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Why appreciation matters

Carole Railton talks about why it’s important to appreciate yourself and the people and things around you. This article explains what you can do.

How or why would others appreciate you if you do not appreciate yourself?

Have you looked at yourself recently? Do you like what you see? Are you proud of yourself? Are your thoughts good? Is your mind steady? Do you appreciate yourself?

As humans, we often put ourselves down and compare our stance and status in life to others. Whatever our own achievements and personalities are, they somehow feel inferior to what we should be, compared to how others are put over in the media. They are richer, funnier, more beautiful, cleverer and thinner. They appear more confident and successful than we will ever be.

Therefore, the number one rule is not to compare yourself to others and to really believe that you are perfect just the way you are.

You can tell those who appreciate themselves. They are the ones who take care of their health, their appearance and the things that they love. They shine through.

Their homes are lovely and one of the easiest ways to learn to appreciate yourself is to use your living space. Make it as uncluttered and clean as you can, open it up and then build on this by placing well-loved objects around, photos of places and people, candles, crystals, colours that soothe and uplift you, fresh flowers to draw the eye.

The energy will lift and you will be relaxed in your own environment. After a hectic day it will become a retreat; you will appreciate your own special space.

A garden is a lovely thing to appreciate. It may be hard work at first but isn’t it a wonder that those cherished plants come back without fail year after year. I find myself looking out for the magnolia tree to bloom in spring, the roses in summer, the clematis against the wall and I feel that because I planted all these myself I am rewarded every year with their showy heads and beauty throughout the seasons.

In contrast, one of my neighbours has a scruffy garden and some of the plants are spindly and sad. Although this has nothing to do with watering he complains about all the hard work it takes to keep up the garden. If only he would recognise it as a thing of beauty (or what could be) I am sure he would be rewarded too.

To be appreciative is to acknowledge how truly wonderful life and living can be. You can do this right now. Sit quietly and think of all those things that you have and hold dear; silently bring them to the forefront of your mind, acknowledge them and give thanks for the gifts you have received. As each one comes up dwell on them and experience how they make you feel; sit with this experience for a little while; acknowledge the gift again and move onto the next one. Do this for two minutes a day and as you practise this more you will be overwhelmed with what you have to be grateful for.

Gratitude: when we give thanks for everything in our lives when we are grateful for those people that influence us, for the homes, jobs and the beauty around us then this gratitude permeates every aspect of our lives and infects those people and places around us so they too begin to give thanks and the world becomes a much lovelier place.

Houses, cars, offices, people all need your attention too. They need to be appreciated or will quickly let us down. So make sure you acknowledge your working tools and home appliances. I had a great example of this.

My trusty PC gave up the ghost and died on me just at the moment I needed stored information. The engineer said it could not be resurrected. I was angry at the inconvenience of my old PC clapping out when I had this important project to do. Some days later, a friend reminded me that even a PC could do with a little appreciation. I started to offer my thanks for all that my PC friend had done for me over the years and asked if it could kindly oblige me with the information I needed. Lo and behold it cranked into life again and is still in use two years later – slow as a snail but not ready to be retired yet!

People need your appreciation too. Say thank you for the services they offer. Smile at the car park attendant. Tell people what a wonderful job they do. You will notice that they will return your smile and open up to you. They mirror your mood and life will feel a lot brighter for them and you.

Appreciation is a quick way to lift your spirit and vibration. Choose to appreciate life itself and you will soon realise the benefits it will bring. Start by saying a lot more than thank you. Look into others’ eyes, hold their hands and show you really mean it. Be grateful for things you have already, for people you know and tell them how much you appreciate them. Appreciate yourself, your talents, skills, wealth or health, your kindness and generosity and truly express gratitude for them all.

Some people use prayer as a way of giving thanks. Others write journals observing what is good and great in their lives, writing it down to be reviewed at a later date.

Louise Hay suggests in her books that we express gratitude for the bills we receive. Bills? Yes that is right! Without the services we received from the people who appreciated us enough to offer them to us life would be a lot tougher – so pay the bills promptly and willingly and thank the people for offering their services.

Appreciation: when you are in the rhythm of this you will find that everything flows more easily, you can appreciate so much more. Open yourself up to appreciation and most of all appreciate all you are and all you offer, then others will acknowledge and appreciate you too.

Photo: by Carole Railton (copyright) "Appreciation is a quick way to lift your spirit and vibration".

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