Every day, we meet people who inspire, who warm our hearts, who give or teach us something about ourselves or our life. This might be totally normal for us – perhaps we even take it for granted, especially in the world of social media, where being uplifting is a matter-of-course. Recently, I’ve recommitted to showing my appreciation actively for those who move me, taking the time to show my gratitude for their work, their inspiration and all that they bring to the world. To show that I am grateful for smart scraps of wisdom, for thought-provoking tidbits that enrich my life. And do you know what? Appreciation encourages these shining individuals to continue to spread their light in the world.
We can expand this field of loving appreciation beyond the internet – into everyday life. It’s free of charge – and, in fact, we get so much back.
I just got back from a few days in New York. It’s always such a contrast to Berlin: the lively streets, the random, wonderful “hey, I love your hair!”. It opens my heart right up. I don’t care if it’s superficial, it’s better than being constantly snarled at!
Get out of the deficits!
Maybe it would be helpful to begin by appreciating ourselves more. To recognize all that we do, all day long, and all that our hearts are capable of. So often we don’t acknowledge or honor this, feeling that others are much more capable, miles ahead. But you know what? That’s total nonsense.
It’s such a waste of time to compare ourselves to others, to wallow in self-pity – I say this a lot. It’s also fatal to continually identify with our own deficits, most which are imaginary to begin with. It is poisonous, this practice of feeling at home in the focusing on our own shortcomings. We should all be vigilant at avoiding these sorts of destructive patterns; they diminish the lightness and the joy in our lives.
Everyone is different
Each one of us exists in our own perceived environment and is subject to different conditions and experiences in life. Every person is unique, marching in time to their own special beat. I always find it quite uplifting to see someone unwaveringly following their own path, realizing their own goals, whatever these might be. No one should allow themselves to be hindered or discouraged from living exactly the life that they dream of.
Take small steps with big results
I do the following exercise with my kids ever evening: everyone tells the three most moving, most beautiful events of the day. What they’re most proud of, what they’re grateful for. It’s such a simple practice, many of you are probably familiar with some version of this. I myself write the three things I’m most grateful for in my The Gratitude Attitude Book, which was given to me by a friend. Such a lovely journal that helps to reignite inner strength and the light within, and also to allow more appreciation into our lives.
What are you grateful for right now? Write down three things – writing has a different effect than just listening to your own thoughts. And make a point of carrying more appreciation and gratitude into your world, it warms hearts and will lift your spirits! Promise!