Martin Luther King's birthday just passed and I mused on how close to the new year it falls. When I think of Mr. King, the word "hope" always filters to the top. Hope permeates the air in January like the scent of my blossoming tangelo in springtime. After all, New Year's resolutions need a good sprinkling of hope to manifest themselves. So I am pondering the word hope. When we anchor hope onto our dreams, expectations or accomplishments, it not only gives them a sense of lightness or buoyancy but density as well. When we hope for a better life situation in 2011, it adds a weighty quality to our desire. There is a responsibility to take practical steps towards that goal, not just a wistful desire that our future improve. Turning hope into reality is an intense proposition. In my view, hope carries a lot of weight, yet is light to carry. It is that airy, souffle-like quality that I am focusing on this year. How can I lighten the load or burden of procuring myself a better life and not feel as if the weight of the world is on my shoulders?
Every morning prior to meditation, I now ask myself what brought me happiness yesterday: a peaceful hike with my Australian Shepherd, the deep tissue massage I scheduled in the afternoon (a Christmas gift from my hubby). Then I ask what will bring me happiness that day, and think of at least one joyful experience yet to come. It may be as simple as watching a movie with my husband or enjoying a good meal with friends that coming evening. Remembering how important joy is in our daily lives keeps hope afloat within our hearts.
Here is a fun question I asked my yoga students: If hope were a food, what food would it be for you? I visualize a light, airy chocolate mousse, with an intensely pure cocoa taste. Something so light on the tongue, yet exploding with flavor on the palate.
I received some unexpected responses, from spinach to alfalfa sprouts, even bananas! There is no right or wrong food choice, I just felt dessert was way more fun! Share your choice in the comments section, I'd love to know.
Hope props us up and helps carry us above the challenges placed before us. May your burdens be light and your joys many this upcoming year.