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That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live

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How Hopeful Are You? The Keys to Getting Unstuck


I had felt a little stuck. A little down. was up and running but not quite meeting my high expectations. The relationship with my man wasn’t shiny and new anymore (but still good!).    Winter was edging in and bringing colorless days, coldness and snowblowing sessions. I was missing warmth and light.

Turkey with a side of non-violent communication

Thanksgiving arrived and brought my sister and her family for a visit. I’ve had some really good team experiences with my sister, Lisa, and her husband, Bill, over the last couple of years. We worked together to care for my mom as she dealt with her ALS diagnosis and its consequences. We’ve shared emotional and stressful times but thankfully, they made us closer. Lisa and Bill happen to be personal growth junkies as well, so we have wonderful discussions about self-esteem, non-violent communication, motivational interviewing, evading depression, childhood scars, etc.

They were the insight and conversation I needed to rekindle my light.

Oh, to be surrounded by growth oriented people

After hanging out with them for a couple of days, I started to think about how I could put myself in other settings with growth oriented people. Working from home on is fulfilling, but I have a yearning to mix with others doing meaningful work. When I volunteered as a Guardian Ad Litem, I loved interacting with others devoted to helping abused children and their families. I loved working with the children and their families themselves. I really tried to bring them comfort, understanding and hope.children-sunset

My brother-in-law is a professor at Michigan State University. He says the world of academia allows its inhabitants to go deep in subjects they enjoy as well as share those subjects with those open to learning. He works with adult learners, who have an especially keen interest in gaining knowledge.

Applying one of my favorite mantras, Action dissolves fear, I went online to a couple of job market websites, and I’d been considering a part-time job for a while. I was happy to see postings I found plausible and intriguing.

I felt hopeful.

Hope, the natural stress reducer

I noticed after doing the job search, the tightness I’d been feeling in my chest and abdomen, subsided. Calm washed over me. Dr. Judith Orloff says in her book, Emotional Freedomthat hope acts as a natural stress reducer, relaxing your gut, blood vessels and bronchioles. I happened to run across that statement the same day I did the job search. Synchronicity is lovely.

book-lilacsUntil then, I’d never considered how much hope is a part of my personality. I love to read and impart inspiring words. New books and their insight give me hope. New insight and new behavior can generate neurochemicals of well-being according to Dr. Orloff.

I totally get excited about things like this Jeff Walker video. In it, he talks about taking note of what you have every day, not just for Thanksgiving or November. He mentions a meaningful exercise to be done at night. In the exercise you think about 3 Wins you had that day. A win could be anything from, I woke up this morning to an old friend called me to my heating bill was lower this month. They don’t have to be anything grand or life-changing. The coolest part of the exercise, in my opinion, is the second part where you think about 3 wins you anticipate for the next day. This is the element of hope I believe is crucial.

I wondered if hope is like the happiness theory in that we all have a certain set point for it. No matter what tragedy or triumph befalls us we return to a certain level of happiness/hope over time. According to Dr. Orloff, there is scientific research supporting such emotional leveling.

Hope, potential and clarity

As an intuitive person, I tend to see all the possibilities to a situation, particularly if there are people involved. I see potential in people and feel sad when it’s squelched by criticism or narrow-mindedness. I have hope and the ability to re-frame most experiences into positive ones.

That mindset comes in handy when working with coaching clients.

A spiritual teacher of Dr. Orloff’s describes hope as:



P:People get


Enlightenment being the acquirement of wisdom that enables clarity of perception.

Connecting with something bigger than ourselves

I need to be around hopeful people because they have faith in humanity. So do I. Hope connects us with something bigger than ourselves.milky-way-1023340_1280

I’ve been thinking about attending spiritual services lately. Perhaps it is a longing to connect with something bigger. I am open-minded in my spirituality, so it has to be a religious practice with room for questions.

After my sister and brother-in-law left, I received a text from my friend and fellow introvert champion, Jenn Granneman, of, requesting we meet up for coffee. Again, I felt hope and happiness about connecting with someone positive and growth oriented. We both are dedicated to developing amazing support and encouragement for the introvert and highly sensitive community.

I also applied for a position at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. The center is world-renowned for the good it does. They have a strong belief in their client’s ability to overcome addiction. They give their clients tools, medical aid, respect and hope so they can return to a healthy life.

What kind of relationship do you have with hope? How hopeful are you? Are there growth oriented people in your life? 




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  1. Lauren Sapala December 4, 2015 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    I love this post. And OMG I love Jeff Walker!!!

    • Brenda Knowles December 5, 2015 at 8:07 am - Reply

      I’m not surprised this resonates with you Lauren. You’re a hopeful, growth oriented influence to me and many others. 🙂

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