I've just released my new book 'The Little Book of Appreciation' so understandably perhaps I have been writing a lot about appreciation. However, that doesn't come out of a pure drive for self-promotion! The work of appreciating the people we have relationships with has proved time and again to be one of the simplest, most profound practices in my life and work. It has improved my marriage, enhanced my working relationships and improved the effectiveness of my management, and in training numerous groups in both the 'hard corporate' and health and social care environments I have seen a relational 'warming and softening' which enables greater humanity and intimacy between people in very short spaces of time. For efficiency of relational improvement there is nothing I have found that works better.
More than that, however, I think it has the potential when applied in a subtly different way to transform our relationsip with the world around us. There is the potential that we can become more intimate with our day-to-day surroundings and through this visible face of spirit we walk through each moment, perhaps more intimate with the universe, with the divine - whatever you call it.
Whether what I've said above speaks to you or not, for any of you out there who are already master appreciators, if you've practiced a bunch appreciating your friends, loved, ones and co-workers and want another step, or even if you just want a slightly different way to welcome appreciation into your life here's another practice: Blanket Appreciation.
This is an adaptation of 'blanket blessing' which has been a practice of mine for many years inspired by some of the work of Serge Kahaili King who teaches a particular school of Hawai'ian Shamanism.
In Blanket Appreciation you bring your attention to just appreciating the bejeesus out of everything you come across - not just people, things too. In your mind, as you move through your life, this is an opportunity to more fully notice the world around you. Each person or thing you notice, you take a moment to appreciate.
Just as with appreciation, the more specific you can be about what quality of a person or thing you are appreciating the better: a building being strong and enduring, a yellow line down the side of the road keeping people safe, a flower adding a splash of colour and delicacy to the world. Whatever it is, you notice and appreciate its unique gifts.
In some ways, noticing and appreciating things that you otherwise wouldn't notice, those things that fade into the background, can be both the best challenge and the richest opportunity. It's an opportunity to transform your world into one filled with wonderful things and unique gifts. Who wouldn't want to live in a world so blessed? And all the while you are doing that you are refining your skills of appreciation, perfecting your practice, honing your habit...
Now go practice!
If you want to find out more about 'The Little Book of Appreciation' then when you sign up to be a member of this website and receive my newsletter you will get access to a members area which includes a mini-version of the book as a gift.
To buy a copy of 'The Little Book of Appreciation' follow this link, it's available now a 40% discount and free delivery until 10th April: http://www.lulu.com/shop/francis-briers/the-little-book-of-appreciation/paperback/product-21567213.html