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Weekly Wellness Word: Hope

Monthly Theme: Feeling

This week’s word is Hope

There is a line in the movie Rogue One. ‘Rebellions are built on hope.’ Rebellion and hope seem on the surface to be opposites. Can they truly live in the same space, share a tension as two sides of the same coin?

Throughout this Weekly Wellness Word series we have talked about ways we can invite wellness and healthy practices during times of change and stress. To respond to change with resistance is completely natural. Our being as humans is designed to seek homeostasis, stability, efficiency, rest. We need these things to obtain a peaceful balance in our lives. Change messes up that balance and, thus, is met with unsettled feelings, thoughts and even physiological processes that contribute to our resistance towards change.

Hope is the aspiration of the unexpected. Hope is the resistance to our resistance towards change. Hope says things could be, should be, and can be better than they are. Hope does not live in the world of probability, but of possibility. When we are hopeful, when we give room for possibility, we come out of our self protective shell and allow ourselves to dream.

Sometimes hopes and dreams must take the form of resistance against the status quo in order for things to get better. The change that is happening to you that you cannot control is the hopes and dreams of another person becoming a reality. Think about that for a moment. Nothing changes unless someone, somewhere began to foster a thought, an idea, that eventually became a seed of hope, a dream, then finally a plan. That person's hopeful process is now affecting your life.

What about you? This week consider whether you have allowed room in your own heart and mind to foster hopes and dreams of your own. In what ways are they unfolding a feeling of resistance towards your current situation? Imagine your hope or dream as it unfolds into an idea, an action of some sort. Where might it lead you? If you allow your mind to travel into the future, what does the ideal future look like for you? If that future could be possible, dream about what steps, what milestones might get you from here to there. Write them out if that's helpful, or create a vision board or sketch a map or flowchart. Feed your hopes. Water your dreams. Watch them grow.

Quote of the Week

“A good life list is one that makes you feel hopeful about yourself, your future, and the manifold opportunities that will arise as a result of your endeavors. Rick Snyder, the founder of hope theory, said that when a person has goals, he or she begins to think more creatively about how to achieve them, and that this 'pathways thinking' results in a more hopeful outlook on life. People who are hopeful are happier, and they work much more persistently and flexibly toward goal completion. Not only will our life list theory show you how to be more hopeful, but you'll discover for yourself why it pays off handsomely in goal accomplishment.”

- Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide, Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP & Dr. Michael B. Frisch

Next Step

As you consider what hopes and dreams might begin to appear on the horizon of your life, positivity can be helpful to jump start that process. The link below provides a summary to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's helpful steps on how to use positive thinking to shift you from negativity to positivity.

Further Information

For a deeper dive on the wellness benefits of hope, check out this article The Healing Power of Hope from Psychology Today.

Have a GREAT week!

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