I used to think HOPE was believing things would turn out the way that I wanted them too. I would have hope that I would get a particular job, that a relationship would work out the way I imagined, that someone would survive cancer…
When things didn’t work out the way I had hoped over and over again in a short space of time I found myself in hopelessness. However, that feeling of hopelessness for me wasn’t that ‘things’ didn’t turn out but there’s something wrong with me. The fact that there’s a global pandemic going on at the moment just added another layer to the feeling of hopelessness and being wrong.
Hopelessness served me for a while as it called me to fall deeper into feelings of ‘wrongness’ and embrace parts of myself that were calling out to be held and integrated. However, there came a moment when I was at home alone eating chocolate self-saucing pudding that I knew I needed to redefine HOPE! (Chocolate self-saucing pudding was one of the comfort foods of my childhood and I was looking for comfort there).
I knew when I was ready and I’m sharing my tools for redefining HOPE in case they are useful to you but if you’re not ready that’s OK – take your time! I will meet you there again the next time another lost part of myself is calling!
- I got creative. Now, don’t freak out! That doesn’t mean I got out a canvas and painted a masterpiece. I shaped some apple trees in the garden, I cooked some nutritious food using my intuition, I used crayons in my journal and I created an amazing Yoga retreat at Picnic Island for my Tassie friends. Connecting with our creative selves does shift energy – try it!
- There is a lot we can’t control right now and when I’m in hopelessness I feel that things are happening to me rather than me being able to choose. I started to realise that I could choose small things. What I ate, how much I used technology, how I moved my body. What are you choosing? I’m in the process of designing an online programme that will start on the 4th of September (108 days before the solstice) that you may like to join if you are ready for making transformational choices (however small).
- I’m practicing shifting a pattern of thinking. When I remember something that I did or do something that I perceive to be ‘wrong’ then I’m trying to change my story as the story has power. Rather than thinking ‘I am stupid, wrong, an idiot’ is it possible to say ‘that was a stupid thing to do’? It’s not about who I am but about my behaviour and that’s something I can change. I’m taking on the mantra of Brene Brown – ‘I’m not here to be right – I’m here to get it right’! You may like to read her book Rising Strong.
My new definition of HOPE is about knowing. Knowing that LOVE (God, the universe, my higher-self) will never give up on me! My vulnerability, shame and hopelessness are as welcome as self-love and HOPE as they are all part of reckoning this life. Redefining HOPE may just help me (and maybe you) to smile, laugh and love myself and others a little more. I’m teaching myself to be free!