“Hope: To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.” -American Heritage Dictionary

The image of two Black girls living in the White House, being tucked in at night by their parents – the President and First Lady of the United States of America – fills me with hope. I see them laughing, having sleepovers, playing. (I recently read their mother actually puts “play” on to-do lists for them!) Malia and Sasha Obama are ages 10 and 7, and they are Black. Two Black girls living in the White House. The sweetness of that picture!

There’s a sign on my door that reads “Obama: Hope For All.” In my body hope feels like the spaciousness of a clear sky. When I am hopeful it’s a sign: I’m moving forward into a field of possibilities. My heart is open, receptive, willing.

I’ve noticed from my meditation practice that I spend a lot of energy bracing for the hard stuff – criticism, guilt, regret – wondering if I will be able to survive it and move through my fear. I’ve learned from sitting with the difficulty as well as the joy, that my heart can bear so much more than I think it can.

The more I name the desires of my heart – regardless of whether or not these desires are fulfilled – the more alive and powerful I feel. I am more available for Life.

In a time where living in fear is widespread, the felt tangible experience of hope in my body is radical. To touch into the heart and directly experience what is there is a revolution of spirit. I’ve felt a lot, my heart has been broken open many times. I’m still here. And so I continue. And so I hope:

That I may sit with my grandmother in her kitchen in Stamford, CT and learn to cook her specialties: okra and tomato soup, peas and rice, collard greens, and apple pie.
To create a family where everyone is celebrated and repeatedly told they are so deeply loved and cherished.
To visit the countries and continents of the world. Right now I’m really interested in Japan, South Africa, and Bali.
For a Big Love

It takes a lot to keep a human life going; to “keep keeping on” is a life’s work. I often need a tequila shot for the soul, and that’s what hope is to me. When I am hopeful I am nourished by energy and possibility. I am able to walk my path where before I could barely stand.

Two Black girls in the White House. Two Black girls in the White House. TWO BLACK GIRLS IN THE WHITE HOUSE! I can see it now, and I am smiling.

Meditation: What do you hope for really? What gives you that tequila shot for the soul? What does it feel like in your body? Take some time to reflect. Write, move, sit or lie down in stillness. Most of all breath deeply, be gentle, and notice what happens.

Copyright 2008. Beandrea Davis. Get permission before re-printing.