Hope is a universal resource — a force of nature — you can cultivate and strengthen in times of challenge.

Humans have the unique capacity to rescue ourselves from hopelessness through the power of the imagination. In adversity, we’re lifted by “the thing with feathers,” as Emily Dickinson described hope, and carried above the cares of the moment by shifting our perspective from despair toward possibility. But where does hope come from and of what is it made? How does it link to resilience and thriving?
In this six-week online writing class, we’ll explore the anatomy of hope, and how to cultivate a durable, realistic hope that acknowledges things as they are. When we change our stories about our experience — and fearful predictions about the future — we liberate the power of hope that is latent within us, and move from victimhood toward self-empowerment. By examining your core narratives, and transcending unhelpful denial of the facts, you free yourself to become resilient — unsinkable in the face of hardship.
Some questions we will answer together:
~Why are negative experiences more impactful than positive ones?
~What’s the connection between curiosity and resilience?
~Does every experience offer creative potential?
~Why do some spiritual traditions warn against hope?
~How do I avoid my vitality to keep a false equilibrium?

“Mark Matousek’s reflections and life-changing insights are filled with
timeless wisdom and practical advice. Let Mark be your guide as you journey
to the depths of your mind to nurture a new way of being with yourself and with others.”

~Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Clinical Professor and NY TImes bestselling author

Lesson Overview

Week One: The Courage to Dream
We explore the connection between imagination and resilience, and why it is that hope depends on an open mind.
Week Two: Now is Not Forever
We examine the obsession with past and future, and how time-bound thinking blocks flourishing.
Week Three: Action and Surrender
We investigate the link between hope and personal agency, and how spiritual surrender increases our power.
Week Four: How Optimism Works
We turn our attention to the myths surrounding optimism and the trap of toxic positivity.
Week Five: Leave Nothing Out
We look at the importance of facing facts, making space for fear, in order to nurture authentic (tough) hope.
Week Six: The Wisdom of Insecurity
We explore the paradox of ‘not-know mind’ and the mysterious gift of impermanence.
YouTube video

How the Online Class Works

This online writing class focuses on the pursuit of insight through writing. Guided by Mark’s weekly written lessons and using his Writing to Awaken method, you’ll explore the provided lesson prompts in writing and submit your work each week. Mark responds to each submission focusing on the insights, revelations, and themes present in the writing and offers suggestions on where to go deeper to move beyond the story. This is not a class on writing style, grammar, or syntax. People interested in writing memoir value the insights discovered through this process. You do not need to be an experienced writer in order to benefit from Writing to Awaken. Curiosity, courage, and the willingness to question your personal narratives are all you need to learn from these inspiring, supportive classes.
A few days before the start of the class, you will be invited to join the Google Group for the class. The weekly lessons and your responses will be posted to this Group. Each Friday, Mark will post a written lesson to the Group. Students respond to the lesson prompts by the following Wednesday evening. Mark responds to each piece submitted on Thursday/Friday.
Using Google Groups allows the class to read, comment and support each other’s work in a positive and nurturing environment. Sharing your work with the group is not mandatory. You may submit your writing directly to Mark, if you choose. Privacy and anonymity is respected.
There are two live Zoom Meetings held during the term to discuss the work and answer any questions you may have. These sessions are recorded and the playback links posted to the Group the following day. The dates are below, but times will be determined to accommodate the time zones of the entire class. The times will be posted by the first week of the class.
Class Start Date: Monday, January 24 – First lesson is posted.
Zoom Meeting 1: Wednesday, February 2 at 7 pm Eastern/4 pm Pacific.
Zoom Meeting 2: Thursday, February 24 at 7 pm Eastern/4 pm Pacific.
Class End Date: Final lesson posted Monday, February 28. Final responses posted March 6-7.

“Mark, thank you for the immense gift of your online course!
The safe and inspired place you fostered for me (and our group) enabled me to delve into the deepest
corners of my personal story and emerge with something new to share with the world.”

~Judy, USA

At the current tipping point between hope and despair,
as the uncertainties of the world multiply, it’s more
important than ever that we cultivate our own happiness and
exercise our own hope. This course will guide you in that direction.

Online Class Tuition: $440 USD


YouTube video
YouTube video