Visit my show at the PSCCU Credit Union, Vashon, Washington May, June 2024 

Finding Hope in the Holidays

Horse portrait on the white snow background
Horse portrait on the white snow background

I’m just getting back in the saddle after an amazing trip to India. There’s so much I want to share with you about what I discovered, and I will, soon. But today, as we shift into the new year, I want to send my gratitude to you for being part of my community and to share my hopes that 2016 will bring you much joy and peace.

To me, hopes are precious. Sometimes, they get a bad name through association with wishful thinking. After all, doesn’t hope distract us from living in the now, leaving us stranded in our dreams for some fantasy future? Isn’t hope a formula for on-going disappointment?

And isn’t desire, as some spiritual paths indicate, the root of much suffering?

Think of the small child wishing, year after year, for a pony at Christmas, one she can keep at home, forgetting that she lives in a housing development where horses are not allowed.

Think of the disappointment. Better that she should let go of her desires, right?

I was that child. And for years, all I wanted for Christmas was the horse that never came.

I understand now that some dreams may take a long time to manifest, like seeds with an inner timing that dictates when they germinate.
I waited a long time for that pony. When I was forty-two, I bought my first horse. And when I was in my late fifties, I was finally able to keep a horse at home.

The seed of hope for that pony never went away. It just took time to emerge.

Many of us distrust new year’s resolutions, and rightly so. Too often they quickly degrade into an excuse for beating ourselves up about what we said we wanted, but didn’t do anything about.

Rather than burdening my life with a lengthy, over-optimistic list of to-do’s and resolutions, I’m choosing another approach. This year, I’m listening for what already lives in me waiting to germinate. I want to distinguish between stuff that I say I want (desires that may come and go) and the deeper desires that shed light on my path and who I’m meant to be.

I want to listen to what is emerging in me and build on that. Forget the resolutions for things located outside of myself that I think I should do. Better to come in touch with my core desires, and then discover what is already beginning to come forth.

I want to amplify what is working rather than fixing what I’m lacking.

Instead of worrying about will power, I listen for right timing.

This year I want to discern what’s really mine to do. (Next week, I’ll be sharing about Stephen Cope’s brilliant book: The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling.) Let me discover which desires and dreams are ready to emerge.

Forty years is a long time to wait for a pony. I never stopped hoping. My joy in owning my first horse was boundless.

(“Owning” is a peculiar word for this kind of partnership.)

Today, my mare, Mariah, who lives her life firmly in the “now”, doesn’t give a hoot about how long I waited.

Her desires are simple: good hay, a hug, a ride in the sunshine,

And, of course, a carrot.

This year, my hope is that you listen to what is emerging in your heart.  May your deepest hopes manifest….

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