This week’s newsletter showed us The Star as the response to facing uncertainty. (If you aren’t signed up for the weekly newsletter, please join us by clicking here! Each week I offer one reader a free one-card reading and we use that card to explore a theme for the week).
The Star suggests, broadly speaking, having hope despite the vulnerability inherent in not knowing what’s coming next.
In practical terms, what tools can we draw upon and use to help us to cultivate hope in our lives, when we’re in the midst of an uncertain situation that causes us anxiety, worry, or the desire to try to control outcomes we don’t have any practical control over (leading to more anxiety!)?
Some of these ideas may resonate, some may not. Have a look and see if there are any you might like to try.
While this word carries a wide variety of connotations, in its simplest form, it is defined as “a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.”
Ritual can be a very powerful practice to embody and bring grounding to intentions, especially intentions of hope. It’s also a way to take the “worry” out of the equation, because through a ritual, we often feel that we’re “offering up” our worries and in so doing, may feel that after the ritual is completed, we’ve lifted the burden from ourselves and put it in the hands of a higher power, in whatever form we feel comfortable addressing that concept (God, Goddess, Universe, Higher Self, Soul, Holy Spirit, etc.)
So it doesn’t have to be a super structured or rote/robotic procedure, but rather, in my view, a ritual is simply something we physically DO in our real world space, to reinforce an intention that we hold in our heart or soul or spiritual space.
Rituals can be designed by you. You don’t have to buy any special or fancy equipment or read any special prayers or books. While tools of the sort can help to create a more solemn atmosphere (for example, lighting incense or invoking a particular prayer), at its heart, you can create your own ritual from scratch, custom-made, for your intention.
If you’ve never performed a ritual on your own, and you’d like some ideas about how you might go about it, here are some sources to check out:
- Toltec Center of Creative Intent “How to Create a Ritual or Ceremony”
- Touro Institute “Creating Rituals”
- “The Culture of Ritual and the Quest for Enlightenment” by David Frawley
You don’t necessarily have to be a “religious” person in order to bring a prayer practice into your life. Although organized religion has given many of us a very institutionalized idea of what praying is like (rote memorization, etc.), many writers I’ve encountered (for example David Spangler in “Everyday Miracles: The Inner Art of Manifestation” and Gregg Braden in “The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy“), the heart of prayer is about our ability to embody and “feel” that which we’re called to pray about, and to find a transcendent connection to a divine source that has meaning for us. There are many types of prayer and they go beyond the simple “Dear God please don’t let me be late to work today and I promise I’ll never have road rage again.” 🙂
Incorporating prayer as a way of cultivating hope in uncertain times can be a positive channel for nervous or negative energy. Again, similar to ritual, it involves letting go of things we’re holding onto and acknowledging that we aren’t in control and that there is a universal energy source that holds divine wisdom that can assist us. Prayer helps us cultivate faith in this universal energy source.
Here are some sources for prayer inspiration:
- World Prayers (you can also spin a “prayer wheel” here to receive a world prayer at random)
- World Prayer Group
- The Power of Prayer from a Non-Religious Perspective from Elephant: Dedicated to the Mindful Life
What practices or techniques do you use to cultivate hope when facing uncertainty? Share with us in the comments!