Practice Day 29: I will hold on Hope.

Theme/Mantra: “I will hold on hope”


Reading:

Lending Out Books by Hal Sirowitz

You’re always giving, my therapist said.

You have to learn how to take. Whenever

you meet a woman, the first thing you do

is lend her your books. You think she’ll

have to see you again in order to return them.

But what happens is, she doesn’t have the time

to read them, & she’s afraid if she sees you again

you’ll expect her to talk about them, & will

want to lend her even more. So she

cancels the date. You end up losing

a lot of books. You should borrow hers.


Meditation:

Find a comfortable place to sit and listen.

Take a few cleansing breaths to calm your mind and body.

Ask yourself the following questions – one at a time.

Listen to the answers, and stay with them as long as you need to.

In what ways do I hope for things that will never be? Deceiving myself?

In what ways do I find strength in hope in helpful and positive ways?


Physical Movement:

Downward Dog

Begin in in standing position, with your hands to your side, legs hips width apart, shoulders back and pelvis tilted (so you aren’t arching your back).

Inhale as you reach your hands high into the air above you, shoulders width apart, and with your palms facing toward one another.

Exhale and bend over, bending your knees if you have to as you place your hands on the ground in front of your feet.

Step or jump your legs back to plank position.

Inhale deeply.

On the exhale, lift your butt up into the air as you push your heels towards the ground (they may never touch, that is okay).

Stay here for at least two deep breaths.

To come out of it, reverse the steps.

(Lower your butt, back into plank- step or jump your feet up to your hands- come to full standing, with your hands above your head, then release your hands to you sides, back in Mountain pose).

Repeat as desired.


Reflection:

Today’s lesson is one of discernment. I want to hold on to hope in as many ways possible- Hope for world peace, for a more compassionate government, benevolent leaders, for forgiving neighbors and family members and friends. Hope that we can all be the best people we can be in most situations. And yet we aren’t always our best. Sometimes we call off a date because we haven’t read the book you loaned us (from the poem above). Sometimes we want to tell the truth, but know the truth will hurt, so we tell a white lie, and end up causing more pain. We don’t have to have bad intentions to cause pain. Sometimes to sit and hope for something to be done, when in fact we have agency, and rather than hoping for a savior, we should become said savior.

So back to discernment. How do we know WHEN to hold out hope? And when to stop hoping?

I don’t have a clear answer- (I guess kind of obviously?)- but I do have a practiced opinion. I hold out hope for the Other- to receive healing- to become all they can become, and in the meantime, I try to take steps to see who they truly are- in all of their beauty and ugliness. And I hold it all. I hold on to the hope, but don’t lose touch of reality.

I hold out hope for myself to continue to become… to increase my love for others- to increase my self awareness- and I work towards that hope with my actions, and thoughts, and choices. But I allow myself to make mistakes.


What discernment do you need today? What hopes do you need to let go of?

What books do you need to borrow, rather than lend?



Song: The Cave by Mumford and Sons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNy8llTLvuA

Lyrics:

It's empty in the valley of your heart

The sun, it rises slowly as you walk

Away from all the fears

And all the faults you've left behind


The harvest left no food for you to eat

You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see

But I have seen the same

I know the shame in your defeat


But I will hold on hope

And I won't let you choke

On the noose around your neck


And I'll find strength in pain

And I will change my ways

I'll know my name as it's called again


‘Cause I have other things to fill my time

You take what is yours and I'll take mine

Now let me at the truth

Which will refresh my broken mind


So tie me to a post and block my ears

I can see widows and orphans through my tears

I know my call despite my faults

And despite my growing fears


But I will hold on hope

And I won't let you choke

On the noose around your neck


And I'll find strength in pain

And I will change my ways

I'll know my name as it's called again


So come out of your cave walking on your hands

And see the world hanging upside down

You can understand dependence

When you know the maker's land


So make your siren's call

And sing all you want

I will not hear what you have to say


‘Cause I need freedom now

And I need to know how

To live my life as it's meant to be


And I will hold on hope

And I won't let you choke

On the noose around your neck


And I'll find strength in pain

And I will change my ways

I'll know my name as it's called again

Until Tomorrow- Peace


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