Perhaps you have lost your joy. The tasks about you may seem to be never-ending. You’ve been at this for some time now. It is hard to catch one’s breath.

The recipe for re-finding joy is a surprising one. It is not so much about stretching and reaching, grasping or holding, but about releasing, pausing, creating, investing – gentle manners of heart and soul. A relinquishing rather than a hoarding. A surrender.

FIRST, Pause each day for a few moments a few times. Sit still. Be silent. Find silence. Seek out solitude. Walk among the trees. Sit at waters edge. Jog in the early morning mist. Rest in the sun. Drive in silence. Take a nap. Go to bed early.

THEN, Create things. Draw. Paint. Crochet. Knit. Make cabinets or window seats. Sew an apron. Embellish your jeans. Craft a necklace. Color a picture. Fashion a coin purse. Braid a long-wrap bracelet. Make some curtains. Stitch a table runner. Arrange some flowers.

ALSO, Invest in beauty. Be beautiful. Enjoy colours. Grow a garden. Light a candle. Buy a piano. Paint a side-table. Take pictures. Go to the opera. Beauty is rest for the soul and investment in our hearts. Never underestimate the impact of beauty to restore you.

ENSURE, to Relish in simple pleasures. Make a cup of tea. Use a broom that you enjoy (the whole world sweeps their homes – make it an art form). Sit on your front steps or at your entry or walk. Breathe the air around you. Smell a flower. Take a walk, invest in a trek, climb that mountain.

FINALLY, Release from your life (and social media life) anyone who does not make you glad by their interactions. Your emotional presence is too valuable to have it frittered away by ill-meaning folk.

ALL IN ALL, Seek out friends. Find good people, those ones who gladden your soul, who make you laugh, who speak the language of your heart. Make time. Engage. Move toward. Appreciate. Be in gratitude for the people in your life. Enjoy, give and receive and be blessed.

Your joy will return. Don’t rush it. Take your time. But be intentional. Invest in your life in small and simple ways. Surround yourself with generous hearts and wise souls, with good thinking. Choose your attitudes wisely. Be glad this day.

And all the rest of your days will fall in line. Be at peace. Find gladness. May joy be yours.

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