One step a day and
Empower your mind"
noun: hope; plural noun: hopes
a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.2.
verb: hope; 3rd person present: hopes; past tense: hoped; past participle: hoped; gerund or present participle: hoping
want something to happen or be the case.
I also believe hope is the hardest when you are at your weakest. When you are feeling beaten on all sides you don't want to stick any part of yourself out for fear of even more beating, so you accept what is and let go of having hope for what may be.
But there are ways you can break hope down into mindful pieces that allow you to be in the present moment but knowing that better ones are on their way.
My philosophy is that you have to have Faith in something. Faith isn't religion based and I think this is what the majority of us fear. If we say we aren't part of 'traditional religion' we may be judged by others. I was raised Anglican, find the Catholic service the most beautiful of all churches, can't tolerate what are known as the 'happy clapper' churches and avoid all kinds of organised religion for personal reasons. That doesn't mean I am evil and destined for hell. I have my own Faith which is somewhere between the traditional, a bit of the Buddhist, a learning of mindfulness awareness, a lot of realist and a good dose of scepticism. It allows me to take control of the moments I am dealing with but still feel that whatever is happening has meaning and purpose. Faith is what allows you to believe in meaning and purpose - otherwise what is the point to anything? Start with Faith in yourself and your ability to deal with life. From there it will build into the Faith that will sustain you in your daily life, no matter what format that Faith takes.
One step a day:
This is something I have to remind myself of daily - even to the point of taking my day diary and writing notes to myself to slow down and take things one step at a time. I get overwhelmed quickly by events and I've learnt that I have to guard against that. Anxiety is something I live with and I've come to realise it stems from as far back as childhood so there isn't anything specific that has recently set it off. It is simply part of me. In order to manage it I need to learn to take things one step at a time. I do have people in my life who are able to talk me out of a spin but besides the fact that not everyone is available 24/7 (and don't always deserve to have my problems heaped on them) I also have had to learn to talk myself out of anxiety spirals. So I do this by writing to myself to just slow down, breathe, and take a moment (or a few, or an hour...). It has helped me to work through some tricky moments without coming apart at the seams.
Yes I know, you feel really stupid chanting those positive affirmations to yourself in the mirror. Doesn't matter, do it anyway. Don't let your mind control your thoughts about yourself. Compliment yourself. Tell yourself that you are going to have a great day. Start to learn to set the tone for your day and you will start to bring positivity into your life. Keep a gratitude journal and even if it is just one thing a day write it down before you go to bed, and then go back and read it often. Here again my day diary comes in handy. If I get a nice compliment or achieve some form of success, big or small, work related or personal, I jot it down in my day diary. Come across a good quote in a book I'm reading then into the diary it goes. Even though we are only 3 months into 2016 I already have a treasure trove of happy memories, self talk that has bolstered me when I was feeling low and snippets of my daily life to go back to when I need a good dose of positivity. Yes Tuesday may have been a bad day but Wednesday and Thursday had some happy things happening. It helps me keep perspective and realise that everything is about balance. I can't have the good without the bad and neither lasts forever.
Empower your mind:
Your mind is the strongest organ in your body.
Respect it. Nurture it. Keep it healthy.
In turn it will look after you every single day. What we are telling our minds comes out through our actions. Whether or not you want to 'buy into' the self-help culture that surrounds us there is plenty of medically based literature that points to the power of our minds and our ability to control our thoughts to either heal us or harm us. Take care of your mind as you would the most precious object in your life. It is the one thing that will still be there at the end when everything else is falling apart (we hope!).
You now have four ways that you can bring hope into your life. The message is clear though - hope doesn't spring eternal (well I don't believe it does), it is something you have to actively work on every single day. You have to open your heart and mind to hope, while being realistic that life happens and on occasion bad things happen to good people, even if they hoped it never would. It is the natural order of the world.
So start to make hope part of a daily mindful practise to a fuller, richer and more rewarding future.