Pay attention, and tune into hope. 

That’s what I’ve been asking people to do in my weekly yoga classes and my Mindful Advent Yoga Series. So I thought I’d put my hope-filled reflections out there, too. Here are five things (plus an honorable mention) that have buoyed my heart with hope. Maybe they will give your heart a hopeful boost, too:

  1. Unionizing. Essential workers have been reminded of their value in this pandemic and are demanding to be treated as such, with higher wages and better benefits and working conditions. For the first time, a Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize recently. Workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, will get another union vote after the National Labor Relations Board determined that the company used intimidation tactics. Workers are demanding that they be better treated and compensated for their labor that makes these companies loads of money. I can’t wait to see what else transpires in 2022.
  2. New Babies. For whatever reason, my social media feed has been filled with friends having new babies in just the past couple of weeks. There’s so much hope and promise in their tiny new lives that my heart is filled to bursting.
  3. Protester Settlement. The City of Columbus, Ohio, (the place I call home) settled for $5.75 million with 32 people injured by police during the racial justice protests in the summer of 2020. They will also change the city’s policy and now prohibit the use of wooden bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters. This makes me feel like systemic racial justice might just be possible.
  4. Honest Conversations about Race. The work of anti-racism, particularly for white people, is an ongoing process to which I am committed. I’ve had more honest conversations about race with white people (and sometimes people of color) in the past year than I’ve had in my entire life. I’m hopeful that the slow and steady efforts we are making to rid ourselves of white supremacy and patriarchy will help rid our culture of these evils for future generations.
  5. New businesses. You may have heard a lot about businesses closing in the pandemic, but what about the new ones opening? There have been record numbers of people (like me) starting businesses in this season. Even though becoming an entrepreneur in a recession is difficult, the businesses started in this time are built with more resilience than those started in more stable times. Woo-Hoo!

Honorable Mention: I can’t write a blog about holiday hope without mentioning one of the most hope-inducing shows on television: The Great British Baking Show. As many have mentioned before me, it’s not just the impressive bakes that makes this show fantastic, but also the genuine camaraderie and support that contestants give each other.

I hope this list helps lift your spirits with hope as much as it does mine. Happy Holidays!

New Year’s Hope Comes in Yoga Form: Celebrate the new year with me Dec. 31, 2021, 1-3 p.m. EST, with a yoga dance party, gentle movement, restorative yoga (the laying around kind), guided meditation and reflection all designed to inspire a hope-filled 2022. Tune in via Zoom — there’s no pressure to turn on your camera and lots of encouragement to do whatever your body needs! Register now.