What/who makes you feel happy and at your best?  These moments are what I like to call ‘hope joys’.  These are what bring us joy and happiness, yet they may be minuscule in size.  Whether it is an item, person or place, we find warmth, happiness and comfort within it.  There is a sense of connection we develop, through the depth that it has created within our hearts.  It can be this unexplainable feeling we have in the moment we are in a particular place, or are with certain people. 

Being grateful and acknowledging what we have around us each and every day, provides us with a different perspective and makes us realize what we miss most.  These past few weeks where we have been separated from people and places that mean the world to us, can serve as a learning experience.  The friends and family that you may be used to seeing once a week, may now only be visible through a screen but that should not stop us from taking a moment to express appreciation.  I see these connections as a part of our daily routines, but can extend to being a part of who we are as individuals.  With the busy lives that we each experience, it may slip our mind to take a moment and enjoy what is right in front of us.  Gratitude and appreciation for even the simplest of things such as a walk to the beach, can be important to recognize and reflect on.

With the time that we have at home, I encourage you to take a moment and make a list of your ‘hope joys‘ and write down what makes you happy each day.  The list can be as short as 5 things or can be as long as 2 pages, I just want to challenge you to acknowledge what is around us.  These ‘hope joys‘ are special because they not only bring happiness and joy, they can be symbols of hope and optimism. Whether we are experiencing a challenging moment or having an easier day, these people, places or items shed a light.

Although this list may be about external factors that make you happy, I want to remind you that you yourself represent a hope joy.  It is not always necessary to have an external source of happiness, because our individual souls are a unique source of internal happiness and joy.  The warmth we feel within ourselves is an irreplaceable feeling that should be celebrated and treasured.  Although it may be challenging to take a moment to breathe and be in the moment, set time aside to acknowledge what you are surrounded by.  Whether it is a completely silent minute to yourself or a chance to read a book, that time is for you to surround yourself with the present.  Appreciating the hope joys in our everyday lives is important, because these can ignite an inner spark within us during the toughest and most challenging of days. 

The everyday routine that we each experienced prior to the circumstances that our world is currently facing, will be forever changed but what can we learn from this experience?  Each person that holds importance to us within our lives holds a unique meaning or lesson, and that can be the ‘hope’ within the ‘hope joys’. I challenge you to practice acknowledging your hope joys each and every day, alongside reminders to check up on the people that bring bright light to you.

“Life doesn’t give you the people you want. It gives you the people you need; to help you, to love you and to help you grow into the person you are meant to be”