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Introduce yourself within a sentence.
I’m a people-dog- book-art-loving writer and writing coach who lives in the middle of Ohio which is in the middle
of the United States.

What is the most challenging part of your life in this time of crisis?
I think a time of crisis is life’s way of turning a high-power telescope in on ourselves, which is my way of saying
that the most challenging part of my life before COVID-19 has been magnified during COVID-19: 1) I miss being
with my adult daughters and their families, 2) I struggle with saying ‘no’ to things that don’t serve me well,
especially Netflix and sugar, though not necessarily in that order.

Separation and boundaries, the opposite ends of the same continuum, and two things that have challenged me
before, during, and might continue to challenge me long after Bill and Melinda Gates buy us all a nice vaccine.

But even in the face of COVID-19 and the challenges of quarantine, I feel lucky because I’m blessed with reliable
internet, cell service, and FaceTime that connect me to my family, online opportunities for personal growth, and

What is your guiding light every day that makes you smile?
Every day, I create something no matter how small. Today, it might be that my creation is this interview.
Tomorrow, I may bake bread. Every day, I write. My life’s mission has always been to make the world a better
place one person at a time.

Creating connects me to something-bigger in a positive way. Of course, that ‘something-bigger’ is always
creating, with or without my permission and approval. Leaning into it empowers me to create something in
which I can find some solace, excitement, and inspiration; and on some days, I’m lucky enough to create
something that inspires someone else too, and that doubles the excitement for me!

There are tremendous value and power in being a co-creator with that ‘something-bigger’.

One of my friends has used this time of isolation to take an online painting class. She showed me her first work of
art on Zoom, which was beautiful, but not quite as beautiful as the expression of pride on her face as she shared
it. It brought her alive, gave her hope, made her feel good about herself, which rippled out to me as she shared
and then rippled out to others through me. I think that’s the way we bring hope to the world.

There’s a lot out there in cyberspace, even training classes for your dog which have been fun for all of us in my

Figure out what brings you most alive and create a more fulfilling quarantine experience for yourself that ripples
out to those you love.

If you can share a source of hope with someone in need, what would it be?
What source of hope can I share with you? The only one you need: You.

It’s all in there…everything you need to create something special every day. Something that makes your child
smile, your dog wag her tail, or your neighbor laugh. You don’t need anything else to make the world a better
place and inspire hope. Just you.

This virus is frightening. We’re all scared. Human beings do not like uncertainty and confusion, but that’s what
surrounds us right now. We want to KNOW…for sure what’s around the next corner. And we can’t.
That’s another challenge that COVID-19 has enlarged with its high-power telescope: our anxiety about the

I’ve ramped up my meditation practice to deal with it. There are a lot of apps for that, but I use Insight.
Yesterday, as I focused on my breathing, I had this realization; I can be sure of my breath. Okay, I know that
sounds trite and that a million of you are now thinking I’m not-quite-bright. You may be right.

“Your breath is always here for you,” says my Tai Chi instructor, Cathy. I’ve let that fly through my brain each
week for over a year, and finally, yesterday, I realized the solidness of my breath. It’s there and I rarely think of it,
or feel grateful for it, but right now, I’m extremely aware and extremely grateful for the circulation of oxygen
through my body that keeps me going.

And love.
I’m sure of love…and breath.

I know that it’s all we need to create some hope.
And hope is all we need to get through today… one breath at a time.


Here are some stories of the people around us
who are facing these times of crisis with hope and determination


Ilse & Christian







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2015 – 2023 © All copyright reserved to atrain GmbH

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