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Here's the thing about appreciation...

Today I’m sharing one of heartmaths “power tools” of the heart. In case you haven’t read any of my previous posts, I’m reading from the book “The Heartmath Solution” and cutting things into bite size pieces for you to munch on. Sorry for the visual- I have a toddler right now so that visual might have come because we just had lunch :)

We are going to have a pre-game white board moment. I’m taking you back to my Virginia Tech days…every day before practice we’d all stand in front of a white board to check out the plan for the day. So here’s the plan: I’m going to give a quote about appreciation, then provide some key ideas to keep in mind, then we will put the learning into action with a fun activity. Ready? Ok…hands in the middle…1, 2, 3…go team!

All right, if I still have you in this reading despite my corny jokes, here is a quote I want to share from Heartmath:

“You can never get to peace and inner security without first acknowledging all the good things in your life. If you’re forever wanting and longing for more without first appreciating things the way they are, you’ll stay in discord. When your mind is unmanaged, it tends to focus on what’s not right. And when you’re caught up in your problems, focusing on what’s not right, you tend to lose sight of areas in your life that are good.”

So, here’s the deal…like attracts like. Even if we have some areas of your life to improve, we need to first appreciate some aspects of what we have NOW. This quote is not to say we must like everything about our lives…it’s just an invitation to see the good that currently exists. I know how hard this can be at times of our lives, but it’s really necessary to create a new vision for how to move forward in the best way.

Now, here are some key facts about appreciation:

1) Appreciation is not just a fluffy emotion, it can really have a strong impact on our body (in a good way, of course!)

2) Appreciation can quickly shift our perspective and emotional state.

3) Appreciation helps with the concept of “like attracts like.” It puts us in a position to draw in more positive things in our lives.

4) Appreciation is important to practice NOT JUST WHEN THINGS ARE PEACHY. It’s important to practice when crap hits the fan.

5) Writing appreciation lists can help.

6) Sometimes we take things for granted. As Westerners, this can be all too easy to do. I’m not calling anyone out, because I’m right there with you, but small little things that make our lives better are often overlooked.

You still with me? Ok, let’s go to the final thing on the white board. Now, for the activity:

Grab a piece of paper and write down everything in your life you appreciate. This can be done if life seems to be cruising along. If you’re in the middle of a tough situation, write down three things about the tough situation you appreciate. Here’s my example:

Situation: we sold our home and have no home to move into

Positive things about this situation=

1) I get to do more fun things while we wait for a home, like go to nature preserves and the beach!

2) I get to have more family time, both with Alan & Marley and with other relatives.

3) Both Alan and I can work online, so we still have a steady income.

I know I am SO fortunate that we can stay with family during this period of waiting. I try to focus on the good, because if I focus on what I don’t have (a place of our own) I would be overlooking everything that has come our way recently: precious moments riding bike in the evening, having Grammy to help with Marley while I cook dinner, and a child filled with happiness (and diaper full of sand) after returning from the beach. As I focus on the things to appreciate in life, I stay confident that more good things will come our way. Join me in making a list of things to appreciate! It’s definitely one of the strong “power tools” of the heart. Happy rooting, everyone!

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