Interview: Sara McClellan
Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.
Today’s interviewee is one of my closest friends and author of the new book The World Needs Hope, Sara McClellan. (The very same book I’ve been mentioning here recently because it also includes my first print credit.)
Sara is a writer with nearly 20 years of creative communications experience. She chose to transform personal loss into a mission of positive change. Sara dedicates her voice to awakening the world to the inspiring presence and power of hope.
What have you been wonderstruck by recently?
Just a blink ago, I was wonderstruck by the emphatic sound of an escaped cockatoo traversing the neighborhood. After trying to woo it over to my patio with an über-healthy breakfast cereal—to no avail, I might add—my bright white friend, instead, opted to serenade me from the vent to my attic on the second story. I use serenade here because I hopefully assume that it was not speaking poorly of my inability to offer sanctuary. At least, being in Arizona, the temperature was not a ghastly threat to its well-being. The most fun for me is to ponder what message nature has for me in all this, “Sara, welcome others graciously . . . shape perseverance through surprise challenges . . . marvel at the beauty of quirky little moments . . . or, work on your communication skills.”
What part of your day are you grateful for?
Every moment. That was easy. Ah, but I suspect my dear friend and owner of this splendid blog would appreciate a pinch of expansion. Well, I am grateful to wake up in a comfortable bed with shelter overhead (the rhyme makes me giggle, as it sounds Seussian). I am profoundly grateful for my shower, which I augmented with a chlorine-filtering showerhead (best. purchase. ever). I am grateful for the traffic, yes the traffic, as it helps me pause to lose my mind in strategic thought or playful whimsy. I am grateful for the supportive texts, wall posts, tweets and calls from friends all over the world—they always find me at exactly the right moment; what a blessing. I am grateful for every face and for having the privilege of seeing how a simple smile can light someone else’s day. I am grateful for learning compassion through service to others, from holding a door to pausing to empathetically hear about how another soul is feeling, not just doing. I am grateful for a wellspring of unending hope, in every beautifully revealed form.
What part of the day is tough? How do you move through it?
Depending on the day, every moment can be tough. To be an optimist, a hopeful messenger and a soulful human, it is necessary to recognize, face and overcome the tough moments. Through the climb from shadow to light, we appreciate the sweet, the comforting and the enriching moments that teach us to realize our potential and treat others with more care. My greatest ally is hope, as perspective guides our actions and our reactions.
What do you wish you were more conscious of?
I consistently challenge myself to be more conscious of the words, the foods and the images that feed and influence my overall state of health. We nourish ourselves through all of our senses—every pore, every sight and every interaction. I believe that how we respect and nurture “self” is how we reflect hope and love to the world.
How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?
Like all creatives, I enjoy thinking, composing and dreaming in the same instant. Mostly, I surrender to the frenzy. However, in the instances where a task or goal must be accomplished (like this charming interview), I imagine that I am speaking to a friend or demonstrating a process to a child. By humanizing it, I find I naturally focus and invest the best of myself. It helps prioritize my efforts and more fluidly proceed. Of course, my failsafe is a cup of tea. It centers me, washing over my whirring mind like a wave of clarity. Current favorite: high mountain oolong.
More About Sara McClellan:
I am honored to share the launch of my first book, “The World Needs Hope.” It expresses, in real terms, how to recognize, create and share hope in our modern world. You will find succinct, meaningful statements that enable you to pace your read to fit your busy lifestyle and explore chapters in the order you need them, as creative examples from 20 contributing artists bring hope into focus in your life.
Follow Sara and her message of hope here: