Appreciation and Joy

We’ve spent a lot of time going over self-worth issues and activities.  Hopefully, we are all getting on board the Self-Worth Train!  There are other specific keys to joy and we will delve into those.  But it is significant to note, there needs to be a strong foundation of self-worth and ego awareness before doing other specific joyful exercises.  I have found that if I do things, such as, affirmations, positive thinking, or deliberate enjoyable activities without a good sense of self-worth and with ego in charge, these exercises don’t make a lasting difference.  We can think a thousand positive thoughts and do things we are truly interested in, but if we don’t think we are worthy, then those thoughts and activities will only bring fleeting joy, at best.

Keeping that in mind, let’s dig into some of the other keys to joy now.  An important premise behind these keys is that our thoughts affect our joy.  Thoughts affect our joy because thoughts have the power to create.  Everything that was created was a thought first – whether conscious or subconscious.  We have the ability to create joy because it’s not our situations that influence our joy, but our thoughts about our situations that influence our joy. (For more in-depth information on the creative power of our thoughts, read up on Abraham-Hicks, Louise Hay, or Marianne Williamson).

One of the best ways to utilize our thoughts to grow our joy is through appreciation.  This is not only what we are thankful for, but also, to appreciate means to be fully conscious of.  We are thankful, but we also are noticing and becoming aware of all the good around us.  So we might be thankful for a nice gift from a friend.  But this list would also include how we notice and appreciate a sunset, flower, or the fact that the friend was generous and considerate to give us a gift in the first place.  The list is virtually endless.  It can be anything from money and material possessions to family and friends to having ears to hear great music.  Nothing is off limits.  It can be anything that we value or that makes us feel good when we see or even just think about.

This list is especially good for when we are feeling down, stressed, or the like.  When we are feeling negative, it is difficult to get started, but once we do, the list takes off.  We deliberately take our focus off the stressor by redirecting our focus on what we’re grateful for and what we appreciate.  This makes us feel empowered because we see how we can deliberately make ourselves feel better.  We see how no “bad” situation can take away our freedom and ability to make ourselves feel better.  We control our joy.

Just as we want to make self-worth into a new habit, we want to do the same with appreciation.  So, making our lists – whether physically written down or just in our heads – is something we aim to do daily.  And then throughout the day, we read or think about items on our list and savor each thing or pick a few that really stand out and  milk them for all their worth!

The good feeling that gratitude and appreciation generate is reward in and of itself.  But when we are grateful and show our appreciation, the Universe gives us more to be grateful for and to appreciate.  It is an awesome process.  Try it out!

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