Hope … in uncertain times

Today started a new 21-day free meditation program by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. A few times a year, Oprah and Deepak offer a free 21-day meditation series. I started participating in these about four years ago. They provide moments of calm and respite for me each day of these three weeks. Although I try to do quiet time every day, I haven’t really gotten the hang of meditating as well I know others have. I can’t seem to quiet my mind well enough. Those who know seem to describe me as “wound tight.” I can’t imagine why they say that. I think I am a carefree kind of person, without a care in the world. Haha. I was certainly more carefree before the current occupant of the oval office. This Republican Administration has definitely got me grinding my teeth and if there is something tighter than “wound tight,” that might be me on some days.

So, on April 10th, when Oprah and Deepak started their latest 21-day meditation, I am all in. (You can access it and sign up for free: https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience) This series is title, Hope in Uncertain Times. That’s appropriate, right? Just think of all that is going on in our country, in our world, in our cities, in our politics, in our communities. If I look even in what I see on the Facebook Timelines of my friends and families, I see signs of uncertain times. This is a really good time to utilize this free meditation. You will get a new meditation each morning. It is a wonderful way to start your day. Or, you can choose any time of the day to listen to the meditation, it’s up to you.

Back to how I started my day. I did my 2.5 mile walk this morning (yes, I know I didn’t quite get the full 3 miles in … I’ve slacked off a bit with the high pollen counts out right now), then sat in my front parlor, took some deep breaths and got ready to start the first day of the meditation. Now, never mind that my mind starting racing again and I did a few more things before I actually started the meditation, I did eventually listen to the meditation and get quiet for a few minutes. Awww … it felt good. One of the useful things that we can do when things around us are in turmoil is stop, pause, re-set, take a breath, get quiet, get still and hold it for a few minutes.

When things are uncertain or unsteady, when you get knocked off the routine or unexpected things happen, we have to do something to steady us again. This can happen with a loss, a family death, a job loss, a financial loss, an emotional disappointment or many other reasons. We have to find a way back to solid footing. We have to find hope for the next moment, the next day. Maya Angelou said, “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space.” So if you decide to be hopeful, let go of the fear.

I was blessed to see a family member recently who had experienced significant personal changes over the past three years. She looked great, I mean really great. And her personal challenges / changes had been major. To say that she experienced uncertain times would be a major understatement. Some days she didn’t get out of bed until 2 p.m. But no more. She had family support. She received medical help. She took care of her health. She utilized meditation. She started one step at a time, almost like a writer writes one word at a time. She let go of the fear and let hope reign.

Change is the only certainty in life so approaching life with hope gives each of us more fulfillment. In day 1’s meditation, Deepak encourages us to embrace uncertainty, therefore bringing an intention of fulfillment.

Even with the political craziness going on, there is hope in the darkness of the resistance that has come resulted. The marches and the town halls are full of hope that coming together is engaging the country in a way that will force our Congressional leaders to pay attention. We are each others source of strength and therefore we have become each others hope too. This is an expanded spirituality in a way. I think this augments whatever religious community we practice each Sunday. That is the spirit of Christianity, Judaism, and most religions … that together with Divinity, with God, with Jesus … we are each other’s keeper.

I had a book recommended to me after the inauguration, Hope in the Dark, by Rebecca Solnit. It was written as a case for hope at the height of the George H.W. Bush Administration’s beginning of the war in Iraq. It grew out of despair with the early Bush years from Bush vs. Gore and then its evolution into his presidency. For many of us that was the last dark time of the country. So, here we are again, and actually worse than even then. The recommendation to read it was that the book helped for how to approach activism, social change and political engagement during similar times. I recommend you get it.

Between the 21-day meditation, Hope in Uncertain Times, and the book, Hope in the Dark, maybe there will be a few nuggets that will apply to aspects of what you are experiencing now. The meditations will be a calming force for anything you are going through. The universe always provides for what you need when you need it. That’s how God rolls. Before you ask … it will appear.

The world is always being made and is never finished.

Hope is an idea to navigate by, to  breathe in.

Paradise is not just the place in which you arrive but the journey toward it.

Activism / political engagement is successful for that which you work toward not just for each battle won …

Change happens as much by inspiration and catalyst as by imposition.

Today is also the day of creation. Hope begins now, it’s an inside job.

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