Why Appreciation? Posted on 17 Jul 10:10 , 1 comment

According to Webster’s dictionary, to appreciate is “to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of” and appreciation is “sensitive awareness”. Appreciation requires us to slow down, notice and feel. Imagine the different experiences of two people eating a meal. One is in a hurry and distracted, getting ready with the next bite before the current bite is even chewed. Like a sleepwalker awakening, they suddenly notice their plate is empty. Perhaps at the end of the meal they are still unsatisfied. The other diner takes the time to enjoy the visual presentation, the aroma, the textures and the tastes. Each bite is taken with a discernment that might be seen as reverent and sacred. Which diner do you think gets more value from their meal?

Our lives are busy, and our brains are naturally wired to make quick judgements and be on the lookout for the next new thing. Appreciation is one pleasurable way to engage the mind and heart in grasping “the nature, worth, quality, or significance of” the things that surround us every day. This morning, I awoke with my cheek on one of Twirl’s soft, Egyptian cotton pillow cases. I used my breath to draw me more deeply into appreciation, allowing a delicate inhalation to increase my “sensitive awareness” to the softness. What a beautiful way to start the day! I noticed the hem embroidered with “Love and Appreciation”. I allowed those words to inspire me and set the mood for my day.

Another definition of appreciate is “to increase the value of”. Each of us is unique in what appeals to our preferences and sensitivities. It is easy to notice what irritates us, but when we take time to notice what brings us joy and delight we can bring more value to each moment. I don’t know about you, but I have a strong preference for that!