Hope is a choice

The other spiritual discipline and way to stay grounded is that however seriously we must take what’s happening in the world and what the headlines are reflecting, it is never the full story of our time. It’s not the last word on what we’re capable of. It’s not the whole story of us. And we have to take that other narrative that’s not reaching the headline point, which is a very specific bar. Journalism, the way it came down to us from the 20th century, is absolutely focused, utterly and completely, on what is catastrophic, corrupt, and failing. And then, at the same time, there are good people. There are healing initiatives. There is a narrative of healing and of hope and of goodness, and we also just, as a discipline, have to take that in, as well — not instead of, but the both/and of humanity and of our world.

And I think it’s only in doing that that we keep flexing and strengthening our hope muscle. Hope is a muscle. It’s a choice. It is a vigorous choice, to see what is wrong and what needs healing and needs repair and needs our attention and also to keep our hearts and our imaginations and our energy oriented towards what we want to build, what we want to create, what we’re walking towards.

Krista Tippett, On Being Blog

Nature

Many indigenous cultures and spiritual traditions recognize four natural sanctuaries where we can remember and come home to who we are: the desert, the mountains, the waters, and the woods. Nature comes from the Latin ‘natus,’ ‘to be born.’ Native peoples look to these places for remembrance, soul retrieval work, and to be reborn or renewed. Because we are made from the natural elements- fire (our energy), air (our breath), water (our blood), and earth (our bones),- we are always drawn to come into harmony with the beauty of nature around us. It nourishes the soul and opens us to be born into the mysterious presence and promptings of our own vast inner world.

Angeles Arrien

Navigating safely

Most of us unknowingly go through life with a tight grip in our inner core. this inner psychological grip corresponds to an outer physiological one. The mind is designed to grasp ideas, and the hands and arms are made to grasp objects. Each form of grasping is an attempt to be in control. Grasping ideas of ourselves and the world – virtual models of reality – allows us to plan, which provides a sense of control, however illusory this control may be. In times of stress we may believe that we need to get a stronger grip on ourselves. In truth, we need to relax it. Our main stress comes from being too tightly wound. When I explain this principle to clients I will sometimes use the metaphor of driving a car: if our grip on the steering wheel is too tense we become a less safe driver. We need to be both alert and relaxed to gracefully navigate the road, as well as life

John J. Prendergast, In Touch: How to Tune In to the Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself