Tag Archives: healing

An offering of Hope on Wednesday

I was reading through some blogs last evening and came across a reference to “Reasonable Hope,” a concept from the work of Kaethe Weingarten. Google helped me learn some more about Kaethe and provided some links to this concept she has developed and which piqued my curiosity.

I followed this link and read about this organisation which had begun to explore and work with these aspects of “reasonable hope”

Reasonable hope can help us build a bridge to creating more authentic hope in our lives even in the midst of challenging circumstances, uncertainty and even despair.
Weingarten identified five characteristics of reasonable hope, which we are understanding and interpreting in the following ways:

Relational. Hope happens between things and in relationships. It is held, shared, communicated, birthed. It shifts and moves, waxes and wanes, as we interact with ourselves, each other and our environment. It can be likened to the African concept of “Ubuntu,” which Archbishop Desmond Tutu described as “being enveloped in the community of other human beings, in being caught up in the bundle of life.” Hope is like this, caught up in bundles of shared experience.

Is something to be practiced. Hope is a verb more than a noun. Rather than an internal feeling we have or we don’t, hope is a quality we can actively cultivate through the choices we make. Hope is an ongoing process, something we practice in the here and now—not something we passively wish for in the future—that makes us more “hope” prone.

Sees the future as open, uncertain, influenceable. An uncertain future creates space for change, growth and transformation. It opens the door to possibilities beyond our current expectations. Hope is a process where “the soul turns toward a light which it does not yet perceive, a light yet to be born,” as is eloquently described by the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel.

Seeks goals and pathways. Reasonable hope is both practical and fluid. It looks for what goals can be accomplished now (and identifies ways to get there) and adjusts as new possibilities and pathways become available.

Accommodates doubt, contradictions and despair. When understood as a dynamic, moment-to-moment practice, hope can be messy and spacious. It can hold the whole of our lives with all of its losses, joys, setbacks and surprises. Instead of closing our eyes and making a wish, we can open our eyes wider and turn toward a light that may not yet be born.

Reasonable hope is only one of many ways we can bring hope into seemingly hopeless situations. A bridge from what is true now to a place where we can dream and hope again.

Hope has been a word on my lips so often lately that this expansion has proved to be both comforting and illuminating to me. Sharing ways to become more “hope prone” is such a positive gift to us all.

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Green for healing

The Man of the House and I have fallen prey to a miserable virus. There is a line-up of immune boosting supplements, cold and flu relief products, boxes of tissues, cough lozenges and extra fluid options in evidence at the moment.
We have needed an abundance of healing vibes and green is a colour for that. The beautiful light and my need for some fresh air drew me out into the garden on Thursday as the sun was lowering in the sky. Greens everywhere took my eye and offered freshness and something of a mirror to our current vulnerability.
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Fresh and new growth does not always survive an onslaught.
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But in a turn for the better, as the dreary symptoms begin to abate, I spotted this beauty as I ventured down to the shop for some more cough lozenges for the MoH. It heralds a return to being “in the pink” once again and we are really looking forward to that!
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By the way…..this is a Chinese Toon tree and it always reminds me of Dr Seuss and his wonderful stories and rhymes which hold so much wisdom and offer so much fun and laughter (which is the best medicine!!)
You can go here to find out more about this amazing tree and how it has even more medicinal uses.

A year in my life

Between September 2007 and September 2008 I took a photo on our new digital camera every day in order to record a year in my life.   Why did I do this?

I had experienced some life changing and life threatening events in rather close succession and wanted to track my return to “normal” life, whatever shape that took.  At the same time I took the photo and printed it off I would make a few notes about what the photo meant to me on that day.  So I hoped that by describing, recording and reflecting I would gain some sense of who I was following the upheaval and change.

With hindsight more time had to pass for me to process the events but several other benefits flowed from this project.  I felt a real sense of satisfaction in keeping to a daily record of my life; it is a valuable record of that year when we are trying to remember something that happened at that time; I enjoyed developing my visual senses; I became more aware of light and its many qualities and nuances; it kept me in touch with life and a sense that life does move on, no matter what emotions need to be felt and what healing needs to occur; it reminded me of my love of the funny and quirky, of my cats and of nature, my family and friends.

My life feels very ordinary but my interest in family history has taught me time and again that records from the past of ordinary lives can offer huge amounts of valuable information that help us understand how life was years ago and increases our sense of connection to family from the past.

There are many ways that people record their lives.  How do you record yours?