Feb 22 2010
I am learning to live in the magical, miraculous, continually growing garden of appreciation. The more I appreciate myself, my life, and the people in my life, the more bloomin’ happy I am! The ability to focus on appreciation is something that most of us are not born with, we have to cultivate it ourselves, like cultivating a flower garden. As human beings we are hardwired for fight or flight, for problems and things going wrong — we look for it, we expect it, we focus on it. That focus is there to help us survive. However, what we focus on grows, and when we focus on what’s wrong we grow more of that. By choosing to focus on what we appreciate, we attract more of the same. It is a law: like attracts like, and appreciation attracts more things to appreciate.
I was first introduced to the amazing power of appreciation while apprenticing with Gay and Katie Hendricks (authors of Conscious Loving). I’ve seen them literally glow as they bestow upon each other beaucoup bouquets of appreciation. Recently they wrote, “We give each other 10-Second Verbal Valentines all year long. We believe it’s one of the main reasons we’re more in love now than when we met 25 years ago.”
I find that a wonderful residual benefit is that as you give the gift of appreciation you receive that energy. “A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives flowers.” (Chinese proverb). When you look for things to appreciate about others, that is the world you are living in. In focusing on appreciations, you are cooking in that expansive, vibrant, joyful energy, which is so much more fun than stewing in the negative energy of carping and faultfinding.
Cultivating the energy of appreciation takes focus and commitment, like tending a rose garden. It requires remembering and choosing to do it everyday and telling ourselves, “Today I’m going to look for things to appreciate.” Before you know it, it is a habit, it is who you are, and it is the garden you are living in. Give the people in your life verbal bouquets and you will find your relationships blossoming. Focus on what you appreciate about your life and soon you will experience that everything’s coming up roses!
How many heartfelt flowers of appreciation can you generate today? Gather them together and give them away in a beautiful verbal bouquet.