Hope is My 2024 Message

a photo of Kristine Carlson with her hands clasped feeling hope
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Hope is My 2024 Message

The other day, as I sat sipping my morning coffee and reflecting in the quiet of the early morning, I touched into my heart. And the best word I can use to describe how it felt is “ouch”—it was tender. And began to question my hope, it began slowly and I wasn’t even sure what I was questioning when it began.

Truth is, I was surprised at myself and where I found myself sitting—at a tipping point somewhere between despair and optimism. I began to question why I’m not feeling that sense of vigor and vitality that is my normal state at the start of a new year. I realized that it’s mostly because of what’s happening in the world today, and quite frankly, it’s been weighing on me.

One of the things that I’m not looking forward to is the election-year madness that lies ahead. Rather than feeling hopeful about what could happen, I’m feeling a sense of deep disappointment and even dread at all potential outcomes. 

Beyond all of that, perhaps you feel like me, there is so much to be concerned about in the world today, which you don’t need for me to recount here. And it all begs the question, how do we stay present with a sense of calm and maintain positive energy and optimism in a world that seems to be buckling under the heavy weight of despair?

While at times I feel worn down by it all, I also feel the rumble of divine power deep in my soul—the ever-present movement of something far greater than worry and fear.  Something that continues to deeply soothe me and whisper all is well,–everything is part of the whole, and all will be okay.  And today I’m reaching into that source of energy to restore that inner flame that creates hope. I’m doing it for myself, and I’m doing it for you—in case your inner flame could use a boost too.    

Hope is at the heart of my New Year’s message to you because hope turns into inspiration . . . and inspiration turns into action.  (Candle emoji)

The other thing I want to acknowledge is that it’s normal to experience the ebbs and flows through life. Sometimes we may feel hopeless before a shift, and we turn the corner to hopeful. We may go through times of gluttony before we adopt better habits to return to our vitality again. We may need to acknowledge what is bleak right now so that we can shift our perspective and open our hearts back to internal bliss. We may need to remember that we have always walked with shadow and light as they exist at the same time—both have their place in the duality of our world.  

It’s time to remember inner peace is an inside job

It’s more work than ever to renew our own mindset—to not wait for the outer world to signal that everything is going to be OK, but it’s worth the effort. Our choice is to buy into the discord happening around us or stay centered in possibility, inclusivity, and compassion. In other words, we get to choose what prevails: fear or love. 

As we reach a place inside where we can touch—and feel—our own innate kindness, then we can become a big part of healing the hate and other forms of ego-minded division that are so visible in the world right now.   You don’t have to let it get ahold of you.  You can choose not to succumb to the negativity of it all.  I know this is true. I live in this choice every day not as a spiritual bypasser but as a light in the shadows.

We can choose to magnify love and hope by our kindness and our actions.

So let’s do it! Let’s feel more love, not less. Let’s let go of fear and lean into love and kindness filling our hearts with compassion.

And . . . 

Let’s make a slight shift to the phrase “a new year, a new you” (which is fast becoming a cliché) and morph it into something more honest: This new year can be a new-you-in-the-making. Meaning, let’s get a fresh start and look at it as a long game, not a short sprint to the finish. We have some changes to make in order for our inspiration to rise, and the long-game perspective will help us to have some patience along the way.

Even though it may be a little harder right now, we can still use January and the start of the new year to revive our passion, energy, and hope for a new beginning.  You may want to join me for a retreat this year–to begin to revive your mind, body, heart, and spirit and do your own personal year-long makeover.

When I’m low—I start with my body. I begin again to reshape my program for renewal, to return to my highest vibrancy. My intention being to restore my health and revive my spirit. As my body becomes stronger, my mind feels clearer. It becomes easier to hold myself with higher confidence and to see where I want to focus my attention.

This year, my emphasis will be on synthesizing the energy of feminine stillness into mindful action for my personal development. I will quietly move along with my action plans for further laying the foundations for my personal journey and my many entrepreneurial projects.

Stillness is not inaction. It is about sitting in the great creative womb of the unknown and allowing life to unfold before you. If you allow yourself to become a source of peaceful presence—transforming all energy into a fullness in your belly and a hopeful heart that oozes compassion—you will be that light for others. You will be the one to shift from the inside, out.  

Hope really does begin with me and you

Sitting in stillness allows for the actions needed to come forward. When we are still, we wait—grounded in a place where all we need comes to us and then flows from us out into the world. 

This is the beauty of the feminine. The energy swirls around us in a spiral as we sit, like a bodhisattva. We become peace. We are the ever-lit candle at the epicenter of a world mired in pain.  Our heart shines, awakened with love.

This coming year, that’s where I’ll be—sitting in stillness and peace, and lighting the way. And I hope you join me on this inner and outer journey.

It is a time in our world where we need the stabilizing forces of stillness and peace and action arising from mindfulness. Let’s be the examples we wish to see in the world and hold the course for humanity.

Remember . . . 

Out of the ashes the phoenix will always rise, and out of the muck of the swamp the lotus shall bloom. We can transform our world one person at a time, one new day at a time.