Love that speak to my soul often I was always coming here; I was never not coming here.
So, since I chose to be a part of this life during a time of significant transformation, how might I take the gifts I’ve been given and leave this world feeling satisfied I contributed to balance and harmony, not division and incongruence? How best can I show up and finish well?
I was given a gift several weeks ago while having lunch with a dear friend. Bless her heart that she didn’t know then that she planted a significant seed with me until I shared with her at our most recent lunch a very big thank you. She was sharing about her son, only a few short years in the workforce out of college who is trying to establish colleague, team, and manager relationships virtually and finding it challenging to feel authentic connection not having met others in person, at least once. My friend made the comment that whether a new leader or a leader with twenty years’ experience, there is an absence from their toolkit is how to build meaningful relationships remotely. How to truly see and hear others through a Zoom or Teams call, or even harder, an “old fashioned” phone call.
I grabbed ahold of that seed and have been looking at it in a flowerpot next to me ever since! I keep adding water to it, starting with revisiting the extensive training I have went through on deep and presence listening and communication practices using body gestures, on generative listening experiences through my life story listening, writing, and teaching, and in my own experiences building strong relationships virtually when I was in a role in my career in which everyone I worked with sat in multiple locations around the world.
I have been revisiting other meaningful moments that I now see as additional seeds that were planted, or perhaps the seed was planted long ago, and I have been merely watering it with each experience that has especially footprinted my attention and my heart. Like the Dear Evan Hansen movie I wrote about a few months ago. Or the life-story writing I did with third graders. Or the stories I read of parents who start non-profit organizations in tribute of their daughter or their son who took their life due to cyber-bullying. Or the words of author and activist Julie Lythcott-Haimes when she shared during a TEDx course that technology is here to stay, and we can help be the wise elders for young adults who don’t necessarily know what it feels like to be present and in person for a meaningful amount of time with others without technology in one of their hands. To paraphrase her words, we can be way-showers by providing guidelines at a meal for example, where it is a no phone zone and we provide an atmosphere of welcoming, present, engaging conversation. Said another way. Make it a time that young adults want to experience again and more.
Or the newly appointed positions of Ministers of Loneliness in the UK and in Japan that I wrote about last month. I anticipate these are not the only two countries in which there could be focused attention on individuals who feel isolated. Or the fiction book I recently read written by Mike Gayle, All the Lonely People. The main character in his 80’s. The second main character fifty years younger give or take. The other characters of varying ages. Loneliness doesn’t discriminate in age, gender, ethnicity, ancestral heritage, viewpoint, or life story lived to date.
Or I think about other ways in which my lens sees the world cracking open for new beginnings and how Mother Nature is trying to aid a return to balance and harmony. Though for my wellbeing, I am choosing to be largely disengaged from the opinions of news outlets, I also hear of the frustrations traveling via air. Delayed flights. Staff shortages. Less flight options. I can’t help thinking less flights can equal less pollutants into the sky that our Earth is tired of.
Or extra time during a layover is a chance to have a conversation with a stranger.
Maybe even make a new friend.
We make it matter that it is happening by choosing to open the gifts of what life is bringing.
I think about my experiences in receiving messages and in connecting with others who have left this Earth. For those of you who have read To the Moon, you certainly know of my connection with Roo after she passed from this life with cancer. Or in meditation when my Grandpa M. enters and guides a decision I am making.
If I am now creating discomfort because it is not how you believe, let me share an example that I think most everyone can related to. Have you ever had a time when you made a call to someone, and they answered saying something like it’s so funny that you called. I was just thinking about you! Space does not separate hearts.
If we choose to be open to the possibility.
A multitude of ways we can listen.
If we desire more meaningful connection.
To each other. Within ourselves.
Don’t misunderstand me. I understand, respect, and also greatly value in person interaction. I also enjoy and value travel.
As I ponder my part in helping the world return to balance and harmony, I think the answer lies somewhere in the center of these two circles.
People just want to be seen and heard.
Not just in a quick dopamine hit via social media.
But in a I see you. Let’s see each other.
Look into my eyes and see that I am a human being.
Whose story you see is not the full essence of my soul and me.
Space does not separate hearts. I know. Not only through Roo. Or my Grandma I. Or my dad.
So does my mom and my sister still very much a part of this Earth. Just ask one of us sometime about meal planning and chocolate covered strawberries for a wedding shower. (smile)
Or ask some of those I’m blessed to coach who I began working with virtually before we could meet in person sixteen months later.
People just want to be seen and heard.
And if our starting place with our hearts is to be present and hear and see.
We can do just that.
People just want to be seen and heard.
Because the gift of my childhood was to learn hands on and gather all the tools I could as to what it felt like to not believe I should be seen and heard
That I would develop the gifts to listen and see
And then teach, coach, author, inspire, and speak how you can do the same.
For living this life in balance and harmony in the way that means for you.
40.71455° N, -74.00712° E
A Cold Nose
Several months ago, I had the privilege of being a guest on the podcast, Dog Save the People. If you follow me on social media, you will also have saw my year-long inspirational sharing of messages from these podcasts.
Now check out the dog walk meditations! Calm your mind; connect with your dog.
42.65525° N, -86.20289° E
Hope’s Spiral Staircase
As you know from other monthly communications, my life is blessed with both Ginger and Kutana. I have shared in previous months how each of them my teachers, each different messengers. Ginger is my groundedness and centering. Kutana is my fling your arms wide open to the joy of the moment. Oh, and in case you doubt, every moment is joy! (grin)
This video is different than the others I share. Yet, I think you will find it inspirational just the same. As you begin to watch it, be thinking about something you love to do. Something that makes you feel like a kid at heart, joyous, eager, just can’t wait to do!
Like swimming in Lake Michigan. Kutana’s I just can’t wait to do!
N ° S ° E ° W °
Hope Whispers, Nature Speaks
Your homework is this.
Go outside and walk around until a tree speaks to you to go up to and then put your back against it.
Think of the symbolism of the tree. How it is rooted in place. How it is resilient to various elements of weather – wind, rain, sun. How it provides shelter and shade. How its root system reaches out in multiple directions. (And there are experts who have studies how the root systems talk with each other in a forest.)
Turn, and place your back against the tree. Think I am supported. This tree has my back.
Close your eyes and feel your feet on the ground. Feel the steadiness below your feet as well as the support behind you. Breathe in. Breathe out.
As you keep breathing, turning your thoughts to how your back feels supported and your feet feel like they are standing on solid ground, begin to listen to the noises around you. Maybe birds. Maybe the wind. Maybe water nearby. Maybe you are in a city, and you hear horns and people calling.
Simply listen. Listen with presence.
Then, think about your forehead, and how in this area is your center of wisdom.
As you breathe in and out, feeling the tree behind you, the ground below you, listening to the sounds of now,
Think about your chest and how in this area is your center of love.
Breathe in. Out. Present with your back against the tree and your feet on the ground. Present in listening, and maybe what you hear around you is continuing to fade into the background as you begin thinking of how your body is feeling and what your thoughts are related to wisdom and love.
Think about your stomach area and then your legs and how you are moving to the center of vitality.
How in each of these areas, these centers, is life force. Your life force of
Wisdom. Love. Vitality.
And how you are always supported.
In whatever weather of life.
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
If you have enjoyed this month’s message, please pay it forward to others. They can also subscribe to future emails by visiting www.christinehassing.com. If you know of someone who has a Hope Is message to share, please encourage them to share via the post office address (or via email). I welcome sharing their input on the Hope Is website or in future blog messages!