What is Hope?

In session Katrina wanted to know what to do about the constant need to be busy, sleepless nights and persistent negative thoughts. During our time together Katrina repeated her words and acted highly skeptical about the suggested options to get better. Despite feeling better the following day Katrina soon spiraled back to her old mental script.

 Hope encourages feelings and imagination to join forces on a mission of restoring calm.

Hope encourages feelings and imagination to join forces on a mission of restoring calm.

Did Katrina fail the test of getting better? Not really. If we look deeper into this story we discover Katrina’s hope tank was running on low for two reasons. First she has forgotten how to fuel her tank and view hope as an essential life tool. Second she prefers to prepare for sudden crashes because the odds are stacked against her being well. Instead she would rather hold on to the idea that being hopeful will likely set her up for bigger disappointment.

Dictionary.com offers three traditional definitions of hope. These definitions are a useful way to explore how Katrina can tap into the remarkable gift of hope on a regular basis.

Hope is a feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Feelings and imagination go hand in hand. Katrina feels anxious because her inner TV screen spends a lot of time in scenes lacking any backing. She has a hard time separating what is real and what is made up. With her thoughts wrapped in drama, Katrina cannot figure out what’s best for her. The ending is uncertain and unsettling more than pleasant and affirming.        

Hope encourages feelings and imagination to join forces on a mission of restoring calm. No longer frozen and isolated, the contented mind activates the pathways to creativity and curiosity. Hope opens the space in the mind to illuminate Katrina’s heart with the energies of readiness and belief in herself and her choices. She can then structure her life around hope and reap its undeniable benefits. Read more about pushing our edges.

Hope is a person or thing in which expectations are centered.

Whenever anxiety takes over a situation hope may be mistaken for desperation. Katrina aches for answers to feeling better. She assumes people, medicine and things to clear away anxiety. These external diversions temporarily disguise her biggest fear that the anxiety will never go away. On the road to hope Katrina had substituted hope for desperation. If she continues on this path she will experience roadblocks and dead end streets.

Centering on people and ideas promoting hope can change Katrina’s broken perspective. Hope breaks chains and frees the spirit to trust change is good. When we surround ourselves with hopeful people our spirit remembers the power of hope. Moreover Katrina’s pursuit of activities such as reciting sacred words aloud, laughing out loud and taking her hands to the heart returns the pulse of hope into her body and mind. The real answers lie in her believing hope is possible, that she wants hope to transpire and then taking mindful actions because of it.

Hope is looking forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.

The opposite of hope is limitation. Katrina leads a double life when anxiety blocks her from showing up in the world as 100% authentic and trusting in herself. With anxiety consuming 50% or more of her feelings and imagination Katrina seems stuck between two people, the person she has to be and the person she wants to be.

Katrina’s homework is to look inside and commit to a hope practice. This means writing a list of the people and activities important to her. Next to each person/item Katrina records why she desires them in her life. Then she needs to determine if the person/item inspires feelings of confidence or fear in her.

Once Katrina takes an inventory of who/what teaches her to feel hopeful, she takes note of the behaviors/attitudes/thoughts pushing her away from hope. With the help of a third party such as a coach Katrina is able to properly position her expectations by centering them on what lights up her spirit. By focusing positive values such as trust and self-respect Katrina can build confidence and look forward to life’s ever changing nature with ease.