Hope. It has been described to me as a strategy for freedom, a trajectory of love, a means of healing and a way of being. Except it seems lately that “hope” is actually a diversion from trusting myself — from knowing what I can do. We humans use hope as a perfectly rational way of staying far away from real trust and knowing, by “hoping” things will work out. Could we replace hope with knowing, and effectively clear the way to our dreams?
Dear Arielle & Brian,
I am 46 years old and am working on manifesting in my life my ideal soulmate. I know others who have found love through dating Web sites, but I’ve chosen to work on the Law of Attraction, which I discovered last year. I’m very clear about what I’m looking for in a woman. My biggest deficit is I’ve yet to experience a romantic relationship in my life. I’ve been working doing the suggested “feelingizations” and creating space. Yet I really don’t know how to start taking action or what I can do to manifest that special woman.
Over the years of working with refugees from Burma, I have often wondered what their most important possession is. We have even made lists of the things that they bring with them as they flee the attacks of soldiers: a machete, cooking pot, tarp, lighter, rice and salt. All those things are essential for survival in the jungle. The same with medicine and warm blankets. These are possessions that give life.
I don’t like being upside down and backwards. This makes Handstand a challenge for me. I don’t trust that my fellow students can hold me steady while I substitute my hands for feet. It’s a reflection of my own limited thinking, not an accurate assessment of their competence.
Still, I try. I go to class and work gradually. First, I achieved Headstand, which I couldn’t do a year ago. It’s a stepping-stone to the loftier goal of Handstand.
Yoga is always putting new challenges in our paths. Just when we think we have achieved a difficult asana, we discover that it was the modified version. It taught me to give up hope.
Sometimes I sit. I sit through the storm and I shake and I wonder if the
Winds will blow me away. I wonder if I can endure the violence, the rage,
The anger. I forget what it was like to feel safe and be at peace, to live in
This morning, I witnessed Spring clutching her most radiant bouquet as I walked with her in the company of a new day. I watched the rising sun stretch its rays over the awakening horizon as I hiked up the back of a shady, cool ridge. The soft light crept its way across the city beneath me and slowly made its way up to warm my skin.
My son is a dreamer. An absent-minded sort of kid who responds to every question with silence. Who’s always looking intently off in the distance or up at the ceiling. Then, when the question is repeated, he’ll look as if he’s just noticed you’re there and say, “Wha?”
It’s a trait that, not surprisingly, drives some of his teachers mad.
Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, and activist. Despite her deep awareness of the world’s environmental and social justice crises, she is filled with hope.
Hope, in this age of cynicism masquerading as science, is a scarce resource. We often treat it poorly — as if hope is the hallmark of New Age lunatics or wide-eyed children. As if it’s naïve. Passive. A longing … without any intention of rolling up its sleeves.
It’s particularly tough to be an optimistic environmentalist with such a steady accumulation of bad news: birds dropping from the sky from starvation because wetlands that served as avian drive-thrus during migration have been replaced with houses; renowned climate scientist James Hanson’s prediction of “game over” if the Tar Sands are developed; oil spills; nuclear meltdowns …
Shiva knows all this. Yet she’s hopeful.
With a world increasingly under environmental threat and corporations and lobbyists that peddle misinformation, hope isn’t a luxury. It’s all we have.
We hope you’re enjoying our month-long Gaiam Hope Project as much as we are! The articles, videos, blog posts and reader stories so far have been truly inspiring, and we’re thrilled to be able to share them with you. But we also think you shouldn’t have to wait for us to post to get your daily dose of hope. That’s why we’ve created hope-themed wallpapers for your computer, iPhone, iPad and Facebook Timeline.
I’m a 43-year-old Romeo. Seriously. At the ripe, sweet age of 43, I’m playing the star-crossed lover in the Shakespeare classic. It was a surprise to me when the director casting this production asked me to play young Romeo. When I stop to think about it, it cracks me up. I mean, this character typically is seen as a horny, brash teenager on the brink of becoming a man and discovering true love.
Ah, true love! It’s a common enough phrase and yet I do believe it’s not actually all that common in our world.