Monthly Archives: August 2015

Hope is a renewable quality

Today’s thought is about hope… and the difference between gently nurturing your sense of hope or ignoring it.

In this context, hope is way softer than an expectation of a specific result. It’s more of a quiet sense of background direction, a flow moving forwards, exact details and route unknown but a direction you want to explore. Hope speaks quietly in words like “may be…” “might” “curious” “possibly” “what if…?” “I wonder…”

Not every moment feels as hopeful, or so connected to that sense of gentle momentum. Sometimes you just splat in a heap, stumble about, or inexplicably decide that you are so close to your dreams, you’d better turn back. Not every recovery from a set back will be stupendously elegant, swift or resourceful. We do the best we can at the time: My scale for “best I can” goes from Complete Pants to Stonkingly Awesome.

Hope matters because it leads you through fear, it hears your doubts and encourages you to consider that maybe not all of those doubts are completely based in fact. Hope reminds you that new things are likely to feel uncomfortable at first, and the answer to that is not to stop, but to practice, gently. Hope can also be a cheeky monkey and play hide and seek, especially if you haven’t been nurturing yourself and are getting a bit frazzled.

But I think one of the ways you can nurture hope is to to treat each moment as a new one.

Hope can be nurtured by reminding yourself that the future is not set. The fact that you’ve ballsed something up, again, does not mean you will balls it up for ever more. The past does not equal your future. The past gives you some experience to draw from. End of.

What you choose to do right now, with this moment, that’s where you can become hopeful again. Especially if you’re willing to make a tiny change, and see how that works out. Hope is stronger than fear, and with a glimmer of hope – or a socking great truckload of it – you can keep taking little steps forwards.

As Thomas Kinkade said, hope is a renewable quality. Renewable at New Year, & New Moons, renewable every moment, every breath. Whether you choose to do something differently or circumstances change around you, some kind of newness will happen.

Daisy - hope is renewable quote

Hope is a renewable quality

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Nurture

Nurture:
To care for and protect someone or something while they are growing

Young seedlings are tender and can easily be lost. They are vulnerable in multiple ways:

  • Treading on them
  • Ignoring them and leaving them to wither
  • Providing no protection from slugs, snails & other nibblers
  • Providing no protection from strong winds that can break them
  • Being too keen & leaving young plants out on frosty night
  • Over-watering: drowned, anemic plants
  • Over feeding: Spindly weak plants that shoot up but then can’t hold their own weight

All the above are a right pain in the arse, those beautiful dreams of flourishing plants set back. Particularly a bit of a shocker that you can destroy by too much of something which, in lesser quantities, is beneficial.

Seedlings

New ideas, new habits, new skills, new friendships, new ways of thinking, new projects … they’re all tender and vulnerable too, whilst they develop roots and become stronger: They need protection from too much criticism too soon, from doubts, from over enthusiasm, from overwhelm, from over-reaching, from stalling, from starving.

Discovering how to nurture healthy seedlings that grow into healthy plants is likely to take some learning (i.e. mistakes). You may have to re-sow a few times!! Keep nurturing:

  1. You’re responsible for daily care, ongoing. It’s not a one off thing. Check how things are going often, and provide whatever is needed.
  2. There is a rate of growth that can be handled, and you’re best off working within that. A little oomph helps. Too much oomph destroys.
  3. The healthy growth of that seedling (or idea, project, habit…) is inherent, ready and waiting. You don’t have to create that bit. You just have to nourish that inherent potential, and protect it from external hazards, your own neglect – or your own over-enthusiasm.

That’s why nurture matters. Nurture enables the new. Success depends not on being brilliant immediately, but on having the patience and persistence to nurture.