When driving, there are a lot of road signs that pose warnings: “Proceed with Caution”, “Children at Play”, “Winding Road Ahead”, “Stop Ahead”, “Construction Zone Slow Down”, “School Zone.” Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of risk that comes along with driving, so some caution is pretty necessary. You don’t see a lot of signs that have to do with hope, though. Hope is more like your best friend in the passenger seat. Hope is your ultimate road trip buddy who packs the snacks, urges you to take detours, and makes the best playlist. In other words, hope makes the trip worthwhile.
Both hope and caution come in handy when you want to achieve something, when you’re bombarded with tasks, and when life throws you surprises (good and bad). However, sometimes if you fuel up on caution to the point that you’re overloaded it turns into anxiety. In contrast, when you’re too reliant on hope you don’t take enough accountability and action. A balance of both keeps you steady on the road ahead.
How do we balance them out? Taking inventory of your emotions in any capacity is helpful, which is why balance has a lot to do with mindfulness.
Mindfulness + Caution: When it comes to caution, with some self-reflection you can recognize and call attention to what you’re feeling. Whether you’re feeling it in your body or your mind is racing, when caution has turned into worry, it has mutated from a warning to a full-on evacuation. If practiced often, you’ll be able to catch yourself before the transformation has occurred.
Mindfulness + Hope: On the flip side, when you’re “too” hopeful you might be inactive and just waiting around for something good to happen. So, take note if you’re sitting back and “wishing” for things to come true. Even if there’s seemingly “nothing” to do with the roadblock in front of you, there may be something helpful you can do to occupy your time that will provide you with some sort of relief, satisfaction, or control. Mindfulness in this capacity is taking a moment to observe what your actions (or inactions) are leaving you with.
By practicing self-awareness, you create this stability between hope and caution to help prepare you for those speed bumps, traffic jams, and scenic overlooks. Remember, before embarking on the road ahead, don’t forget to pack an even amount of hope and caution.
Catherine at Revive