Got Self-Love & Appreciation?
I celebrated my 38th birthday in March earlier this year. My wife took me out for ice cream, and dared me to play a game, which ended up in a shocking discovery and months of inquiry.
Christi asked me: “What do you love and appreciate about yourself? Every answer will earn you the right to one spoonful. No answer, no ice cream.” I laughed; partly because of her very apparent anticipation, and partly because I thought it was goofy and too easy. After all, I was a veteran of gratitude-lists and ecstatic prayers!
I am ashamed to say that I could have filled a cup with my saliva by the time I came up with my first answer!
The second answer came a while later. Why was it so hard for me to come up with qualities that I loved and appreciated about myself!?
But this wasn’t all. I eventually did start to get the hang of it, and ended up with a list of items big enough to finish my ice cream ;-). I then decided to list the qualities I love and appreciate about Christi. Before I had uttered the first word, my consciousness had filled up with loving thoughts and feelings, and my body was tingling all over. I felt elevated and inspired. And from that state of connection, words poured out with such ease and grace. How come this didn’t happen for me?!
From this experience, I learned a few important things that I believe you, who is interested in your own growth and the well-being of the planet, will probably want to hear.
Self-appreciation is a path filled with benefits that serve all.
Seven benefits of self-appreciation.
1. Our tendency is to look for appreciation outside ourselves. This can cost us a lot of energy. It is not sustainable. When we find appreciation for ourselves, we are able to be in our beauty and power, and deliver our gifts to a world in need with greatest ease. We can focus on living our purpose.
2. We’ve all learnt growing up that self-love was connected with egotism, that it was shameful and wrong. This has supported the development of the human tendency for self-criticism. Self-appreciation is a great antidote for our inner critic, and I believe it can help people who suffer from mild depression.
3. It is easy to see other’s gifts, but it is harder to see our own gifts. Self-appreciation is an exercise of seeing ourselves. When we see ourselves we can more easily see where we fit in the world.
4. By appreciating our selves, we unconsciously give others permission to appreciate themselves too.
5. By seeing ourselves, we help others see our value, thus increasing our potential to deliver our gifts to the world and live prosperous lives.
6. The impact on our vibration and energy field is considerable. It helps us raise our vibration and attract to us experiences that are pleasant and fulfilling.
7. I become more of who I am. Rumi might see it as: as I appreciate myself, I am the lover and the beloved, and I am One.
So you think you’re ready to give yourself a round of appreciation?
Maybe you are… maybe not. Trust me when I say “It is easier said than done”!
So here are a few pointers on how to proceed.
1. Start by thinking of someone or something you love and appreciate – e.g. a pet, a family member,… (=> It is often easier to think of someone else when we set out to conjure the beneficial feelings of appreciation.)
2. Allow the feelings of love and appreciation for this person or thing bubble up in your experience and fill your space.
3. Turn these feelings toward yourself, and think of the qualities or strengths that you love about yourself.
4. Start every sentence with “I love and appreciate myself because…”
It is good if you can come up with a bunch of items, 15 at the minimum. It is even better if you are feeling the positive feelings that correspond to the quality of appreciation.
Start by practicing this every morning for the next week, and notice the impact on all your relationships and the way the world starts mirroring your value back to you! In the evening. take a moment and track the positive experiences of your day.
When you take one step toward Universe, Universe runs toward you with a thousand steps. Take this step of self-appreciation, and give Life a chance to shower you with blessings!