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The Light of Hope

How many times have you said to yourself, "I hope"...followed by such words as "win the lottery, or find a life partner"? Hope is a small word with endless possibilities.

How does hope influence women's lives? "Without hope, it's hard to keep moving forward," says Life Coach Dana Rayburn of Medford. "Hope thoroughly influences all areas of a person's life because we are creatures that need to be balanced. If one part of our life is hopeless, that overflows onto other parts of our lives. For example, if someone is stuck in a job that they can't stand and dread going to work, that will influence time spent at home with their family."

Although hope is a positive force for many women, for others it may bring about negative emotions. "For people who have had a history of tough times or failures, being hopeful can be discouraging," acknowledges Rayburn. "If you expect somebody is going to do something or if you expect things will be a certain way and they're not, then you're setting yourself up to be discouraged."

Rayburn says having hope is essential to goal setting. "To me, hope is a positive and exciting 'looking-forward' thought," and suggests the following tools to further develop your awareness of hope.

Reverend Helen Downey of Ashland sees hope as a life-saving emotion for many women. "In these times, so many women have experienced so many challenges throughout their lives and they have hit the bottoms of valleys many times. Very often I've heard women say that all they had left was hope."

Through her services as a Practitioner with Ashland's Living Truth Center, Rev. Downey helps women develop awareness of the importance of having hope. "I think hope is a first step that can bring us out of that valley of whatever despair, pain or fear we're going through...and get to a clear point to be open to some guidance or some support that we can take into action."

Taking action to move forward may seem daunting for some women, but Reverend Downey suggests that you use hope as a beginning. "Hope is like the open door; if we can see light through the door, the light of hope, we can open the door and see whatever opportunities we have to express our faith, our thoughts and our intention."

The Light of Hope