Now that the holidays and New Year's celebrations are behind us, we go back to business as usual. We pick up our lives where we left off, before the hectic holiday season took hold of our agendas - but with one huge difference: our New Year resolutions. By setting new intentions we express the hope that things will turn out better for us and our families in the year to come.
Hope Opens Possibilities
Hope is lovely, it opens new doors and shines new light onto new paths that beckon us to explore. Hope is the antidote to negativity, the launching pad that lets you spring higher than you ever thought possible. How does hope work, psychologically and spiritually speaking?
Hope happens now, in this moment. You can't have hope in the past, nor can you decide to have hope in the future. That makes no sense. It's a device of the present moment and it changes your mood in an instant. Hope dismisses the past and it opens the doors to new ways in which the future may appear. Even though there may be a cart-full of proof from past happenings that shows that hope has no basis in reality, and even though there may be a wagon-load of projections into the future that indicate things cannot possibly improve - when a person is seized by hope in the present moment their outlook changes completely and with that their mood and attitude.
And now comes the interesting part: that very changed mood or attitude is the lever that allows a new reality to come into being; hope invites it in.
The Proof Is in the Eating
Wouldn't it be wonderful to know for sure that a postive mood invites a new reality into your life? Some say it's how the world operates: "What goes around, comes around", others call it the Law of Attraction. Whatever it is called, the only way to witness it in operation is to give it a try. Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so is the confirmtation of this principle a matter of doing and thereby demonstrating it:
At a moment when you feel gloomy or despondent, see if you can find a glimmer of hope somewhere in a far corner in your mind. Rather than dismissing it on the basis of the reality of the past or the unlikelihood of change in the future, embrace it and enlarge it, hum it and sing it. Don't argue with so called solid evidence - you'll lose the argument. It's a matter of letting hope take you to a new register, a whole new range, And watch your mood improve.
By finding a sliver of hope and building on it, you can change your stumbling block into a stepping stone.
Even though there may be countless valid arguments against hope, there is no argument against an improved attitude in bleak or negative circumstances. What can possibly be wrong with an improved perpective? In fact, any person in their right mind would quickly choose a happy mood over a sombre mood, a uplifting outlook over a grim one. And with hope you have the mechanism at your disposal, now, to make the difference. Hope, just like a lovely piece of music or a telephone call from a friend, is a present moment device that you can employ to improve your mood and thereby invite a new reality into your life.
Kids and Hope
As parents we are in a most fortunate position: we can model this technique to our children and help them embrace hope in their lives. The future isn't set - it is wide open en those who have hope have the widest range of choices available to them.
This post was published on Notes on Parenting simultaneously.
Images courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net; top-picture adjusted by author.