As long as we breathe there is hope
What is hope?
Is it a state of being? An ideal state of being?
Is it an emotion, a thought, a sensation, a feeling, an idea, a concept, an awareness, a construct from the mind?
Is it a perception that current conditions are not perfect, viable or pleasant?
Is it a memory of the future as Gabriel Marcel suggests?
It is an idea of a promised land; filled with honey and milk?
Is it an utopia that seems to elude humanity?
Is it some extraordinary act beyond what is perceived normal behaviour?
Is hope a sign and/or promise of Life?
Is hope a sign and/or a promise of plenitude, benevolence and grace?
Is hope related to the beauty and versatility in Life?
Is hope our birth-right?
Is hope something we deserve or need to earn?
Is hope our saviour? Saving us from destruction and disaster?
Shall we go back to the basics for a moment before we continue our exploration about what Hope possibly represents? To get some perspective? There are three beautiful and powerful indicators that we are alive; our breath, our heartbeat and our awareness. Thus, no matter what happens around us, our experience and perception of life, the circumstances we find ourselves in, our world views, how we feel and think about ourselves, other humans and creatures, the planet, possibilities and life itself, our past, our history, our intentions, deeper motivations, aspirations, dreams, fears and concerns, our breath, heartbeat and awareness are our physiological and psychological vital signs and inner GPS that we are here, now, in this present moment.
Coming back to ourselves
I would love to invite you to rub your hands vigorously together. Feel the warmth and heat created. Take a few slow deep breaths; in an out. Follow your breath, allow thoughts to come and go. This will calm your nervous system and bring your awareness into your body. Rub your hands again. This time, put them on your heart. Feel your heartbeat. You are alive. You are here, now. Gently close your eyes as it will help to keep out external distractions. Take another slow, deep breath.
Be with hope
Are you alive? Yes? Sit with the concept hope like you would with a friend. No need to analyse it or try to make sense of it. Simply be with it for a few moments. What does it feel like? What color is it? Can you connect with it? Ask hope to tell you what it is about. Relax, wait and listen. Notice what comes into your awareness. No need to judge or compare or identify with it. Simply notice.
Let’s reflect a bit
Take another slow, deep breath and become aware of your heartbeat. Ask yourself these 6 questions now: ‘What is hope to me? And why?’ and ‘Is hope fear or love-based?’ and ‘Is hope lack or abundance-based?’ and “Is hope and trust and faith linked to each other?’ and ‘Why do we need hope? and ‘Is hope future, past or present-based?’ Notice again what comes into your awareness, any thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations in your body, memories, dreams, colours, textures, shapes, ideas, and the likes.
Rather than a circumstance or condition is hope not a reminder of our magnificence, of who we truly are, of our potential, the mystery and wonder of existence and the earth, and possibly a state of complete equilibrium, a state of harmony (inner and outer), a state of plenitude on all levels, or a state of beauty and exquisiteness. What about all of these and more? Thus life itself and of being alive? We do not need a promise that the sun will bring light after the dark night. It is one of the few constants we have in life and happens spontaneously. Nothing we can do will change that. We do not need a promise to breathe and for our hearts to beat. It happens spontaneously when we live a conscious, healthy, balanced and wholesome life.
A gentle reality check…
If all living creatures and the planet thrived and is sustainable and evolving, why do we need hope? Is hope some kind of vital sign or indicator that humanity is doing well? Of well-being for all and the planet?
Hope is future-based, fear of the future. It takes us out of the now; the present moment with all its possibilities and nuances.
Our planet is a living organism with incredulous intelligence and have been providing for us so generously and has evolved naturally for eons. Why are we doubting her innate wisdom and ability to bring herself into balance? What makes us think we are more powerful than she is? What makes get entangled and trapped in doomsday talk and hopelessness?
Consider another possibility
Imagine we can more wisely direct our energy, attention and contribution when we live connected, consciously and aware, deeply listen and sense into our environment and the collective intelligence and wisdom, and act from a space of trust in Nature and Existence, trust in our own abilities and trust in the present moment? Imagine no future-based fears that keep us from fully living and contributing with confidence and zest in this moment? Imagine we rather focus on our own state of equilibrium, however we experience and express that? Imagine we work actively on our own personal healing and to transform our own inner demons, so we can thrive on all levels? Imagine we step into our authentic selves and share our magnificence and talents in a meaningful, fulfilling and joyful way with the world? Imagine we manifest and contribute with ease, grace and joy? Imagine all humans living from such a state of being? Pure bliss! True abundance! Wholesome lives! Unlimited inner resources! Everyone living in harmony! A place for everyone under the glorious sun? Imagine we celebrate and revere all living beings and creatures and Life is all its incredulous permutations, configurations, expressions and tones? What a party that will be?
No senseless competition and wars. No inequality and oppression. No poverty and gluttony. No envy and greed. No sloth and entitlement. No power-hungry dominators and egotistical rulers. No victims and victimizers. No indifference. All these bring a sense of hopelessness, of doom, of futility. And all of them originate from a fear of extinction and fear of death and a fear of not enough.
For me Hope = a need for total well-being, something is lacking, which makes it lacked-based and not possibility-based. It sadly and ironically instils and feeds the opposite of what it is intending; namely fear.
We can find a more appropriate, meaningful and significant indicator of our own total well-being – all living creatures and our beautiful planet – of pure bliss? Of JOY. When we speak about JOY, it is a state of being, this state of complete equilibrium and bliss in the now, and not the emotion happiness and its polarity sadness. We will experience these emotions as these make us uniquely human. JOY is a state of being we can come back to no matter what happens around us; so we can re-orientate, re-centre, re-connect, realign, harmonise, synchronise, cohere and calibrate all the aspects of ourselves and our lives, our circumstances and our experiences to our purest expression and true selves. To direct our energy and attention and to act from such a state of being, allows us to transform our perceptions, our behaviour, the way we relate to everything and everyone around us, the way we engage, our aspirations and dreams, our contributions, and total experience of being alive today. We are energised, full of vitality, in abundant flow, mobile, flexible, enthusiastic, present, poised, attentive, responsive, confident, and connected.
Is that not more valuable than being imprisoned in a state of fear, despair and doom? The latter three create all sorts of fear-based reactions, self-imposed restrictions, self-sabotaging behaviours, apprehension, suspicion, judgment, doubt, dissonance, misunderstandings, cynicism, intolerance, projections, defence systems, procrastination, blame and prejudices.
The moment something has an opposite, a polarity, as in hope and hopelessness, we need to ask ourselves gently, what holds the two together? Something has to, otherwise they cannot exist. We are! Our natural state of being is, which is similar to the Earth’s axis holding the North and South Poles together. The variety, diversity and richness in our experiences come from our ability to experience and express a vast range of perceptions, emotions, thoughts, feelings, sensations, and movement. Is it then not wise to not let these ever-changing expressions rule and influence our perceptions and subsequent interpretations, identifications, responses and decisions?
Our lives are built upon the foundations laid by our perception and belief systems. Our lives can be empowered and fulfilled because our perception of our reality gives us confidence and energises us. Or our lives can be destroyed in an instant, if our idea of what is real is revealed to be a lie, and our perception is shattered and we feel paralysed. Imagine the shock when humans discovered the earth is round and not flat? Our perception can be accurate and precise. It can also be false and founded in assumptions, misinformation, half-information, or illusion. We can change our perceptions and beliefs through freewill whenever we want to.
A concept or desired reality or some ideal is not going to change anything on this beauty-filled planet. We need to come back to the human who resides on the planet. Realizing that we are the hope we so dearly desire. Our state of being, our way of being, our way of relating to everything around us, our way of seeing, thinking and feeling about ourselves, other living beings and creatures, the planet and life, our way of perceiving, our way of directing our energy and talents, our way doing and creating, thus our way of living; these impact the state of the planet and our experience of and contributions to life.
Why do we need hope?
Let’s take a moment to explore where we come from and why we need hope. Humanity experiences lots of oppression, abuse of resources, inequality, greed, power-trips, consumerism, human rights atrocities and the likes. We need someone else to fix it and make it better. What is at the core here? The human…
We need to share options, other possibilities as those engulfed in an oppressive situation, no matter what the situation is about, cannot see their way out. And in a weird way, they feel safer in the known way than to step into something new. A Hope future based – desired state – that is not here yet, not in this moment.
In a world of division and separation some is doing something right and other wrong, some good and others bad. Such a reality is not a both/and world; it’s an either/or world of polarities. An either/or world stems from the mind, as it differentiates and put things into categories. A both/and world stems from embodiment and versatility. For example: I explore other possibilities and experiment with something and see how I feel about it and whether my body is comfortable with it.
I can guarantee you, given any human atrocity, if you were on the receiving end, your heart will cringe and your body will not feel comfortable doing it; no matter what you mind is telling you to justify the action. If you listen to your mind and not your heart and body, you will of course then continue the pattern of oppression, and sadly not even being consciously aware of it. Your heartbeat and breath will tell you one is life-giving and life-sustaining, and the other is destructive and oppressive. Our cell memory and subconscious is very powerful. The only way to show them another possibility is to embody it; become it; feel it. That way we reprogram ourselves and dissolve our coping and defence mechanisms, which only make us reactive and not responsive and attentive. So we still create from the wounded parts of ourselves; the oppressive parts.
The worst form of abuse is that of human oppression. Denying a human being to be who they are fully; not only as part of cultural or gender or status abuse. Any human being every born; across the eons, whether through the education system, parenting, workplace, social environment, peers, family structure, everywhere…
So how do we transform such oppression? By being expose to beauty. The natural state of Nature – within and without – it is like a magnet and we gravitate naturally to more of that. Bringing back balance and equilibrium.
As for the next section, we want to celebrate and revere and give thanks to all those who are evangelists for hope. We are not in any way discounting what you represent and do and stand for. Like peace, hope begins within. And as long as we breathe, our hearts beat and we are aware of our surroundings, we are alive; there is LIFE. We are sharing another way of looking at hope; where we do not focus on what is wrong and get distraught because of it, but where we focus on creating and embodying that which is the desired state of being; equilibrium and bliss. The centre of life where everything comes from and comes together; not the polarities.
Revolutionists, activists and whistle-blowers came to stand up against what is not working, injustices, consumerism, greed, power, to speak up against the wrongs of the past and present, to liberate, and to fight for something else; mostly better, depending how you perceive and frame it.
Others came to make humanity aware of and share other possibilities; they came to tell us about other ways, so we can call them awareness catalysts.
Activists and awareness catalysts did something amazing, they came to initiate a process of change. For that we needed a certain level of awareness, passion, endurance, resilience, skills and willpower.
But change in such scenarios are initiated from the outside in, still much focusing on what is wrong; the problems and issues. This type of change is not sustainable as it aspired to change the external environment and the intrinsic human behaviour resist, as it still does not bring equilibrium in terms of being human, how we relate to each other, how we do and create and interact. People’s dignity is still lost. We give them opportunities and teach them skills. We tell them about and call upon them to live more consciously. Yet, to live consciously we need transformation from the inside out. Only then will we respect, revere, embrace and celebrate not only ourselves, but all living beings and creatures, nature, the planet, possibilities and opportunities, and begin to live more consciously.
Furthermore, we are now in a time where a new ability is needs to be cultivated. Thanks to the courage and endurance of those activists, whistle-blowers and awareness catalysts, we now need creative catalysts to assist us to co-sense, co-envision, co-create, co-generate and co-anchor a new reality. And we need embodiment catalysts to guide us on how to embody what the awareness catalysts came to tell us about. Many activists struggle to thrive as they have not activated and cultivated these creative abilities or know how to embody what they fought for. And maybe they don’t have to; they graciously came to do their part in her and his-story. This is the time of co-creation and go-generation; the creative and embodiment catalysts bringing these abilities and no one is more important than the other.
One could also say that activists and awareness catalysts brought the hope; new possibilities. Now it is time for the creative and embodiment catalysts to bring about deep states of joy; where being human is honoured and celebrated first. We begin to embodying what it means to be fully human and no part oppressed or denied. For such a place our relations to ourselves, other living creatures and beings, Nature, the planet, possibilities and opportunities will be very different, our belief systems will be very different (and here we are not talking about religion or faith), what we envision and create will be very different, as it will be infused with joy and not hatred, anger, resentment, grudges, bitterness, judgment, criticism, cynicism, suspicion and the likes; how we will act and interact will be very different. We will begin as we mean to go!
The Human Gift
Humans have been gifted with tremendous gifts and talents. Yet, regardless of all the wonderful technological and scientific advances, humans still treat each other very badly. The result is: The soul of the world aches. Every human carry the soul of the world within them.
To begin to understand what this means allow me to share a personal story and experience. I share this perspective not only because I am an awareness, creative, potential and embodiment catalyst. I speak from experience, as I was born into a country with huge human atrocities and oppression other many eons; namely South Africa. At the age of merely 18 months, I was witness to an indescribable human atrocity. It was such a shock on my being; I still feel that trauma in my cells today. Before I was 8 years old I personally witnessed two more such events; live, not overheard, not seen in a newspaper or on television or social media. I was there! Inherently I knew this could not be it; there must be another way. I prepared my whole life until now to share this with you and the world. Especially in this context of the soul of the world aching. And the JOY Generation is what this is all about.
It was not in only my home country that I experienced the injustices and more-over their effects on the lives of human beings and the human spirit and the soul of the world. In my professional life I was fortunate to spend much time in other African countries. When I left the corporate world, I spent all my savings and got a second bond on my house to be an awareness and potential catalysts in African countries, without any income for more than 3 years, to introduce a socio-economic learning platform, which has the potential to assist people to live abundant, meaningful and fulfilling lives. I met the most amazing people; leaders, NGO’s, donors, governments, politicians, communities, and individuals doing amazing things and so many new friends. I could not find implementation partners for this massive transformational project; there was so much competition in Social Change, even more than in the corporate world. After 3 years I had to give up with this process as something was missing. I had to discover the missing link myself through my own personal journey. The human element – transformation from the inside out; the embodiment element; the creative element to be able to create a new reality and to become it on all levels. This was a huge learning curve for me personally and which I am deeply grateful for.
I share this so you have a bit of context where I come from and why I share this with you. What I am about to share is with deep respect for all those activists who stood up and paid with their lives to initiate change; not only in Africa but elsewhere in the world. That was most needed and beautiful and honourable.
As a world citizen, but more importantly hailing from and growing up in South Africa, working in Africa and many other parts of the world, where interestingly enough inequality in other forms still thrive, I became aware in 2015 why transformation, after 21 years at that time in South Africa did not yet have the effects those who fought for the change so passionately intended and dreamed about. Change induced from the outside in is not sustainable. It starts in the human heart, mind and body.
We gave people affected by the atrocities the What; all sorts of opportunities and took it away from others. In taking away and giving we brought about more inequality and oppression. We lost so many good knowledge, wisdom, skills and passion, as people had no other option. Likewise, power is abused and only a small percentage benefited from this change. The people who truly needed a new reality still suffer; no jobs, poverty, crime, you name it. And sadly it is worse than ever before.
We created all sorts of platforms; the How; to teach people new skills. Yet, this deemed not successful at all, as we forgot the Who and the Why. The human and how they feel about and relate to self, others, the world, life and possibilities. It was like putting a plaster on a deep wound. The wound of oppression; the anger, the resentment and bitterness still seep not only in human beings, but in the soil. Undignified…dismissed…dishonoured…Healing must come from the inside out. The human not given the opportunity to discover their own greatness, not in what and how they do it, but the wonder-filled beings that they are; all their inherent gifts and abilities; way before knowledge, skills and opportunities. Finding meaning and purpose within, not in what we do and what we own, how we dress, what positions we fulfil, our place in life, and what status we have.
Sadly, after 21 years of ‘liberation’ hope did not bring these, as circumstances changed, yet people still hang on to the struggle and suffering, as that is what they are used to identify with and what gave them purpose. The struggle gave activists purpose, which is beautiful. They gave a lot of people hope; but sadly this hope was born from something out of balance, lack and need.
So how do you get people to make the leap to the other side; one of thriving and ease? As so much was invested in freedom of oppression? Now you are free from the oppression and now what? You need a new purpose; one that represents thrivability, abundance, well-being on all levels, and so forth for all; not only for a small percentage of society. And such a purpose must be shared by the leaders, not only in business, government, but also in communities.
That takes us to another level of inquiry all together. We need a shared new purpose; not one dreamed up by activists, politicians, community and business leaders. Not a top down one; imposed on the people or created on their behalf; an inclusive purpose by the people themselves. Otherwise it is just another form of oppression. It will not transform the fabric of society. And it is the fabric that must heal first before we make new garments to drape ourselves with.
We must also be realistic. To be an activist is one thing. To run a business is another. To lead a country is yet another. To be a custodian of the Earth and her resources yet another. All these roles need different abilities and skills to lead, nurture and allow change to unfold. Those who came in power sadly did not have these skills; they were mostly activists. The people voting for them still voted from a known old mind-set and frame of reference, as they have never before been made aware that we now need a new shared purpose, new abilities to lead us after the activists did their most important part. A modern day leader need to embody very different abilities than those in the 1980’s and 1990’s and early 2000’s. We move from autocratic self-serving rulers to empathetic wise guides. Some leaders in the past were the voice of the people and others the will of the people as this was still a disconnected world. We now live in an interconnected world where people can freely share how they feel and think. We now need leaders who represent the heart of the people; thus meaning and purpose, and bringing together versus dividing more.
We even repeat the cycle with all our leadership academies across the globe. We try to make eagles from chickens. Teaching someone the What and the How to lead, before we give them experiences of the Who (self-knowledge and self-awareness) and the Why (meaning and purpose). We have seen over the last decade in the business and political worlds that it does not work. The focus on the Who and the Why brings about embodied, aware, conscious and connected leadership and custodianship.
This starts with the individual; thus self-leadership. People realize they can no longer hand over their power to a few leaders in the world; that they need to think for themselves, make their own decisions on how to live and what to contribute to the world, that they need to be autonomous emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, self-reliant and responsible for their own lives, creating their own well-being and livelihoods, how they treat others and the planet, and living more conscious and aware. Thus no one to blame and to transfer responsibility to, no more being entitled, indifferent and ignorant.
What else is possible?
So how do we take the leap from hope to a state of joy? From struggle and suffering to thrivability and ease? Back to innocence lost? Empowerment comes from within. Innocence is within. It cannot be given to us by someone else. Dignity cannot be given back to someone. It needs to discovered within.
By beginning as we mean to go, and not from the past or the future as our launching pad; beginning with the WHO and WHY (Meaning and Purpose), which will inform and infuse the WHAT and HOW in the present moment. Discovering JOY within – a state of being we can come back to no matter our external circumstances and what is happening in the world – where we can find inner peace, rejuvenate ourselves and energise ourselves. Not looking back and nor fearing the unknown and future. We work with what we have been born with; activating and cultivating our inherent gifts and abilities so we can embody the new reality we wish for ourselves and actively and consciously contribute to create and anchor it in the world.
A new language
We begin to speak a new language – not one birthed from anger, resentment, bitterness, hatred – but one from joy, love and beauty.
We live in a world where many are busy envisioning and designing new systems; yet many forget who is at the centre of it – the still broken human heart and the aching soul of the world.
Being alive at this time we are gifted with the opportunity to step beyond our past wounds and to take a step into fulfilling our life’s purpose; a living purpose built on the strong. The strong within us; not the weak, undignified parts.
In our interconnected world we get the opportunity to find our best selves within each other. We remind each other of our inherent greatness and nature, and not our inherited past. We let go of the never-ending sadness of looking back; thus negative nostalgia to the good ‘old’ days and neither to a better future, but in the glory and abundance of the present moment. We breathe, our hearts beat and we are aware of our surroundings. We are strong!
This is the gift of the JOY Generation to the world – transforming the world through JOY – from the inside out; bringing about equilibrium with ease, grace and joy.
You are welcome to explore our experiences, discoveries, adventures and impact contributions online and physically across the globe on the JOY Generation Web-Portal.
Hope or JOY? You choose…