Appreciating the Small
About 465 days ago I started a daily appreciations practice. My rule for it is simple. I think about the day before, and notice what I appreciated, or felt grateful about. I’m not allowed to impose today’s ideas about yesterday’s stuff. I can’t “pretend” I loved a sunset if I didn’t.Then I write about that stuff, and publish it on Facebook. You get the idea.
Knowing that I have an appreciation to write means that I have that attitude floating around in the background all the time. It doesn’t necessarily slow me down, but it does help me remember to savor moments during the day, to choose presence, to look for opportunities to feed my spirit.
That changes things.
Why am I so grateful? What makes me appreciate? How do I feel when I am grateful?
With that attitude tinting my worldview, I see you both more broadly and more deeply. I see how hard you try, I see your tender heart. Compassion for you is easy when I appreciate you.
When I have that feeling supporting my outlook, I notice how much “magical” stuff I’m surrounded by. Now, I don’t think cars or plumbing or computers are really magical, but I find it a fun way to talk about stuff that I don’t really understand the workings of. I mean, did you know that the holes under the rim of the toilet are crucial to it flushing properly? I appreciate that, and am much better about keeping them clean now.
On days when I have spent the day in bed with the chemo-flu, my appreciations may be pretty concise. On days when my energy is high and I have gotten to do stuff I may go on and on. Somedays, I get kinda blissed out on how cool this whole life thing is, and I will tend to go on about that, too.
I am also clear that there is stuff I am not grateful for. I am not particularly grateful for chemo-flu, buzzy burny feet, tingly numb hands, hot twinge-y eyes. I am grateful for my practice which allows me to acknowledge these experiences, and move on. I am grateful for treatments that bring me wellness, but I sure don’t have to be grateful for the side effects! I can choose to suspend my judgment to a certain extent.
I tend not to dwell on that stuff to the best of my ability.
I am clear that I am much more than I think I am. I am capable of much more compassion, much more creativity, much more appreciation. I am aware that I am capable of much more happiness. I am aware that I can model that behavior for you, so you can see one of a million ways to be happier, more creative, more compassionate, more appreciative.
I am aware that I often sound like a blissed out dork. I am. It took me a lot of practice to get here. Every moment of that was worth it. There are days when I don’t have to think about feeling good at all, and other days when I have to choose it over and over and over. It’s worth it.
Choosing happy means I have more energy, something I hold precious these days. Being miserable uses it up like a gas-guzzling engine, so I feel like I’m running on empty. Appreciating stuff; my home, my friends, my environment, my comfy chair, hot water upstairs, generates energy when I mean it.
How have I changed from taking the wonder for granted to appreciating the amazing little things in my life?
© Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 12152014