Staying Hopeful During Difficult Times

Cassandra Tondro, "Seeking Comfort," coronavirus collage art

Hi Friends,

Each week of the coronavirus pandemic brings more unexpected change. All of a sudden, grocery store checkers and the people who take orders at casual dining restaurants are behind glass, creating a barrier to social exchange and a feeling of more isolation.

The beaches and parks here have closed, but we’re allowed to walk, run and bicycle in our neighborhoods. The definition of “neighborhood” is vague, and some folks are outraged that others are crossing into their territory and allegedly spreading germs.

We’re now living in a totalitarian state controlled by our own fear, and we know that fear and anxiety weaken and suppress the immune system. So how do we stay healthy and hopeful during these trying times?

For me, it helps to get outside for sunshine, nature and fresh air. Smiles from people I see while walking encourage me. Friends who are willing to talk openly and honestly about their feelings and visions sustain me. Words and videos from extraordinary leaders like Michael Beckwith, Lee Harris and Charles Eisenstein lift me up.

We’re going through a collective rite of passage, and we don’t yet know what will emerge on the other side. We have the choice to retract into worry and fear, or we can shift our focus away from the common enemy to a vision of what we want to see in the world — a kind and just global society where all beings and the planet thrive. Through our imaginations, we have the power to make it so.

I think you might enjoy this recent article written by Marian Brehmer titled “16 Teachings from COVID-19.”

What are you doing to uplift yourself during this challenging time? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,

Collage at top of page: “Seeking Comfort in Old Patchwork Quilt,” 20 x 16 inches, mixed media on canvas panel



  1. Thank you Cassandra for this uplifting and loving post.
    I am a textile artist and I’ve been working since February on the non-profit international project 25 Million Stitches, one stitch for each refugee in the world. A four year exhibition was due to start in June.
    The deadline was in a few days but the post offices having closed here nothing can be sent, (the project originates from California), and because of the confinement, we are waiting… So I decided to stitch a second panel, and I’m halfway through the third.
    Considering how much worse the situation is for refugees in camps around the world, I think that they will eventually know that people care.
    I’ve started teaching myself encaustics collages also.
    I am disabled and my eyesight is no longer good enough to allow me to stitch for long periods of time. Reading is difficult also. Encaustics lets me work more roughly. I alternate between the two and rest. My cat Boo is my only companion and such a blessing.
    I live in France. Every evening at 8:00 PM, people thank all medical and para-medical staff by opening their windows and clap their hands, bang saucepans together, I play music on a loudspeaker. Till last week, before we switched to summer hours, it was dark and through most windows would flash Christmas lights, people would wave lamps.It’s been going on for a while now and though we can’t see each other and probably will never meet we shout ‘till tomorrow’.
    So as well as an homage to all people who put their lives at risk for us (street cleaners also), it has created a bond between strangers. It is very moving.
    My siblings and I also call my dad who is in a retirement home. He broke his hip the day before our mum passed away from Alzheimer’s. He’s never been home since, he needs constant medical care. We haven’t seen him since March 10, we miss him and worry for him. These homes house the elderly and most vulnerable. Keeping in touch by phone helps a lot.
    That’s about it, quite a lot for me, but it gives us hope.
    Thank you again for caring.
    With love,

    1. Hi Chloe. Thanks for your sharing your thoughts with us. Your post offices are closed??? Wow. That’s one thing we still have. I love the idea of thanking all of the medical personnel every night. What a wonderful, life affirming ritual! Yes, you do have a lot on your plate right now, and I send you love and light to help you get through it with grace and ease. Be well.

  2. I have been taking lots of walks with the dog and really long walks when my husband comes along. I have not been up for expressing myself lately and I think my husband appreciates that.
    Grateful for this post along with the, “16 Teachings of Covid19.“

    1. Hi Jean. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Yes, dogs are wonderfully helpful, aren’t they? So uplifting and oblivious to everything that’s going on in the human world. I haven’t felt like painting since this began, which is why I’m doing the smaller collages. I find it easier to work on small things that aren’t as involved. Take good care!

  3. My dogs think it is the best thing, they love the walks and attention. Thanks for the article, we need to stay clam and move forward.
    Your Friend from Iowa,
    Kim Moore

    1. Hi Kim. Yes, dogs are in seventh heaven right now, with everyone home and time for extra attention and walks! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Sending you love and light.

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