Hope is a discipline. I read those words several weeks ago and they have stayed with me. Echoing in my soul, reminding me that hope isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing. Instead, hope is a practice. Something we cultivate consistently with the choices we make.
Hope is defined as cherishing a desire with anticipation; a feeling of expectation for a certain thing to happen.
I love this idea of cherishing a desire. Of holding on to something so closely that, no matter what happens, it is never lost. When we cherish something, we take care of it.
We rarely lose sight of it, are always aware of it, and frequently check to make sure all is well. Hope requires the same level of intentionality.
When things are going well, it’s easier to feel hope and even sometimes to take hope for granted. But when things are not going well, hope feels fragile and tenuous; harder to hold on to. The moments we need it most can be the times it’s hardest to find hope.
This is why we must practice hope regularly. Real hope, the kind of hope that leads to change and transformation, needs cultivating. It cannot be manufactured but rather must be cultivated and cared for with intention and focus. Here are three (3) practices to help keep hope close.
It is not the extraordinary or the exceptional that feeds hope. No, hope is found in the small, everyday moments of life that invite presence and noticing. The feel of the sun on your face, the sound of the rain outside your window, the grass underneath your bare feet, the taste of a perfectly made cup of coffee or tea.
These are tiny moments in life. Yet, as we are fully present in them, we see there is beauty all around us. An awareness of that beauty will fuel hope even in the darkest moments of our lives.
Gratitude shifts our attention away from what’s going wrong and helps us see all the things going well in our life. Over time, this creates a more positive mindset. We can more easily find the good even on the hard days.
A regular gratitude practice can ground and energize us. This, in turn, motivates us to chase the dream, reach the goal or make whatever changes we need to make to get us there. Obstacles become stepping-stones on the path to achieving things we never dreamed possible before. Gratitude helps us hold our dreams closer, further fueling hope.
Joy is liberation work. It frees us from the chains that seek to weigh down our souls. Chains like despair, frustration, and even fear. These emotions make it harder to access hope.
But when we choose to center joy. When we make joy something we focus on and pursue on purpose, those chains can’t take hold. Joy keeps our hearts light and lets the light in. When joy is present, hope is easier to access.
These are simple practices, and they have far-reaching implications as we consider the discipline of hope. When we choose to practice hope, life feels richer and full of possibility. We practice hope when things are good, to anchor us when things are not so good.
In any journey towards change, practice hope regularly. Hold on and don’t let it go because hope is what will keep you moving forward.
Here’s to you practicing hope and rising into your greatness.
From my heart to yours,
P.S: If you’re struggling with hope let’s talk. Change is hard and it can be hard to hold on to hope during change. Schedule a complimentary call with me and let’s find out what support might help you find your way back to hope.