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 these changes are in response to 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 was 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?
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.