Have you wanted to live a life of appreciation and felt you didn’t know where to begin? Do you take self-care days but feel there’s more that you could be doing to bring your own love to you? Well, I hope that this post can issue in a new era of appreciation for you. But did you know that the practice of appreciation – of yourself and of your whole life – can help you realize everything you want? Here’s a little something to help you begin a practice that will take you to new heights literally. You got this.
Our society is evolving into a deeper self-awareness. Evolution is a beautiful thing. We are beginning to reevaluate our awareness of mental health and releasing those stigma. We are becoming conscious of self-care, and its benefits. A lot of what these changes are in response to are our growing awareness of PTSD and its effects, trauma and how it affects us all, and the impact of shame and guilt, thanks to Brene Brown and others like her. We even have new words for getting closer to our emotions. Emotional intelligence comes to mind. But we’re not all on the same page yet, and there is good reason for this.
As we evolve, we are coming to know that where we’ve come from is a remedial way of relating to giving ourselves praise. That’s what appreciation is, yes? Praise. We have a tough relationship with praise. We think it should be meted out, and only saved for extraordinary occasions. We decide that mediocrity is some place where everyone resides until they decide to be “excellent,” and only then is when praise should be given. Or is it?
Let’s look at all the ways we feel odd, strange, or just (gasp!) self-indulgent to allow ourselves to appreciate our lives in totality. Because maybe, just maybe, it is this resistance to appreciation / praise that keeps us from fully embracing this path to self-realization.
Maybe it strikes you as self-centered to appreciate yourself. Make no mistake. It is self-centered. You are centering within your self.
Maybe it seems like you are putting yourself above others. Yes, again. You are doing that too. Another way to say it is, you’re prioritizing you.
Maybe it seems like it’s self-aggrandizing. It is that, for sure. But Marianne Williamson has already said, making yourself small to make others feel comfortable is not who you are. So maybe making yourself bigger would bring you up to the right size.
Appreciation is a beautiful practice. Appreciation is like a beautiful prayer of love we can send up about anything we are thinking about or focused on. And if you don’t subscribe to prayer, don’t worry. Appreciation is a practice for anyone. Appreciation, simply put, can intensify your feelings of joy and love, and all there is to do is to be present.
So now for the actual practice… Think of appreciation as attention you focus on what you love about you. If you find it hard to begin with yourself, begin with an object you already have an affinity for – something you can easily get excited about. Practice must begin somewhere. Make it easy on yourself, and begin with something that you know you got this.
This practice is one of building, or said even better, allowing to build on its own. You begin with your object (whatever you choose). Focus on what you love about it. Think one thing that you love. Literally, say that one thing to yourself. You must put into words, whether internally or out loud, what it is you love about it. Remember, your meter of authenticity is key here. Don’t begin with something you think you love about it, but really you don’t. Begin with a statement that is true for you. How can you best tell it’s true for you? You will feel good when you say it.
Your meter of authenticity will always tell you when you feel good. Easy way to know if you’re faking the funk, huh? The beauty is in its simplicity.
Now, once you have found that statement of love or adoration that is true for you. Repeat it once. Repeat it twice. Repeat it how many ever times it feels good to think or say. Remember your meter of authenticity is key. Something may build here at this juncture. You may organically begin to say something new. Or you may feel repetitive and want to say something new. Find another thing you feel good about. Authenticity. You may have a billion things to say about the thing you love, or you may find you have to practice this new thing – saying what feels good. Either way, the point here to allow your good feelings to build on one another.
Appreciation is a practice of allowing your good feelings to build, little by little, or a lot by a lot, but always in an easy manner. As your appreciation is amplified through your thoughts, or if you choose, your spoken words, you are building your point of attraction. Yes, via the law of attraction, you will always attract more of what you love. What you are focused on, builds through the energy that is you and the world all around you. When you focus in this way, more of what you appreciate will be realized in your life experience.
Remember, in this practice, you can speak aloud, or remain silent. You can find a meditative stance, or just have a moment while you’re waiting for your laundry to dry. The point always remains. To amplify your good feelings. That’s all.
What feels better than that? You may find yourself feeling so good, you’re smiling to yourself. That’s an amazing feeling. And not everyone will allow it to be. No matter. Your practice is your own. However, you practice is valid. Just remember this, feelings are everything in the world of creation.
Now, be ready for the practice of appreciation to up the ante on how much you love you, and/or your life. It will happen organically. Where attention goes, energy flows. And if you are building energy inside of a particular focus, that focus will expand. Just like the perceived value of a home, or a car, or anything we place monetary value on, can appreciate (grow in stature), so can our value of ourselves appreciate when we utilize this practice. Now, that analogy may trigger something. Simply acknowledge that the trigger exists.
Look, appreciation is an awesome tool that can be used to uplift yourself and bring yourself more joy (and even bliss) in any moment you choose. These new levels (or heights) can be more than you have known in your life previously. You could turn around and bring the practice of appreciation to, um, the practice of appreciation. What a revelation!
On the revolution of bliss, we will provide more exercises of Appreciation. So stay tuned. Until then, find your own way into appreciating the wonderful qualities that are you. They are all there. Find them for yourself and just take one moment, if that’s all you have, to tell yourself why you appreciate you.
It’ll make your day. I promise. (wink, smile)
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