I promise a lot of things to a lot of people but not always to myself. During the month of July, I hope to set into my “habit memory” the act of intentional appreciation. Research proves that healthy relationships have a 5:1 ratio of appreciations: criticisms. I spend a lot of time appreciating in my head and not out-loud. I notice the glow on another’s face when I speak words of truth that honor that person’s value and I believe it is a powerful and worthwhile gift (not to mention it is free and easy!) . I believe we are all closer to God, the “Divine”, Source or Spirit (or anything else you may want to call it) when we are honoring the beauty of another’s contribution.
A full week of intentional appreciations! It has been enlightening and keeps getting better. If we do something a full 21 days, it becomes habit so I am one week closer to the goal. Here are a few things I have learned ONE WEEK “IN”:
- “Surprise” appreciations are everywhere but we don’t take advantage of them enough! My friends Richard & Pete are neighbors and inspirational in their capacity to love each other and their circle of friends. I toasted to their one week engagement anniversary and their exemplary model to love, love, love and then love more generously some more. Then, there was my first of many “uncharted”/surprise appreciations. The piano player at the bar looked so much like my former husband (18 years ago) that I was flooded with sweet memories from our past. He too is a talented musician and was playing guitar when we first met. I thanked this hugely gifted piano player for the gift of his music but also for the gift of taking me back in time (yes I am not afraid to scare strangers if it is coming from a positive intention.)
- Seeking out opportunities for appreciation puts you into a “receiving” place so the universe seems to honor that and gives you abundance. I met an elderly lady by the pool who introduced herself because she heard one of us say “New Jersey” and she was born in Newark. She insisted on buying me a beer and shared the name of my deceased and beloved grandmother, Harriet. We were fast friends and I made a point of telling her that I loved that she and her girlfriend still cruised as widows together; keeping tradition alive after losing their husbands. My mom doesn’t know it yet but I hope we connect with Harriet when my mom visits and we go into NYC (to see the show of my former husband no less – see how cool it all comes together?) The next day we met more new friends who happened to want some coaching and were amazing wine connoisseurs…we had dinner with them and it was lovely.
- Appreciation is received differently…Last night, I laid in bed with each of my daughters separately to fully appreciate them. One of them instantly insisted it doing the same back to me so it was an instant love-fest. The other asked “why am I in trouble?”