Heartfelt Hope for 2021

A long, overdue “goodbye” to 2020. It feels so good letting go of what had to be one of the most disappointing- and to some, devastating – years ever.  Common sense says that just by

A long, overdue “goodbye” to 2020. It feels so good letting go of what had to be one of the most disappointing- and to some, devastating – years ever.  Common sense says that just by virtue of the calendar flipping to a new year that all is not going to be rosy overnight, but something about a fresh new year still gives me that much needed mental “break” from a very challenging year.


I always have a focus word each year. I started doing that instead of new year’s resolutions several years ago. Sometimes I think about what that word is going to be for weeks, but not this time.  I knew right away it was going to be “hope.”


Have you ever heard the story of Pandora? I’m not talking about Pandora on your phone. 😊  I’m talking about ancient Greek mythology and the story of Pandora’s box.  If you are familiar with Greek mythology, Pandora, was the first woman on earth, molded after the beautiful goddess Aphrodite and given the gifts of health, generosity, peace, kindness, beauty and wisdom from the gods. She was also given the “gift” of curiosity.  The much-shortened version of this story is that she was given a box as a wedding present with instructions that she was not to open that box under any circumstances or conditions. Like the young child that cannot resist peeking into the Christmas gift the parent forgot to hide, curiosity got the best of her and she opened the box.


What happened after the box was opened?  All the evils of the world flew out – hatred, envy, greed, disease, poverty, pain, death, and war.  When she realized what had happened, she quickly closed the box before the last remaining thing in the box could escape: hope.  There are several variations of the ending of this story as well as interpretations to the meaning of the story.  In some variations of the story, hope remained in the box.  In other variations, some hope “escaped,” and there have been other various endings as well.


While I am no Greek scholar, my personal takeaway from “Pandora’s Box” is that despite all the doom and despair the world can throw at us, hope always remains. Whether it stays in the box or we take it out is up to US.  While none of us know yet what 2021 will bring, I choose to focus on HOPE.  Hope for better – a belief that things will get better, NOT just a wish, but belief that things will get better. I choose hope!


For 2021, Unconditionally Her will do our part in bringing our usual great content from each “sip of the month” and more great recipes, to special features each month such as January’s getting organized, a “new you” for the new year, travel, and more.   Not to be forgotten are regularly featured Untold stories of inspiration, perseverance, and HOPE.  Let’s take hope out of the box and embrace 2021!


Be Encouraged, Be Empowered, Be Inspired – Be Unconditionally YOU


Cindy Chafin
Cindy Chafin, M.Ed., MCHES® serves as editor-in-chief of Unconditionally Her. Through her many years as a masters-level certified health educator and 18-year employment in a higher education setting – as well as several years as a graduate and doctoral student – she has written countless articles, essays, publications, grant applications, proposals, reports, and other technical and creative writing documents. In addition to her training and professional work experience, she spent four years as volunteer editor of New Focus Daily, a publication of the Women Survivors Alliance, a national women cancer survivors-focused organization based in Nashville, Tennessee.

While serving as editor of Unconditionally Her, a women-focused magazine which provides content on anything from recipes, travel, books, and everything in between, she has a special interest in fitness, health, and well-being. She is certified by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and was part of the first cohort to receive master's level designation. NCHEC certifies health education specialists, promotes professional development, and strengthens professional preparation and practice. She is proud to be a CHES® and has been a public health professional for many years after receiving her graduate degree in health promotion and education from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for many years and looks forward to re-engaging with women one-on-one as a health coach pending completion of her certification and doctoral degree to supplement her public health and academic work.

She currently is the Associate Director for Community Programs for the Center for Health and Human Services at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, located just outside of Nashville, where she has been a project director of multiple grants since 2002 and served as interim director from 2015-2018. Cindy offers her consulting services and volunteer hours under the umbrella of Community Health Collaboratives, LLC which she founded in 2002 for organizations such as Unconditionally Her and other non-profit and charity organizations. She is pleased to promote empowerment and confidence of women readers across the globe, and to provide inspiration, motivation, and voice for social change through her role as editor-in-chief of Unconditionally Her.