If You Have a Rainforest Mind, You’ve Got Hopepunk

photo courtesy of Natalie Grainger, Unsplash

Have you heard of it? Hopepunk? If you haven’t, listen up.

It’s got your name written all over it. Seriously.

Hopepunk is about strength through kindness, optimism, and empathy. Power through gentleness and intelligent compassion. It’s about ethics, justice, and standing up. Speaking out for love.

If that doesn’t describe a rainforest mind, well, I don’t know what does.


It’s Harry Potter. It’s Frodo and Sam.

It’s Dear Evan Hansen. The musical. The song You Will Be Found.

The School of Life. “The School of Life is a global organisation dedicated to developing emotional intelligence.”

It’s Lin Manuel-Miranda.

On Being. “…an independent non-profit public life and media initiative. We pursue deep thinking and social courage, moral imagination and joy, to renew inner life, outer life, and life together.”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Earth Guardians. “We empower young people by providing them with leadership opportunities and tools to bring their innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.”

It’s good psychotherapy.

March for Our Lives.

Rebecca Solnit.

Rebels At Work. “This is a place of ideas, stories, and resources for Rebels At Work, those of us trying to improve, change, and innovate at work…”

Brain Pickings.

It’s The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution by Mary DeMocker

Love Army“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


It’s a new term that was coined on Tumblr by Alexandra Rowland in 2017 for the fantasy and sci-fi communities of readers and writers and shared by Rebecca Solnit on Facebook. It’s growing from there. To my blog. To you.

Carry on, hopepunkers. Carry on.


To my bloggEEs: Share the books, songs, movies, and organizations that represent hopepunk in your life. This will be our gift to each other as we enter 2019. Much love and hopepunk to you all.







Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

13 responses to “If You Have a Rainforest Mind, You’ve Got Hopepunk”

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  1. Bianca Roxas Avatar
    Bianca Roxas

    I also like to do internet activism when I want a way to cheer myself up sometimes, considering it’s often in online activist circles that you see a lot of good people, and you don’t have to go to some loud rally to change things somehow. Sites like Global Citizen and Care2 have resources ranging petitions to articles for advice. Global Citizen allows you to even email or call a representative. Care2 even has groups to join and has click to donate sites (Where nice sponsors show you their ads in exchange of donating to a cause — good way to make people actually look at your ads and like them. — it’s a win-win, haha. )

    If you don’t have money to donate, you can check out click to donate sites like Greater Good, Ecologyfund, or even a quiz site by the United Nations called FreeRice where each question you get right, you donate. No asking for credit cards or real names, so no scam here. There are also search engines like Ecosia and Tabs for a Cause where not only you get your privacy respected, they only support advertisers that support charities.

    Just wanted to share some other ways to experience hopepunk online. 😀 . You’re welcome!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you for sharing these great resources, Bianca!

  2. medleymisty Avatar

    I saw the title and I thought “Wow, you’re on Tumblr?” 🙂

    I’ve been reading the book Factfulness, by Hans Rosling. It’s helpful. He used statistics to show that the world isn’t as bad as we tend to assume it is, and he talked about the fallacies that make us think things are worse than they are. While acknowledging that thing can still be bad, and he’s not saying that it’s wrong to be upset. Just that it’s important to have balance and to also see how things are improving, like much of the world getting out of extreme poverty, more girls in school, more children vaccinated, etc.

    Also yesterday I started taking CBD oil, which is derived from cannabis. The recent farm bill that passed in the US made it legal nationally, although different states have different regulations about how much THC is allowed in the strains that are sold. I can already tell a difference, and it’s really helping with the anxiety/PTSD. Like yesterday at work someone came into the house I was taking pics of, and my amygdala didn’t scream at me and I didn’t panic or even get a little scared. I was just like, “Yeah, it’s the owner or prospects, it’s cool.”

    So if you’re struggling to find hope or peace or just a way to cope with how things are currently going, CBD could help with the physical parts of your mood. And things like the book Factfulness can help redirect your thoughts some.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Ha! No, not on Tumblr. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestions.

    2. EwaB Avatar

      also recently read that book. it is a good read and makes a lot of things clear.

  3. Themon the Bard Avatar
    Themon the Bard

    I’ve read Becky Chambers’ books, and there is a magical quality about them. Yes, they’re sci-fi. But the sci-fi is just the setting for a story about decent people trying to be decent while dealing with difficult situations. There’s no villain from Central Casting to crush underfoot. Even the bad guys — and there are some — have a deep streak of decency, and are horrified and appalled when things go wrong. You really can’t hate any of her characters.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      The woman who coined hopepunk is a sci-fi writer, I think. Thanks for the suggestion, Themon.

      1. Themon the Bard Avatar
        Themon the Bard

        P.S. — Becky Chambers is on the list of “HopePunk” authors on the list in the link you gave.

  4. J M Avatar
    J M

    This brought tears to my eyes. About two, maybe three years ago, there was a movie I went to see in the theater… Zootopia was the name… and the entire movie was about social justice. Somewhere in the middle of the film, it suddenly bopped me on the head that the main character was ME. Then it hit me that tons of movies and books main characters were really about people like ME. They’re portrayed as fictional characters, people see them and think they are just exaggerations… but we REALLY exist! And that much of this media is actually designed to call us out, reach out to us and encourage us to not let the world crush us, not hate ourselves for not being “normal”, and understand that the world NEEDS us to be ourselves, even if “everyone” acts like we’re just nuisances. I see this in my oldest son now, too. He is definitely “hopepunk”.

    And now even though our family has been ripped apart just for having that very spirit… and I went through a couple of years doubting myself severely, being angry at myself for being so “foolish” as to think I could raise my children to be independent and fully in tune with themselves, without pushing them too hard to do things I know will come to them eventually in time… feeling guilty for us being happy despite all our obstacles, encouraging them to be happy despite lacking all the material frills… hating myself for not being able to provide that no matter how hard I worked because I still wanted to spend time on them as well and did not ignore them… that I valued our relationship MORE than our material wealth, as long as they were fed and housed and had some toys and fun, sunshine and laughter… no. I have come to realize that I was NEVER wrong for any of that. That our family WAS gravely wronged, the intent was NEVER to do right by my children, there was NEVER any misunderstanding or doubt that I was a good parent. They were sold to the highest bidder.

    And this is the middle of our story. I don’t know how it’s going to end, yet. Maybe I will be able to have some grand court victory that wins them back. Maybe we will have to reconnect once they are 18, and I will need to explain what happened to them, reassure them I never stopped loving or fighting for them anyway I could find, catch them up on understanding themselves and why the world seems to hate them so much, just like it did me. I say did, because…

    I’m now at the part of the story where I have found my true strength lies in being exactly who I am. I don’t need to change that one bit. I need to express it, let it shine. I can expect there to be haters, to be people that cause drama and try to knock me down, and they may even be successful in that. My strength lies in my ability to stand back up, again and again, and again, and keep fighting. My strength lies in… dare I say it? … I am blessed by the source of everything, and every time I am surrounded in darkness, that source helps me find the light that will help me find a pathway out into bigger and better days.

    I HAVE changed. But not my personality, none of my traits. I’ve changed my attitude. I’ve lost fear. I’ve gained hope. I’ve quit feeling bad about what I don’t have, and have started feeling grateful that I am simply alive and have the basics to support being alive. I have quit keeping my mouth shut just for the sake of trying to keep the peace, and instead strive to speak up in a manner that is respectful but assertive and firm about what my personal boundaries are. I stand by myself when that is opposed. And when I see that my words fall on deaf ears, I cease wasting my effort but don’t cease thinking that I was right to do what I did. Just because I am silenced, does not mean I was wrong. I’ve started listening to my sixth sense even when it doesn’t line up with any logical evidence. I’ve quit thinking I need to prove myself or my thinking or feelings to anyone. I’ve quit thinking that someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong. We only need to allow each other to live our lives as we see fit as long as that is not hurting anyone or impending on their rights.

    I have a lot be proud about. And I’ve stopped feeling like I am somehow less for it. Realized, when I took that saying “your mind is a palace” to heart as a kid, and started focusing on really filling my palace up with all kinds of riches, no matter who tried to stop me or slow me down, I was doing exactly as I was intended to do. Because we all have a role in society. Our roles are never going to be the same, nor is the way we act or the way we live our lives. We have the personalities and lifestyles to support our born roles. And every role is meant to support our community.

    Industrialization and capitalism have robbed many of this, though. We have been taught to all be the same because we have become products in an assembly line. We have been led to think it is wrong to be any different from our neighbors. Led to value what we have on the outside more than what we have on the inside, even though the outside constantly changes, comes and goes, and the inside is really all we ACTUALLY can possess and KEEP, all we really have to keep us alive and well.

    Thank you for continuing to write your thoughts here and showing me that I am not alone, that I am not wrong, even at times I have felt like maybe I’m just a load of nonsense, a fraud, even. Thank you for injecting your spirit into your writing, so that I may feel mine reignite, too.

    I only hope that this rather lengthy comment can contribute to the flames!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      That’s right. You are not alone, JM. Thank you for sharing. And for the tip about Zootopia.

  5. Nimue Brown Avatar
    Nimue Brown

    Its a good term, I feel I can identify my Hopeless Maine project with it.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you, Nimue. Should we know about your project?

      1. Nimue Brown Avatar
        Nimue Brown

        there’s lots of room for people to join in with it… Alongside the graphic novels, there is this. https://hopelessvendetta.wordpress.com/

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