Appreciation is a Drug?
Yep, sweet cakes, in the chemical factory of your brain and body appreciation and its kissing cousin gratitude are drugs. With them you can self-medicate to soothe both physical and emotional pain, rewire your brain for a more peaceful and joyful default mode, and grease the skids, so to speak, for the mother of all yummy, transformative feelings: Love.
Love as Potency
When I work with people to shift some sort of stuckness in their life, I almost always start with appreciation. Rarely Love. Why? Because appreciation, for most people, is very direct and clean, meaning that it’s easy to access, and there is usually little baggage that gets in the way. Love, on the other hand, are like warped mirrors in the funhouse of your belief system—everywhere you look for it, you find some sort of distortion, from the “love” of parents that was conditional on your behavior, to the “love” of your life who broke your heart, to the “love” of a god who threatened to burn you for eternity for pretty much anything, to the selfishness that is attributed to “loving” yourself. Love can be a gummy, mucky mess in your system. Yet, Love is the potency that when you can clean it up within you, align with the force of it around you, and use it to direct your life, will make you the unbeatable superstar that YOU are.
Let me define the kind of love I am talking about here first though. The Greeks had all sorts of segmentations for love—eros, or emotional or romantic love; logos, which has meanings from the logical argument to creation from spoken words or intention, or the harmonious creative principle of love; mania, or obsession; philos, or brotherly/sisterly love as well as deep friendships; storgy, or love between a person and a dependent of that person, like parental love; agape, or divine love, specifically the love of the lover without any need or return love from the lovee. In English we rely on the word Love to describe all this, as well as co-dependent love, tough love, puppy love, and all sort of other things that are really things other than love. No wonder Love gets all gummed up in your psyche!
Love in its pure form is very simply the creative harmony of the universe. This is the basis of all creation, all energy, all evolution, all of life. Here in Bizarro World, we get indoctrinated with a life based in competition, but competition is just a very small part of life. Yes, there is competition between sports teams and businesses, but the the level of cooperation that is needed within a team or a company in order to compete with another one requires vastly more energy, complexity, and harmony. Yes, there is competition between lions and prey, but competition within the body is cancer and disease; a body in harmony is in health.
When you align with the harmony within your own system and work with the harmony of your life and all life, as well as the harmony and flow of the universe, you can see how you become limitless and unstoppable. You become potency itself. This is Love. This is YOU.
Play of the Day
One of the best ways to fast track your connection with this kind of love is to appreciate your way toward it. Start with these:
1) Appreciate your body—how your heart beats without you having to think about it, how all your cells do their job, splitting and dying as to allow your whole system to regenerate, etc.
2) Appreciate the cycle of how things grow—trees and plants that take in what we breathe out and return oxygen to mammals, food that grows and nourishes you, etc.
3) Appreciate how food gets to your table—from the food growth cycle itself to the farmers that grow it, the places that process it, the trucks that deliver it, and the chain of technology and expertise that has made it all possible.
4) Appreciate all that has worked together to educate you–from those who developed writing and math, to all those who taught those before you to teach you what you know, as well as all the technology that has been developed to bring information to you, like computers and the internet and those who developed them and continue to create with them.
5) Look around and pick 5 thing that you really value, from your car to your career to your partner or whatever, and appreciate them and all that went in to making them what they are. Consider the harmony that it took to create the life that you have.
That is Love. Keep practicing it Sugar Pop, until reveling in it is your new default mode.