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Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living (Book Review)

Monday, May 16th, 2016

tippettPeabody Award-winning broadcaster, Krista Tippett, has spent years interviewing some of the most fascinating voices of humanity. Her style is one of asking deep spiritual questions and then creating space for deep listening. Tippett’s work on her national public radio program and podcast, On Being, has been share a conversation with people who inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity. Tippett has spent her career interviewing scientists, theologians from several faiths, poets, activists, philosophers, historians, artists, and many more. Within moments of listening to the podcast, it becomes clear that these are more than interviews – they are moments of deep intimacy through the mastery of genuine conversation.

In Becoming Wise, Tippett distills many of the insights she has learned to appreciate from her numerous conversations. Throughout the pages, it becomes clear that the book is a deep meditation and journey on meaning. The chapters are organized around the themes of language, love, faith and hope. Through her years of conversations, Tippett and her conversation partners advocate mindfulness, compassion, forgiveness, humility and cooperation.

Tippett’s book embodies the open question – the deep desire for connection, conversation, and belonging. The wisdom we seek emerges from the everyday experiences. Real connections with one another happen in the ordinary moments of acts of kindness and generosity. Becoming Wise is our journey of asking the powerful questions of who we are to each other.

“I’m a person who listens for a living. I listen for wisdom, and beauty, and for voices not shouting to be heard. ”

This book offers a fiercely hopeful vision of humanity. Tippett sees hope as a force and a resource. For Tippett, “hope” sees and experiences the darkness, and the possibility for good, and makes a choice. Hope is something you put into practice through actions. Tippett reminds us that choosing to be hopeful is far more courageous than being cynical. Hope insists on the possibility of a life of resilience and redemption.

One powerful theme that Tippett reminds us is the gift of presence. Presence is the engagement with life and one another. Becoming Wise reminds us that presence does not mean passivity or acceptance of the status quo. In a world of sound bites, Becoming Wise is a reminder of the longer and deeper conversations needed for change. This book is a practical guide about life’s spiritual beauty through deep reflections. Tippett sheds a light on what it means to be human.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

 

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Learning Hope

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

I woke up thinking about hope. I thought about areas of my life I am feeling hopeful. I was inspired by Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. In one of the chapters, Cultivating a Resilient Spirit, she writes about hopeful self-talk and the importance of remembering that even when things are difficult, it is important to remind ourselves that we can keep going. Brown writes, “We develop a hopeful mind-set when we understand that some worthy endeavors will be difficult and time consuming and not enjoyable at all. If we want to cultivate hopefulness, we have to be willing to be flexible and demonstrate perseverance.”

I looked up some of my favorite quotes on hope as a reminder of what is possible.

“Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.” ~Emily Dickinson

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.”  ~Anne Lamott

“Without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope.” ~Harvey Milk

I am still learning and cultivating hope with each new personal and professional endeavor. What are your thoughts about hope?

{Photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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Lead With Passion

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Great leadership demands passion.

Passion is a quality that projects vitality, joy, and enthusiasm for all the tasks at hand.  If leaders can show their passion in an authentic way, then the effect will show to the rest of the team and the result can be profound.

Passion is the way you show what you think of your job, and your role.  If you are passionate, your team will know that you care about your job, and that gives them high hope that they can care about their jobs too.

I discovered a long time ago that I loved being a leader.  And so, showing passion was never a problem.  I went into my workdays full of positive energy and feeling like I had the best job on earth.

Did it make a difference? Yes, it did.

When I received feedback about my leadership, the most fulfilling comments were the ones along the lines of “you really inspired me with your energy and enthusiasm“.

Great leadership demands passion.

It’s also a very personal thing to put yourself “out there” like that – it can put you in a vulnerable position.  That’s why passion isn’t a trait you see in every leader.

It takes some fortitude to bring emotions to the surface like that, but the benefits are well worth the risk.

And besides, passion brings something else into play that goes beyond leadership – an enjoyment of life.

Great leadership demands passion.

 

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Ahhh…Nothing to Do

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Summer seemed so exciting as a kid until the day came when I had nothing to do. I became bored on days when none of my friends were around or rainy summer days. I would mope around the house and tell my mom, “I have nothing to do.” Her reply was, “I’ll find something for you to do.”
Translation: house chores. (I was a master with the carpet sweeper.)

In her book, Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put On My Pajamas & Found Happiness, Dominique Browning has a wonderful perspective on the theme of nothing to do:

“Today I am happy to find myself sitting on the ground wanting nothing to do — no, not even wanting it, simply accepting that I am enveloped in nothing to do. I begin to understand how nothing to do is its own state of grace, difficult to find deliberately, near impossible to recognize. Nothing to do means I can sit and look and let my mind wander, then empty, then fill again, with wonder or with grief, with anything or with nothing at all. “Nothing to do” is not the same as “Nothing can be done.” One is hopeless; the other, the place from which hope becomes possible.”

As the summer days start to fill with plans for the beach and weekends away, I long for days filled with nothing to do. I am inviting the adult in me to give myself permission each day to sit and do nothing.

Choose to do nothing and see where it takes you.

Mary Anne

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Second Chances

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

As I was finishing up at the dentist office, I was speaking with my hygienist about some of the work I do with mentoring. I ended one of my sentences with, “Everyone deserves second chances.” At that very moment my dentist walked in and said, “You think everyone deserves second chances?” I told him I thought most everyone deserved a second chance. With that, my dentist went off with a litany of people he thought should never have a second chance. I noticed that I was getting annoyed, so I quietly responded, “I think many of us make mistakes, take the consequences, and deserve another chance.” His response was, “You know what we call a liberal? Someone who has never been mugged.” He concluded by telling me that most people don’t deserve second chances.

I left the office and started thinking about all the mistakes I have made and how so many people have given me a second chance. How long must we pay for a mistake we have made in the past?

Later that evening, I thought about how quickly our mind can go to labeling people and ideas, and about second chances. Do I really believe in second chances?

The universe must have heard my question because in the Sunday New York Times there was an article on parole. The article was about a woman who had committed a crime at 18 and paid for her mistake by serving time until age 41.

As she said in the article, “I still have those dreams of not being able to leave prison, like I’m still in there trying to get out. Why am I still struggling to get out?”

I realized that our minds can be more of a prison than sitting in a room with bars on the window. In what ways are we in prison with our thoughts, beliefs, and actions?

Yes, mistakes will be made and we must accept consequences of our choices. And, yes, I do believe in second chances.

Mary Anne


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How Will You Celebrate Spring?

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
~Margaret Atwood

The seeds planted in the dark days and nights of the Winter season are now bursting through the earth. Do you see them?

The hope and trust we placed in the cold earth is showing us the miracle of life in fruits and flowers. What does the season of Spring mean to you?

As we celebrate a new season of longer daylight, blooming buds, birds singing, and warmer days, may we honor the seeds within that are pushing through. What seeds are you watering?

How will you celebrate Spring?

Let’s all put our hands in the dirt!
Mary Anne

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