Praise & Appreciate

As you may know from most of the blog posts so far, I believe mindfulness is more than simply being in the moment, more than experiencing life from one minute to the next, and more than focusing on living life fully.  Mindfulness, in my opinion, also contains an element of positivity.  I feel bringing a positive attitude to your circumstances/ life/ relationships/ job/ day-to-day/ present moment will help you to not only experience, but enjoy your life more fully. 

my beautiful and thoughtful friend, Molly
taken in West Seneca, NY
March 2013

Along with positivity, I also believe that it is our responsibility to be as loving to one another as possible.  Sometimes this can be hard.  Sometimes it seems like your day couldn't get any worse.  How nice, in those times, would it be for someone you see on a regular basis to tell you how much you mean to him/ her?  Or thank you for your time/ energy/ service?  Or simply pause and smile at you?

We can get so caught up in whatever is going on in our own lives that sometimes we forget to praise and express our appreciation for those around us.  As mentioned in Everyday Gestures, this does not have to be extravagant, but today, I'd like to encourage you do show your appreciation in some way.  Imagine if everyone you came into contact with today was pleasant/ thoughtful/ appreciative.  How much better could that make your day?  And in turn how much better could you make someone else's day?  It's like a beautiful, vicious cycle.  So. Much. Appreciation.

Here are a few people you might already praise and appreciate, but might consider praising and appreciating more (or more sincerely and more regularly):

- your parents
- your children
- your significant other
- your best friend
- your other friends/ coworkers/ acquaintances
- your extended family

Here are a few people who make your day better, but sometimes you might be too busy to truly give them the attention they deserve:
(PS: For nearly all of these, remember to GET OFF THE PHONE! There are very few things more disrespectful to everyone around you than for you to be on the phone in a line.  Hanging up and putting it away is an easy way to show your consideration and appreciation.)

the person...
- making and/or checking out your morning coffee/ tea/ paper
- waving you through traffic when the light went out
- delivering your mail
- answering your call when you have a question about your bill/ payment/ service
- watching your children
- bagging your groceries
- helping at the front desk at your work or at an appointment
- assisting with your schedule
- accommodating your routine/ preference/ needs in a joint effort
- volunteering his/ her time to help you/ your family/ your organization
- addressing your inquiry in a store
- driving your taxi or towing your car
- responding to your emergency

Today's challenge: show the people you love that you love and appreciate them, how they treat you and value you, and how they contribute to your life in a positive and constructive way.  If you interact with someone, make sure that you conduct yourself with consideration and appreciation, even if they are not doing so.  Take a look at Compliments NOT About Appearance for some nice reminders.  It could truly be a terrible day for someone, no need to make it worse (for you and/ or for him/ her).

If someone does a nice job, tell them.  If someone makes your day better/ easier, let them know.  They won't know, if you don't say so.  If you make praise and appreciation part of your daily life and you are mindful of your interaction with everyone, the habit has the potential to make each day better for you and those around you.

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