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Hope Episode 8


· 40:50


[00:00:00] Mark Steadman: It is not the despair. Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope. I can't stand the immortal words of Brian Stimson, uh, from clockwise.

[00:00:09] Welcome to the a, to Zed of happiness. With Andy appears and me Mark Steadman. Join us as we unpack the science of happiness, one letter at a time. This week it's H for hope.


[00:00:24] Anya: and it's a really interesting one to, for me to talk about today cuz I have had my hopes dashed a couple of times this week. And we are just waking up this morning. You know, I, I woke up two days ago at seven 30 to get news about where I live.

[00:00:42] Which dashed a, a hope of a certain amount of security instability. Uh, and then I went, I've gotta start waking up at seven 30 and switching my phone on this is, this is what happens.

[00:00:51] Mark Steadman: I think, I think that that, that gets us right into a meaty topic right away. If, if, if, if I may, which is the, the sort of hope versus expectation. And I think there was a, there was sort of an ex, you have an expectation, I think to, to have a, you know, a, a home that isn't gonna be pulled from under you. And I think that's a fair expectation.

[00:01:14] You know, it's not a hope. It should, you know, it should be a little bit more baseline than that.

[00:01:19] Anya: well, well, yeah, I think, well there's we're kind of getting into the weeds really now of, of hope versus expectation versus healthy entitlement.

[00:01:28] Mark Steadman: Oh, sure. Okay. Yep.

[00:01:29] Anya: And I, and it's, it depends on, you know, how you frame it. Really, as in, you know, I think I have a, I think we all have a healthy entitlement or sense of healthy entitlement towards a, a dwelling which is safe and secure and supportive and, I'm, and by that I mean supportive is in health-wise as well, you know, doesn't have damp doesn't, you know, I, I grew up in a house where there was like damp and electrical wires hanging out and things.

[00:02:02] So, you know, . So when, when I think about healthy entitlement, you know, my bar is quite low,

[00:02:06] Mark Steadman: Yep. Yep, yep.

[00:02:08] Anya: And then, you know, expecting that I think, you know, today's expectations of tomorrow's resentment.

[00:02:15] Mark Steadman: Oh, hello.

[00:02:16] Anya: Yeah, I, I don't know, feel free to Google that one. I might be along to someone else, but, but it's certainly been the one that I've always, you know, known about.

[00:02:25] And, you know, I think a hope is a more, well, it depends on how you, how you define it. You know, it's can be more, a more fragile thing, a more nebulous.

[00:02:37] Mark Steadman: Mm-hmm.

[00:02:38] Anya: Although I'm gonna talk about some theorists, which, which poke severe holes through that

[00:02:42] Mark Steadman: Yeah.

[00:02:43] Anya: But yeah, you know, having, having the hope that you can make a request of someone and it be, and it be met, you know, I think, and I think that's a more interesting, more nuanced thing than.

[00:03:01] You know, I might have a healthy entitlement, a sense of healthly entitlement towards someone responding. I might have a hope that they respond in a particular kind of way, but I think to expect them to places undue weight on all parties concerned.

[00:03:16] Mark Steadman: Yes. And that would take us into definitely the weeds when we get into expectations versus agreements. And that's a whole other, that's a

[00:03:23] Anya: That's a whole other podcast. I think. Well, we'll make some mental notes for which one That might fall under

[00:03:29] Mark Steadman: No, indeed. Um, Instead, why don't we talk about Victor Frankl?

[00:03:32] Anya: Yeah, because I think this is what, you know, it's very interesting how your opening line contrasted hope and despair.

[00:03:41] Mark Steadman: Yeah.

[00:03:42] Anya: And, and again, you know, for, for, you know, I'll, I'll, I'll dip into why, you know, the, the two ends of that spectrum are, are poignant for me. But certainly, you know, Victor Frankl, who I think, you know, we all is famously that the psychotherapist who wrote his time, in the Nazi concentration camp in his book, you know, a search for Meaning.

[00:04:06] Quotes Nichi when he says he who has a why to live for compare almost any how. I'll say that again. He who has a why to live for compare almost any how and this idea of hope being the why.

[00:04:23] Mark Steadman: I might need some help on that one, because I think, I think this is, this gets interesting cuz we, we are gonna talk about our relationships with hope. Uh, and, and I think we have differing relationships with hope. Uh, and, and I know we'll get into that. But, and this is, so this is where I, I may. Hit up against that.

[00:04:40] So I, I, you know, can, can you, can you walk me through that?

[00:04:43] Anya: I think if I mean particularly well, I'm gonna kind of like relate it into my own life a little bit. You know, I think I've spoken. Uh, briefly at some time about how I despair quite easily. And the thing with a, and it's actually been extremely difficult for me to have hopes. Ironically, you know, I studied Hope Theory,

[00:05:14] Mark Steadman: Mm

[00:05:16] Anya: in the first three for the.

[00:05:19] three to four months of the pandemic. I've actually been like rereading LA late last night. An essay I submitted, I wrote in the beginning of June, 2020, which I think is a particularly interesting time to write about Hope

[00:05:36] Mark Steadman: Yes, yes.

[00:05:38] Anya: and when things are. When our immediate circumstances and surroundings are unavoidably, fuel for despair, being able to cultivate a glimmer of hope, a light in the darkness. The sense that it isn't an oncoming train , which is how fair my mind immediately goes to, you know, is, is that a light, you know, in the darkness?

[00:06:17] Is that an oncoming vehicle? You know, um, having that glim. That, that, that moment of brightness, the belief that tomorrow is going to be different, can be a reason why to continue. I, I'm trying not to get too emotional right now, but I have had, you know, real periods of isolation in my life, which has triggered social isolation, which has triggered the despair.

[00:06:53] I went without. I didn't have a bubble, you know? Do you remember those bubbles during the pandemic when you could only share like one other household? I didn't have, I didn't even have that. I went, I think it was maybe for seven plus months of time without any physical contact from, from anyone of, I think, I think it was broken only when I had a follow.

[00:07:22] Covid job. Cause I think the first nurse didn't even touch me. It was just the needle. The second time the guy just rested his hand on the paramedic, rested his hand on my shoulder, and I did this. I was just like, I became very emotional cuz it was the only contact I'd had. and it is incredibly difficult at those times to hope in my personal experience.

[00:07:43] And. somewhere in my core, the hope that my current pain will end becomes a reason why I should hang around and find out and wait for that day to arrive. And I think that's possibly, you know what Franco Franco is get is, is, is alluding. Why, why, why should I carry on living if, and, and this is something I've asked myself, um, you know, why should I carry on if all I can see is a future which continues my suffering and perpetuity, and there isn't anything else on the horizon that I can look forward to. There's, there's like a, there's a hokey phrase which says, you know, Happiness is, I think it's something to do, something to love and something to look forward to, and I think the hope aspect is there's something to look forward to.

[00:08:42] Mark Steadman: It's um, pre gratitude, if you will, There's, you know, connecting, connecting back. It's a shame that the alphabet does what it does because um, it would be nice if we had, if we had h before g I mean it would cause us all sorts of spelling problems. But it might enable us to, to have something to hope for that then we can, uh, I guess be grateful for.

[00:09:04] Anya: Well, well, yeah, and I think, you know, this is why, you know, I'm deliberately choosing. Subjects that aren't easy for me because this, you know, this is really interesting. You touch on gratitude. You know, one of the ways which I have been able to orient, if not. Be able to dream, if not be able to. Cause I think there's dreaming in hope as well.

[00:09:30] Well, certainly there is, there is for me. But I, you know, as I said, you know, the theorists have all the other ideas, how do they

[00:09:36] Mark Steadman: I haven't got a podcast.

[00:09:37] Anya: yeah, exactly. Um, but there's a thing about, too big a leap. There's too many steps going from despair to. You know, what are the inter the, in the in between steps, you know, towards, you know, towards moving in that direction.

[00:09:55] And I think, you know, gratitude, you know, looking, being, being in that situation, which films overwhelmingly dark and bleak and without hope and respite actually readjusting one's gaze. Readjusting Ron's ability to be present says that yes, everything is awful. And the yes and of, you know, like the core tenant of improv, no.

[00:10:18] Yes, yes. I don't see any end to this. And in this moment I'm warm and dry. Yes. I don't know what the future holds with where I live, which has a level of worry and anxiety for me. Because of fi financial things and. I have people in my life who can be of support to me if I do need to move.

[00:10:44] Mark Steadman: That's. A remarkable reframing for, for a symbol or single simple word, uh, you know, uh, uh, conjunction word, you know, whatever that that word is. Because that, that changes so much from the but to the end it's so easy for us to, because, but feels very binary. It's, it's, it's honored off. It's, it's pivoting.

[00:11:07] The thing that you're looking at. It's saying it's this thing. and it's, it's, it automatically sort of flips the negative to the positive or the other way around. Whereas, and is, is so more additive and that, that addition, I am in peril right now and there is someone who can help me is so much different.

[00:11:28] It feels so different. It's, it's just a single word, but it feels very different. It feels like it's more available. than saying, but that feels hypothetical or theoretical somehow.

[00:11:40] Anya: there's, there's two things that come to mind. One is the PMA cran thing, question of, and what else is true?

[00:11:46] and also the, uh, far, far less enlightened thing of everything before the butt is bullshit.

[00:11:52] Mark Steadman: Ah, yeah.

[00:11:55] Anya: And, and, and actually, you know, I have actually learnt to flip those things around. And so, You know, if someone invites you somewhere, you say, you know, that sounds lovely, but I can't go actually flipping it around, so I can't go. But thank you for inviting me. It sounds lovely.

[00:12:12] You know, so actually you, you, you leave people on the positive end of it.

[00:12:17] And, and, and yeah. With a better acknowledgement that Yeah. If, if, if you're gonna have two contrasting things, you know, where, where is the. Going to be

[00:12:27] Mark Steadman: Yeah. Well, what can you tell me about Active Hope?

[00:12:31] Anya: Well, this is something which is from, uh, Joanna Macy, whose work I, I only very, very barely know, but I know that she works with a wonderful guy as well, called Chris Johnstone, who has amazing work on resilience. And I think that's another aspect of, of hope cause cuz she actually talks about, you know, she describes Active Hope as being about finding and offering our best response when facing concerns and in, in her case, in about our world situation.

[00:13:05] And I think there's something about the acceptance of where we are and. This idea, I've loved this idea of finding and offering our best response,

[00:13:15] Mark Steadman: Hmm

[00:13:15] Anya: and I think that is cuz it's so easy. I think one of the things, you know, it is, you know, certainly the kindness is designed when, when we feel overwhelmed by things to actually shut down to conserve energy.

[00:13:27] But then we need connection with others to, to reengage, to, to, to use our best thinking. To com come up with ideas and solutions. You know, the kind of cognitive optimism thing. And really, you know, there are, you know, I'm, I'm talking about, you know, my own tiny little living circumstances. You know, I am also part of, as we all are, You know, a planet which is becoming more unstable as a place to live as well,

[00:13:56] Mark Steadman: Mm-hmm.

[00:13:59] Anya: you know, and I'm just like checking my privilege right now, actually.

[00:14:02] The fact that I, I'm worrying about where I, I live, you know, cuz some people don't even have, you know, their, their sense of peril is far more, uh, acute than mine. And so actually being able to, Cultivate a response. I think, and I think it, I'm trying to think, it might be Franco as well, forgive me if I've got this wrong.

[00:14:23] The idea of between the stimuli and the response is a moment and that moment brings us choice. It's a phrase, something like that. And actually the, the ability, cuz, and it's interesting is the word response rather than, because react tends to come from our prior programming, it's emotion led, but our response allows something to be considered intentionality.

[00:14:48] And you know, this is, really touches on some of the theories actually about, about hope. I well, there's like one majorly influential theory about hope, and then there's another one, which when I was studying it, like my lectures were saying.

[00:15:04] Yeah. So we've got this one, which we spend a lot of time on, and then there's this one which is complicated af. And so there is one which is very much about, you know, we're just talking now about one, you know, our best response. And often, you know, we can develop that if we have a goal in mind. And one of them is about motivation and goal setting.

[00:15:25] I almost made this hate for habits , and this isn't, this is kind of my way of, I'll get, I'm doing a tufa on this wrong. And then the other one, Is like a multidisciplinary one, which covered like literature, philosophy, religion went all over everywhere and has these components of gaining mastery, exploring your attachment history, you know, your survival instinct.

[00:15:50] You know, we all have that as our, at our core and our, our spirituality, our sense of being connected to something bigger. And it is kind of like going from norths and crosses to. The three dimensional chairs to play in 10 forward, about literally, like if you look at, like, I, I, I will share in the show notes, like a screen grab from one and a screenshot of the other, just for you to see how multilayered the second one is.

[00:16:18] Mark Steadman: Yeah.

[00:16:19] Anya: but I think one of the things, you know, , which we're kind of like circling around here. Is, is is the question of, you know, what do we hope for?

[00:16:26] Mark Steadman: Mm.

[00:16:27] Anya: I mean, you know, I, I, I, the, the, so the big hope that I had, which got dashed, I've just explained, but the small hope I had was to spend time with someone I care about this evening.

[00:16:36] Mark Steadman: Yeah.

[00:16:37] Anya: You know? And I, you know, and I hoped, I hoped for that. What, what's, what's, what do you hope for at the moment?

[00:16:44] Mark Steadman: Oh, so much Yeah, I think, I think it's interesting because Sometimes there are hopes I sort of didn't realize I had until they get dashed. And then it's sort of, as I think about it, it sort of becomes hard to really get too pissy about it then, because it's like, well, you didn't set that. You didn't put that out as an intention.

[00:17:09] And I don't necessarily mean to the universe, but if you are hoping on another person to do a thing and they didn't do the thing, but you didn't really ask them to do the.

[00:17:18] Anya: mm.

[00:17:19] Mark Steadman: Then you can't, you know, sure you can be disappointed, but not, not really because you didn't set that out as a clear expectation for, for that other person.

[00:17:31] Anya: Yeah, and I had a No, no, I, I did that funny little verse because I had a conversation with my friend. She, she took me, she took me, I, I went clothes shopping in, like in an actual store for the first time since at some point in 2019,

[00:17:44] I'm. I know and I'm telling myself that because I spent money I don't technically have on things I don't technically need, but they will give me dopamine hits for the rest of this winter.

[00:17:53] Mark Steadman: That has value.

[00:17:54] Anya: that, that has, that has value. But she's saying her thing is, , you know, she's saying about, yeah, a disappointment with a, with with her partner and how, you know, when she asks for things, you know, he, he responds well, Anna said yes, and let's be honest, there's a part of you wanting them to be a mind reader, so you don't have to constantly do the emotional labor

[00:18:16] Mark Steadman: Anticipate my needs.

[00:18:19] Anya: Well, it's like a teamwork thing because cuz I do think it's about attunement and I think, you know, to go touch back on, I should have done a for attachment oh, second season. Um, If you get there you know, there is a quality, a desire for us to be attuned to, you know, the caregiver thing of, you know, this.

[00:18:42] For some reason, I'm just thinking like, you know, as an infant, we need our caregiver to be attuned to our needs because we cannot articulate them at that point, and actually having someone being empathetic and at times, at times, knowing us better than we know ourselves so that we can know ourselves.

[00:19:06] Mark Steadman: Hmm.

[00:19:07] Anya: You know, actually putting up that mirror because

[00:19:11] Mark Steadman: the moment where you, you are doing that thing again and it's like, I'm not doing a thing. Yeah, yeah. You, you do that thing, you know when you get, when you get like this, you do that thing, Oh, okay. I guess I'm doing that thing again.

[00:19:22] Anya: Yeah, because we don't always have full presence and consciousness to ourselves. You know? And if you, I'm just thinking kind of like neurological.

[00:19:31] Mark Steadman: Mm-hmm.

[00:19:32] Anya: you know, when things go from the limbic brain to the executive centers and, and baracka, they're the language center. Am I be getting that wrong? I will, I will double check for the show notes.

[00:19:42] You know, there is an emotional dampening, you know, there's, it's, it's, we lose things in translation into language and so there can be An exquisite experience when someone attunes to us and meets us at that emo emotional level before we even need to put the, the energy expenditure into going, okay.

[00:20:09] It's, it's almost like thinking fast and slow. You know, the Dan, Dan Kahneman, the idea, you know, we can just be in our experience. without having to stop and dissect it and then articulate it and to think of, oh, how do I phrase this? So that you know, and, and depending on what, on your level, on how, on that it either communicates my needs most authentically or it will land best with the person so that they meet it.

[00:20:39] And I will let Anna and I will let ev everyone has those that. , and it's up to you and, and whichever God you choose to play to depends, you know, over where you most normally live. On that one.

[00:20:54] Mark Steadman: I, I, I feel like we, we, we could be straying into what could be another letter. Uh, I'm not sure what letter that is yet, but I'm sure you'll tell me at some point. So I, I wanna see, see if we can pull it back and maybe maybe have a meeting with Charles Snyder.

[00:21:07] Anya: you. This is interesting. I'm just talking about this idea of, of putting things into cognition from the emotional, because he look, thinks of it as a cognitive process. You know, first and foremost, you know, yes, emotions play a, you know, a helpful secondary role, but for him it's all about mean, like motivation, you know, and a very, very basic understanding of it is kinda like three things.

[00:21:31] You know, one, think of a. Two, think of ways to get there. And then three, think you can reach it. So what do I want? What are the pathways to it? How confident do I feel about getting there? And he kinda like talks about goals, you know, like positive and negative goals. And I've talked a little bit about this, like the, the, uh, hian away towards and against kind of things. And so do we want to move towards something or do you wanna move against it away?

[00:21:59] Mark Steadman: we've, we've covered that in this series yet, but I'm sure we'll get to it.

[00:22:02] Anya: I think like, vaguely, vaguely. I, I, I, I recall that. That's cuz that's like, yeah. I'll double check. Well, we'll go back to that. I'll add that and it, it, yeah, but it's, it's, it's cider. The, the Cameron Horne. Um, Cuz I, this is why I think I have spoken about her cuz I'm not sure I'm pronouncing her name correctly.

[00:22:19] She talks about how, uh, when we are dysregulated by someone or something, We can either want to fight it, move, you know, move against it, move towards it, which is pacifying, you know, people pleasing, you know, that thing I just said before of, you know, how can I say this so that it will land best with the other person.

[00:22:40] Or we want to flee, we want to move away from things. And so that's, and it's the same with I think kind of like, you can almost think of that with pretty much anything really. You know, Schneider talks about this in like positive and negative goals, but the positive ones. You know, sustaining something, you know, something that's good, reaching it for the first time or increasing something.

[00:23:03] And so like with a meditation thing, it might be, you know, your, it might be sustaining a girl might be like meditating for 10 minutes. For every day reaching for the first time, you know, getting to the point when you've meditated for 10 minutes for a seven day streak. And then increasing it might be, you know, my new goal is actually meditating twice a day for seven, you know, a seven day streak.

[00:23:26] Whereas negative goals. You know, this is kinda like where I have been. I was with the hope that was dashed. Actually it was a negative goal because it was de this idea of de hoping that something never appears or that its appearances delayed.

[00:23:43] Mark Steadman: yes.

[00:23:44] Anya: And so, you know, I was hoping that, you know, the, the flatter I, I, I, I rent won't be sold, you know?

[00:23:52] So I was hoping that that's never appeared. And then, you know, now, now I've got that news. You know, I'm hoping that there's a, there's a delay, you know, with with, with that occurring. Or certainly, you know, that's something I'm going to be discussing. So at least, at least these things can I de deter it until a point when I have completed my dissertation and I've finished my masters, because I don't wanna think about like, more things until about the 1st of May

[00:24:18] Mark Steadman: Yeah.

[00:24:18] Anya: you know, after that go nuts.

[00:24:21] Mark Steadman: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:24:22] Anya: But but, I need that kind of breathing space, you know? And it is, you know, these things. the, you know, the probability of a girl can be high or low, but it's this idea of having clarity around it. and I love this from, this is one of the things that I keep, no matter how many times I read David Allen's getting things done, there's always another bit of it.

[00:24:45] I go, oh shit. That was crucial. That's why I don't make as much progress as I would like to. And the thing that I picked up from his sequence was the idea of a next goal, a next action, sorry, on a goal which helps to really do these, focus the, the pathways thinking and the agency. You know, if I don't know where I'm getting or what I want, quite clearly the next action, I can't work out all the different ways I can get.

[00:25:13] Mark Steadman: Yes. And I think that also gets into a, a thing with, with hope sometimes is that we aren't active enough in. Pursuing the thing that we hope for, uh, because the thing that we hope for feels big and daunting and maybe there are so many steps and it takes so much to get there. That the thought of how, how do you do that?

[00:25:35] You know, I'm trying to move to an expensive city. I've got so many different things that I have to figure out first. But it all started with, I'm not just, you know, I've, I've, I've sat with the. For a few years I've sat with, wouldn't it be great if, but I have to start to think about how many building blocks I put in place and then the building blocks for those building blocks to break, to start breaking it down to those next.

[00:25:58] Uh, actions so that that hope becomes something that I'm working towards rather than this static flag that I've planted off in the distance. And then I look at occasion and go, be nice if I was over there. It's like, no, no. Again, going back to habits. Everything is small, iterative steps to get there.

[00:26:18] Anya: Yeah, absolutely. You know, this leads me lovely on, beautifully onto BJ Fogg's work, you know, cuz you know, and, and, and I don't wanna talk too much about it because he's very protective over his ip, but he does have this idea of a swarm of behaviors, swarm of bees, he calls it. And it is, you know, generating these, a multiple number of pathways.

[00:26:39] what, what you've identified a. What are all the different ways that you can meet it? And then actually looking at them and going, okay, so what's high impact and low impact on that? And then I think this is the crucial one which really ties into this agency and sense of confidence is, my, how likely will I be able to do this?

[00:27:02] You know, is it like a low or, or want to do this? You know, if I don't want to do it and it's low impact, well that can just get put in the bin straight. But if something is high impact and it's something I enjoy doing,

[00:27:14] Mark Steadman: Yes.

[00:27:15] Anya: you already clarified a whole bunch of things here, so that can really be so important for that.

[00:27:21] And actually, you know, it's really interesting you're talking about the building blocks because I think this is something that often gets overlooked and really takes me into my next question for people is that, in a more, if you actually go beyond the basics of Schneider's model of, you know, think of what you wanna do, different ways to get there.

[00:27:44] Yeah, I reckon I can do it. Going back to this idea of attachment, you know, if you, you know, you, if you don't have role models, if you don't have, you know, your, your primary care is showing you that things can be, that, that things are possible. You know, we don't even just getting this is, this is something which I have actually really struggled with.

[00:28:09] The idea of even just having goals because even that felt too vulnerable. I, I didn't see how you would re, how it was possible to reach them. There was no one to model reaching them. You know, the, there was creativity and avoidance,

[00:28:27] Mark Steadman: Mm.

[00:28:28] Anya: slightly different thing. But, you know, you know, there can be triggers of loss of hope from ch you know, which from childhood, which can, which can affect us through our adult life.

[00:28:38] Yeah. For me, hope is something which, you know, to it, it, it, it's, it's fragile. It's even getting to a point of a goal because of my health and not being able to rely on myself and my res, my literal physical resource. to meet something can be really challenging. But we are a deeply social species, and I think this is, you know, I think you picked up on it actually, and I, and I shared it when I said in my reframe, yes, I'm, you know, yes.

[00:29:18] And I have people who around me now who can help me if I need to move.

[00:29:23] And I think, you know, with your building blocks as well, where you want to move to an expensive city, it is this idea. , what support do you and your support your hopes have?

[00:29:31] Mark Steadman: Yes.

[00:29:33] Anya: Because we are, you know, Deb Dyna puts at a deeply social species, and, you know, this is something, you know, in the Anthony Scioli, the, the, the, the, the much more complicated three dimensional

[00:29:50] Mark Steadman: Oh yes.

[00:29:51] Anya: version of, of, of, of, of, of hope, He talks about, you know, the mastery aspect, which is, yeah, similar to what Snyder's talking about, you know, but or, and then our survival instinct, our resilience, and what he puts it as are the way that we manage our fears and terrors.

[00:30:12] And he uses the word terror a lot.

[00:30:15] Mark Steadman: Mm.

[00:30:16] Anya: which is, you know, a really provocative word almost, you know, but it is, you know, the, these basic fundamental fears that, you know, we will not survive and one day we will not be here. This, this, the spirituality, you know, this I mentioned before, is connection to something bigger.

[00:30:33] And then, you know, our attachment, our connection to others. And, you know, I had a hell of a time doing my hope.

[00:30:41] Mark Steadman: Mm.

[00:30:41] Anya: Oh my Gideons. Because there's no kind, like you, you can find Snyder's Hope, uh, questionnaires on the internet. I'll put it in the show notes. The Scioli stuff is much more, many more questions, much more involved, and it basically came up with me coming up empty on quite a few, including attachment.

[00:31:08] I mean particularly at that time in the pandemic and, you know, which exacerbated preexisting social isolation for me. You know, everyone was like getting used to not, everyone was like suddenly learning on this very, very high, you know, learning, steep learning curve of what it was like not to see people and, yeah.

[00:31:28] Yeah. And yeah. You know, that was like, okay, this is my bread and butter. But now I, I can't even go out to the grocery store to the supermarket for my once a week experience of other people, which, which was, that was what my life was like. But he found it really interesting that cuz one of the things I do have is a high level of spirituality. I do have a sense of being connected to something. . And it's really interesting how apparently that can compensate for the lack of, you know, I'm connected to something even when I'm not connected to someone. And I think that is a huge thing, you know, because, you know, as um, he says, you know, hope is about love and attachment.

[00:32:22] Scary says, you know, it's not a private resource connected in isolation. And he even suggests that, you know, because in the, a lot of this is, you know, having hope in other people either that, that they will meet our needs, that they will support us, that they love us, you know, and the attachment might be the linchpin from which all other forms of hope derive. And one of, I haven't watched it for a few years, but I, I know I sent it to you recently. There's a wonderful TEDx talk with Barbara. She, late Barbara, she who is very clear that isolation is the dream killer, not your attitude. We try and with our habits, with our girls, with our attempts at productivity and self-motivation, you know, we try and giddy ourselves up little horsey. And this is why I think both you and I are so, oh, grateful to be a member of a number of communities, including the one we met through the happy Startup. because it is through our connections with others that our hopes are more likely to be realized both on a material, but also most importantly on an emotional level.

[00:33:42] Mark Steadman: So I think we, we should um, have a look at our, our last question,

[00:33:47] Anya: Mm.

[00:33:49] Mark Steadman: who do you provide hope to, uh, and Scally, uh, has, has something to add to this as well.

[00:33:56] Anya: Yeah, and I think, you know, we've talked a lot interestingly, you know, again, to, to quote the late Chris, uh, Peterson, you know, he summed up positive psychology in three words. Other people matter. You know, when we are thinking of hope, when we have talking of hope, Throughout this whole conversation, roven through it has been its dependence on and its reliance on and our connection with others.

[00:34:27] And as much as we may want to seek hope for ourselves, it is important to remember that we are interconnected. We. You know, I won't go into the polyvagal right now, but we co-regulate each other's nervous systems. This is how we have been biologically designed. We have evolved, you know, as a caretaking species, and the ability to give someone hope is as someone who has received it on occasion.

[00:35:03] Uh, when I say on occasion, I mean. Having moments which have been so sustaining that they have carried me through years of deprivation.

[00:35:16] Mark Steadman: Hmm.

[00:35:16] Anya: Being able to give someone hope is a gift beyond Jules in my, in my very humble, uh, estimation. And honestly, it's, it's not dissimilar to. offering someone a secure level of attachment to you, you know, the skill.

[00:35:39] And Bill, talk about three components. Availability, presence, and contact. You know, availability. Being able to access someone, you know, you mentioned before, you know, Anticipate my needs

[00:35:59] you know, or almost can I Perhaps being able to anticipate that someone will be there for you, you know? And to do so, you know, reliably. and then this idea of presence. When they are with you, are they really with you? Can we feel safe with them? And I definitely have talked, spoken about our neuro receptive sense that's always working out, is this a warning or welcome offering safety, which we can do through authenticity.

[00:36:25] So it's no, we're not picking up two signals at the same time. Everything is is congruence there. And then this idea of focus, actually, you know I, one of my favorite quotes is forever. John ta, the Rosh Budds Roshi. Attention is the most basic form of love through it, to be blessed and are blessed, you know, actually being, not someone's whole world, but actually being able to know that someone will put things down and go, okay, tell me everything to be there, you know, the focus of you. And then this idea of contact, you know, this is this, you know, the regularity, this involvement, the repetition of it.

[00:37:04] And again, you know, I'm talking about like the mixed, mixed signals in a direct communication, but also clarity and contact. You know, I think one of the curses of the modern world of dating is situation ships, you know, being involved with people but not knowing if you're involved with them.

[00:37:25] Mark Steadman: Hmm.

[00:37:28] Anya: And actually, you know, having the, having the conversation, you know, are, are we, are we in a, are we, are we

[00:37:35] Mark Steadman: we changing our Facebook status? Like that's,

[00:37:37] Anya: Oh no. That, that's like, I mean, that's way beyond fir. First of all, it's like, are we dating, are we, are we just hanging out and having sex? I can't work out what you know because there is so much

[00:37:50] Mark Steadman: mean, I've got the benefits, but I'll be friends.

[00:37:52] Anya: Well, that's, yeah. Yeah. You know, and I think there's something here about, well, the words being a good friend comes to my mind

[00:38:03] Mark Steadman: Hmm.

[00:38:04] Anya: being that place of rest for. Because I think, no, when, when I am still, when I am rested, when I feel resourced, when I feel safe, hope rises from me like a, a quiet babbling brook.

[00:38:26] It just needs the, the right conditions sometimes for that, that spring to emerge effortlessly and innately.

[00:38:40] Mark Steadman: makes me think a little bit of the idea of, of mindfulness, which is that the. is always visible, but it's hidden behind the clouds. We, we always have these things. We always have the, these capabilities, but we just lose sight of them sometimes.

[00:38:56] Anya: Yeah,

[00:38:58] Mark Steadman: Well, why not? Let's, uh, finish up with some Emily Dickinson.

[00:39:03] I have a hankering for some Dickinson and only you can provide what I seek and yeah,

[00:39:10] Anya: I, I, well, I, I, I was anticipating this, I, I, I was attuned to this and I, and I was poised and ready so that I may meet your emotional need. I think one of the most famous poems about Hope is Emily Dickinson, and Hope is the thing with feathers. And yes, I'll be delighted to bring us to a close with this short verse.

[00:39:33] Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all and sweetest in the gale is heard and so must be the storm that could a bash, the little bird that kept so many warm. I've heard it in the chillest land and on the strangest sea. Yet never in extremity it asked a crumb of me

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Creators and Guests

Anya Pearse
Anya Pearse
Intuitive adviser, facilitator, and positive psychology practitioner.
Mark Steadman
Mark Steadman
Coach helping digital creatives with big feelings


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