Deb Sofield

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Hope for the New Year

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It’s funny, but when I think about repeating myself I am reminded of a quick story. When I wrote my first book, “Speak Without Fear,” my editor said, “Deb, do you know you repeat yourself on the big ideas you have in the book?” to which I replied, “It’s because no one listens, so you have to say it over and over and in different ways,” which is fine for speaking, but not such a good idea for a book. I am in hopes that my second book, “Powerful People Take Up Physical Space,” will be out in a few months. It’s my take on the issue of body language and what your body is saying to others, so let’s stay connected, and I’ll let you know when my new book is available on Amazon.com and in your local bookstore.

My message today is about being hopeful, and as I’ve mentioned in the past, I was not a big fan of the word “hope.” It just seems to be a word that needs action put to it to have any real, lasting power. Think about it. You can sit around and hope all day long, but, if you don’t get up off the couch, you’re not going to be any better off today than you were yesterday, because you did nothing but hope. And, while it is an admirable option, in order to make something happen you’re going to have to do more than hope. You’re going to have to go to work.

And the good news is, once you make a plan and take that first step, you’re on your way! Now don’t get sidetracked because it seems hard. Everything is hard until you master it, and then it becomes easier. The key to being successful with hope is to do something to make hope happen. I love the acronym for hope, Hold On, Pain Ends, and this quote that I found, “Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you’re about to give up hope.”

Let me tell you what I hope for you in this New Year. I hope you find a place of peace in your life where you can sit and rest a while by yourself or with someone you love (or at least like) or that you find a quiet place for your mind to rest. Speaking of rest, I hope you rest well and don’t worry about your finances, or your kids, or parents or anything, but for a time just rest in the knowledge that He (God) has the whole wide world in His hands. And if I can impress upon you this thought, it is this: I really hope that you find within yourself the love to be your best friend–your confidant, your rock your anchor.

On my show I had an article about the medical benefits of hope and prayer, and it was interesting to research and see just how much the mind and heart seek out the encouragement of hope for your life…no matter what you are going through. Because at the end of the day, all you need is hope and strength–hope to believe that it will get better and strength to hang on until it does.

Remember, hope is the only thing stronger than fear.

Many of you may wonder why I put finding a place of peace in this New Year for you at the top of my list of what I wish for you. Let me explain. I often ask some of my younger clients, “What is the greatest gift you can give someone?” I expect to hear the usual, like love, a puppy, money or food and, of course, there is always that one kid– her idea of the greatest gift you can give someone was a “koozie cup”? What? I had to say that I had no idea what she was talking about, and she said the best gift ever was a cup that keeps cold things cold and hot things hot. Well, okay, but the answer I am looking for is something along the lines of time.

Really, the greatest gift you can give someone who you love is time. Think about it. Your grandparents or parents most likely don’t need another set of slippers; what they’d like is for you to sit down and spend time with them, listen to them, walk around the house with them and help them do some task that they need done that is only fixed with a bit of time and action. Not only do others need your time, but I am convinced that many of you need to set aside some peaceful time for yourselves, even if it is an early morning cup of coffee by the fireplace before the rest of the family gets up. Or take a walk around the block–alone, so you can think and release to the blue skies above your thoughts and concerns. See, when you make time for yourself, you are communicating to your heart, mind, soul and body that you have value and are important and special. I believe the lack of quiet time in this chaotic world is an unnecessary burden that can be remedied with a little work to create your quiet space.

Not only do I wish for you a place of peace, but also I wish for you a bit of rest–physical, mental and emotional rest from your burdens and troubles. I fully understand that things have to get done, bills need to be paid, projects must be completed, houses have to be cleaned and cookies need to be baked. I get that, but, for many, the lack of rest and the need for rest is a deeper issue than sleep. By now most of you know the intrinsic value of sleep, but the idea of rest is medically defined as a state of repose. “It simply means to cease from work or activity, but in today’s society, most of the people don’t know the meaning of rest and don’t know how to rest. As the world paces faster, and the need to meet the demands of the society increases, it is hard to be able to stop and find time to rest. It is evident these days how people have become so attached and committed to work and making money that a lot of things are neglected, especially the need of every individual to have a break for some time and rest.” (Source, www.knowswhy.com/why-is-rest-important )

When I think about how busy it seems we are, I am reminded of the saying that when things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting, because if you plan to make the rest of your life the best of your life, you need to be rested enough for the journey.

One of the reasons so many people struggle with the concept of rest is due to the burden of worry they carry around. You probably know the verse that reminds us that we can’t add a single hour to our life by worrying about what is to come. Francis Chan said it best, “Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.” Now what is interesting is that I doubt most people have the courage to say that statement out loud, but, by your actions, it is obvious you don’t believe that He’s got the whole world in His hands. He’s got my brothers and sisters, the sun and the rain, the moon and the stars, the wind and the clouds, the rivers and the mountains, the oceans and the seas, He’s got you and he’s got me, He’s got everybody everywhere in His hands.

Let me close with my final point, and that is I really hope that you find within yourself the love to be your best friend–your confidant, your rock, your anchor. Why? Because if you don’t believe in you, then who will? We don’t talk about self-love very often in our circles because it seems, well, selfish, and we’re taught to think of others and to put others first and set our needs and wants aside. In fact, for many it is viewed as spiritual not to take time for ourselves… as odd as it sound when you say it out loud.

If I were to ask you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself? Think about that for me. Really, how long would it take for you to put yourself on that list?

I love the quote by Mandy Hale, “It is not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” And I’ll add that many you need to stop hating yourself for what you aren’t and start loving yourself for what you are.

I am sure many of you grew up hearing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you know the most liberating thing about beauty… is when you realize that you are the beholder.

The New Year is upon us, and great changes are happening and will be happening, so please consider the joy of “hope” as you find a place of peace in your life where you can rest a while, and I do hope you rest well and deep, and stop worrying about every little thing. And finally, I trust that you find it within yourself to love yourself first, so you know what you deserve. This New Year is full of opportunity for you to make the changes necessary for your life-long success. Ah, friend, step up to the plate and swing for the fences of opportunity…and run the bases with a hopeful heart.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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