2024 Imbolc Newsletter

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Embrace the Power of Hope,


Imbolc in ancient traditions is the time of hope for new life and the return of the light. For thousands of years, Imbolc, meaning “in the belly” was a sign of hope as there would be lambs born in the spring. In addition, the people saw the noticeable signs that the days were lengthening. Hope is not the same as wishing things were better but it is cultivating a strong ability to allow ourselves to anticipate joy, avoid thoughts that dash hope, and to celebrate life, even in the small things we can look forward to, keeping our focus on what gives us hopeful feelings. 


Hope is unique from other positive emotions because hope requires some degree of difficulty or uncertainty to be ignited. For example, living through long winters yet celebrating Imbolc in early February was a way for the community to gather and encourage each other with festive candles and sharing what food they have, lifting everyone’s spirits.


The May/June issue of Psychology Today reported the findings of studies done on people who scored well on the High Hope scale. These folks reported that they look for the “silver lining” when there are challenges and bounce back from setbacks, they surround themselves with people who are equally resilient, they believe in possibilities, and cultivate the habit of hope. High Hope folks also are able to forgive themselves for mistakes and allow for imperfections.


The habits of hope are the practices of setting intentions and staying focused on what you do want rather than the lack of it, which is similar to the principles of the Law of Attraction. Another skill is practicing Presence, as in staying in the present rather than listening to your negative thoughts. Some of the best ways to teach yourself to stay in the present, or return to it when intrusive thoughts distract you, is to practice meditation, which is specifically to teach awareness and returning to the present moment when such thoughts occur. Another practice is to use chanting in a similar way. Walking in Nature is a wonderful practice for staying in the present as long as you are aware that you are being distracted with thinking and can bring yourself back to the beauty around you. Another practice is to recognize false hope (such as “today I’ll win the lottery”) which is an important distinction. Dashing any hope has been a common feature in patriarchal societies.

My wish for you is to use your positive imagination every day, express gratitude for all things great and small, forgive yourself for imperfections, and develop true wisdom from the place of emotional maturity and love for people and the planet.


Much Love, Linda

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