Appreciation is defined as “the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.”
Appreciation is different than gratitude. Gratitude is thankfulness, and you most certainly can have gratitude towards what you appreciate. But for now, let’s dive into appreciation. How often do you really look at the people in your life, your circumstances, your surroundings, and most importantly, yourself, and truly feel a sense of appreciation towards those things? When you stop to notice, you can become aware of the way in which that friend always knows what to say, or the way your spouse takes care of things you hate doing, maybe it’s the way your favorite barista/waitress greets you with a smile. It can be simple, it can be complex, but this week I want you to focus on what you appreciate in another. Remember, what you focus on, expands.
My friend Sheva teaches and lectures for HeartMath and she taught me a brilliant technique around appreciation. This is my abridged version for you:
While focusing on your heart, breathe in and out of that area. Take your time. Get yourself calm and centered as you do so. Think about something/someone you greatly appreciate and breathe that appreciation for them/that thing, while continuing to focus on your heart. Notice how that energy of appreciation lifts you and maybe brings a smile to your face. After a minute or two, turn that energy of appreciation inward and appreciate yourself. Feel that appreciation move throughout your space, elevating and energizing you. Stay in that energy of appreciation, and when you are ready, open your eyes and move about your day, exhilarated and uplifted.
(To hear a guided version of this meditation, see below)
We are so hard on ourselves, it is necessary to take the time to say, “Wow self, I so appreciate you!” Sometimes we get so caught up what isn’t working, that we forget to stop and appreciate what is. Appreciation goes much farther than perfection and driving yourself.
Yes you can be specific, but you can also just be in the energy of appreciation and receive it with every aspect of your being. With self-appreciation, comes self-love. The more you can appreciate yourself, the deeper your self-love will become.
This week, take the time to appreciate yourself, and others. Life becomes much more joyful when you do.
Happy Spring Equinox everyone! (Well, at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere!) It also happens to coincide with a super full moon tonight, which brings an increased intensity of energy today.
Spring Equinox is a time of equilibrium between the day and the night, the masculine and the feminine. It is a time of increasing light; a reminder to trust that the light returns, even when it was seemingly lost or diminished during the darker days of winter. (For those of you working on trust, symbolically this is important to take in.) With spring comes new life, rejuvenation and fertility; a perfect time to bring forth all of your creative ideas. It is time to release the old (thus the term, “spring cleaning”), and embrace the new.
This particular super full moon brings with it infinite potential for creation. Robbyne LaPlant says, “Super full moons can make people feel restless, as they are releasing old issues from the past that are coming up to surface in a big way. We are each breaking through old illusions.” I know many of you are feeling this. The energy has been intense. The new is calling to each of us and in order to step into that, we need to release the old ties/patterns/behaviors etc. that no longer suit us or where we’re headed. We are being called to participate in a world becoming new. No more hiding or believing the lies that our negative egos perpetuate: “I’m not good enough, I don’t matter,” etc. etc. You are good enough and you do matter and it’s time to lead from those beliefs.
To help with that and to use these powerful energies today, here is a simple ritual for tonight:
Think of 3 things you would like to release that no longer serve you. They can be behaviors, habits, blockages- anything you are truly ready to let go of. Write them down and ideally burn them, but if you can’t, then rip them up into tiny pieces and throw them away in your trash bin outside of your apartment/house. You want them out of your space. I will note, that sometimes issues stick around because there is a lesson we need to learn from them. You could ask, before burning the paper, that if there is still something you need to learn, to help you do so in elegant ways, without the pain of said issue.
Next, write 3 things you would like to create/birth by summer solstice, June 21st. Maybe one of the creations will take longer to manifest, that’s ok, write it down and know that you’ll be working towards it these next few months. You can then either bury your desires, you can place them somewhere sacred like in a dream box or under a crystal, - get creative. The point is to consciously engage your new dreams with clarity, and put them out into the world. See yourself celebrating them manifesting, feel the joy of it, and then come back to present time and take action. Use the power of this super full moon and equinox to lift and elevate your life.
It takes courage to grow spiritually. You are brave. It’s not for the faint of heart.
It takes courage to truly look at yourself and be willing to change, to grow, and to evolve. It can be messy and hard at times, but ultimately, oh so worth it.
You are brave. It’s not always easy to recognize where you’re being a victim and stuck in blaming others, or using your wounds as an excuse to be judgmental or angry. Sometimes we sink into our inner child and throw temper tantrums, or into our adolescent and act with arrogance and the need to be right.
It takes guts to see that you’ve been wallowing in poor me, self-pity, or martyring yourself by refusing help and doing it all to the point of exhaustion. These aren’t pretty. But they happen.
No matter how much work you do, they will reappear, because you’re human. Hello- remember that?! You’re not God. Whoa- huh?!!! Nope- sorry to say, the yucky stuff comes back. Part of the process here on this planet of free will.
But courageous you are, to take responsibility for your thoughts, your words, and your actions. To forgive everything you can. To visualize and own your dreams. To proclaim who you are and what you want to manifest; even if you don’t quite know. You are magnificent. Yes you. And it takes even more courage to see and own that. To own what’s good and right about you; your gifts, strengths, and talents, the things that come naturally to you.
Maybe you are naturally generous with your time/energy. Not everyone is, own that. Maybe you make people feel safe with you. Wow, what a gift- own that. Maybe your talent is for putting people at ease, or getting them to see their beauty, or maybe, your strength is your compassion; regardless of any perceived slights by another, you always hold yourself in a place of compassion towards them.
Look in the mirror, really look at yourself. What makes you unique? So what if Sally next door also shares the same talent as you, she’s not you; your expression of that talent is unique. So quit comparing, and look again. What makes you so wonderfully you??
It’s time to honor that and own it. You are brave, you are courageous, you are magnificent. Shine that light, the world needs you.
“It’s not personal.” This needs to be your new mantra. Because truly, nothing is personal.
When you take something personally, you give it meaning that most likely isn’t even true. The story then becomes that you weren’t good enough, or not likable, or you did something wrong, etc. etc., which gives your negative ego a fertile playground in which to run amok. This can knock you into depression, self-doubt, or paralyzing fear amongst other things.
Ultimately, you need to realize that it doesn’t have anything to do with you. Yes you create your reality, but so do they. You can’t control anything about them; all you are responsible for is your reaction. So if someone lashes out at you, don’t make it personal! Maybe they’re having a bad day or something triggered them – it’s not about you. It’s very egocentric to think that everything is. You could argue this and say, “But Tina, my boss/sibling/coworker really does hate me!” Do they? Or do you trigger their deepest wounds and within that, maybe jealousies? Maybe you remind them of an ex or someone growing up who was mean to them. People act/react from their wounds unless they consciously work on themselves.
How many times have you snapped at somebody because you were in a mood about something, and then given it no more thought? How would it feel to know that they were circling over and over in their mind what they must’ve done wrong to make you snap when in reality, it was nothing, it was your issue. So turn it back around and realize the same for yourself. You probably also have people in your life that you just don’t like. You could argue that it’s personal and yes, in that case it is personal, to you! Not to them. They simply exist in your reality, and while you could list all the ways you dislike them, it’s your story, not theirs. So from their vantage point, it’s not personal.
Try practicing the mantra this week and notice where you diminish yourself by taking things personally. If you live your life from this new viewpoint, you will create so much more peace and empowerment in your reality. It’s not personal.
Me, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!