Tag Archives: appreciation

Appreciation And Manifestation

wild flowers already blooming ~ the blue anemoneI have been practicing my appreciation and gratitude, and I’ve noticed that when things are darkest, that’s when we can really mine these attitudes and make them our backbone through future misfortunes. I’ve also noticed that sometimes I appreciate things before they happen, and just through the act of expressing thankfulness, that thing manifests in my life. Take for instance, my cat, Shakespeare.

Shakespeare is a sissy cat (don’t let him hear me say that), but he is adorable and ever loving. He does have a hunter instinct, but he doesn’t have much to hunt in the house. So, I was appreciating Shakespeare one day in my gratitude journal and how we have no mice in the house because of him. I figured that just his presence scared them away. Well, a day later, Shakespeare caught a mouse and laid it out all dead in front of bathroom door, where I couldn’t possibly miss it because that’s the first place I go in the morning. So, while I was appreciating the fact that we have no mice because of the presence of my cat, right after that Shakespeare caught one and killed it! So, apparently we did have a mouse in the house (although a rather skinny one, thank god!) and maybe my appreciation helped him to manifest the kill! So, now Shakespeare’s nick name is “mighty hunter”!

That’s not the only thing that has turned out a bit conspicuously “coincidental” between my appreciation journal and my reality. At times, my work has slowed and I began to appreciate the fact that I am self-employed and not a laid off employee. That while my work might slow down, it won’t ever go away completely. So, I was expressing my appreciation for the work that did come in, during one of the slow periods, and for the ability to work at home and a day later, I got a huge order for work. Coincidence?

I see more and more of this dynamic as if appreciation is the oil that powers the engine of manifestation. It can be something very small or big, but eventually as I read back on my appreciation journal, I begin to see more and more that the things I appreciated before became heightened in my awareness and manifested more clarity and solidity in my reality. So, I am continuing to write in my appreciation journal and it has been a very fascinating experience!

For all those in New Orleans, my heart goes out to you on Gustav. You are all in my thoughts and prayers these last few days…

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My Appreciation And Gratitude Experiment

Giant spider strikes again!I guess I’ve been doing the gratitude journal a few days now, and I have some interesting things to report. I’m beginning to think I’ve stumbled on the key to the universe.

Noticing A Change In Taste

A very peculiar thing happened while I was fixing my food recently. I have a very picky diet because I love good food. I am always grateful for having food to eat, but I have a preference for really high quality meals, partly because I am a very good cook. It’s hard to appreciate food that you know you could have cooked better. But, due to the hit on my pocketbook recently with the real estate issue, I have been attempting to reduce my food budget so that I can make up some of the shortfall. So, I am buying things I don’t normally buy to eat. I bought some potato salad recently and shared it with some friends in a meal of fried chicken, cole slaw and potato salad. It was truly awful. I mean, awful because it was all store bought food that tasted like it too. Store bought potato salad – yuck! I remember eating it and thinking:”Gosh, I hope I’m the only one who thinks this is awful.” But, I was grateful that my friends had come over to help me with some hornets in the lawn and I had bought this food in appreciation for their work and friendship. One of my friends did say that next time I had to cook (so I think it was pretty bad overall), but it’s hard to tell when you are spoiled on your own cooking what is truly awful and what is just plain ordinary.

Today, I decided to have some more of that potato salad and appreciate it in my newfound experiment to appreciate all the awful things in my life. It was very strange because today the potato salad tasted really good! I was like:”What?! How come today it tastes good?” I half suspect it was due to my insistence on appreciating it before I ate it.

The Spider Surprise

Oh, yes, I hate surprises – almost as bad as I hate spiders. I used to be quite phobic of spiders until I had a dream that suggested I had died of numerous spider bites in a past life. Since then, I am no longer phobic, and I even took the trouble to learn to appreciate spiders for all the good they do. But, they are not my favorite creatures, regardless. So, I am taking a bath this morning and concentrating on the water droplets on the stopper and the pattern of the water to deepen my appreciation of What Is and then I notice this big black thing that has suddenly appeared in the water. I reach over for some spectacles and when I put them on I had quite a shock. There was a big, black, spider right between my toes wriggling in the water! I got out of there fast and then realized I was hugely relieved not to have been bitten. It even looked like a black widow, one of only two poisonous spiders in North Carolina. Boy, was I GRATEFUL that spider had landed in the water instead of on me!

So, are bad and awful things still happening? You bet. The only difference is I am perceiving them a bit differently now and maybe that’s all that’s necessary to shift our reality.

Starting a gratitude journal?

Self-Appreciation..!This year has really been AWFUL. There is no other way to put it. So, I think now is the right time to start a gratitude journal or I am at risk of becoming the world’s grumpiest spiritual person. You know, I was thinking back to the days when I was very involved in fundamental Christianity and these types of years just didn’t happen. It could be because the economy was better, I wasn’t a single parent, I had family around me, and I was involved in my church and religious beliefs. But, the more I think about it, I think there is one thing in Christianity that really helps people who are dealing with very sour years: their belief that God is testing them and so all their trials will make them better people. I know it sounds weird, but how can you look at things in a bad light when God is the one sending them to you?

The Christian View Of Trials

I actually read a very good book, in the Christian vein, that exemplifies this teaching, which is enormously important. It is called: “Turning Your Stess Into Strength” by Robert H. Schuler. He talks about how very devoted Christians had terrible things happen to them (far worse that what I am experiencing this year) and they managed to turn these awful things into a very strong faith in God. It didn’t solve any of their problems, it just made them cultivate the inner quality of strength in difficult times. I could use some of that right about now.

Some people may bristle at the fact that I actually encourage fundamental Christian beliefs – if they work for you and they are not producing animosity through intolerance in your life. This is the tradition I grew up in, and I have to say it is a highly spiritual path. I know that we eventually outgrow many of the teachings, but the core beliefs are very helpful to furthering a deeper connection with Spirit. Some people who find devotion in Buddhism may want to say that this is “the right way” and the others are not. It really depends on what works for you, I think. We’re all such different people. Personally, Christianity always worked for me, and I still go back to it when I feel I need some more instruction on core spiritual methods that work for me. I find that having this background doesn’t keep me from appreciating other spiritual traditions too.

How Can I Take A Christian Teaching And Use It Now?

The problem I have with the Christian teaching now, of course, is that I don’t believe that God sends us trials. That’s a pretty big obstacle to me if I want to now give Him the credit or the blame for the entire situation. I believe we create our own reality through our Inner Divinity, some people call it the Christ Presence Within, and others like Buddhists would refer to it as “basic goodness.” It’s still the same thing, I think, just different names. My view is that we are not separate from God, therefore there is no outside Presence forcing anything on us. We create it, for better or for worse, it’s all Ours. At any rate, if God doesn’t get the blame or the credit, that teaching of giving God the glory in times of stress to deepen your faith in God kind of falls flat. Oops. And, if I create it, I could assign myself blame, but that’s always proven to be a good way to create more trash in my life.

So, I do know one thing: We use our beliefs to create our reality. If I can go back to believing that Christian ideal of God sending us trials, I’d have it made. My life would be better, no doubt about it – which is why I say use what works best for you, even if it is a fundamental Christian belief. It’s just a belief, it doesn’t make the concept so, but it will be reflected in your outer reality regardless. So, why not? My issue is that I have to revamp my entire reality to fit that belief in now, unless I can get at the core teaching. It sure took me a long time to figure it out.

My Gratitude Journal

What happens when we believe that God sends us trials because he is trying to strengthen our faith or use us in His great plan? We start to focus on trying to appreciate these trials instead of fighting them. We stop blaming God or ourselves and we start to look for the positive in the situation. In fact, you will hear Christians suggest that they feel blessed to be of “use” to God in the manner of suffering. I had a little bit of dilemma with Victor Frankl’s position that man must have meaning in their life and one of the three ways to get it is suffering. Actually, I don’t think it’s meaning nor suffering that ends up finally motivating someone to continue and create a better life, I think it’s actually appreciation. That’s the core teaching under all that. Learning to appreciate things for what they are is how one can keep from creating more obstacles, especially when your energy shows tremendous force in this area, like mine.

So, what do I have to lose? I started a gratitude journal and I am seeing there are many things to appreciate in my current situation. Are you having a difficult year? Add your appreciation for something simple in this time period to help you shift out of those energies. I’ll start:
I’m grateful that I can share with so many different people on the Internet.

I’m grateful for the cup of Earl Grey Cream tea I had this morning.

I’m grateful that I have friends who care.
Your turn…