February 2023 Hope is a Cold Nose and Other Inspiring Stories

Image of Map to Symbolize Quest

17.64441° N, -101.55156° E

42.732536, -84.555534

42.3838° N, -85.95861° E

Hope Is

Taking a candle

And lighting the world

Hello dear readers!

This month found me spending more time meditating than usual on what to share from this month’s hope quest.  Then I heard “origin story”. 

Hmmm, now you are thinking, origin story? 

Origin defined as: the point or place where something begins, arises, or is derived.

Last month I had shared with you about one of my guiding principles for how I approach life – “making it matter that it happened”.   Shared with all of you in January in that Divine way that a puzzle piece snaps into place in the picture of our life, when we don’t yet see the puzzle piece we are soon meant to find that will connect. 

The puzzle piece I would find this month.  And the spiral staircase circle I would travel to come back to a certainty of my guiding principle, “make it matter that it happened”. 

I was spoiled in the beginning of February to go on a sun-filled very warm vacation in Mexico.  Yea, I know – quite a puzzle piece?! {smile} During this trip, as I watched pelicans diving into the ocean for their catch of the day, I learned that at a certain point in a pelican’s life, they lose their eye sight.  Though they are following their natural instinct – and their need for survival – by diving for food, the salt in the water and perhaps the rate of speed in which they swoosh through the waves, causes blindness.   Their ability to survive becomes reliant on humans kind enough to feed them as they perch on a dock. 

Also on this trip, as I was on a boat in the early morning, I witnessed the moon going to sleep over the town and then only seconds later I watched as the sun started to say good morning.  I, in the middle between opposites of night and day, dark and light, marveling in awe at Nature’s rhythms, miracles and beauty.

Fast forward to February 14th, learning that tragedy had occurred closer to home this time with an all too familiar headline MASS SHOOTING.   A university in my home state, one in which has a life-time fan in my step-dad and creates fun family bantering between him and my brother-in-law who is a lifer for the rival to Michigan State.  A university that a dear friend holds in high esteem as her alma-mater.   A university I experienced my 3rd triathlon event at some, gosh, 11 or 12 years ago.  

I found myself thinking about the families of the victims.  And then my spiral staircase walk in a circle began.

How could I begin to say to these families “make it matter that it happened”?   Can I really hold as my favorite quote of hope about the certainty that regardless of how it turns out, it makes sense?

And then I remembered an “origin story”.   I’ve shared it with individuals in the past, but it was always in the context of a specific role I had in my career and how that role greatly influenced me personally.   My exact words to individuals is it gave me my life back.  

Now the original (no pun intended on origin) reason I declared that is I would say to people that I said yes to a plant manager role of a 24/7 operation scared to death because I already didn’t balance life and work well.  How could I begin to balance life responsible for a 24/7 operation!  Yet, despite the fear, I said “yes”.   What I would then tell people is how I became responsible for shutting down the site based on an executive management decision, and in the course of leading people through a shutdown, I learned that leading was more than the job one did.  I began to understand leadership was not just the mind; it was also the heart.  Most importantly, the heart.

As I reflected this month, pausing to ask if my stance in approaching life was still “make it matter that it happened”, I thought about what else happened when I said “yes” to that job.  I was driving, doing my typical fast forward to the next station for a song that grabs my attention, when a song began, and I heard this chorus.

So, carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn

And hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world – Written by Christopher M. Rice

I didn’t know why I thought it was significant but then again, souls work like that.  That inner whisper says hey pay attention and sometimes the body joins in with goosebumps or an energy surge and the logic or analytical part of the mind decides to sit down for a moment.  I pulled over so that I could write the words down to then look up the full song later.  That is how significant I thought it was. 

Nearly two years later, when I felt oh so very responsible for the shutdown, I remembered that song.   My soul said this is why you were meant to say “yes” to this role.  To be a candle for everyone who were feeling the gravity of their lives becoming before and no longer the same.

My soul has reminded me more than once that this song is a very significant puzzle piece in the picture of my life.   More like one of the straight edge pieces that frame the rest of my picture. 

When I thought about it more this month, I realized that this song entered my life approximately two or three years after I cried out, but I do not want this!

In the middle of the night.  Just a bad dream, my husband assured me as my cry out in my dream state woke us both.   Some of the following words from my published memoir describe that dream. 

Walking slowly, ever slow; where I might be I do not know. Trees, some standing, some in a lean, some in stagnant water, no longer able to grow leaves.

I am searching to find…certainly there must be some sign of life. I am alone, and for a few moments I do not fear.

It begins to sink in what my eyes see. I begin to run, my legs gaining speed.

My lungs feel the burn, I am struggling to breathe.

Up ahead, a building, perhaps someone will rescue me. Closer, as if it is the finish line, “Help me make it,” my tearful plea. Silence still, but a wall to embrace my back; against it, sliding to the ground, I collapse.

The kind of sobbing that shudders the body pours from the depths of my soul. I cannot shake the panic that has taken control. No moon, nor sunlight, no sign of any life.

As breath leaves, my chest is held in a tighter squeeze. “But I do not want this,” I call out from somewhere deep. No one to respond; silence greets the words I cry. Or maybe they weren’t said aloud, my voice skilled at staying buried inside.

The relief it was not reality but just a dream. Or was it a warning if I did not heed?

My soul dying, my heart starting to decay. My life on a course to darkness. And I begin to run, searching for change.

That dream was the beginning of what I refer to as something that I believe each of us as humans experience, this cracking open, out of a cocoon or out of an eggshell.   A point in which we begin shifting and transforming and stepping towards what our soul most desired for why it chose life.   A point in which we begin to recognize that life is not lived only of the mind.  Life is lived not only with a body.   Life is also lived with heart.   And the more we open ours up, the more

We make it matter that it happens when life brings darkness. 

Which brings me back around on that circle of the spiral staircase as I wrestled with and reflected on my stance of my guiding principles for my life.  I traveled that circle and came back around not in the same place when I started.

I found my stance to be the same, with an added sentence or two.  Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning” writes between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.   If I had a magic wand that would erase tragedy, I would hand it to those whose hearts grieve and who experience trauma and profound loss that they wouldn’t have to experience the gravity of it all.  Since a naturalness to life includes suffering, then I focus on choice.   If we choose such things as bitterness, anger, frustration, fear, resentment, and such, we don’t keep life moving forward balanced and in harmony.  The light of joy, and of love, becomes diminished, and life starts to cease moving forward.   If we choose to first honor our grief by feeling the emotions of anger, frustration, fear, and such, for to hide or bury them do not move life forward either, and then let grief move us into being more present with the finite time we are given, present happily, gratefully, attentively, trustingly, compassionately, etc. we perpetuate the goodness of life.  We perpetuate humanity and the next sunrise.  

We make it matter that it happens in how we choose. 

We make it matter if we choose not to let our world go dark.

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(s).  I welcome your handwritten messages or drawn pictures to the address below.  Or feel free to email me (Christine@hopewhispers.net)     

P.O. Box 327

Gobles, MI 49055

ATTN:  Hope Is


42.3838° N, -85.95861° E

A Cold Nose

Traveling the globe is better with a dog



N ° S ° E ° W °

Hope Whispers, Nature Speaks

I am excited to share with you about two upcoming events!   Two FREE webinars! 

The Art of Hearing I: Meaningful Relationships in Virtual Spaces Monday, March 20th with one session at 12:00 p.m. EST and if you can’t make that time, a second one available at 8:00 p.m. EST.  

The other webinar is The Art of Hearing II:  Listening, Connection and Hope being held Monday, March 27th, with one session at 12:00 p.m. and again, if this time doesn’t work, 8:00 p.m. EST. 

I am also providing links to my web page for additional information about the webinars, what is included if you attend, which includes an early bird discount to two courses I am launching that will begin April 10th.  

Webinar Invite for March 20, 2023


The Art of Hearing I: A Course in Meaningful Relationships in Virtual Spaces

Webinar Invite March 27, 2023


The Art of Hearing II: A Course in Listening, Connection, and Hope

I would love for you to join, and please, spread the word.   You, and others you share this with, can register when visiting my webpage or you can register by emailing me directly at Christine@hopewhispers.net.   And of course, feel free to email me with any questions!    


The tragedy of life is linked inescapably with its splendor; you could tear civilization down and rebuild it from scratch, and the same dualities would rise again. Yet to fully inhabit these dualities—the dark as well as the light—is, paradoxically, the only way to transcend them. And transcending them is the ultimate point. The bittersweet is about the desire for communion, the wish to go home. ― Susan Cain, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole




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 at Christine@hopewhipsers.net).  I welcome sharing their input in a future Hope Is message! 

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