December is the holiday season. Whether the holiday that you celebrate is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or simply the winter solstice, your celebration is one of hope. Hope is the common ingredient in each of the celebrations at this time of year. When the winter is darkest, when the storms are the strongest or when the turmoil in your soul is at its worst, there is always hope.I find it intriguing that various celebrations in various religions are all based upon this common theme. It speaks to me not only of how our similarities far outweigh our shallow differences, but it also points out to me the vital role of hope for all of us. In this time of turmoil in our culture, hope is a very relevant topic. Hope is one of the true gifts of life. Please enjoy the feature article about hope this month as my gift to you.
May your holiday, whichever one you are celebrating, be filled with hope this year. May you use this time of change from everyday activities to renew yourself and find what you need to approach your life and the New Year with a renewed sense of adventure.
The Season of Hope
Do you remember the story of Pandora’s box? In Greek mythology, Pandora, the first woman on earth, was entrusted with a box containing all the evils of the world. Her curiosity caused her to open the box and allowed all the evils free. However, at the bottom of the box there remained a single gift to the world to counter all the evils. That gift was hope.
Hope is such a rich and vital concept that it is difficult even to define what it is. Here is an elegant and simple definition of hope I have seen – Desire of something, together with the expectation of obtaining it.
Hope is not just the idea that things can get better; it is the idea that things WILL get better.
This is a beautiful, powerful concept that helps us all in our struggles. Hope is the anecdote to doubt, isolation, grief, stress, conflict and ambivalence. Hope alone is not enough to turn the tide from problems to solutions, but without it, that change cannot occur.
Hope is created by our thought processes and is not created by circumstances. It is also not prevented by circumstances. Many of us know folks who have remained strong through tough times and have been able to tap the place inside themselves where hope is born. It is encouraging to me, even hopeful (just a little irony here) that we all have the ability in us to maintain hope by changing our thought patterns.
There are three aspects to any situation that can improve your access to hope. First is the presence of support. When you hear the words “We’ll figure this out together” or the simple “I believe in you”, there is the immediate sensation that this person is right – there is hope.
The second aspect helping us connect with hope is breaking the silence. Hope improves by finding your voice and saying out loud the things that you believe in. Until this happens, it is easy for the doubts to creep into our thinking. Stating your thinking for others to hear somehow makes it more real, more true and more hopeful.
The third aspect that increases hope is having faith. Here is another definition of hope that I wrote some years ago – “Hope is the ability to connect with the part of ourselves that knows the bigger picture, believes in growth and life, and feels a connection to that force in the world.” When I read this now, I realize that hope is increased by our ability to connect with our faith.
The rewards of hope are more than chasing away the darkness in life. Hope brings a sense of connection – both to other people and to the environment. Hope allows us to open to the world in important ways that allow our lives to be richer and more fulfilled. It can give us a sense of purpose even when we do not understand the details of every event. Hope may be one of the most powerful needs of every human.
I hope that I am giving you food for thought as you move through your holiday season. Perhaps you will give voice to your beliefs or reach out and give the gift of hope to another person. Try to give hope through simple acknowledgment of another person. Acknowledge his/her efforts, changes, choices and strengths. Say out loud what you see and watch the light of hope touch both of your lives. Happy Holidays.
What helps you access your hopefulness in difficult situations?
How do you want to build hope into your holiday celebrations?
Who could use your help this season to be more hopeful? How will you help?
“IF” by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same:. If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!” If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
INDIVIDUAL COACHING BY PHONE
Want to stop that feeling that life is passing you by?
Would you like to able to experience your life as an exciting series of adventures?
Would you like to feel more joy and achieve more success?
That is what I help my clients develop in their own lives. Working with a coach helps you overcome the challenges that can keep you from a successful life. Coaching gives you a companion on the journey; someone with whom to discuss events as they unfold and to help you move toward joy in the adventure. Developing clear goals, focusing intently and staying committed become possible.
If you aren’t sure and would like to explore whether coaching is right for you, please send an email to Janet@lifeadventurecoaching.com or call me at 828-691-4655 for a complimentary consultation.