Archives for posts with tag: hope

Lately, I am finding it easy to tip my toe into waters of despair. There have always been heartbreaking world problems but in this country, there are heartbreaking problems being purposefully created. Purposeful assault against vulnerable people and against our fragile Mother Earth. Oh yes, there is also the continued assault against our republic. The first anniversary of my dad’s death is coming up on July 5th. I have been feeling that, along with other personal losses, my scary past illnesses, parenting worries, for the last month.

Even for a mostly extremely lucky person like me, life is hard. Fortunately, I am able to take my toe out of the water of despair. Then I see a sliver of hope. It is a sliver but it is there. It is meaningful. It is an opportunity, fragile as it is. I would like to be more hopeful but I’m not.

Most of the day and most days, I feel energetic and happy. And then I feel the restlessness of wanting to get away. The sadness doesn’t last long, sometimes 30 seconds, other times, an hour or so. When I feel despair, it is perhaps for a few seconds. However, the restlessness stays with me. It makes it hard to do seated meditation. It makes it hard to write, which is why it has been so long since I have posted.

What I find easy, these days, is to hike. The forest is lush and green. The mountains are abundant with wildflowers. My body is gaining strength to handle steepness that I was not able to do when I was younger. Steepness gives way to vistas of nearly unimaginable beauty. The promise of a hike is enough to motivate me to put in long days of work and to get my chores done at home. I am able to free up time and space to get away.

And it’s not that I don’t think of the big problems when I am hiking because I do. But I do it while also being surrounded by a larger context of beauty and nature’s reminder of the vastness of time, space, and the ongoing life cycle. These things are bigger than me. They are bigger than our species. My mindfulness teacher talks about “residing in a larger container of awareness”. She is talking about something I don’t yet fully understand but I think I am getting gaining understanding.

I am grateful for the life circumstances that allow me to protect my hope and to protect my love of life and being. This hope motivates positive action. Thinking about problems is not the same as constructive action. It is merely grieving in place. I am learning and re-learning that I can grieve and move at the same time.

Peace to you, friends.

 

DSC07165DSC07174DSC07276DSC07455DSC07462DSC07468DSC07477DSC07480DSC07496DSC07508DSC07509

When I practice mindfulness, I encounter a paradox of experiencing a greater connectedness with thoughts, feelings, and sensations but also having some kind of buffer. I don’t really know how to describe it exactly. It’s not exactly a distance but it kind of is. No doubt there are individuals far more practiced in mindfulness who have written about this much more precisely and eloquently. I know that the word, “equanimity” is often used to describe this state, a mental composure that wards against imbalance of the mind.

Yesterday morning I was walking and noticing. I do most of my mindfulness practices while I walk. I also do a great deal of contemplation about my life. I was thinking about how much more fun I am having with my family these days and the level of harmony we’ve been experiencing. The sun was out and I could feel it on my skin. The flowers and trees in the neighborhood were beautiful. I felt a great deal of joy. In these times of mindfulness I find that I encounter unexpected thoughts and feelings. The balance that I feel makes this possible, I think.

Yesterday, I felt hopeful, a feeling that is familiar to me. But yesterday it was followed other thoughts and feelings. Hope involves taking mental chances. Hope leaves the door open for good outcomes after a long time of fearing the worst and experiencing very hard times.

Hope can be frightening.

Heart Sisters

For women living with heart disease

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).

KomenWatch

Keeping our eyes and ears open.....

Life in a Wheelchair

You never think it could happen to you!

4 Times and Counting

Confessions Of A 4 Time Breast Cancer Survivor

Nancy's Point

A blog about breast cancer, loss & survivorship

After Twenty Years Cancer Research Blog

Exploring progress in cancer research from the patient perspective.

My Eyes Are Up Here

My life is not just about my chest, despite rumblings to the contrary.

Woman in the Hat

Cancer to Wellness in 1,038,769 Easy Steps!

Dglassme's Blog

Wouldn't Wish This On My Worst Enemy

SeasonedSistah2

Today is Better Than Yesterday

Telling Knots

About 30% of people diagnosed with breast cancer at any stage will develop distal metastasis. I am one.

The Pink Underbelly

A day in the life of a sassy Texas girl dealing with breast cancer and its messy aftermath

The Asymmetry of Matter

Qui vivra verra.

Fab 4th and 5th Grade

Teaching readers, writers, and thinkers

Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

making sense of the breast cancer experience together

Telling Knots

About 30% of people diagnosed with breast cancer at any stage will develop distal metastasis. I am one.

Entering a World of Pink

a male breast cancer blog

Luminous Blue

a mother's and daughter's journey with transformation, cancer, death and LOVE

Fierce is the New Pink

Run to the Bear!

The Sarcastic Boob

Determined to Manage Breast Cancer with the Same Level of Sarcasm with which I Manage Everything Else

FEC-THis

Life after a tango with death & its best friend cancer