This is a guest blog post from Tess Denton, Author and Future Facilitator
Where to begin? Where to begin? For many, 2017 has been a challenging year, so HOPE for the coming year is a very tall order. To get my outlook and energy related to 2018 in order, I have taken this last week of December off from work. I have been practicing quiet and solitude. As part of the process, I have taken a break from watching television news. I admit that I have peeked, a few times, at some of my favorite news sites on my cell phone, but I am not watching any videos or advertising, or ‘in-your-face’ summations about this year. It is heaven! I must remember that all of the news and noise impact my outlook.
As a result of my week for me, seeds of HOPE are sprouting in my heart and head. I feel as if my everyday optimism has surfaced just in time for the New Year.
In preparing for this blog post, I polled people about what they Hope for in 2018. I was not surprised to find a theme of being exhausted by 2017.
Here is a sampling of what people had to say:
• Hope for 2018… It’s a hard one. Personally this last year I faced few challenges other than living in a country divided. For 2018 the usual clichés don’t apply. My personal hope is to go on an epic walk, I am grateful to this planet and my life on it. I want to live each day with my eyes open taking in the beauty that surrounds me.
• Hope for 2018… This past year has been full of challenges and stress. I’m looking forward to a new year and am hopeful that things will be better. I’m also hoping that I can take better care of myself and keep my priorities where I want them to be.
• Hope for 2018… I definitely hope the divisive politics simmer down. I’m SO sick of the finger pointing. I’m hopeful that we won’t take backward steps in dealing with gender politics and sexual harassment.
• Hope for 2018… Oh, oh I know! I HOPE FOR HOPE.
These and other responses indicate to me that we need to begin with simplicity and curious listening. Where and how to begin: Given our over-scheduled culture and zany weather patterns, how and where might you tune in to find your seeds of hope?
• In between the hopeless spaces, if that’s where you begin.
• In the non-commercial, if all of the buy-buy-buy messaging tires you out.
• In the non-technology zone, if you have difficulty turning off the outside world.
We are all connected all of the time, it seems. From sunup to sundown, with alarms set to get out of bed, with buzzers at the baggage carousels, with booming club music at the gym, with the incessant chat, chat, chatter at the Starbuck’s.
My recommendation is that in order to find and plant the seeds of HOPE for 2018, you should begin in a quiet space. You can quickly appreciate the value of silence and get in touch with what’s important to you, one minute at a time.
Quiet spaces are out there. Which ones can you choose?
•An empty church
•An empty train station
•An empty classroom
•And if you must use technology to get there, Apps and sites such as Gaia, Calm, Daily Om
Let’s take a trip to the physical and mind space that can lead you to HOPE for 2018. Take a journal or pad of paper with you as you head out the door. Drive, walk, bike or take transit to one of the quiet places you’ve identified. Once you are there, scout out a spot where you won’t be disturbed. Set your belongings beside you, silence your phone, and close your eyes for a few moments. When you have a sense of calm, begin the following exercise:
Sit quietly for one minute (you could use your phone’s timer on vibrate, or bring a watch with a second hand). Do this three times.
Where did you find that your thoughts wandered in those one-minute increments? You might have loved the silence, you might have felt agitated, and you might have noticed your energy level. Make a mental note of your mental state as you step away from your everyday.
Now, let’s combine the quiet with some questions. We’ll call these ‘one-minute moments’
1. “What do you appreciate, in this moment?”
Jot down what it is that you appreciate.
2. In this moment, What do you wish? Be honest.
Jot down what it is that you wish.
3. What do you want?
Jot down what it is that you want…
4. What do you Hope will happen in your life in the next week or month?
Jot down what it is that you Hope for.
And just like that, you now you have HOPE in hand as you move into January, with longer days, more light and time to hibernate and take steps toward expanding this HOPE you have identified.
I suggest putting your notes from this exercise into a little zipper case that you take with you in your purse or backpack? To maintain and deepen your sense of hope, try reading the news only once each day, give yourself some one minute pauses, and still the chatter by engaging in making a good strong cup of tea. Watch the water boil, bob the teabag in the cup, grab a biscuit and settle in. Reread the notes that are in your purse or bag and let the outside world wait a few minutes. It will survive without you.
On a final note: Before you know it, February 15th will be here. You could choose to take this “time out” for yourself and see how your results compare to today.
Wishing you a Happy and Hopeful New Year!
Engage your imagination in creating your best future by reading Building a Powerful Vision Board, Your Path Achieving Your Goals and What You Want In Life.
The Vision Board process is great fun, and the book is informative and engaging. By learning how to create powerful Vision Boards and developing a roadmap to achieve your vision, you can create the future you want for yourself.
Enjoy your journey!
To read more about Tess Denton, her books and programs you can go to her website:
Building a Powerful Vision Board