I had no idea how much hope played a role in helping life flow. But after a week of Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience, Hope in Uncertain Times, I see just how important it is. That’s why I’m saying hello hope, goodbye fear and self doubt. See how I came to that conclusion via my daily Facebook posts below and follow along daily with me there, or come back here next week to catch up on it all!
Hope and Fear Cannot Occupy the Same Space
Hope – Light Despite All of the Darkness
Life is filled with choices. What we do with them is what makes the difference in living the life we want.
According to Day 2 of this meditation experience, hope is the piece that allows us to imagine how we can move from where we are, to where we want to be. Unfortunately, when life gets hard, or begins to become a cycle of self defeating actions/choices, we become so beat down that we can’t see a way out. Deepak Chopra says that it’s during these hopeless times that we need to turn inward, centering ourselves in stillness long enough to feel grateful for what we have, and the opportunities that come our way.
According to them, this is what converts hope from merely being a wish, to a cornerstone in our lives, giving us the strength we need to push through the darkness, toward the light. This is what fuels hope into an intention, that we can further strengthen by giving back that which we seek to everyone we meet.
Like attracts like, so whatever you want more of, make sure you’re oozing it from every pore in your body. That is more than just visualizing what you want your life to look like, it’s about acting as if it’s already a part of your life.
Pretty powerful stuff huh?
Cannot Defeat Sunrise or Hope
According to Day 3’s meditation, Bernard Williams quote rains true. Even when it feels like life is unfair and nothing is going our way, hope will always find a way to get us through. Blaming others or circumstances outside of our control won’t change our situation. Instead, they suggest we take a moment to pause and reflect on what life is trying to tell us, and sometimes even show us. It’s how we respond to this uncertainty that makes the difference between continuing in despair or living with hope.
Deepak Chopra says that not cultivating an inner strength of hope leaves us open to suffering self doubt and fear during uncertain times because we’ve allowed ourselves to become disconnected from our true selves. So instead of leaving our lives up to luck, he encourages us to take charge of our destiny. To do so he suggests that we work on honing our awareness skills, as much as we hone our interpersonal and professional skills. That means taking moments of true self reflection and being open and flexible to change. The more we do that, the more we connect with our true selves, become confident in our decisions, and strengthen our ability to turn doubt and uncertainty, into hope.
Personally I’ve seen how life is always trying to help us auto correct from the bad things to the good, we just have to get out of our way to see it sometimes. Even though I’ve been working on self awareness for a while now, I still sometimes need life to show me a new path at least 3 times before I take the suggestion, but honing my awareness skills at least allows me to see it now, vs. just ignoring it. Sure, a little slow, but it’s progress.
How good are you at spotting when life is trying to get you to auto correct?
In Hope I am Fearless
Well I totally needed to hear Day 4’s meditation. While I’m not a defeatist – always expecting the worst in life or from others – I have found that I have become a defeatist in some parts of my life. Lately that’s been pointed to the opposite sex. I know, it explains so much, but it comes from negative past experiences and disappointment.
But today I was reminded by Deepak Chopra that the past is merely an illusion, a ghost of painful memories, whose only job is to bring fear into our lives. It’s also the very thing that keeps us trapped in expecting the worst, vs living in the moment, open to new possibilities. And since we are what we believe, vs. what we wish we believed or had, the cycle continues as we’re unable to move past expecting the worst, to seeing a win/win. And a win/win isn’t just about getting what we want. It can also come when we’re finally able to see that which we need to heal or improve to get to what we want.
While I’ve had several of these moments, I’ve never really celebrated them as wins, but now I will.
So take some time right now to sit with yourself to comb through those areas of your life (family, finances, work, etc.) where you’re always expecting the worst or expecting that things won’t go your way, and try to find where that fear, anxiety, or self doubt comes from. I’m sure just thinking about it will bring up all those negative feelings. Allow them to flow to the surface, and as Deepak suggests, pause, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “fear is not real.” Keep taking in deep breaths and repeating this to yourself until you’ve connected to your true self and find yourself in a place of peace and calm.
Welcome to living in the moment, the place that gives us the strength to let go of those past hurts and self defeating thoughts, while making room new possibilities, making room for hope. Pretty cool huh?
Yeah, I don’t know about you, but I needed this. Now it’s all about making it a habit to – pause, take deep breaths, and to remind ourselves that “fear is not real,” anytime we go into a situation expecting the worst. Cheers to self awareness and living in the moment.
Gift of Miracles
With the rise of social media, it’s gotten even easier to control our story. Lord knows I’ve been guilty, posting styled photos for sponsored content and using just the right filter when showcasing the fun parts of my everyday life. But even those with the most fab, styled shares and millions of followers, experience the same heartache, worries, concerns, etc. that we all feel. Sometimes it’s just easier to give into human nature and control our story vs. getting to the real truth and facing any hopelessness we may feel inside. Trust me I know, I’ve been controlling the story of my life since I was a kid, keeping secrets and glossing over the hard parts. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that embracing our truth and being aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly inside, is what will set us free and allow us to let go of our self defeating ways, to embrace and be open all the good the Universe has to offer. That’s why I started Your Sassy Self and why I’m happy that Day 5’s meditation focuses on it today.
What we don’t realize is that when we try to control what happens in our life, we destine ourselves to repeat our past experiences because we’d rather keep experiencing more of the same, than deal with our fear of the unknown. Whether those experiences were good or bad has nothing to do with it, because we prefer the safety and predictability of it.
However, Deepak Chopra says we can break that cycle by allowing awareness in. That’s exactly what started me on my journey with Your Sassy Self. I started listening to thought leaders like Oprah, Deepak, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle, Glennon Doyle Melton, etc. I started to change my perspective on life, started to push myself beyond my comfort zone, and allowed myself to become more open and true to myself.
When we are true to ourselves, we become trusting, and open ourselves to authentic connections with ourselves and with everyone we meet. This trust and authenticity also allows us to let go of our fear of change, and the unknown, because we trust ourselves to be consciously aware of all the good the Universe has to offer. It brings back hope, and allows us to close the door to past limitations, so we can see the infinite possibilities available to us in the hear and now.
This awareness also allows you to become sensitive to self defeating phrases or words, whether uttered by you or others around you. It’s a great tool to help you stop and rephrase for a positive outcome and/or to begin weeding out the Negative Nancy’s in your life. All part of the growth process, which should be celebrated.
What has awareness shown you?
Do you feel like life is unfair? I definitely do sometimes, but Day 6’s meditation say to move past this belief we need to focus on trust. Trust? Yeah, I know. But if we really examine what’s causing us to put limiting beliefs in different aspects of our life, it’s because we don’t believe or trust that xyz will happen. We don’t believe we’ll ever find the job of our dreams, own the house of our dreams, take the vacation of our dreams, find the love of our dreams, have the body of our dreams,…you get the point. Sure, we all hope for these things to happen, but if we don’t believe they’ll happen, they won’t.
Unfortunately it has nothing to do with outside forces. Deepak Chopra says trust and belief is something we need to build from the inside. The hardest part is quieting the ego enough to let go of past, limiting beliefs, in favor of trusting the Universe and our awareness to see the limitless opportunities in every moment and experience.
I know, it seems like a lot, but that’s the thing about trust. Whether we’re building our trust in ourselves or in others, it’s done one moment, one experience at a time. But building this trust is what brings us a sense of peace and hope. It’s also what gets us closer to living the life we want, and who doesn’t want that?
Hope in Every Situation
I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Heck as I write this I’m sitting in a hospital room waiting to hear whether my Dad is at the beginning of a heart attack or not. But I almost wasn’t in town this weekend to be doing so. I was teetering on the decision just a few days ago, but something tugged on me to make the trip. I originally thought it was to catch up with my nephews, but now I know it was so I could be with my father during this time.
I share this to show one of the many ways life has in communicating with us to get us to where we need to be. And while I’m great at being able to see and be part of the solution for others problems, I often fail to see the same in mine.
But if I really believe everything happens for a reason to me and everyone around me, I have to realize that my problems are also happening for a reason and that they too have solutions waiting to be tapped into.
According to Day 7’s meditation (also not a coincidence ?) I just have to let go of the burden, doubt, anxiety, and fear I have over them and allow my expanded awareness to open up to Universal intelligence, which will light the way to the solution.
It’s so easy to get stuck in all our problems because we live them and we allow ourselves to get knee deep in them. But Deepak Chopra says we need to move past focusing our attention on the problem at hand, toward expanding our focus on the solution. Yes, although our problems may seem insurmountable, there is no problem without a solution. Heck even if it turns out my Dad does have a cardiac event, we’re in the best place, surrounded by the most competent staff to help, which I am grateful for. ?
This understanding however, only presents itself when we allow consciousness to open ourselves up. Gratitude is a great place to start this process. When you begin listing what you’re grateful for, you begin making the connections between what seem like little life decisions, to how they worked to bring about good things into your life. Then as you continue to make these connections and make conscious awareness a habit, you begin to shift your vibration toward more good things, and more, etc.
But the second we allow fear and self doubt to creep in, we again constrict our awareness, limit our solutions, and lose our good vibes. So our main responsibility in this process is “…to be alert and open and to know hope is always on our side.”
Pretty powerful stuff, with lots of aha moments. Can’t wait for this week’s gems and to share my takeaways. So head on over to Facebook to catch up daily or head back here next week for more.
How are you saying hello hope, goodbye to fear and self doubt?