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Our Need for Hope in Turbulent Times

Last updated on 13/08/2021

In case you missed it, little Adam King on The Late Late Toy Show was the star of a sobtastic show.

All the kids were amazing.

And it was great for Ryan Tubridy to have company after his keeping people’s spirits up as far as possible without the usual audience for the best part of the year.

When NASA got back to the little boy with a big dream, the resulting meeting and interview were even more magical.

Adam had said that he wanted to be Ground Control rather than an astronaut as his condition – brittle bones – prevent him doing that.

Not an ounce of self pity.

A 6 year old inspiration.

CAPCOM astronaut Chris Hadfield talked about how little Adam will be spectacular at whatever he chooses to do when he grows up but that he knew the importance of providing that boost NOW.

He also encouraged him to study and practice.

Journal prompts

However old you are, whatever limitations you feel thwarted by, what would you LIKE to be doing with (to paraphrase Mary Oliver) your one, precious life?

If you had Oprah or Ryan Tubridy and the team at RTE behind you, who would YOU want to meet?

Are you already an inspiration yourself? Who might you give hope to with a small gesture or few words of encouragement?

How does it feel to recognise that even if you feel like your life is far from perfect, there’s SOMETHING you do well and you could use that to help someone struggling with that?

2020 is definitely an advanced practice of a year

In yoga, an advanced practice might be a more intense version of a pose.

Sometimes, even the simplest things can feel like they’ve become an advanced practice.

But with the challenges come opportunities to pivot or even completely change gears.

Let yourself imagine an incredible future for yourself and your loved ones.

If you have family, maybe do this exercise together. Talk about what you all envision for yourselves and each other. Encourage each other to hope and dream as well as to then plan and take the necessary actions.

Make these conversations and/or journal entries as vivid as you can, imagining how things will look, how you’ll look, anything else you can see, the sounds, what others are saying to you, what you’re saying to yourself, any physical sensations, the emotions you imagine feeling most strongly, any tastes and smells…

Use this as a Sankalpa for your Yoga Nidra practice to help you harness the power of your unconscious mind as you relax deeply.

What kind of future would you like to ease into?

A year from now, most of us will have had the vaccine and we’ll hopefully remember the lessons we learned this year and continue to benefit from the resilience we built while also having the relief of a greater sense of ease and the lack of exhaustion from having to demonstrate that resilience every day.

In some ways, trauma survivors and those who’ve been dealing with anxiety have had a head start.

When you imagine your ideal life a year from now, what springs to mind?

Again, how can you make this as vivid (and powerful) as possible?

As we imagine the things we want, we give our systems a break from the usual imaginings of catastrophe and doom.

We also make it more likely that we’ll notice opportunities in real life so creating the life we want is that much easier.

Would you like more support with this?

The book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing has loads of ideas.

You can also potentially work with me, wherever you’re based, with the Feel Better Every Day online membership programme

And you can read my and others’ advice for keeping our spirits up in uncertain times in the January 2021 issue of Psychologies Magazine in Heidi Scrimgeour’s cover story about thriving in this liminal space we find ourselves living in.

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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