Tag Archives: appreciation

Fertilize Your Life with Appreciation (& the New WOW)

Sometimes you can feel like you’re under a pile of doo-doo, but later you realize (with appreciation) that it’s just meant to fertilize your life.

The seed of your dream is in the ground, and it is sometimes a dark place, compounded by the compost of, well, poopy circumstances.

Can I use any more childlike words to describe #$it?

I know that those of you who read my posts are generally like-minded; we seek to GROW our lives, don’t we?

My recent attendance at an Abraham Hicks workshop gave me an AHA that turned into a recent Toastmasters speech that I plan to take to the International Competition. (Nothing like thinking big, right?)

Here it is in written form (which I need to pare down by about 500 words to make my time constraints!):

It was love at first sight.

I was 16 years old…and no, it wasn’t the captain of the football team.

It was a 1981 Chevy Camaro Berlinetta.

This story, however, is NOT about a car.

Still, let me paint a picture for you.

It was a second generation Camaro; the last with the rounded body style. Black leather bucket seats; a sun roof, silver pin-striping – I have no idea what engine type – but it didn’t matter…

…because it had air conditioning and an 8-track player…

It beckoned to me from the showroom floor.

Perhaps it was my mom’s way of honoring my dad’s memory – he was ALWAYS opposed to buying a used car.

Maybe it was the pleading look in my eye.

Whatever unseen miracle was at work, I drove that Berlinetta out of the showroom, certain it would

  • Solve all of my self-esteem issues,
  • Secure me a prom date and
  • Send my classmates into a jealous frenzy.

None of that happened, but what did happen was the minute I drove that car off of the lot, it depreciated by 11%. At the end of the first year, that percentage rose to 19%.

I learned the concept of DEPRECIATION.

Webster’s defines DEPRECIATE as to diminish in value over a period of time or to disparage or belittle. To DE-PRECIATE shrinks things.

Which got me thinking about APPRECIATION.

Could it be said that APPRECIATION grows things?

When I water and fertilize my flowers, they GROW. Saying “thank you” or complimenting a friend GROWS a relationship. When I make deposits into my savings, that account GROWS.

APPRECIATION is like a magical super-sizer.

Famed inspirational speaker and motivational coach Tony Robbins said it this way:

You’re enjoying the sunny Sarasota sunshine. (Or imagine that you are, dear Northerners!)

It brings a smile to your face.

You’re walking down main street and say to a passerby, “Isn’t it a beautiful day?”

They agree, smiling.

And your appreciation has made a beautiful day even better by the very act of appreciating it.

Appreciation GROWS things.

When I throw my Burger King wrapper in my garden bed, it chokes the roots.

If I don’t tend to the weeds or protect my plants from critters or pests, they fall prey.

My actions – or lack –  of appreciation can either SPEED or IMPEDE growth.

Appreciation is ACTIVE.

When I moved out on my own, my Camaro didn’t have the oil changed regularly.  (I hear you groaning.) It became a repository for fast food wrappers and dents and parking tickets from Glassboro State College. It eventually died on the highway.

Because of the way I DIDN’T take care of it, it had steadily diminished in value.

Had I appreciated it and cared for it, it might be a classic – the target of oohs and aahs at car shows.

And when it comes to matters of the heart and appreciation, I think of my marriage.

It started with roses and cards and praise…

…and ended in shouts and divisions of property and our very lives.

We stopped appreciating what we loved about each other and the marriage continued to shrink.

How do we DE-PRECIATE our lives? We:

  1. Nit pick
  2. Start complaining
  3. Focus on what’s wrong instead of what is right
  4. Let negative thoughts take up residence
  5. Poison our dreams by marinating on their impossibility

Has  anyone here been guilty of these?  Me too, so how do we FERTILIZE OUR LIVES? Through APPRECIATION.

  • Acknowledge what IS GOOD right now.
  • Praise progress – even baby steps.
  • Remember what obstacles you’ve surmounted.
  • Recall how far you’ve come.
  • And be good to YOU.

Yes, be nice to yourself.

Stop complaining about what you didn’t, should have or might have been or done.

The past is in your rear-view mirror. You’re not going there.

Regrets do NOT serve you or anyone else. Guilt is a non-productive emotion, and if you look ahead, the sun is shining – always, even behind the clouds.

I want my life to GROW.  I want MORE GOOD STUFF – and  I don’t want to take the blessings of life for granted until they de-preciate from view.

What do you love – who do you love, RIGHT NOW?

  • Fertilize
  • Compliment
  • Applaud
  • Praise
  • Even worship it (or them) with appreciation

AND WATCH YOUR LIFE GROW.

We had two less-than-sexy words this past two weeks, but I was inspired with a fun take on RESPONSIBILITY and TRUST.  Here it is, plus the new WOW:

It’s a mandate to go with the flow, my friends.

May that flow take you ever closer to the life you’ve imagined.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

 

 

Share This:

Therapeutic Writing on a Devastating Day

Every few months I treat myself to a little help collecting Shasta’s furballs and removing toothpaste splatters from the bathroom mirror.

It’s a splurge, but so helpful – and along the way, I met Ashley.

I don’t know her last name; she’s in my phone as “Ashley Cleaner” and I found her on Thumbtack.com when I moved to Florida. Her ratings were high, her prices were low and from the minute I met her, I liked her.

A twenty-something with the kind of natural beauty that doesn’t require makeup, she was here the day before we moved in to get us ready for the arrival of boxes and furniture.   Sweet and kind (and boy, did she get that stainless steel to shine!)

As the months went on and my house became more of a home, we’d chat about life – and mostly, she talked about her little girl. We trusted Ashley and felt comfortable giving her free reign of the house, knowing she was a good person and would do right by us.

She was scheduled to come on Friday morning at 8:30 AM.  When 9:00 came and went, I called. Her little girl was under the weather; she had tried to contact me…and asked if she could reschedule for the following week.

No problem! Hey, the important thing was being there for her little girl. We set a date for Monday (it is Monday as I write this) and went about our respective weekends.

When 8:30 became 9:30 today, I texted her, “Hey, are you coming?”

What I received back has left me numb yet brokenhearted; stunned and heartsick. Her mother texted me back: “Ashley was killed by a drunk driver this weekend…”

Her little girl was still under the weather, or she would likely have been in the car with her. The kids were home with dad while Ashley went out to the grocery store. And she never made it home.

A lovely life, snuffed out because someone felt invincible after some cocktails. A little girl, left to grow up without her Mommy…and a Dad, left to raise babies while dealing with his own devastating grief.

Life is precious. Life is precious. Life is precious.

Our tomorrows are not promised.

On Sunday after Duane and I went to our favorite diner, we stopped to pick up ink cartridges at Staples. The light turned green and, thankfully, Duane looked left before putting his foot on the gas. A car careened through the red light; had he not looked, it would surely have been the end of us.

My heart pounded out of my chest. Close calls are frightening…but the text I received today was even more jolting.

Hug your babies; kiss your husband; call your best friend; snuggle with your pet. Look both ways. Don’t drink and drive. Say “I love you.”

I resolve, yet again, not to sweat the small stuff.  I have breath, I have life , I have love to give and receive – THAT is what matters.

Thank you for listening; it has helped me to write this.

When I find out any more details, I will pass them along to you in the hope that there is some small way to help this grieving family.

Much love,

Brenda

Share This: