If hope were a season, it would be Spring. Flowers are budding, bees are buzzing, trees are leafing and birds are building nests. Life picks up its paintbrush and makes a splash across Nature’s canvas. Its message:
“No matter where you are today,
Something new is on its way.”
While Spring gives evidence in the world around us, life flows just as hopefully within us. We usually relate to our physical world as solid and fixed. But it is not — it is alive, active and changing at every level, seen and unseen. Science now demonstrates that everything is energy, particles dancing with each other all the time. And I have learned this lesson in my bones.
One afternoon three years ago, in the fullness of Spring, I went out to buy groceries, stepped up onto a sidewalk and fell. I did not take another step for four months. Unable to stand, as I waited on the curb for the ambulance, I kept my mind focused on the desirable outcome. But I knew the truth. Even in those first five minutes, something in me responded, “Okay. If this is what’s next, let’s go.”
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.
As I watched my girlfriend plant the asparagus roots in the freshly tilled soil this past weekend, the thought finally hit me: I might yet stand a chance.
Seeds are amazingly simple in design for what they are meant to do. Soil, water, warmth and a bit of faith creates a plant that provides food, generates more seeds and nurtures the soil, all while cleaning the air and water. It was the cultivation of a few seeds that gave me a completely new perspective on absolutely everything in my life.
What does hope mean to you? That’s the inspiration behind the Gaiam Hope Project. We asked experts, authors and readers like you to share stories of hope. Every day for the next month, we’ll publish those stories on GaiamLife.com. You’ll find new ideas to get your happy on, tips to be more optimistic and ways to have a little faith.
My mom’s house burned to the ground a little over a year ago. She lost everything … but it was a hidden blessing. Since my dad died a few years ago, my brother, sister and I had been trying to get Mom to move to a smaller house in a less-isolated community. She would not budge, saying, “Everything I know is here: my home, my neighbors, my life.” The fire, though tragic, took care of that.
We are now well into 2011, and many people are deep into the discussion of the shifts occurring on this planet. Some feel they are directly tied to the Mayan Calendar and predictions for 2012. Others feel that we are in the center of a transformational movement unlike any other in history.
I recently spoke at a wonderful conference in Sedona, Ariz. The whole theme was about transcendence and how we navigate the waters of the shifts taking place. As I contemplated my talk, it became clear to me that WE ARE THE GIFT in the shift. Each one of us is here for a unique purpose, and each of us has been given all of the tools that we need to be fulfilled and make a difference on this planet. If that is true, then the question becomes “What is in the way of us soaring?” I believe it is because we are stuck in the muck of consistent mind chatter that tries to convince us that we are victims of inevitable doom. This is fed by the intense news reports, old familial belief systems and inaccurate information passed down from various arenas.
I recently had the honor of attending a family wedding in France. The groom was French and brought up in the Catholic tradition. The bride was born in California and raised in the Jewish tradition.
The family and friends from both sides assembled in a small town in the south of France and the celebration began. There was lots of food, wine, and joyous gatherings. The groom’s family exhibited the most amazing hospitality. Here is the interesting thing: It seemed perfectly natural that the French and the Americans were in the same place honoring the love of this beautiful young couple. Some spoke only English. Some spoke only French. Others had varying degrees of language learnings. It didn’t seem to matter. Somehow, we all found a way to connect and get to know each other.
Oftentimes people come to me and state that their intention is to heal. The definition of healing is to restore to health and soundness; to set right; restoration of that which is damaged to its normal function; regeneration (spiritual, revival, rebirth); and renewal of any lost part.
“The renewal of any lost part” caught my attention. During challenging times people are often seeking parts of themselves that they think have been lost, stolen or damaged. I believe that we are, inherently, whole, and that at the core of our being, beauty and peace exist. When my clients speak about wanting to heal, we explore the deep desire to remember that they are not broken or damaged goods. We talk about the fact that in every situation there is good and it is leading us back to a state of wholeness. When the Japanese mend broken objects, they fill the cracks with gold. They believe that when something is damaged and has a history, it is more beautiful. What if that were true of us? What if each and every aspect of our life stories was an essential ingredient that made us stronger and more beautiful?
As our brothers and sisters in Japan struggle to find peace, understanding, support and a sense of order after this month’s devastating earthquake, I invite each of you to join me as I offer these words of prayer: