Cultivating Hope

“Hope is a function of struggle – we develop hope not during the easy or comfortable times, but through adversity and discomfort.”                                                      Brene’ Brown, Atlas of the Heart
Ciao and Sacred Sunday to you:

Happy new year!
As I look out my office window the winter sun sparkles on the snow-capped mountains that surround the valley, while cumulous clouds and fog lazily drift across a blue sky.
It’s lovely to see the sun today as it’s been overcast and quite foggy.
The truth is, while my husband isn’t quite the fan, I don’t mind the fog at all. In fact, I LOVE it.
For me, there’s something comforting about the all-encompassing mist.
It feels mysterious. Seductive.
When the fog is so thick that it obscures the mountain views I feel as if I’m in a waking dream state where anything is possible.
Where at any given moment hope and grace might arise out of the ethers.
I don’t know about you, but it also feels like 2022 has a lot riding on it – there’s collective pressure to be a damned better year that the last two.
Yet, the way it’s begun, 2022 better up its game quickly.

Having said that, I have hope that it will be a victorious year. And that’s what I want to share with you today.
How I feel about the sometimes-illusive notion called HOPE.
For quite a while now I’ve been thinking a lot about hope. Meditating on it. Contemplating. Praying on it. And speaking about hope with a couple of trusted sisters.
I remember years ago, in a workshop I was attending, the lecturer was poking fun at the concept of hope. As if hope was a childlike endeavor. Silly. An act of foolishness.
Many researchers will tell you that hope is not an emotion. Yet, it sure feels like it is.
It also feels like an action verb. And the good news is, hope is something we can learn.
I’m not a researcher, so honestly, I don’t know if hope is an emotion, a thought or something we do.
However you and I define it, if we didn’t choose to develop hope these past couple of years I don’t know how most of us would have survived? In many cases even thrived. 
Just today in speaking with my friend, colleague, and “Havening” coach (more on that soon), Charlene Jones, the question of hope came up.
My friend is Badass and Brilliant by the way. She’s an acclaimed author, meditation teacher and trained therapist.
Charlene shared with me that years ago along the journey of her studies she once heard the esteemed Jungian psychotherapist, Marion Woodman, express how important it was for the analyst to hold the space of faith, charity and hope for the analysand.
Hope, my breakaway friend went on, was part of our DNA. It motivates and empowers us.
Those are some super powerful statements.
To me hope is another way of looking at grace. Or maybe it’s simply the other side of the coin.
Hope opens the eyes and heart to envisioning new possibilities.
Hope is like a super mega supplement that skyrockets the immune system.
Hope is the whisper is your ear, “it’s going to be OK.
Hope nourishes the spirit and fuels the soul.
Hope nudges you to take the first step across the threshold of despair. And then grace, hope’s best friend, joins in.
Together, hope and grace firmly take hold of your hand and lead you through the portal of pain declaring “trust us love, it’s not only going to be OK, but it will also be better that you ever imagined.”
Hope is heads. Grace is tails. Either way it’s a win.
So, dear heart, I have a challenge for you…
30 days of a consistent and conscious practice of cultivating hope, and then learning to listen deeply for grace to come calling.

With love and appreciation, xoxo Paulette

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