Many people call it gratitude. I prefer using the word appreciation since its less bandied about, and thus has less baggage attached to it.
Appreciating is one of my favorite ways to center myself in the here, and the now. The here. And the now. The way the sun falls on the building in front of me. The way the gold and the brown mix together to glow softly. The invigorating walk I just took. The delicious french-fries I ate for my afternoon snack today (you knew there was going to be food involved in this, didn’t you?)
I’ve been writing what I call appreciation lists on and off for years. I’ve often thought that the art of appreciation is really the art of observation. As I look around me, what catches my eye? Rather than trying to wrestle subjects that I have difficulty feeling good about, I choose to look for the simpler things, the things that are easy for me to feel appreciative about. Like running hot water. For showers, AND for dish-washing! Or a mattress that is perfect for me. Or looking out of the window, and seeing a sky that’s slightly silvered but mostly blue.
I love how even though I have to think a bit as I start, once I get going, words drip from my fingers, ideas flood my head, and I keep finding one thing after the other that I so love in this moment! My warm, comfy couch. Having so many delicious things to eat. The meditation app that I just found that is THE BOMB! The color blue. Living my life with a person I LIKE. Technology that makes it easy to keep in touch with those I love. Friends I’ve known for years, and years. People who are genuinely happy for me. People for whom I am genuinely happy. Words! Glorious, scrumptious words! Books that make me so, so happy! Finding that the stuff that I want is on sale! My notebook with its glittery cover of three kinds of blue, and purple, and pink, and big butterflies embossed on it! My “happy” notebook which is of a soft teal cover made of cotton, and which was gifted to me by a dear, dear friend. Taking the time to practise practices that are important to me, that center me, and keep me sane, and happy.
It’s funny. The more I write, the more the feeling of being truly blessed simply swells up within me. My problems don’t disappear in that moment. But I’m able to carve out a space in which they become smaller and my blessings become larger.
Note: This was inspired by The Annual Slice of Life Challenge, and by the joy that the art of appreciation brings to me.