On Sunday, one of the articles in the morning paper read: “Schools should be places of hope.”
Hope is a challenging virtue to put into a place at this time in our planetary life. With all the news about the mass shootings in many places, the disruptions in life because of global climate change, the controversies between elected officials, the struggle that nations are having with each other, the abuse of women by men in power, the fear of global food shortages because of the warming of the earth, etc., the atmosphere is charged, it seems, with much pain and agony and fear.
Certainly, now more than ever, we need places like the Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality and Healing that generate hope.
But, first, what is hope? How does The Center generate hope?
I asked one of our volunteers if she saw The Center, which has “sacred space” as a core value, as “a place of hope.” She quickly said, “Yes!” and began to tell me what she meant by “hope?”
“Hope is when you feel respected, don’t feel afraid of what’s going to happen. You are free of fear, and feel safe enough to grow and develop into the person that you want to be. Hope happens in a safe place, where people are kind and protective of you.”
In other words, hope makes it possible for people to imagine a joy-filled future. It gives people the strength and courage to face challenging times and move beyond them, not letting those challenging times cripple or handicap them.
Hope is resilience and is necessary for a fulfilling life. Definitely schools need to be places of hope for our future generations. But places of work, cities, households, relationships, places of worship—almost all the places that are important to us—need to be places of hope.
The Center is definitely a place of hope. One of our regular yoga students mentioned that The Center was an opportunity for him to set aside the isolation that he feels in his work, as it becomes more and more corporatized. Another talks about her joy of being able to forget the stress of the day. Still another mentions that she is beginning to heal from the abuse and negative family up-bringing while she does the asanas. Another has learned to cope with the responsibility of a demanding job.
The world needs places of hope, not just for school-aged children and people who come to The Center. We need to find the places of hope within ourselves. How can we develop that courage to face all the challenges of our lives if we don’t take some time to gratefully encounter the most important space—our own body and mind. Any external place that allows us to do that is the entrance way to the most important place of hope—our heart!
We must find the time and space to locate that place of hope within ourselves. As yoga and all the religions of the world say, in many different ways—the kingdom of the divine is within you; the Source of all happiness is within; the ultimate hope of all life is within.
May you find some time today to rest in that place of hope within you and not let the disturbances of the world shake your being!