Appreciation, The Art of ThinkingSarah Cavanagh
Appreciation, The Art of Thinking
Today is a good day. A walk by the sea, the cold, fresh air, invigorating as I move, snug in my warm coat and stout shoes. The sun shines. I breathe deeply with good health. There are other people out and about and polite exchanges are made as we pass each other, feelings of empathy and understanding, a nod, a smile. Bound together briefly in our mutual ‘move more, feel better’ moment! I rest in the car afterwards, high on the cliffs, overlooking the crashing waves, my hot drink refreshing and comforting. All is well. Better than well.
Highlighting moments like this has come to be a regular feature in my life since I began my journey of meditation and self reflection many moons ago. I choose to deliberately and actively highlight them. For among the other moments that might feel stressful or too fast or too forceful, these ones are all about appreciation. Sometimes I write them down, as above, sometimes my highlighting comes in list form, sometimes just sitting and remembering. And often what I am remembering are small, habitual moments, nothing astonishing.
But all those years ago I decided to deliberately and actively appreciate my life every day. And now, reflecting on these ‘normal’ events recharges me. Thoughts of appreciation come little and often and like a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts that recharge my body with energy, these little moments restore my mind with energy.
There is a law of energy – whatever I feed, grows. What am I feeding in my thoughts? So many of our thoughts come from our reactions to the difficulties in our lives. The ‘wrong’ actions of others, the ‘mistakes’ I think I make, the ‘rejections’ of others, the ‘I am not good enough’ or the ‘I am better than them’. And yes,of course, they all need to be addressed in their own time. But how much time do I spend ‘growing’ these thoughts of complications, hurt and dis-empowerment,
Appreciation is about actively looking for and feeding thoughts about the good things in life. Whatever I feed, grows. And so I look at what I have instead of what I have not. I see, catch, reflect on … any moments I can during my day that I genuinely feel are lovely, funny, uplifting, poignant, significant. Even situations that are challenging, I can reflect on later as moments that helped me mature or let go.
Appreciating helps me to recharge and rebalance myself. Feeds generosity of spirit and a big heart. I capture these seemingly ordinary moments as simple, meaningful, rich, empowering. And so, in ordinary, every day moments, I grow simplicity, meaning, richness and empowerment.
If you want to learn more about Art of thinking and to train the mind to create and sustain positive thoughts, a recommended reading would be a little book – “The Art of Thinking”