What I Learned from Hope

For the past 5 years I have chosen a word to keep as a point of intention. I learned this art of setting intentions through my practice with yoga and decided it would be helpful in keeping myself accountable throughout the year to have one word intention I could learn and grow from.

In 2018 I chose the word hope. It was something I struggled to hold believe in for reasons that are too lengthy to list here, but nevertheless those reasons provoked me to select and lean in to this word, hope. I’m glad I did. The end of 2018 offered me very different lenses to see hope and cherish what it could teach me.

So about last year…It stretched me, in every way in what felt like all at once. I physically moved twice, with my second move taking me from the city I grew up in, Jonesboro, AR to the other side of the state, city of Bentonville, where I knew nothing. I moved and expanded my business which is still quite a learning experience. I completed my first year of grad school and somehow managed to get all A’s. I had to re-learn how to find and build a whole new network of friends and sense of community. This whirlwind of events and tasks reminded that the world doesn’t slow down while you stand back in bewilderment trying to figure out if you can do this thing called life.

There were many days I didn’t feel like I knew myself. The voices of my fears which were failure, not being enough and loneliness seemed to drown out my courage, joy and vision. On those days just getting out of bed was a win. On those days hope was teaching me lessons I would carry with me into the new year.

Hope taught me that I need to trust that I wasn’t alone in my journey, and pushed me to welcome help from unexpected source. Sometimes we place our hope in the wrong people, places or things and when those fail we believe hope was worthless and made us out to be a fool, but that’s not true. Hope is the very thread of life and it is not based on our or anyone else’s merits. Hope exists as our souls fuel to keep us onward. I’ve equally learned that experience teaches us with whom and where to place our hope.

The last beautiful thing that hope taught me was to keep believing, and not be so fatalistic. There were times I’d feel hopeful and at the exact same time there would be a little suspicious voice in my mind saying you need to hold your breath and wait for the other shoe to drop. This voice was so annoying and robbed me of the healing balm of joy. Hope reminded me we have a choice to keep believing, and the choice to learn from your missteps. It offered me the permission to exhale, let them go and to try again.

Hope is empowering, life giving and one tough cookie, and I have learned a lot from her wisdom. I have emerged into this new year still imperfect, still learning, but better equipped on how to rise and meet my challenges and fears because I am replete with hope.