Do you realize that you are swimming in a sea of blessings? Sure, you have problems but the truth is that there are many more things 'right' with your life than 'wrong' with it. The problem is that we take those blessings for granted and just don't notice – which is our loss. Appreciation is a habit that can enrich the lives of all of us.
In her excellent book, Ask and It Is Given, author Esther Hicks recommends a game called "Rampage of Appreciation". The dictionary indicates that appreciation and gratitude are synonyms, but they're not to me. Gratitude is more personal but we can appreciate an object, a person, an idea or a situation without relating it to ourselves and our lives.
How to Play The "Rampage of Appreciation" Game
Choose something in your environment that is pleasing to you. Notice why you think it's wonderful, beautiful or useful. Stay with your observations for a bit and your nice feelings about 'it' will increase.
An example: the first day I played, I noticed how useful a comb is. Yes, a lowly comb. It seems obvious that there should be teeth with space in between so that it can go through our hair, but how many things seem "obvious" in retrospect? Somebody, sometime, somewhere, invented the comb. We can be sure that our cave men and cave women ancestors didn't comb their hair. It must have looked awful!
I remember seeing a Chinese comb made of ivory in a museum and it was worth an incredible amount of money. Yet all of us can go to a common store like Walmart, Kmart or Walgreens and buy an entire package of combs for a very tiny amount of money. So an insignificant and taken-for-granted object like a comb is really pretty amazing when we stop and think about it.
I was talking about this game with my son and he mentioned how much he appreciated nail clippers. We considered how difficult it must have been to cut your fingernails in the past. I remember reading about a mountain man trimming his fingernails with a huge knife. One slip and … well, let's not go there. And while we're talking about nail clippers let's not forget the nail file or an emery board, other common objects that we never notice.
After you appreciate something, pay attention to your improved feeling, and be appreciative (there's that word again) of the way you feel. Then, once your good feeling is noticeably stronger than when you began, look around your environment and choose another pleasing object for your positive attention.
One important note: don't choose something that repulses you and work hard to feel appreciative of it. The point is to feel good and to notice how blessed you really are. The more you play this game, the lighter you will feel, the more fun you will have, and the more you will WANT to play.
Also, it will be easier to notice when your negativity creeps back in. Our entire world is focused on what's wrong (if you don't believe that, watch the nightly news this evening).
Once you start playing the game, you will want to play much more often. Right now, for instance, I'm appreciating several things:
* It's muggy outside, even though it's not that hot, so I just took the time to appreciate my trusty air conditioner.
* We've had an amazingly cool summer in Atlanta and since I don't like hot weather I'm very appreciative of
* It rained last night so I don't have to go outside and water my yard and plants.
* My cat is snoozing on a sofa very near my desk and he's fun to watch.
* My chair is padded and comfortable.
* I got a good night's sleep last night so I feel rested and alert.
Need more examples? This is from Ask and It Is Given which uses an example of standing in line at the post office – which of course is everybody's favorite thing, right? So here are some thoughts about the wait:
* This is a very nice building.
* It's great that they keep it so clean.
* I like how friendly that postal worker is.
* I appreciate the way that that mother is interacting with her child.
* That's a good-looking jacket.
* There's so much more parking here that the old post office.
* There are more counters here, and the line moves much faster than before.
* The big windows make this dream feel much brighter.
* My day is really going well.
What You Can Expect From The
Rampage of Appreciation Game
In the first paragraph, I stated that appreciation is a habit that can enrich the lives of all of us. You won't gain the benefits from reading this article. Yes, this can be a life-changing game for you. But don't take my word for it … try it for yourself and see. It is a sure path to bliss.