The Beginning of Hope

originally posted January 19, 2010, the first posting in this blog

The blog is my journey into hope. It is my quest and commitment to seek out hope and pursue miracles in every day of my life.

 My inspiration for this journey comes from an e-mail I sent to my family on the morning of the Solstice. It was about my ritual of reflection that has evolved for me over the years of acknowledging the solstice and recognizing the hope that comes from knowing that every day that follows it will be a little brighter. I thought I was writing it for those that I love that were having a difficult year and I thought it would help, even if just for a day.  I realize now that I was writing it as much for me as anyone.  Since it’s writing  thoughts, signs and symbols of hope keep appearing to me so much so that I felt compelled to start this journey and document what I see, experience or have experienced, looking only for hope in it’s telling. 

So I will start by just posting  that e-mail, with a commitment weave the focus of hope into the very fiber of my life. The source of inspiration, written originally on December 21, 2009, to my family… 

All,

Today, December 21, is the day of the Winter Solstice. In days before there was any organization of beliefs etc, this became a universal day of great hope!  It is because it is the day in the year of the longest night, so the light is longer for each day following it in the year until the Summer Solstice in June. This year in the east (EST), the sun will be the furthest from the earth at 12:47 pm. That time, for me, is the moment of pure hope because, although the sun at it’s furthest, it is also at the point where it begins to come closer and share it’s light longer. 
 
   I love this day, I love what it represents, and I love having a day where I focus all my energy on hope, so I thought I would share my little ritual ( for lack of a better word ) for today…
 
   During the day light  focus on gratitude for all that has brought to you so far, feel it to your bones and if there is something someone did, said, or was for you even if it was years ago focus on it; Call and tell them if you feel comfortable. If you don’t feel comfortable, it’s ok it’s most important to focus your heart with gratitude towards them. Even it was a stranger who did you a kindness and it stands out in your mind, remember the feeling and focus on it. If, while your thinking, hurts, resentments or worries come to mind, dismiss them for now, write ’em down if you want, feel free to be bothered by them tomorrow, but for today focus on the good.
 
   Then as the sun sets, light a candle, if you have one that is contained like a house warmer or one of those seven-day candles you get in the grocery store, leave it lit all night in a safe place. If it’s not safe t o do this where you are, just light a small light in the room.  As night falls, focus on the new hope that comes with the sliver of new light added to each day that will dawn in the months to come.
 
   For me, I have different ways to conjure up the ‘feeling’ of hope so I can focus on it.
 
   One is imagining ( or rather remembering)  being stuck in a broken down car on the freeway on a winter’s day, managing the panic, getting to safety, coming up with the plan, contacting the tow truck and getting confirmation that rescue is on the way and ,approximately, when it will arrive.  That feeling of knowing you have done all you can, that the truck is on the way, that someone knows your there is the moment that hope commences. What you need is not physically there yet, but you know it is coming and all you have to do is wait and believe. That transition from worry to anticipation of relief or to joy is one way I conjure up how hope feels to me so I can focus on it ( where “it” is the feeling). It’s just the feeling of knowing your blessing is on the way, you know it, you count on it and all your energy and thought is focused on it coming to you, and you are waiting and you believe.


   Or, if you order something on line, you shop, select pay and choose shipping, and now you fully expect it to come and you wait for it knowing it’s coming and being thrilled that it is on it’s way. As an example, we can all imagine how Jeanne feels knowing a purse is absolutely finding it’s way to her door, no question. While she waits, thinking about it, imagining how it’s gonna look with an outfit, imagining how things will be organized in it, imagining the compliments from others, talking about it coming with loved ones, maybe even visiting the picture of it on-line.. Just loving it and experiencing in her mind like it is already here while she waiting for it show up on her door with great anticipation.
 
   That feeling of anticipation for a blessing you know is coming and you’re experiencing it in your mind like it is already here even if it is has physically yet to arrive. That is another way to imagine the feeling of hope.
 
   If you can get there with your feeling, then focus on that feeling as the time of night passes brightened by your candle. Through the evening/night if you can. Become grateful in advance for blessings you already believe are coming.  Just slice it into your day. If you watch t.v., decide during the commercials to focus on that hope feeling followed by gratitude, if you wake during the night to pee or to comfort one of your little ones, decide you will remember your hope feeling followed by gratitude until you fall back asleep, if you’re out shopping in a check out line, focus on your hope feeling followed by your advanced gratitude while you wait, if you’re in traffic, decide to do the same at every red light…… It’s not like a wish list, not focusing on getting something specific; it’s just focusing on that feeling of hope. Sometimes thinking of getting something you really want and knowing its coming helps conjure up the feeling. What is important is the feeling not the thing.
 
   I do this every year at the solstice, I used to take this day off and go to the mountains and be all spiritual about it, but now I just work it into my day …… 
 
   I think many of us have had a hard year, and relief in days to come would be greatly appreciated. What the Solstice reminds me of, is that the relief must first be anticipated with joy and gratitude… before it can be recognized and received….
 
   So, hopefully this isn’t to ’out there’ for folks, I just thought I would share this, since I know folks have had a hard time recently. It’s an easy and sort of fun way to shift your thoughts and for me it helps to have a day to remember hope is there, if I look for it.
 
   I know this has been a most difficult year for me and a particularly difficult holiday season and today I am just focusing as hard as I can on the feeling I would get when the tow truck was already on the way and all I have to do is believe with all my heart that it’s almost here. While waiting, know how great it is going to feel to climb up into that warm cab with a friendly driver who will be careful with me and my car; knowing that even though I am standing still I am being re-engaged in my journey, accepting that the route and timetable has changed, and for some time so has the driver; feeling grateful for the rescue, feeling the comfort in the warmth and the companionship that will be along the way. Focusing on the feeling I create from imaging or remembering like that helps me find the feeling of hope. It helps me know right now that even though I don’t yet see it, I am already in a better place and it’s an amazing place to be!
 
Happy and Blessed Solstice every one!

So there it is, my starting place …

 Here’s to hope.

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