How Do You Experience Hope?


Hope Sun


How do you define hope for yourself?

How do you experience it?

What prompts you to feel hope?

Most everyone sees “HOPE” from a problem-oriented basis, as “resilience” to an adversity, rather than a symptom of a larger-approach-to-life issue, that is the natural growth of the brain and the evolution of consciousness.

The issue is not whether you are resilient, but how you respond to novelty, and to what degree it’s threat or safety.

No one asks: is there a deeper issue than a response to adversity going on here -a response to life in general and a particular time in life?

Adversity just draws attention to the need for something that is vital to transition.

Mind Opened

The real adversity is what draws your life into the future, and how you are cooperating with that unfolding change into a new consciousness, or holding on to an old way of seeing reality.  That has to affect the movement of information from right to left hemisphere, but there are only inklings of research there.

The frame is wrong and the focus on adversity is too narrow. The term “resilience” normally suggests a special set of abilities or strengths, rather than a response to an expanding consciousness, trying to question meaning and the core of life satisfaction, navigating personal transitions.

The response to adversity is “to get better” or to “get over it and go on with life,” rather than “What Do YOU Want, How do you want to live?”

Real Einstein

Or even more importantly…what is working in your life that is meaningful and what is meaningful in your life, BUT that is an illusion, providing “no cookies in your cookie jar,” even though the jar seems really, really important?

What’s your “cookie jar?” What’s in your “cookie jar” that has deep meaning and is personally significant for you?

What’s in your “cookie jar” that’s an illusion, asking for release?

©Dr. William K. Larkin


About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • kathy poehnert

    I too, had generally thought of resilience as a set of skills to manage trauma or challenge…an ability to “bounce back”, but I remember reading about Julia Butterfly Hill’s quest to save the redwoods, by living for a year in the high boughs of one of them. She talked about the fact that when el nino (the strong winds that often are in California) caused her tree to sway violently, she would hold on for dear life, hoping not to fall off. She soon realized that when she stopped resisting the wind, and got into the “flow” of the tree; almost becoming one with the tree, she was able to, not only stay in place, but to actually enjoy the experience.

    I guess then, that when we are able to be in the flow of life, living in the upspiral, and coming from a place of safety, hope is simply something that we “live” on a regular basis.

    • Beverly Harvey

      That’s a beautiful story, Kathy. Thanks for sharing.

      • kathy poehnert

        Thanks Beverly!

  • Dr. gloria wright

    When facing adversity, I often ask myself, “What is the bigger picture here? What is there for me to learn in this challenge?” Somehow these questions seem to stimulate hope in that the questions are probing in a way that pulls me forward. I once defined hope as the bridge to get me across the dark places. Where is the silver lining? What can I look forward to on the other side of this temporary (transitional), situation?

    Once again I am reminded that I do not like to feel hopeless or like a victim. I am much more drawn to the light; to optimism; to possibilities; to feeling good, etc. Finding meaning in my life is a continual quest. Savoring and acknowledging life satisfaction is a daily ritual. I like to use adversity to steer me away from what isn’t working in my life or not giving my life meaning.

    The next time someone asks how you are, experiment with saying, “Hopeful, thanks. And you?” It could lead to a meaningful exchange.

    “Hope” is the thing with feathers –
    That perches in the soul –
    And sings the tune without the words –
    And never stops – at all.
    Emily Dickinson

  • Jo-Anne

    Most of us grew up with the image that Hope was an elusive concept that tied something negative ( a past experience perhaps or a relationship that ran aground, as examples) to the “wish” that it would improve, if only… Through our work in the Emotional Gym, becoming ever more conscious of bringing the positive into our lives, I am CHOOSING to think and feel positive much more than the opposite, and consciously stacking that minimum 3:1 ratio in my days and weeks. I see Hope differently now. I love pulsing Hope! Now to me Hope symbolizes a golden thread that knits together new neurons, creating ever more positive states of mind, and an excitement for the future. Dr Larkin in one of his lectures used the terms “knitting neurons” together and I love that metaphor for neuroplasticity ( I am a knitter!) It gives me a visual image of what is happening in my brain, of the amazing new connections being formed between the right and left hemisphere, when we feel hope, and an ever expanding openness to growth in the right side of the brain as we open our mind and heart to novelty and new experiences. To have this choice is truly amazing! I know what’s in my cookie jar, do you?

    • Beverly Harvey

      Wow, I love this post, Jo-Anne. You expressed this so well. Yes, I know what’s in my cookie jar – the taste of true hope is sweet.

  • Beverly Harvey

    My interest in this work came about as a result of a transition from one phase of life to another. I had lost hope for what I wanted. I was shutting down, preparing for a quieter, less involved life. Today after 15 weeks in this Nueropositivity work, I have developed an expanding consciousness and resilience, a renewed interest in life. My cookie jar is overflowing with positive expectancy for my future.

  • BAM

    Over the past 2 years I have invested in myself by studying
    in areas that put cookies in my cookie jar so to speak. I have studied in areas that are unrelated to
    my corporate world and it has been a fascinating journey. Each of these areas of study are sewn together
    with some common themes. When I am involved
    in my studies and my readings I am in flow.
    I feel that without question, I am growing. My brain has expanded, my view of my future
    has shifted and I feel excitement. I
    need a bigger cookie jar! I have come up
    with my own acronym for HOPE – How Open People Evolve.

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