Cart 0

Reframing Hope

Reframing Hope


“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
--excerpt by Emily Dickinson

Hope. It is hard to feel when problems seem insurmountable, when every day feels like Monday, when each day feels grayer the the last. 

Betsy DeVos’s confirmation as Education Secretary last week was a low point for me. As my mother, a teacher in the public schools, said to me (I paraphrase): it feels like this is proof that we are voiceless. That our democracy is dead. That power is not of the people, but can be purchased.

Why speak out if our efforts don't even matter? What do you do when you feel like giving up?

I find solace in Joanna Macy’s and Chris Johnstone’s amazing book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy. I share their words with you (emphasis mine):

Active Hope is a practice. Like tai chi or gardening, it is something we do rather than have. It is a process we can apply to any situation, and it involves three key steps. First we take a clear view of reality; second, we identify what we hope for in terms of the direction we’d like things to move in or the values we’d like to see expressed; and third, we take steps to move ourselves or our situation in that direction.


Since Active Hope doesn’t require our optimism, we can apply it even in areas where we feel hopeless. The guiding impetus is intention; we choose what we aim to bring about, act for, or express.  Rather than weighing our chances and proceeding only when we feel hopeful, we focus on our intention and let it be our guide. (p. 3)

Naming what it is you hope for makes it easier to find ways to move in that direction. My goal this week is to make taking action more enjoyable by doing it with others.

What do you hope to see in the world, for our country, for your community, your family or just within yourself? What is one thing you can do this week to move in that direction?

_ _ _ _ _

Wondering more what Thoughtfully Clean Field Notes are all about? Read the the first post here.

Looking for more resources on how to help protect our planet? Check out last week's Tools for Inspiration blog and stay tuned for more this Thursday.

SUBSCRIBE to our e-zine to get all the month’s Thoughtfully Clean Field Notes in one email.

SUPPORT the creation of this blog at Patreon.

Small drops make an ocean; let’s make waves.

Thoughtfully Clean Blog: Take it Slow

Thoughtfully yours,


filed under: #MotivationMonday | Thoughtfully Clean Field Notes

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published