In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.

Howard Thurman

Yesterday’s practice offered an invitation to look for places where hope is alive and well in the larger world – sources of big inspiration. Today’s practice brings us closer to home and is an invitation to tap into your own wisdom and lived experience. To fill our well of hope, we need to look at the world around us, yes, but there are also riches in learning from our own journeys and listening to our own hearts.

Day Two: Attuning to Our Own Wisdom

To begin, take a few minutes to reflect on one or all of the following questions – whichever question(s) most resonate with you:

  • When you look at your own life’s journey, what are the times/occasions when you have felt [or do you feel] most hopeful?
  • Who are the friends or family members who have inspired you with their hopefulness?
  • What have you experienced in your own life – either currently or in the past – that has allowed you to nurture a sense of hope, to hear your heart “in the stillness of the quiet…whisper hope to despair”?

After you’ve completed your reflection, take a moment to consider what experience or activity you could carry forward that would contribute to cultivating a hopeful orientation to life. Perhaps it’s visiting a special place; spending time with a particular person; or re-igniting a habit of body, mind, or heart that you used to practice regularly. In other words, mine your own life experience for sources, guides, and inspiration for cultivating hope.

  • What one story, insight, or habit do you want to carry forward as a touchstone of hope into your day or week?
  • In a place where you’ll see it every day, create a visual reminder for yourself of this source of hope – a note or favorite quote on a post-it, a treasured object, a photograph.

Share Your Reflection: Help build a collection of ideas for cultivating hope by sharing your story or insight below.

Deepening Resource

Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble: Some Spiritual Tools and Tips, A Short Essay by Alexander Levering Kern

Enjoy these 13 simple but powerful tools and tips for staying clear and grounded – and able to remain hopeful.

Photo Credit: Johannes Plenio