intertwine
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intertwine

The path of gratitude — Day 16 of Simplicity

Day Sixteen — Gratitude — 25 Days of Simplicity

Never forget,
you are a tree in a story about a forest.

A few years ago, I went through a significant amount of life disruption in a short period of time. I got knocked down and felt lost and confused, and while desperately looking for a way to speed up the process of feeling like myself again, I read about a study connecting gratitude and joy; apparently, some psychologists had discovered “the pathway to joy begins with gratitude.”

I was skeptical. It sounded too simple. But as I continued reading, I learned this statement wasn’t based on just one study, there had actually been hundreds of studies conducted that led psychologists to the conclusions that practicing gratitude…

+ increases positive emotions
+ reduces depression
+ strengthens relationships
+ and helps people face stressful life events

At that time, I was painfully aware that I wasn’t experiencing “positive emotions” and I couldn’t become a happier person just by wanting to be happy, so I decided to trust the research and change my attitude. I focused my energy on the people I was most grateful for and began a year of adventures with my friends and family.

I still had to work through the pain
of the difficult things that happened,
but waking up each day with the focus
of giving my best to the people I cared about most
helped me bust out of my cycles of shame and sadness,
and create good memories
instead of feeling sorry for myself.

Brene Brown once pointed out
that my life hasn’t lacked wake-up calls,
I’ve just been quick to press snooze.

During this time of year, when nearly every holiday movie includes a Scrooge, may you be reminded of all the goodness in your life, and may that gratitude be the pathway to greater joy.

- Andy Jolivette (Intertwiner, Listener, Coach, and 90’s NBA Jersey-Wearing Pop Shot Champ)

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