I’ve been trying to spend more time learning, specifically by listening to small podcasts. Some people read books for personal development and growth, I read for pleasure. I don’t want to read and think. I want to be transported when I read. Short podcasts have become my sweet spot for learning, reflection, and growth. I’ve started to carve out about 10 minutes during my morning routine to devote to listening to a podcast. I use to spend that time stressing about things out of my control, making up problems that did not exist yet, or other tasks of a wandering mind. Now I use that same amount of time to channel and focus my thoughts. This morning I was listening to a new podcast, about spirituality and devotion. The content at first seemed a little flat, but during the discussion I found the author really tapping into something I connected to. She talked about how the tough times, those times when we are feeling forsaken and hopeless. The truly dark and powerless places many of us experience. That it is through those times and experience that hope is born. At first I struggled to agree with this concept, until I spent time really thinking about my own life and the lives of those I care about. It is the resilience and rebound that we’ve all experienced that gives us hope that we can overcome and triumph the next time we experience the darkness. And it is through each one of us sharing our story of adversity and transformation that we inspire hope in someone else. Each one of you who experienced and continues to experience challenging, seemingly impossible obstacles, and who shares the powerful story of triumph builds hope for others and for yourself. Each of you has the power to build and spark hope in others. What power that is to possess. What becomes a challenge for many of us, is deciding to use that power. Taking the courage to share the story of our journey, our transformation from living in the dark to taking hold of the light. And to allow ourselves to continue to share our story, even if we are experiencing struggles. Holding to the belief that our life is a series of strengths, gratitude, challenges, despair, and melancholy. That each phase of our life is valuable and important, not just the pretty parts. We must each remember that it is through the darkness that we have found the light and hope within ourselves. We find build and develop hope each time we tackle and overcome.