How to Cultivate a Positive Attitude and the benefits for body, mind, soul and relationships
- the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
synonyms: gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciation, respect, recognition, hat tip
- a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
- medieval forerunner of chemistry, concerned with the transmutation of matter, in particular with attempts to convert base metals into gold or find a universal elixir.
A Tool for Living YOUR Personal Alchemy
I have been practicing the conscious art of appreciation for over 15 years now – and the positive impact this has on my quality of life, living, work and relationships continues to leave me in Awe (and with more gratitude!) It has allowed me to be fully myself and to appreciate (and have compassion for) the way I, the world and others show up in our perfect imperfection and “flawless” flawed living and loving. It has lead to me having radical relationships, deep connections, professional and personal “success”, magical moments and truly enjoying the privilege of being alive. The result is living my own personal alchemy (aka: my life and unique story) with joy (and limited shame storms) from moment to moment as I celebrate EVERYTHING! A hand open and outstretched is a symbol of not only giving, but also receiving appreciation. This can be a struggle – to accept our own self-worth and honour that in another. AND, it’s SO WORTH it!
It takes is a shift in awareness and tweaking of your attitude to look for what is GOOD and not “bad” according to your list of “how things should be”. It’s all about selective attention and where you place your focus. When you start looking for what is working and what you honour and appreciate, you will find that your life becomes full of meaningful moments and relationships that keep you inspired, energised and ultimately, happy (Which is what every human being on the planet desires ultimately). It is near impossible to stay in the funk of Victimhood (why me, Life is not on my side, everything is going wrong) when you choose to NOTICE and make a conscious choice to change your wiring and current reality. NOTHING will change unless you do – and you have the choice and power within to change how you move with and through life. So, what do you want the experience of your personal alchemy to FEEL like?
Now create that experience by noticing all the opportunities available to you to feel exactly how you want to feel!
The Art of Appreciation: The How
CREATE and ACTIVATE – choose your chemicals!
Notice the extra-ordinary in the ordinary. Start to actively seek out and notice the multitude of moments that are available to you every day that are gifts. For example, the mere fact that you woke up and have been allocated another day to live, feel pleasure, pain, create and watch the sunset! We take for granted daily occurrences (hot water in the shower, someone complementing us, getting to work safely)…there are an infinite number of daily “ordinary” gifts that prove that you are supported and that Life and others are doing their bit to enrich your life and existence! By activating your awareness, you do your bit to support and resource yourself with the juiciness that life has to offer. If you can’t notice any, then call up a memory of a person or event for which you are grateful.
PLUG IN and INFUSE – feel the chemistry!
Having a cognitive thought of, “I am lucky to have got my dream job” or “I appreciate the fact that I have a roof over my head” is just paying lip service. Yes, the first step is to start NOTICING (and high five that you have activated your awareness). However, if you are saying or thinking that whilst being busy with a list of things to do, or the sensation in your body and heart is pretty vanilla and “blergh” then it doesn’t impact your reality. (Or your biology and wiring which impacts how you experience life) You need to “plug in” to it and INFUSE it with attention and FEELING! How do you sense it and make it part of your reality and experience? By turning towards the moment of gratitude and making an effort to feel and experience the sensation of gratitude. That is how we learn and change, through “experience-based” neuroplasticity. So notice it and then nourish and infuse it by being with the feeling and getting your mind and body to connect the thought (cognitive awareness) to the experience as a sensation in your body.
AMPLIFY and ASSIMILATE – make it part of your chemistry!
We learn through practice and repetition. You have approximately 75 trillion cells that are instantly sent hormones that carry the vibration of what you are experiencing. So send those chemicals to all those cells with the intention to soak it all up and get your neurons firing in a new, positive way. Be with the sensation of YAY for at least 20 seconds so that your body has time to assimilate and amplify the experience – to help this new practiced awareness become a way of being and doing.
A Practice of Gratitude and its Impact:
I recently got married to my soul mate. (YAY!) And for our guests, we decided that we would gift them (everyone of the 100 that attended) with a personal, handwritten note that described what they meant to us personally, the way they have impacted on our lives and what we appreciate about them. There were 3 clear benefits:
- Love What Matters: Taking the time to write each letter and focus on appreciating the person ignited a whole lot of memories, resulting in a visceral experience of the emotions those memories held, as well as such a sense of thankfulness that I thought my heart might burst. (Often we are so busy and distracted with what is happening around us, we forget how magical and rich our lives are). #LoveWhatMatters
- Exponential Joy: The insane appreciation we then received in return, by this seemingly small gesture from each guest, the emotions and sharing and connection that ensued, was absolutely priceless. We had written the letters due to our desire to express gratitude – with no expectation of receiving anything in return. And by expressing our appreciation for how they had touched our lives and made us feel (and how we see and experience them), we were showered with love and a deepening of joy. #RadicalRelationships #MakeTheTime
- Magical moments: By surrounding ourselves with people who also find magical ways to express their love and appreciation,they gifted us with a surprise wedding blessing dance. They had spent hours choreographing it and practicing it – what a completely surreal, magical moment in time. #GratitudeIsContageous #WorthThe Effort
So I challenge you!
We all need to be seen, loved, heard and appreciated. And we often forget how others experience us and that just by showing up as we are, we impact and inspire others.
Write someone you love a handwritten letter.
I am not talking about ego stroking or insincere brown-nosing. I am talking about 100 % real communication with no expectation of anything in return.
Don’t overthink it. Just call the person you are writing to up in your awareness and run their “sense” through your body and heart. And then write. This is a gift to you and them. There is no way you can share appreciation and not be affected positively by it. And it is contagious. It will affect your reality and theirs, and how you interact and dance with life!
Benefits for Body, Mind and Soul: Research and Opinion
For 7 benefits of having a positive attitude, read here.
For health benefits, read here.