I hope you are relaxing with family and friends, with hobbies and food you enjoy, and without too many regular obligations. I am spending my time away from school with friends-who-are-family in Portland, Oregon, feeling grateful for them and for the opportunity to connect.
As part of her research for The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown investigated the relationship between joy and gratitude. Her initial thought was that a feeling of joyfulness leads to a sense of gratitude.
“I went into the research thinking . . . if you’re joyful, then you should be grateful. But it wasn’t that way at all. It was really that a practice of gratitude invites joy into our lives,” she says in this segment, produced by the Center for Spirituality and Healing and the University of Minnesota.
Brown points out that she’s not talking about simply saying thank you, but about adopting a “tangible gratitude practice,” such as keeping a gratitude journal, or pausing for a thought of gratitude at a certain time each day. Brown’s family members share something they are grateful for each night at dinner.
This week, I hope you find the space and time to consider that which you are grateful for, including the simple, routine, or everyday. This way, even when your joy is challenged, even when you find the world around you challenging, you can return to these reminders of gratitude and keep a current of joy moving in your life. This will serve you, your families and networks, and our community as well.
Today, I would like to express my gratitude for having the honor and joy of working with your children. The young people at Crossroads keep our purpose clear and our school vivid! I am also grateful for the faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees with whom I work. I am a better leader and a better person for working in this community.
Nothing without joy,