I woke up day number 10 of the year 2019 to this view out my window.
Hope is a breath of fresh air. A long deep breath I so often forget to take as I allow the shallow breaths of time starvation and self-protective adrenaline to overwhelm my day.
The meditation I focus on is “Each day has its own sufficient amount of concern”. If I magnify the effects of carrying my baggage of worry to the next day, I exponentially escalate negativity causing a snowball effect that only hope can melt.
That glimmer of hope lives within all of us. A bright sunbeam of faith at times only barely sensed or an internal nudge toward a positive belief.
I am reminded, “Choose to breathe in or tune in to to the message of hope.” Sometimes it requires a quiet moment to focus on our breath, at other times we may need to turn up the volume to drown out our negative self-talk.
Either way, we can all light up each new day with hopeful anticipation of that great something that is about to happen, within the world of possibility, as we are granted another sunrise.
As light powerfully destroys darkness, hope breathes life into despair with its promise.
Erika K Rothwell
Renewal has turned to hope. This first day of the new year with its call for resolutions reminds me of the accomplishments of the past year. Allowing myself to open up to others through my writing brought renewal.
Recently, a question was presented to me, “how do you stop agonizing over the past? My answer was a window into my motivation for sharing my writing publicly through the creation of my blog, as I responded “Embrace the moment, celebrate what you know now from what the past served to you. Accept your wounds as a badge of honor. Help others heal.”
Thus begins my personal journey of hope. I once heard an acronym for hope as “help one person every day.” There is no quicker way to move from a state of sadness, irritation, or any negative emotion than to reach out and look for an opportunity to help. The world needs helpers and I need hope.
We all have something to give, and even if not always easy, my goal this year is to find a moment every day to do so.
I will share my 2019 hope journey each day with a brief post chronicling my life. You can see the most recent by clicking on the menu or scrolling down to the bottom of the page for all days. I will also continue to post my longer essays as well.
-Erika K Rothwell
Writing makes me a better person. How do I know this? The holiday season is filled with activities that take me away from my writing. And in the magnetic pull of seasonal revelries and necessities, kindness appears to dissipate.
What normally draws me in and captures my attention and the resulting analysis is missing as I find myself showing true colors of stress and time starvation. Ricocheting reactions, unthoughtful responses as I often neglect the feelings of my receiver emulate the result of forsaking my writing as it waits patiently without demanding my attention.
The love I have for writing is wrapped around the fruits of its labor. The time I take to review and untangle deeply entwined messages offers me the opportunity for revival, and a renewed aspiration to be a better human.
It is easy to critique another’s words. It can be more difficult to allow those words to move you in the direction you need to go. The definition of inspire is, “to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” So I find myself inspired by the words of dear friends and family as they share their days in words.
I was once told a story about considering the receiver when you speak as misinterpretation can easily change the intentioned meaning and be taken derogatorily. It can also be humorous when you are caught in this precarious situation. Albeit, possible projection, the receiver may manipulate the message from a set of biased lenses. How much of that is our responsibility? Words that escape from our lips cannot be reeled back in. And words that are written are a permanent record of our thoughts and cannot be erased by any amount of time.
The message today brings me back to intention. What is my intention for sharing these particular words? Am I trying to heal from an unintentional attack from another’s chosen words? Am I considering how my ill-timed or careless words affect others? Or am I simply inspired by others to “breathe in” (as the second definition of inspire) and take steps toward kindness, forgiveness, and renewal?
Maybe it will never be clear. What is transparent, though, writing helps me be a better me. My hope is that you also find your solace in an activity this holiday season that renews your spirit.
It’s been raining for days. I’m driving along a rural highway admiring the visual gifts, namely the multiple waterfalls being formed simply by water cascading down slight inclines of land. My mind wanders and settles on the cleansing effect of rain on the earth. For me, the metaphorical thoughts inherently follow.
As the miles pass, I notice the scorched landscape that had been burned by a rampant wildfire, months before. The trees look forlorn as they reach toward the sky with their unscathed branches while their burned trunks tell the story. The grass is only a memory left by a smoky black trail. Somehow though, at that moment, the rain seems to promise a glistening future by lighting up the dark stretch of devastation.
It is proven that a lightly burned section of land, when given life-giving water, can be renewed and flourish. This can only be attributed to roots that extend deeper than the visible damage combined with the chemical compound change effect of the soil.
And now, I feel it…the metaphorical cleansing effect of the rain. It beats down with an incessant rhythm lulling me into the hope of a future. So many times, I have been beaten down by the fires…and feel I can only show a dark trail of pain. But then, the rain comes, and my boughs reach for the sky; making it clear that my roots are still intact. It is at this time, I believe I can flourish from my new soil.
-Erika K Rothwell