The greater the hope, the greater the outcome, a wise philosopher once said. Our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, shares ideas that can help us thrive and move forward.

What do you think it will be like post-COVID-19? Of course, everyone will initially give a huge sigh of relief, assuming the virus will disappear and go back where it came from. It may not. There are tons of possibilities and the only common thread among them is we just do not know. The scientists do not know yet, and the clergy, academicians, and politicians do not know yet. A large segment of the population still questions the very existence of the virus. It is a classic case of we do not know what we do not know.

For many of us, the presence of the virus has caused terror, grief and pain. Our hearts go out to all of those who have suffered in this situation. It is necessary, now more, than ever to have compassion for everyone.  The world at large has been touched by it in some way. And, yet, as in all difficult times, we human beings still have hope. Hope in a cure, hope in a vaccine, and hope for better days ahead. What is this strangely human state of mind that appears in the worst of times? It is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. Barbara Fredrickson, professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says, “Hope is not your typical form of positivity. Most positive emotions arise when we feel safe and satiated. Hope is the exception. It comes into play when our circumstances are dire.”

Despite prevailing pessimism, there are signs we could be cautiously optimistic. Having had time to evaluate what is important in life, people are making different choices. They are spending more quality time with their families and pets (it is reported that dogs are having the best time ever). Over the years in my practice, I have seen many families who lack real intimacy. Lives are filled with activities that appear to portray happy family systems. Busy-ness isn’t intimacy. Studies show when people experience more intimacy they become happier. Happy people are kinder people. This might just lead to a kinder world for us all.

Businesses are making different choices, too. It has become relatively easy to work at home over the past decade or so. Many people already do. But the necessity of having most employees work from home has made companies take a good look at how much money they are spending on expensive office space. A widely held myth claimed employees are not as productive working from the home as in the office. Recent research shows just the opposite. Now, management has proof  they can downsize. So, the work environment, as we know it, will be different in the future.

In addition, the concept of intimacy comes up again. Connections that are made working in teams and with colleagues in the office may become more appreciated and valued. There is no way to predict what this unique and untried work arrangement will do for a company’s culture. It will likely be extremely beneficial to families, especially children. In my experience, what most children want more than anything is to spend quality time with their parents. Again, what this can do for the world at large could be transformative.

What is even more hopeful is seeing young Americans involved and engaged in what is currently happening in this country. This movement is spread so much wider than any other. It goes far beyond just those who have been affected by any type of discrimination. These transformations are the benefit of having hope. Barbara Fredrickson says that, “Hope comes into its own when crisis looms, opening us to new creative possibilities.” I hope this is what is happening now. How will you progress in your life moving forward?