Hope is an intentional act...choosing what we aim to create. Using our intuition, focusing our intention, exercising our faith and letting them be our guide.
Hope motivates and inspires us to act with compassion, kindness, gentleness, and generosity. It opens our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us. Hope is having faith and relying on God’s grace instead of our own will, strength or abilities.
The practice of hope can look different for each of us. I practice hope through daily intention, by being still, checking in and connecting with my spiritual self and with Spirit. This practice reminds me that I am more than this human body experiencing this moment in time. I am a spiritual being having a human experience. From this space, I can tap into spiritual wisdom.
Writer and life coach, Hilary Illick, shares another step in the practice of hope, "Having connected to your spiritual self, you can move into the practice of self-compassion. An especially effective method for cultivating self-compassion involves repeating the self-compassion prayer: I am suffering right now; all human beings suffer and deserve kindness; may I be kind to myself. Combining this with placing your hand on your heart, or rubbing your cheek or lips (all of which spur the production of oxytocin, the bonding hormone) can switch your state from fight-or-flight (the sympathetic nervous system) into relax-and-respond (the parasympathetic). Once in your parasympathetic nervous system, you are no longer churning out the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol, but are instead creating endorphins and oxytocin, the feel-good hormones."
We can then practice hope by offering compassion out to others who are suffering. This can be as simple as noticing when another person is in pain and holding space...listening without offering advice or trying to fix it or them.
Compassionate gestures for ourself or for others, no matter how small, casts out ripples of goodness into the universe. We have no idea how far-reaching the impact of these ripples. Making choices from a place of hope and not fear casts out ripples of goodness, and opens the door to new possibilities beyond what currently exists.