What gives me hope? What is hope anyway? The dictionary definitions of hope include:
- a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
- a person or thing that may help or save someone.
- a feeling of trust.
Or as an action:
- want something to happen or be the case.
- intend if possible to do something.
As I think about hope or being hopeful, I think now more in terms of actions. In the past, I saw hope as a combination of desire for a certain thing to happen and wanting something to happen, not something I could do anthing about. I didn’t see that I might be included as an agent of hope in my own life or in someone else’s. However, as I learn more and more about seasonal depression, I get excited and hopeful that I can be part of the solution and make a difference in my life and the lives of others who suffer from “winter blues” or even a sense of the doldrums with life in general. I am finding a sense of hope that life can be lived more fully through a series of actions on my part and hope becomes the “intend if possible to do something.”
That one step towards hope has made a big difference in my life. I am gaining clarity and focus on what I can do to live a more healthy life, especially in the winter. I don’t have to feel out of control or at the mercy of the darkness. I can make a plan to live a more healthy life. It’s not perfect and the plan doesn’t always work but I am finding my life so much more manageable and hopeful as I seek out things to help me feel more healthy, such as light therapy (30 minutes in front of a 10,000 lux light box at the same time each morning), exercise, (walking and holy yoga) getting outdoors, and spiritual meditation. I haven’t quite got the eating nutritiously thing down yet! There will always be ways to improve. I continually look for skills and strategies to improve my health but I am in such a better spot this winter than last.
The other part about hope is that it’s contagious. I want to share hope with others and be with others. The social environment and support of others for me has been invaluable. I’m learning to overcome the mindset barrier of asking for help when I need it and look at things more hopefully. I still get myself all stressed by not asking for help. Just ask my husband!!
Of all the things I do, I find that my time alone with God brings the most hope and peace to my being. I sit in front of my light box, with my cat at my side (Willie likes the light, too) still and listening. What a gift, to sit still and listen to the love and delight He wants to share with me. I am blessed even though He reminds me that I will have trials and tribulations, which I do. I have hope, a plan and healthy actions to live fully each day. I want that for you as well.
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach. She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope. She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you! You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress. It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.