Happy Easter from the road! I’m currently en route, voyaging home along the vast lands of MN and WI. I’m recovering from an Easter weekend in Wisconsin full of snowstorms and exploring and eating and good old family fun.
Depending on your family traditions and beliefs, holidays can take on various meanings. For Easter, it can have a very religious significance. Or it can be all about candy and easter egg hunting. Or it can be another reason to gather with family. Or it can simply be a celebration of the coming of Spring.
But no matter what you are celebrating today, I think it’s important to focus on the spirit of holidays, instead of getting too wrapped up in the different beliefs or how commercialized it’s become.
When I think of the spirit of Easter, one word comes to mind. Hope. The hope of being refreshed and renewed. The hope of new beginnings. The hope of new growth. The hope of being restored to your authentic self.
To some, hope is a pointless emotion. It’s taking a risk with something that may or may not come into fruition. It’s all faith and no guarantees. But to me, hope is one of the most powerful emotions.
Hope is the vehicle for change. It’s the pushing force that inspires us to have a better life. Hope moves us to action.
With my job, I see a lot of people that are resigned to their body pain. They’ve lived with a certain pain or condition or stressor for so long that they’ve lost hope of ever feeling better or improving their quality of life. This is a very dangerous place to be in. Very dangerous, indeed. By giving up hope, they have given up the source and the possibility of change.
When I was teaching Integrated Case Studies at a Massage School, one of the principles to learn was to teach clients the power of hope. To help them recognize even the smallest of improvements of various therapies to give them tangible evidence that they CAN feel better. That their condition CAN improve. Even if it’s just a little at a time.
Before teaching that class, I never thought that part of my job as a massage therapist was to promote hope. But once I thought about it, I realized I had been doing it all along, and it is so powerful.
And so what if you hope for something and then it doesn’t happen? I think that’s OK. That’s life. Even if you didn’t get the expected outcome, it probably led you to another outcome that offered a lot of great learning. It’s action and effort that lead us down our path, no matter the direction it takes. Hope can begin that journey.
How do you feel about hope? Is it something you lean towards or pull away from? Is it something you can incorporate into your self-care practice? It is something you can apply your overall well being?
Let me close with a quote by Orison Swett Marden, an author that wrote about living a successful life.
“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”