If all you did was just look for things to appreciate you would live a joyous, spectacular life. If there was nothing else that you ever came to understand other than just look for things to appreciate, it’s the only tool you would ever need to predominantly hook you up with who you really are. That’s all you’d need.
I’ve had a number of clients recently who wanted to start meditating, but didn’t know where to begin. They know they want the benefits of clearing their mind, tapping into pure anabolic energy, and connecting with All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source, Higher Coach—whatever works for you), but they struggle with their thoughts, finding the time, and having a peaceful moment to call their own.
What if you could get all the benefits of meditation, but you could practice it anywhere? What if you could get so good at it that you could do it standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for your dentist appointment or cable repairman, taking a shower, or traveling on an airplane? And what if practicing it could literally help you create the life of your dreams?
What if all that you had to do was practice appreciation?
While many people think that gratitude and appreciation are the same thing, appreciation is actually higher on the anabolic energy scale. This is because gratitude often is still tied to the problem. For instance, you might be grateful for a really difficult week because it taught you that you could deal with challenging emotions. While that’s an awesome way to begin shifting the catabolic energy to more positive anabolic energy, it’s still tied to the negative event or situation.
As I have heard Abraham describe it, appreciation is different in that it focuses purely on what is good, what is working, what is beautiful, what is loved, what makes life vibrant and something that you want to enjoy. For instance, you may appreciate your pets, the beautiful day, your eyes, your teeth, easy access to an abundance of clean water, and just the fact that you are alive.
Here are five tips for practicing appreciation:
Start small and build from there. Perhaps all you can think of to appreciate is the cup of coffee that you’re drinking. As you take a moment to focus on that, you may realize that you appreciate coffee because of the energy it gives you, the comforting routine of having it every morning, the interaction you have with the staff at the coffee shop, the warmth it gives you on a cold day, etc. Before you know it, you have generated a pretty lengthy list of appreciation.
Practice in bed. (This may not be what you think!) Some of the best times to practice appreciation are just before you go to sleep and just after you wake up. This is a great way to set the energy for the day.
Make lists. One of the best ways to begin practicing appreciation is to literally write lists of things you appreciate. This can be once a day, or throughout the day. I have one client who keeps her list of appreciation on her phone. Not only does she review it during her daily commute, but she adds to it every time she has a flash of appreciation. Another client has her phone set to chime at a certain time to remind her to focus on appreciation.
Use downtime. Anytime you’re waiting is a great time to practice appreciation. And typically, there are lots of things to appreciate during those times if you just stop to look. For instance, just think about all the glorious food at the grocery store! Look around at the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, the rows and rows of food to choose from, even your favorite Greek yogurt in the dairy section. A great exercise while waiting in the checkout line is to mentally walk through the store appreciating your favorite foods.
Make it a game. What could you possibly appreciate sitting in traffic? Make it a game to try. It could be that you have a heater on cold days, the opportunity to listen to your favorite music, that it’s a good time to people watch. Who knows what you might find to appreciate if you look for it in odd places.
As you practice, look for changes in your life. Are you less stressed when you get to work? Did you refrain from yelling at your kids when they seemed to be dragging their feet? Do you let go of what someone says that you might have taken as a slight? Are you quicker to cut the checkout person a little slack?
Today and every day, reflect on the good things that happen and all that you appreciate. Then look forward to tomorrow with anticipation.
Together we can do it!