Dec 2, 2019
Today marks the beginning of Advent.
The coming of…
Although this is a Christian tradition as it is the four weeks awaiting the coming of Christ, the four advent wreath candles symbolize concepts that we can all contemplate whether we identify with Christianity or not. Whether we practice another religion or no religion at all. This is an invitation to take a little contemplative journey this December as we move into the new year.
The first is HOPE, the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
Do you have a choice in how things will turn out?
I would argue both...and. There are many things in our lives that we cannot control. There are circumstances that are entirely out of our hands. This is absolutely true.
And, I believe that having a fixed mindset can make us feel trapped. This is just how things are. This is my lot in life. I’m just not that smart...or skilled...or whatever it is. This is so very disempowering. And imagine where we would all be if nobody had hope that things could get better? There would be no social advancement.
Hope invites us to approach challenges and problems with a mindset and a strategy that will increase the chance to succeed or accomplish whatever it is we want for our life, our work, our relationships, the collective.
Making the commitment to nurture hope can help alleviate self-doubt, anxiety, fear, and stress and increase self-confidence and self-belief that things will work out. Because of this we have a higher level of comfort and sense of contentment, happiness, and control despite the challenges we face or the circumstances in our life. All this naturally encourages you to have a more positive outlook, which then can lead to proactive action that helps us work through our circumstances and challenges more effectively.
Put hope into action.
What can you do to make your life better? There are many people out there do not have the privilege to change their circumstances. Of course they always have the ability to change their perspective, which is one of the necessary ingredients for experiencing more joy in life.
But, for me after doing some self-reflection...if I am truthful I do have the privilege of choice in so many areas of my life. Perhaps you can see this privilege of choice in your life as well.
It's choosing a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. When we have a fixed mindset, the concept that we cannot change and that our individual qualities are fixed traits, we become stuck in a place of victimhood. A place that feels hopeless.
The truth is that there are so many things that each of us can do every single day to live the life that we desire and to contribute to the whole by being the best version of who we are.
In most spiritual practices there is a path that invites hope and reduces suffering. In yoga philosophy it's the 8 limbed path. It shows us how to live our life with more sustained joy and less suffering. It’s all about reducing residue in our life by choosing to do the right thing, not just for the sake of ourself, but for the whole. It is a path that begins with how we relate to the world around us. It invites us to be kind and honest first. To reflect on the ways in which we relate with the world around us.
And in Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest healing systems and the sister science of yoga we are given tools to of optimal wellness and health. It offers us ancient wisdom to align our body with nature's rhythms so that we can live as the highest version of who we are with more ease. This is dinacharya, a concept that looks at the cycles of nature and bases daily habits around these cycles. Ayurveda believes that daily routines and structure help us establish more balance and that understanding daily cycles are useful for promoting health. When we believe we have some choice in whether or not we are well (mind, body, spirit) we are more empowered...more hopeful.
I know that sometimes it can feel like there is nothing we can do to make our life better. Life can feel overwhelming. There is loss. There is pain. There is adversity. And there is hope.
This year empower yourself to believe that you have a choice and then choose hope. As challenges arise see them as an opportunity to grow. Break it down into small, actionable steps. Take the next step. Just one step. Then do that again tomorrow.
As you consider the upcoming year what is your hope for yourself and for the planet? Get clear. Then do the next right thing.
I am currently enrolling for the next cohort of Align & Awaken, a year-long transformational journey designed to bring out the very best version of who you are by creating new habits that will support your personal evolution, visualize a new world, and begin to create that world. I will be taking just 10 committed individuals on this journey. If you are ready to commit to a life of thrive apply here.
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