One Month of Gratitude...Now What?
November's over and done-with. You did the gratitude thing, declaring your daily appreciation on the FacePlace (FB), and maybe you felt more appreciation than you've felt all year.
psst...it wasn't because of the month of November, it's because you put your attention on ways to appreciate the things that are a part of your daily life.
One month of doing that gratitude stuff is fantastic and all fine and lovely...
What about the other 11 months of the year?
Where do you think you're at?
Do you think that you mostly appreciate?
Or mostly don't?
How do you cultivate an attitude of appreciation?
Your daily routine takes over and you forget to appreciate. You have to-do lists the length of the red carpet and a stack of bills the size of a stack of pancakes at IHOP's. You've got mouths to feed, a job to do, chores to complete, obligations, responsibilities, people to tend to, and somewhere in there you want to grab some sleep.
It's easy to get caught up in your concerns, worries and habits of sifting and filtering your life. It's easy to forget to appreciate...
That you have a computer.
That you have a cell phone.
That you're breathing.
That the earth is spinning.
That the sun rises and sets.
That you have water to drink.
That you have a closet to keep your clothes in.
That you have fingers to lick and utensils if you'd rather not have to lick your fingers. ;)
That you have a bed to sleep in, along with sheets, blankets, and pillows.
That you have shelves to put your stuff on.
That you're free to think and feel.
How often do you appreciate that you have health insurance, rather than moan about having to pay for it?
How often do you appreciate the ability to buy on-credit and that you have a month or multiple-months to pay, rather than the interest rate they're charging you to do so?
How often do you appreciate the meal you're served at the restaurant, rather than complaining about how long it took?
How often do you appreciate that you have a cell phone or a computer with access to people and information worldwide, rather than bemoaning that it took 20 seconds to download something?
How often do you look at someone or some-thing with the intention of appreciating something about him or it, rather than criticizing, judging, assessing, surmising, or assuming?
How often do you go to the airport appreciating that you get to fly in the air from one place to another in a matter of a few hours, rather than complain about the food, the seats, the service, the lag time, jet lag, or the air quality?
How often do you get-on-up-outta-bed in the morning and appreciate that you're getting up, rather than complain that it's early or you have too much to do, or nothing to do?
How often do you appreciate the rain and that it waters the trees over entire sections of the planet - which means you don't have to do it, rather than complain about the rain?
How often do you get up in the morning and look for reasons, things and ways that you can appreciate, rather than look for ways which you habitually complain or grumble?
Appreciation IS a choice...but it IS one you have to practice.
Like a muscle or a skill, it has to be exercised or applied to get better at it.
You don't get better at it unless you actually give-it-a-go, give-it-a-try, take a stab-at-it.
Appreciation is not a habit until you make it so.
Appreciation would be a habit if you did less complaining, judging, criticizing and spreading the dreary-weary's all over the place.
Appreciation is about the daily things.
It's not about the big things that you want.
It's not an episodic thing.
It's not about waiting for that one thing to fall into place.
It's a daily way of approaching your life.
It's something that starts from the inside out.
It's something that you feel - because you want to. And choose to.
Appreciation is not to be reserved for one day, one month, first-thing-in-the-morning-time or bedtime when you make those lists of things you appreciate.
Appreciation is an ongoing attempt to view things differently.
To be where you are; to milk the moments - moment-to-moment.
Appreciation isn't a once-and-done kind of thing. It's something that you apply over and over and over again until it becomes a state of being.
It's about appreciating the sun, the rain, the flower, the smell of the candle, your toes, the colors of the sky, the color of your nail polish.
It's not about what you're appreciating, it's about how you feel.
It's about feeling appreciation and then putting your attention on to some-one or some-thing.
So pick something. Pick something easy. Pick something that you easily appreciate.
Don't pick something that you feel you've got to wrangle into place to appreciate.
Appreciating what's easy to appreciate is like exercising that muscle or applying your skills.
......It's the smile, it's having a mirror. It's having utensils and plates. It's being able to smell. It's being able to see.
It's getting into a habit of doing it. Every day. All day.
Establish a habit of appreciation. Do it daily. Like drinking water. Or eating.
Make it a habit of appreciation for the things you already have.
Bring appreciation with you wherever you be.
Appreciation. Make it a vital thing to your existence.