Whether or not a person celebrates Easter, it is true for most, that spring is a time to reconnect with our bodies and to push back on the sluggish aspects of our lives. Two ways in which this plays out for me are the focus of these next two blogs: 1) living with HOPE (and understanding in a new way what it means) and 2) alkaline foods. They both connect in my life as I embrace this spring and move into maximum energy and liveliness for the rest of the year. I’l start with
I confess that hope has seemed a weak word to me before now – to say “I hope this happens” seemed like fobbing it off on some other aspect of the universe without taking responsibility for doing our part. Or maybe, rather, just being passive on a situation that was bigger than we were.
I had it completely wrong!.
The backstory here is that, as many of you know, Margie and I meditate twice a day – morning and night – to guided meditations lead by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. To say they have slowly, over the last 2.5 year changed our lives is not too strong a statement, but the changes are subtle. We are happier, gentler, more loving to each other and the world. We live in our skin differently.
Deepak Chopra has been a teacher of mine for 30 years. I have most of his books and have listened across the wide spectrum of his ideas as they have been produced. “He’s on to something” would have been what my father would have said, and I appreciate his gentle blend of science and eastern traditional thought.
Long-story-short – this newest 21-day meditation is on bringing HOPE to the world. As they are in America which is hopefully beginning to recover from a divisive election, hope seemed apt. It is also apt for anyone who is facing one of the really big challenges of life because it is a mixture of taking responsibility and action with surrendering to the forgiving and loving powers of the universe that support all life.
Let me just stop there a moment – what did I say? Forgiving and loving powers of the universe? Where is my evidence for that? Everywhere! Especially at this time of year, and at Easter (whether or not you are a practicing Christian). We know that all life, all patterns of thought, all civilizations, everything we build, eventually dies – that is the pattern here on earth. However, life is also the cycle of rebirth.
Deepak identified my previous misconceptions about hope perfectly when he tells us:
“On the journey of hope, fear can hold us back… forces feel outside of our control. But ultimately it is not the political or personal situations outside us that determine whether we respond with fear or hope. Like life itself, uncertainty is neutral. Great things can emerge from it, like the next important discovery, insight or realisation. Everything depends on how we decide to relate to uncertainty, which is just life’s stream of new events or challenges.
He goes on to tell a story about two people hired at the same time with the hope of advancement. The parable is used to illuminate the characteristics of “making dreams come true” which is, after all the reason we have hope, because we are connected to the source of ourselves what he calls the true self, that is our inner wellspring of this certainty that dreams can come true.
Becoming a source of hope, strength and optimism, allows you to embrace uncertainty. Without this wellspring of hope, we are left to suffer through uncertain times with anxiety and fear. You feel weak and afraid, not because of outside forces, but because you are disconnected from your true self. When you doubt yourself, you can’t trust anyone or anything. You fear being let down, which is the same as expecting to be let down…
But actions are required. Deepak illuminates five parts of using hope as a core response to every situation. I write them here to give myself a place to come back to them when I need a refresher…
- Taking responsibility for your destiny
- Embracing the possibilities that arise today
- Being open and alert to changing situations
- Having a confident, flexible response to change
- Finding solutions when problems and obstacles block the way.
I can do all of these (although I find 4 the hardest – which is hardest for you?).
Deepak reminds us, “The good thing is that none of these are outside of our control or our ability to learn how to respond in this manner. None of them are genetically predetermined or completely blocked by ill health, bad life circumstances etc.”
I remember that the great thing about writing blogs is reconnecting with those who read my work. So how about you? Are you filled with hope? I hope so!
All the best – next up body re-energization (is that a word?) through being aware of and upping the alkalinity in my foods.