If you can believe it, it was a year ago this week that all the lockdowns started for Covid. At least here in Los Angeles. A whole year!
I for one, was completely incorrect and assumed that it would be gone by May or June at the latest. Clearly there’s a continuing bigger lesson that humanity needs to learn.
It has absolutely been a practice in surrender and accepting what is.
There are so many things that have changed during this time, and some things that may never return to the way they were.
For some, this past year has been truly horrific, and for others, it has been a beautiful gift. Most people fall between those two extremes.
Today, I want you to take a moment and acknowledge how much you’ve changed this past year. Even if you had moments of melting down and fighting against the lockdowns and limitations and hating it, and/or not ever wanting it to end – wherever you are in the spectrum – I want you to take a moment and think about the things that you appreciate from this past year.
Even if it was phenomenally hard on you, can you find five things that you’re grateful for and that you appreciate about what this forced global time-out has shown you?
Next, think about the things that you now recognize matter most to you, that you may not have put strong focus on before. For example, maybe you’ve always known your family matters, but this past year you’ve really realized how much value you put on family. Or maybe it’s having your freedoms, or travel, maybe it's your health, or human connection. What did this past year show you about what matters?
So, five things you’re grateful for and/or appreciate, and three places that you realize matter to you incredibly.
As you vibrate in gratitude, you bring more of what you’re grateful for into your life. As you focus on appreciation, you open your heart and again, attract more to appreciate. And as you identify what really matters, you know how to structure your time, energy and focus.
Acknowledge how far you’ve come, as you turn your gaze to a beautiful new future.
As the sun is now in the sign of Sagittarius (woo-hoo, it's my birthday Friday!!!) - and us Sags are all about abundance and reaching for the stars, as well as it being Thanksgiving tomorrow here in the States, I thought this would be a perfect week to remind you of the power of gratitude.
The beautiful thing about gratitude, is that it increases the things in your life that you feel grateful for. So the more you focus on that feeling, the greater and more expansive your life becomes. It elevates and lifts your energy and your mood. It’s especially important if you’re feeling down; you cannot be in gratitude and fear or self-pity simultaneously.
Right now, think about the people in your life that you’re most grateful for. The ones you value. Allow your heart to be involved in this list so it’s not just a mental counting exercise. When you think of each person, think about them in a way that makes you smile.
Now beyond the loved ones in your life, take a moment to be grateful for the things in your life. Maybe the fact that you have running water and electricity. That you have food in your fridge. Do you have a car? Or maybe you use a ride share. Either are things to be grateful for. What about where you live? Or maybe a book or movie that touched you and opened you up. The list is endless.
Let this be an exercise in appreciation for all you’re grateful for.
Because when you truly look, there are a mountain of blessings waiting to be acknowledged, showing you the abundant life you truly do have.
And before I close, I want to say an enormous THANK YOU to all of you!! I am absolutely grateful for your taking the time to read what I write, for the incredible feedback you share with me, and for your continued support. I value and appreciate you tremendously!
I want to give a huge shout out to all of my fellow Sags and to the myriad of you who share my b-day week; there is one of you every day this week as well as my stepdaughter. I love birthdays, in case it wasn't obvious enought!
So one of my birthday wishes for everyone who reads this, is that this next year bring you a miracle, beyond what you could consciously imagine!! xoxo
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.
Me, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!