What role does appreciation play in your life? Sometimes life can be very challenging and we can feel so stretched that we forget to take the time to appreciate our blessings and our gifts.
If this is a new practice to you, you can start with appreciating yourself. Which qualities to you admire in yourself? Are you courageous? Kind? Generous? Do you stick with commitments even when they’re hard? Do you appreciate your body for getting you around? Your sense of taste, your ability to smell beautiful fragrances?
How often do you express appreciation to others? I remember Marshall Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication) saying that if a student tells him that he’s a “great teacher” it really doesn’t mean that much to him because it’s not very specific. However, if a student were to tell him that Nonviolent Communication has allowed him or her to engage in more authentic relationships with more honesty – that would be much more meaningful. How can you specifically tell people that you appreciate them? I recently told an old friend how much I enjoy his company because I feel like I can truly be myself. A friend who works in a store shared with me that a customer called her manager recently to commend her for providing such excellent service. It made her day!
You have a choice. You can go through life with a glass half empty or you can choose to see your glass as half full. One of the most powerful ways for me to live with an open heart is to look for ways to appreciate myself and celebrate them, and to be aware of my appreciation for others and to express it to them. This is a gift that benefits both people! Give it a try!