Signs of Hope
Picking up the Pieces
Our work together was abruptly interrupted by the earthquake that struck her country on January 12. Knowing someone who lives in Haiti made the news headlines all the more real. I was relieved and grateful the day I received her email letting me know she was okay. After taking a few months to regroup, Vanessa was ready to resume coaching. On our first call, she explained that her neighborhood in Port-au-Prince had been spared, her home was intact, and the office where she works was still operational.
Vanessa told me that she didn’t like the feeling of no longer trusting herself or trusting life. She felt powerless and extremely stressed. We decided that the first priority was to make a plan to address her stress level. She was already implementing a program for her physical health and was also taking advantage of the crisis counseling that was available.
Vanessa recognized that intellectually she knew there was hope, yet emotionally, she didn’t feel it. I asked her a spontaneous question, “What are the signs of hope?” We acknowledged our own connection as one sign that she was not alone. Did she see any other signs? “Yes,” Vanessa said, “people’s resilience.” She saw resilience in the faces of people who had lost so much and were still going on. At the end of our conversation, Vanessa made “noticing signs of hope” part of her coaching assignment. She also decided to start the OASIS in the Overwhelm 28 Day program.
One Week Later
The next time we spoke, Vanessa reported two more signs of hope. “The first is that I’ve been able to move out of a low vibration. The second is that a friend made me laugh… that I can still laugh is a sign of hope.” What a wonderful sign indeed, and we laughed together for much of that call, even as we worked. Her next update came in the form of telling me that, now on Day 7 of the OASIS 28 Day Guide, she was amazed at the impact of such simple changes. She noticed that the first OASIS strategy, the 4-D (four directions), was helping her to be more aware of her environment and more connected with her body. When I taught her the second strategy, the 3-B-C (three breath countdown), she said, “I felt my heart open.” Signs of hope come in many forms.
Another week later (Day 14 in the OASIS Guide), Vanessa reported that she was looking at things differently and without drama. She was more aware of when she was “making a story” and could be more objective now. Also clear to Vanessa was that it is time to do something different, something that involves fun, creativity, and expressing herself. We are beginning to explore those possibilities now and that, most definitely, is a sign of hope.
Where Do You See Hope?
While the scale can vary greatly, as humans, we all experience devastation of some kind over the course of our lives. I recently spoke to a woman who was at Ground Zero in New York on 9/11. Flying on an airplane triggers her PTSD and so it is something she avoids. Yet when her elderly aunt was in need, she booked a flight to Florida and, tranquilizers in hand, got herself on a plane. I told her how awesome it is that her love is apparently bigger than her fear. She said that getting on the plane is a sign of hope for her because it means her life is now expanded to include the possibility of air travel and vacations to new places with her husband.
What periods of devastation have you come through in your life? Is there any rubble you are sorting through now? Look for signs of hope in the eyes of others and be the sign of hope for those around you.
Here's to you,