We’re already halfway through February, and with Valentine’s Day just behind us, so much focus has been on celebrating the significant other that you love, or your Galentines (I just learned this term!), or self-love. I started my morning by taking a little extra time for self-love and staying in bed an extra 30 minutes to read from The Book of Joy, and just as I started reading, a jack-hammer started in the apartment adjacent to mine. Really?!?

But how many of you are having days, or weeks like that? Maybe it’s not a literal jack-hammer, but maybe it’s your kids complaining about being bored from another snow day, or your boss giving challenging feedback because she still doesn’t like the results of your project, or your own frustration with realizing that your clothes – yes, all of them – are a bit too tight now.

I know that not only for myself, but for many of my friends, colleagues, family members, and neighbors, February has been a somewhat dark and heavy month. Whether it is the winter doldrums from the cold short days, or grief from losing a job or a loved one or a great opportunity, or a sense of melancholy or depression, it’s ok to say that things aren’t all light and cheery and filled with love.

You have permission to say that it’s been hard, and tiring, and sad at times.

I know this month has been all of those things for me.

Our team’s theme for February has been to see the light in others. This is something that is so closely tied to living optimistically, and in these long, dreary, and somewhat dark winter months this is especially important. It is important for ourselves – to help us see beyond our own darkness – and important for others. Because certainly if so many people in my own immediate circle are struggling, then many others likely are as well.

We broke down some ideas for how to see the light in others, and I’m recapping them here for you. Take time to do one, or all, and see if this helps shift where you’re at and bring a little more light into your day and the lives of those around you. And if you feel inclined, let us know how it goes…

Our Tips for Seeing  the Light in Others:

  • See the light in a friend – Reach out to a friend and remind them what you love and appreciate about them. Their humor? The way they light up a room? Their kind heart?
  • See the light in a family member – Are there members of your family that you can spend a few minutes thinking about your love and appreciation for? Do you appreciate how they are always there to give you advice? To share a meal? To go on adventures?
  • See the light in a neighbor – Is there a neighbor who has always been a great friend for you? Or maybe that you have recently connected with? Or maybe they helped shovel out your car? Take the time to send them a note to say thank you for being a great neighbor. Doing so will help build a strong community and spread optimism.

  • See the light in a colleague – You spend the majority of your days at work with your colleagues. You see or talk every day. Reach out to them and let them know why you appreciate them. How they make your work days just a little bit better.
  • See the light in a significant other – Valentine’s Day was just yesterday. Why not get keep the spirit going? How can you share with your significant other that you appreciate them?
  • See the light in a stranger – Was there something that a stranger did for you today or recently that you really appreciated? Were you able to see the light in them because of their kindness? It’s amazing the ways that strangers can brighten up our days when we spend time noticing it. Maybe the barista was extra cheerful and spread optimism to you. Or maybe someone in the grocery store let you cut them. There is light in the people all around us. Take today to notice that.

Click to tweet: There is light in the people all around us. Take today to notice that.

  • See the light in yourself – Are you a great friend? Good listener?  Kind employee?  Thoughtful boss? What are you proud about?  See the light in YOU.

So, have you come up with any specific, tangible ways that you can practice seeing the light in others this month?  Do you have a story about an encounter that warmed your heart?  If you’re comfortable sharing them with us, we’d love to hear from you in response to this email or on Facebook or Instagram.

With Optimism,

Elizabeth Shaw & The Davine Team