Permission to Hope

Hope is a gooey word. I use it, as a noun and a verb, and never quite know if it sounds as gooey it feels. Here is a brief definition of HOPE. Noun: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Example: She reached out in the hope that her friend would respond. Verb: want something to happen or be the case. Example: I hope she returns my call. Expectation not met. Hope dashed, disappointment follows.

Spring always comes, so the hope for spring is just a matter of waiting. This expectation is a given, whether the spring is cold and snowy or too bloody hot, spring happens. Returned phone calls, maybe not.

I hate hope. Life is awful right now for so many people and the planet. Hope? Sheesh.

Until…. I heard a Podcast on Ten Percent Happier #340: The Science of Hope | Jacqueline Mattis

My new definition of Hope.

Optimism + A Plan = Hope

Thank you Jacqueline Mattis.

I think of myself as a fairly optimistic person. I have evidence to be optimistic. I’m still on the planet. I have a loving husband, a great relationship with my son and his fiancé, and wonderful friends. I love my “work” as a workshop/retreat facilitator and life coach. I am truly fulfilled by my volunteer work in the community, as a trustee for my local library and a budding master gardener trainee for cooperative extension. I’m vaccinated. Darned healthy for an older woman or any woman. I am aware of my tendency to forebode joy (dress rehearsing tragedy — just in case). With awareness, I do this less and less.

Now the plan. My plan during the pandemic has been to survive it. To take one day at a time and learn how to be with uncertainty. Last year I planned a retreat. The plan didn’t go as planned. My co-facilitator couldn’t come because of the mandated Covid quarantine in NY. The space couldn’t accommodate 20. I cut the number of participants to less than half, measuring out exactly how much space each brave participant would need to feel and be safe. Days before the retreat we still weren’t sure if we could pull it off — we being me and Wiawaka Center for Women. We did!

I didn’t recognize this as hope. Throughout my many moments of doubt and sleepless nights, there was still a plan in place that morphed into something I never could have anticipated along the way. Now I see and love that it was HOPE that got me through.

Hope is no longer gooey. I can own HOPE, grab it and hold it to my heart. It has substance, like the hunk of rock in my garden, but it is mailable, expandable, contractible, and no longer gooey. I plan without being (terribly) attached to the outcome, because I have hope. I am deeply grateful for my life. I am an optimist with a plan.

I hope you will join me in redefining HOPE in your life.

This entry was posted in Brené Brown, compassion, hope, integrative coaching, life coach, permission, purpose, stay engaged, Uncategorized, vulnerability and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Permission to Hope

  1. dawbak says:

    I love this message and really needed to hear this today! Much blessings to you!

  2. Joy Jurnack says:

    Your kind words and wisdom eloquently describe the hope I need. I’ll take your words and practice my gratitude and present my vulnerable self with hope.
    Thank you!

  3. Yolanda says:

    Cate, you given a new meaning to HOPE with a great example. I will carry this forward in my own life.


  4. Hey Cate … Great reflection on hope. For me hope leaves me as an observer, with no skin in the game. I am not participating in my future, if I only hope. I replace hope with intention. I land on how I want to be in my future and then I create inspired action – the doing part. With grace I let hope go, yet lean on my intentions in my life to fill me up and help me walk to the life I want.

    Much love xo



    Eyes off the problem and begin looking towards the solution. Facebook: Website: Instagram: @thomaskevindolan


  5. cpoiser1 says:

    Love it….yes, yes, yes….Optimism + A Plan! Thank you my dear friend….❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


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