I Appreciate You

I appreciate you!

Just in case you didn't know, now you do....
I appreciate having people to share my thoughts with. And I really appreciate the numerous emails I have gotten back from people encouraging me to continue sharing, or letting me know how what I have shared has made a difference for them. Stepping onto a path with more visibility, and talking about subjects that can be uncomfortable like sex and how we relate to each other, has felt vulnerable. But I have been met with more support than negativity, which is a relief. So I'm taking a moment to appreciate you.

Appreciation is a powerful energy. Taking a moment to recognize the value something holds for us, is a gift for the giver of appreciation, as well as the receiver. When you really drop into a feeling of appreciation for anything, watch what happens in your body... I get a warm tingling feeling in my chest, a smile finds its way to my lips, a wave of peace, and happiness comes over me. My whole mood shifts, if I let it. This was a huge change from what I was feeling earlier in the week when I was feeling overwhelmed and burdened by my to-do list. In that space I wasn't happy with anything. Mentally I knew I had plenty to be grateful for, but I was feeling tired, trapped, and unsatisfied with life. When I shared this with my mother, she told me I sounded like I was whining. And she reminded me that I was finally experiencing the things I've been saying I want, and if I still wasn't happy then the problem was me, and I needed to figure that out.  My mom is always good for not mincing words, which can sometimes sting. But she was right.

Complaining has the opposite affect of appreciation. It drains your energy instead of expanding it. When I complain, I get tight in my jaw and shoulders, and become easily irritable. Not so much fun. By jumping on the complaining train, we zap ourselves of vital life-force energy that is needed to keep up with all the demands of life.  And yet it is so much easier to complain than it is to appreciate. Somewhere along the way I think we even learn how to bond with each other over complaining. It's easy to complain, we all have ideas about the way things should be. And when they aren't to our liking complaining is the easiest thing to do. But how much does it help?  

Appreciating is harder than complaining because it asks something of you.  To appreciate we must see the miracles in life, the ways we are supported, loved, and taken care of. Appreciation asks us to see our world as abundant and benevolent. It means acknowledging that even the things we don't like are part of some intelligent plan for life to evolve.

Stepping away from complaint and into appreciation requires we make a choice, and then we must take action on that choice.

I begin with calling in a higher power. This can be your more enlightened self, ancestors, angels, Source, God. Whatever works for you…. I recognize a wisdom and intelligence beyond my present thinking. And then I surrender whatever emotions, opinions, or beliefs, that are creating my complaints to this higher power. 

Something like, 'Dear God, please take from me the insane thoughts, judgements, and feelings, that are keeping me separate and small'  and then I ask this power to 'show me how to see this differently'.

'This' being whatever I'm complaining about. Afterwards I spend a moment in stillness having gratitude that I know its all about to shift. And then I go about my day noticing my thoughts and sensations in my body. This process creates an opening. And an opening is all that is required for a shift to take place. For me that shift was into appreciation.  

Appreciation connects us with our divinity, and invites divinity forward in those around us. We could all use more of it! If you'd like to feel some of the magical benefits of appreciation, try on this little practice:

The next time you find yourself enjoying something... however briefly, pause and really savor it.  Appreciate every little detail you can about what's happening and how it feels. Actually notice what it feels like in your body, and then travel into those sensations, allow yourself to get lost in your appreciation. And when the moment ends smile to yourself and see how it affects the rest of your day. And if you feel bold, vocalize your appreciation to someone it will make a difference for.  And don't do it for them (though they will benefit).... Do it for you. Find the part of you that can't help but smile at the way this thing makes you feel. And offer your appreciation from there.   

If you are in the Los Angeles area, and would like to explore ways to get present to the divinity in you through Tantric practice, join us at Embody Tantra Practice Nights.

Tuesday June 24th from 7-9p in Santa Monica, CA
Open to Men & Women
No partner or experience necessary
safe environment, no nudity
All are welcome