Spark Inspiration

Practice of Appreciation

AppreciationSome years back, I began to practice spending time each day in appreciation. I would appreciate the people and experiences I have had in my life, my family, my friends, my home, my work, and my health, among others. Not long ago, I realized that I tended to appreciate only the positive experiences in my life. There were few times when I would think…I’m glad the thing that I really hoped for didn’t work out. Rarely, do we appreciate the failures in life or the difficult relationships or the goals we set but didn’t reach.

But now, I choose to spend time appreciating exactly those things. I appreciate the experiences that teach me about who I want to be as a person but am not so far. The experiences that help me to clarify what I do want by showing me clearly what I don’t want. I appreciate the times when I may feel upset and out of balance. I appreciate the delays I would normally want to push through. Or the tension that builds from undone tasks on my to-do list. All of these experiences are opportunities for me to increase my self-awareness, deliberately shift my emotional state, and practice new skills and behaviors.

It is through these negative experiences that I have the opportunity to feel the intense pleasure of the positive experiences in my life. I appreciate the contrast of my experience and the broad spectrum of emotions it allows me to feel.

So try to take some time to appreciate all of the experiences in your life, especially the ones you don’t think you would willingly choose. It’ll be interesting to see what you discover.

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