May 26
Appreciation is like an
insurance policy.  It has
to be renewed every
now and then.

Dave McIntyre


Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I simply get too distracted to be appreciative.  I may be very busy when someone does something that's helpful, and I may hardly notice it because my mind's on so many other things.  I may have a lot of worries about money or relationships or work, and they may keep me from feeling appreciation for many of the things I have, such as a place to live and heat in the winter and food on the table.  And I may be too deep in thought or conversation to fully appreciate the song of the bird in the woods when I'm out for a walk.

Technically, we obviously don't have to renew our appreciation.  But when we do, we're the ones who benefit, for then we constantly remind ourselves of the richness of life, of the gifts that are ours day after day.  The kind word or advice of a friend, the helpfulness of someone we know, the many gifts that we enjoy each day on this planet--they all mean more to us when we receive them in a spirit of appreciation, of gratefulness.

So how do we renew something like appreciation?  I suppose it's mostly a question of reminding ourselves just how special something is, and just how fortunate we are to be blessed by that specialness.  We can renew it by paying attention to the things that we appreciate, and noticing the little details that we miss so often when we merely give a passing glance or don't listen closely.  We can renew our appreciation by remembering how many others on this planet aren't blessed with the things that we have, and keeping in mind the fact that most of our blessings don't come as a result of any effort on our part.

If there's one thing that I don't want to lose, it's appreciation for those things that are good in my life.  Because there are a lot of other things that aren't so good, and the good things are the things that keep me going, that keep my hope up, that make me feel that the future can be brighter.  And if they can bring that hope to me, then I ought to appreciate them.

Questions to consider:

How do we reach a point at which we stop appreciating things?

How does appreciation make you feel as the one who appreciates?  As the recipient of the appreciation?

What kinds of things can you do to renew your appreciation?  Of which parts of your life do you need to renew it?

For further thought:

Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it's important
to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level.
We need to literally "count our blessings," give thanks for them, allow
ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.

Shakti Gawain


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