Slice of Life: Practising Appreciation

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.

17 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Practising Appreciation

  1. This is a beautiful post that you wrote. Centering is so important. I like how you chose to focus on appreciation instead of gratitude. Slowing down to appreciate the moment you are in at the present time. Your words were soothing to me.

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  2. This is an important post. It clearly shows how one’s perspective is really a choice. Love your descriptions and need to know the name of that meditation app. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Sometimes when I’m feeling down or cranky I make lists of things I am happy about. I truly believe that it clears my mind and makes me aware of how lucky I am indeed. For me it’s a necessary shift in perspective. I loved reading about the things you’re grateful for!

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  4. This is lovely. Because I struggle with depression, I try very hard to notice as many good things in the world as I can. It was a habit I created before I started taking antidepressants, and it continues to serve me well now that my depression is under much better control. Even when things are hard, there are many, many things that I feel thankful and appreciative of.

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    • Lots and lots of hugs to you. And how awesome, and smart, and self-aware of you to notice something that WORKS for you, and to stick with it!

      So agree with your last statement. Sometimes when I can’t think of anything else, I go all meta, and think of the planet spinning in its orbit at perfect proximity to the sun, and the babies being born everywhere, the fact that we have plentiful oxygen to breathe, and a gorgeous blue sky above our heads.

      Love to you, Jenny.

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