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Appreciative Living

In 2008, the second book I read, after The Secret, was The Joy of Appreciative Living by Jacqueline Kelm. Written as a 28-day plan to learn the art of appreciation, Jacqueline broke it down to three simple steps: appreciating the present, imagining the ideal, and acting in alignment. These three simple steps, along with what I read in The Secret, opened up my mind to being more appreciative of the things I currently have in my life.

Everyone in the world seems to worry over so many things they forget to enjoy the things they have presently. For example, parents miss out on opportunities to spend time with their kids because they worry about having more money to spend on their children. They work overtime and they miss out on parties and game nights because they think their children will be happier with more toys or clothes. Children grow up quickly, and they lose out on insight during those opportunities parents had to spend time with them. Now, I’m not a parent, and this is only an example. However, my point is that people should appreciate what they have.

Say “thank you” every once in a while. You’d be surprised how much people don’t say that anymore. Also, take a moment to truly mean it. Find the emotion, the appreciation you felt for that act of kindness which made you want to say “thank you” in the first place, and actually sit with it for a second.

Every day, you should write down three things you appreciate having in your life. For each day, make sure it’s three new things. As you write them down, imagine them in your mind and sit with the appreciation you have for each gift. Then, say “thank you” after you’ve written it down and you have it pictured in your mind. Say it out loud, make it count. These gifts were bestowed upon you; let’s not be rude to the Universe.

I don’t have a job at this moment, but I have a career in writing. I have this project and many others to keep me busy. I have a supportive, loving boyfriend who will be there for me during the darkest days. Loving friends and family members who believe in me. A tiny baby cat who keeps me alert and on my toes. A warm, protective home. The ability to survive and make due. These are the things I appreciate every day.

What do you appreciate?

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