Hope, expectation, anticipation, the desire for a certain outcome. Hope is what moves us forward, motivates us and keeps our faith strong during the hard times. Hope is essential for our existence; yet there are times — when the world seems to be in a state of chaos — when it is easy to wonder where hope is.
In thinking about hope and how to find it in our world, I realized that for me, hope comes from my yoga practice and my kids, as both remind me on a constant basis that hope dwells within us, not outside of ourselves, and that in order to tap into that wellspring of hope, it is essential to find the peace within to let hope blossom.
Yoga: A calm retreat
Yoga is my calm retreat — a place to go to when the pressures of the world becomes a bit too much. Flowing through the poses and focusing on my breath in a meditative state gives me a great amount of solace and clarity. Appreciating the beauty of my breath and the connection between my body and my breath allows me to re-energize by drawing my mind inward. Yoga reminds me of what is important and what I need to let go of, it helps me approach life in a more peaceful manner and above all, it inspires me with hope.
While practicing yoga, I have learned to be present in each moment. I have become more aware of the nature of the heart and soul, as well as the intellect. Drawing strength from the realization that each pose has the ability to open up a certain muscle area, as well as releasing the tension in our internal organs. When doing twists, we detoxify our bodies, releasing impurities in our liver and kidneys. Tuning into our breath provides a path for us to both energize and calm our mind and body. The philosophy of yoga teaches us to approach ourselves and others with compassion and peaceful awareness.
Motherhood: A well of wisdom
As a mother of two beautiful children under the age of six, I find that my children are a constant source of hope. They are truly little sages of wisdom to learn from as well as nurture. My children remind me to slow down and fully experience each moment. Watching their interactions with each other and instilling in them a sense of empathy and compassion in their daily lives gives me hope for the future.
I want to give to my kids a sense of peace and hope that comes from the strength within them. Since I have found this through my yoga practice, I enjoy sharing yoga with my kids. When it all gets to be too much, it’s so refreshing to stop everything and bring the mats out into the living room to do yoga together. They have so much fun going into their favorite poses — Downward Dog and Tree Pose — and have even created their own pose called “Zooble”!
Through both yoga and motherhood (and sometimes a combination of the two), I’m constantly reminded that our best gift to ourselves and to the world is tapping into the calm and peaceful place inside us. And that gives me hope.
We asked experts, authors and readers like you to share their stories of Hope. Every day for the next month, you’ll find new tips for optimism on Gaiam Life, the Stream of Consciousness blog and our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And don’t miss the GaiamTV.com Hope Film Festival, with FREE films all month long.