If we lose hope we lose everything. Hope, in this sense, is the fire in your heart that drives you to go forward, conscious that life is precious and worth fighting for. To keep this fire burning can at times be hard. We do well if we cultivate the habits that keep us on the path of hope.
Stay in the present
Our minds are typically open to suggestions and distractions – especially nowadays. Our challenge is to stop the ongoing conversation we have in our heads, the comments we hear about whatever concerns we have; judging, comparing, evaluating, defending, motivating etc. During such times we drift off into all kinds of places but the present moment.
To switch from such a state of mind to being fully present is, admittedly, not easy in our modern overstimulated world. A few years ago I had a breakthrough moment in reflecting on my thoughts. There was a clear pattern of three w’s: wishing, wondering and waiting. I decided to stop harbouring such thoughts the moment I detect them. It worked for me: I started to embrace the moment and let go.
Mindfulness can be defined as maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our sensations, feelings, and thoughts, without getting caught up in them (Kate Davies). ‘Awareness’ is what we typically have difficulty with. Our impulse is to judge and try to categorise, give it a name, pinpoint the perfect solution or answer. It becomes a never-ending exhausting effort. It obstructs our experience of the moment in all its richness of being alive, surrounded by what is beautiful, good and sometimes mysterious.
Author: Dr Gerhard van Rensburg