Imagine waking up in the morning with a feeling of possibility. An illuminating surge that anything could happen and you’re ready for whatever that entails. Life is on your side, the coast is clear, and the sails are blowing with just enough wind. It’s not too fast or too slow, it’s the sweet spot pace. You’re in the perfect flow. You take in a deep breath and stand tall, empowered. You can do it.

Honestly, as much as this sounds beautiful, let’s get real. Seriously. Sometimes it’s not that easy. If you’re like me, sure, the spurts of optimism are there, but the “happy go lucky” “I’m positive all the time” “Endless possibility” thing is kind of annoying. There is certainly the pessimistic side that stands up and wants to have a dance off with Señorita possibility. That’s ok. Yes, its ok to feel that way and there is nothing wrong with not being positive all the time. Anger, sadness, and fear are emotions part of our core. They deserve to be honored. However, there is another side, too. Similarly optimism and joy have a sacred space to be reveled in. We must feel all emotions. We must feel both, all, inside out and all around. Pixar had it right on in their movie, Inside Out.

Perhaps the day will bring a gust of wind tussling everything you set sail to do. All too often stress, like there’s no way out takes hold. Feeling means we are alive, feeling is the entre into “I can”. Within allowing ourselves to observe our feelings, we are allowing ourselves to see the part that is empowered. The part that is busting out to say, “I can. I CAN. I CAN!”

Need help buying into the “I CAN!”


Hope increases the desire that something can happen. Imagine whatever situation you are in that seems hopeless. Now, imagine a window in that desperation. The window represents opportunity for something different. Think of the metaphorical window opening up, even a little bit, the possibility that things will shift for the better. In this sense, you are encouraging hope and the idea that “I can” do this.


Curiosity is the desire to learn more about something. To practice curiosity, start by getting curious about your body sensations. Take time each day to notice when and where in your body particular sensations of discomfort and comfort arise. Perhaps, there is something you enjoy doing more that something else. What body sensations are linked to an emotion? An emotion that senses empowerment. How is that body sensation and emotion connected to a behavior? A behavior that enhances your sense of “I can-ness.”

Find Joy

Joy is the intense feeling of happiness. Finding joy in the midst of a downtrodden situation can be like finding a needle in a haystack. But, heh, that needle is in there somewhere and you CAN find it. Brené Brown’s research supports that the birthplace of joy is in gratitude. Joy actually grows from being grateful. Joy exists in both good and bad situations, when gratefulness is found in it. Brown says, For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”


Connection is about being linked in relationship. Through connecting with each other in a common experience, we invite the “me too”, which alleviates the feeling of being alone. On a broader scale, we may acknowledge we are not alone in this world and are connected with each other through our own humanity. This gives us a sense of community and support to believe, “I can.”

May your heart feel whole, your spirit be understood, and your mind be at peace.

Peace, Therese Giedraitis Hensler, MSW, LCSW

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