12 Days of Christmas Video 2

So today’s theme is APPRECIATION!

Here’s Video 2

Appreciation was something I had to consciously train myself to recognize.

Yes, I was taught to be thankful and count my blessings. But that’s not the same as appreciation.

I may have mistook it as respect, which is something I highly valued, hence, over-developed. And it’s still not the same as appreciation.

Sure, I knew of my talent and genius and graduated with honors and owned my share of successes. But did I appreciate any of it? No.

I didn’t know how until I had a meltdown. I didn’t know how until I immersed myself in self-help books.

I had to literally turn the appreciation switch on.

I had to train my senses to look for what’s good even when it appears bad and practice appreciation. And since I felt nature won’t reject me, for many years, I practiced making friends and appreciating Minnesota weather. I stopped blaming it for my bad days.

cloudy day

Like today, despite the cloud and rain, my attention went right away to the small strip of clear blue sky and loved it up.

I also loved up the clouds in the sky. Just like the doubts and confusion in my head, I may not like clouds at first, but I learned to appreciate them because they come bearing gifts. The clouds may temporarily block the sun, but only so it can water the earth. 

Similarly, the clouds in my own head also come bearing gifts. Like I said in yesterday’s blog, if we become present and not judge what we’re feeling, or push them away, there’s a message and guidance within.

Now. Just imagine how our lives would change when we deliberately and intentionally shift our focus and language from beating ourselves up to appreciating ourselves. Can you see it? Can you feel it?

I mean, if instead of the incessant negative self talk, criticisms and put downs that goes on and on in the mind that exhausts and depletes our energy, we renew it instead with lots of appreciation and allow it to appreciate, what might be possible?

Self-appreciation, not people pleasing, is what infuses and builds self-worth, which improves self-esteem. Nothing is more important than how you feel and think about yourself. And you can’t rely on others to do that else you are constantly waiting for others’ approval.

I admit. Sometimes in the course of the day, I forget to fully appreciate just how much I actually accomplished or how many people I served because my focus was on a deadline, or unmet expectation, or unrealized dreams, or heaven help me, the %$# who cut me off on the freeway.

When this happens, when I become unconscious, I go back to day 1, Forgiveness, so I can clear the past and be complete with it. It then allows me to be present with the present.

And when I am present, I so appreciate that I can tune in to my body’s intelligence and intuition. And this is available to you as well.

Which brought up another aha today.

I was looking at the bald trees (see photo above) when an emotion came up. I got curious. I welcomed it. I may have pushed it away while my sister was here, but nature is wise and has a way of showing us where we need nurturing and healing.

I was standing there wondering if the bald tree felt jealous of the luscious trees. Ahhhhh. Jealousy. Thank you. Now I can clear it and be at peace with it. Then I hugged the little child in me and told her how very much I love, value and appreciate her. Always and forever.

What you appreciate, appreciates.