By Beth Keil
I heard an interviewee say this when I was listening to a radio news segment. The conversation was about hope and how important it is to have but what can happen if we have too much. Now I have conversations with the radio when I’m driving. This time was no different. Hope is a precious thing to have, to know and feel. I’ve relied on hope when my children have been hospitalized, when my husband was deployed for a year, and when I was 16 and thought of suicide. I relied on hope when I really wanted that baby doll when I was 10 (I didn’t get it). For some reason hearing that hope needs to be realistic resonated with something deep inside me. Hope, for me, isn’t about a sure thing, a done deal. Sometimes it fills us with excitement as we look ahead. Sometimes hope is something we hang on to as we await an outcome.
When people call me they are frustrated and want to change something about themselves and/or their life. Some measure of hope is needed to make that call. At Delaware Hypnosis Partners we provide a multiphase process of hypnosis called 5PATH®. Hope is the core of the first session. Hope is what allows any of us to vision the future, to change. One of the ways we so this is by having the person imagine they have already accomplished their goal by visioning themselves in their future. This exercise can be difficult for some people. They don’t want to feel disappointment, perhaps once again. Perhaps dreams (aka, hope) haven’t been nurtured and supported by others in their lives. Harry Chapin has a song called “Flowers are Red” that tells the story of a little boy who used “all the colors of the rainbow” when coloring flowers until a teacher sets him straight, so to speak, about the appropriate colors to use. I am moved every time I listen to this song.
Now that you’ve had a moment to take in the song let’s begin cultivating your hopes, your dreams. Take a moment to listen to your heart. Close your eyes and notice the hope that lies within it. Is there something you’ve hoped for? First say what it is out loud so you give it sound and then write it down.
Now take yourself into your future, say 3, 6 or 12 months of having already made this change as if you’ve living it now. Notice what your life is like, what you experience, what you feel, what you know. Now write down what you notice. Take your time. Write down at least 7 things. Here’s some guidance in how to make your words more powerful. Cross out the following words: shall, will, don’t or won’t. For example, “I don’t put myself down anymore”. Here’s a powerful reframe: “I always treat myself with kindness and love”. You want your statements to be present tense (versus future or past), positive, and reflect what you now experience here in your future. Take a clean sheet of paper and rewrite what you wrote.
Take time everyday to read this list. When reading it, do so aloud. Speak in a tone of voice that really reflects how achieving makes you feel like joyful, happy, etc.. After each one stop and take a few moments to live that now. Notice what it’s like. Really allow yourself to experience it. This process is one way to begin creating the life you want, the one you really want.
May you see and use “all the colors of the rainbow” in your life and cultivate hope in your life.