Have you been finding it hard to stay positive and optimistic lately? If so, know that you are not alone. We are living through challenging times and sometimes we have to make more of a conscious effort to be hopeful and believe that change is possible.
I’m part of an anti-racism group where each meeting starts off by reviewing a few tenets that create the space and community we need to work for change. One of these tenets is “Maintain hope, even in the face of the brutal facts” which comes from Bryan Stevenson’s work. Right now, we know there are a lot of brutal facts, including most recently what we see happening with women losing rights that were gained in Afghanistan, the worries of kids starting school amidst the delta variant, voter suppression, and so much more.
This is why “maintaining hope” is a necessary part of creating the change that we want to see. Our collective hope is what will inspire the change we need.
Here are a few ways to help you to maintain hope even when it feels hard:
1. Connect with those close to you. Call or spend time with someone you love, care about it, and enjoy spending time with. Laugh together and enjoy your time together. Focus on the human connections you have in your life. Being around others often has a way of lifting our spirits.
2. Look for inspiration. Consciously reach out for the stories and experiences of those who are working for change. It may be people in the public eye or people in your local community. Allow yourself to feel inspired by the amazing things people around us are doing.
3. Reconnect with nature. For many of us leading busy lives we may not take the time to literally stop and smell the flowers. Sometimes we need to take a moment to smell the flowers, look at the clouds, feel grass on our feet, etc. I know it may sound silly but it can actually really help to keep us grounded and in amazement of what actually exists around us.
4. Use a spiritual practice (it does NOT need to be religious). It could be a religious practice if you have one but it does not need to be. For example, it could be anything from meditation, to deep breathing, or prayer.
So let’s stay connected and find inspiration and hope together. Together we can bring about change.
To strengthening hope.
For more resource, check out our podcast Racially Responsible
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