Unless you’re a total Law of Attraction newbie, you’ll have almost certainly heard a little something about the importance of Gratitude and Appreciation by now. When we appreciate something, we raise our vibration. And when we raise our vibration, we align ourselves with EVERYTHING we want (not just the thing we’re appreciating). It’s just that simple. Today, I’d like to explore how we can take the concept of appreciation a bit further and then challenge you to actually freaking do it. Because this here’s not some passive blog, people. If you want to change your life, you actually have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and get dirty. But don’t you worry; this will be fun and will make you feel better than you have in a long time.
Why is appreciation so good for us?
Why does saying “Thank You” raise our vibration? Well, when we appreciate something, we are focusing on all the aspects of it that feel good to us. We look for what we like about it, how it benefits us, how it uplifts us. Appreciation is actually a bit of a selfish maneuver (the good kind of selfish). Whenever we appreciate, we’re looking at something in a way that causes us to reflect more positively on ourselves and our own lives. It is an intensely personal experience. We think we’re focusing on something or someone else, but what we’re really doing finding a better feeling perspective on our own lives. Whenever we appreciate, we learn to love ourselves and our world a little more. Yeah, this is powerful stuff right here.
Perspectives are infectious
In my video on Gratitude vs. Appreciation, I split hairs a bit and argued that while both emotions are great, appreciating something is actually better for you than being grateful, since being grateful often implies that you’re somehow less powerful than the person or entity that you’re receiving from. It has a kind of a “Thank you sir, may I have another?” feel to it. Just to be clear, I’m quoting the musical Oliver here. If your mind went someplace else, that’s on you. Of course, now my mind went there too, but only because I was anticipating your dirty, dirty brain. And I’m well aware that by writing about it here, I’ve infected everyone who wouldn’t have taken this to the old slap and tickle territory, with Not Safe For Work thoughts. Do you see what you’ve done? This is all your fault, really. But that leads me to my real point: Just as I was able to infect your brain with dirty thoughts by merely insinuating that the quote I used could be seen in a dirty way (don’t even try to deny it. You went there), so can any other idea spread to others around us. Perspectives and the emotional response they invoke are infectious. But, while spreading the dirty mind virus to all who meet me sounds like fun, I had something else in mind today:
Who amongst us hasn’t, at one time or another, felt totally underappreciated, ignored and taken for granted? Which one of us could honestly argue that we get all the thanks we think we deserve? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Yeah, I thought not. But what if there was an appreciation virus we could infect others with, which would cause them to be more thankful and which would spread to everyone they met, and then to others whom those people met and so forth? Well, it turns out that we can and it’s a hell of a lot more fun than spreading the stomach flu. Also, there’s less explosive diarrhea.
Here’s how you manufacture the virus:
Step 1: Appreciate something
Yeah, I know, you were probably expecting this and right about now, I can feel you rolling your eyes at me. Of course a post about appreciation is going to tell you to appreciate. Duh. Only, I’ve got some news for you: If you were even slightly disappointed that I included being more thankful in these instructions, because you’ve tried it and it didn’t work and you want more advanced techniques, dammit!, then you’re doing it wrong. Appreciation, when done right, feels awesome. And it works – not only do you feel better pretty much instantly, but your reality will begin to become a lot more fun and positive. If that hasn’t happened for you in the past, it’s not because appreciation doesn’t work, it’s because your methodology was flawed. Probably because the instructions you received sucked. Definitely not because you were too busy rolling your eyes instead of focusing. Nah, it totally wasn’t that.
Let’s get back to it, only this time, we’re paying attention – Step 1: Appreciate something
Notice, I’m not being specific. You don’t have to take the thing you’re having the hardest time feeling good about and find a way to like it. This is what most people do when they do a gratitude exercise and it generally goes horribly, accidentally fed the Gremlins after midnight wrong. Choose something in your life that’s easy to appreciate. If you hate your job, don’t start with that. What’s your favorite sports team? Which actor do you think is hot? Who’s your favorite LOA blogger? It doesn’t matter what subject or person you choose, as long as you already feel good about it/them.
Step 2: Go deeper
Now that you’ve chosen a topic which you already appreciate, don’t just think about how much you like them. Think about why. Get a piece of paper and write down 10 things you truly appreciate about your subject. So, if you love a sports team, figure out why. This is where it gets a little tricky. Most people stay on the surface and never really reach the feeling of true appreciation. Follow this important tip to do it properly:
Remember how I explained that appreciation is an ultimately selfish and deeply personal concept? Well, it is and this is how that can help you: when making your list of aspects which you appreciate (why you like it so much), make sure that you are listing ways in which your chosen topic affects you, personally.
For example, “I appreciate [insert favorite sports team] because they are awesome”, isn’t going to get you very far. How does their awesomeness affect you? How does them being awesome change your life and your experience in any way? You have to go deeper. Make it more personal. Dig into the emotions.
“I love Barca (the Barcelona football/soccer team, whom I genuinely appreciate) because they give me and my friends an opportunity to get together in an atmosphere of camaraderie and celebration. I love them because they have heart and passion. When I see the players’ obvious joy and passion for what they do, it inspires me to go for it in my own life. Watching them play uplifts me and makes me happy. I don’t even care if they win or lose (although I love it when they win). It’s really more about the experience of the game for me. I love how when the team scores a goal, the entire bar rises to their feet in a cheer of celebration. I love the feeling of unity that comes over everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, we’re all enjoying this game together.
“You know, that brings up memories of an England/Portugal game I was at a few years ago. Everyone ‘knows’ that the English football fans are the worst. They drink too much, get riled up easily and don’t mind throwing a punch or twenty. The pub was packed wall to wall with lads from the UK, as well as a large number of Portuguese and Brazilian fans, proudly waving their flags. What transpired next was amazing. Portugal beat England. The Portuguese side went wild. Their joy was so immense that you couldn’t stay in your seat while watching them (not that we had seats). There was a moment of tension, as everyone waited to see what the hooligans from the North would do. They grabbed their pints, moved towards the cheering Portuguese, who in many cases were so much smaller than their English counterparts that they looked like children in comparison, and… congratulated them. There was much slapping of backs and hugging and good natured ribbing. Seeing such a stereotype being proven completely wrong, and watching these “rivals” embracing each other, smiling and laughing together and just appreciating the fact that it had been a spectacular game, warmed my heart. It’s one of my favorite memories. Godammit, I love football.”
Do you see what happened there? I personalized it. I dug down into the WHY. Why do I love football or the team? What is it about them and watching them play that makes me – personally – feel good? As soon as I connected with these positive feelings, a memory that matched their frequency (felt just like that) came up, allowing me to revisit and therefore re-experience a wonderful moment from my life. But, even though I was dealing with a memory, the feelings that generated were happening NOW. By the end of the experience, I was in deep appreciation for not just Barca, but all things football, in general. As I focused on true appreciation, it spread, it got bigger, it infected my own brain. And boy was it fun.
One more thing: If you find that you can’t generate any really positive feelings when you dig deeper, don’t panic. You’ve simply chosen a subject that you thought would be easy to appreciate, but which isn’t. You don’t feel as good about this thing as you thought you did. Just choose another topic, and remember: go for the obvious. If you love your mom, use her, even if it’s cliché.
Step 3: Express appreciation
If you didn’t take it any further at this point, you’d still have raised your vibration and be aligning yourself with loads of good stuff. But, if I know my audience (and I do. Y’all are ambitious little suckers), you’re going to want to take it even further. This is where you’re going to need to leave your comfort zone just a bit. Choose a person as your object of appreciation. Figure out what’s awesome about them and how that awesomeness has affected you, personally. Then, choose one or two of those items and *gasp*, go to them and share that information with them. That’s right, go to them, tell them how much you appreciate them and why.
Now again, don’t start with the hardest person you can think of. If you and your hubby are fighting, don’t make him your first target. Save that for when you’ve got a bit of practice under your belt. How about starting with the nice lady at the supermarket who’s always so friendly? Why not share with her how her smile always manages to uplift you, how much you look forward to your little exchange every week and how much that means to you? It’s really not that hard to have that conversation and no, she won’t think you’re a nut job. How many people do you think she smiles at every day? How many of them do you think benefit from that smile? And how often do you think that anyone ever actually tells her that? She may not be acting that nice so that she can be thanked, but I guarantee you that you’ll make her day. She won’t think you’re crazy. She’ll think you’re an angel.
When you express true appreciation, several things happen: First, you have to get clarity about what you appreciate. Second, you have to actually connect with the feeling of appreciation, changing your own energy for the better. Third, by expressing that appreciation, you focus on it even more. You amp up your own appreciation vibe, benefiting yourself even more. And, last but not least, you give someone else the opportunity to be infected with the appreciation virus, allowing it to spread further and further. It’s a true win-win.
Step 4: Rinse and Repeat
Don’t just look for big opportunities to appreciate. This isn’t about fixing relationships and manifesting stuff (although it will totally make that shit happen). This is about you feeling good and spreading the joy. It’s about living in a state of grace, being in the NOW, and finding your way back to Who You Really Are. Look for opportunities to appreciate AND express that appreciation. If the emotions you’re expressing are authentic and genuine, if you’re not doing it so you can get something back but simply because it feels good, you will never come off as cheesy or insincere. You will not only spread more joy than you can imagine, but you’ll have incredible experiences.
The first time you make someone cry tears of joy with a few simple words, you’ll begin to realize just how powerful you are. When you say, “I see you. I appreciate you”, you are giving someone an incredible gift. Gifts given in this manner benefit both the receiver and the giver (like a hug. You can’t give one without getting one back), so at the very same time, you are opening up the floodgates of wonderful feeling energy. When you make someone’s day, you often make your own as well.
So, here’s your challenge: Go out and express genuine, authentic appreciation to someone today. It can be a simple compliment to a stranger (“I LOVE your shoes!”), a heart-felt thank you to a store clerk or colleague (“Thank you for being so friendly. I’ve been having a really bad day and you just made me feel 1000% better”), or telling your guy why you adore him (“I love how your smile just makes me light up when I see it. I love how protective you are, it makes me feel really safe and taken care of. I love how smart and witty you are and how you challenge me.”). It doesn’t matter whom you pick, as long as you work your way into true appreciation before you share it.
One word of caution: Most people have never had anyone express their appreciation so openly before. There may well be tears. Be ok with that. Remember that tears are simply a sign of a release of resistance. If you make someone cry with your appreciation, you are witnessing their rather massive shift to a better feeling vibration. That’s not something to be uncomfortable about, it’s something to be proud of.
Also, this is going to feel really weird at first. I get that. Keep at it and you’ll find that you’ll get a lot more comfortable after just a short amount of time. As long as you stay authentic with your compliments, joy, passion and appreciation, this exercise will never lead to a negative outcome. In fact, do this regularly, and your life will quickly morph into something better than you could even imagine.
I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. So why not share your joy and infect us all with it?
BWAHAHAHA! Email response from the PT verbatim!
I really appreciate your comments.
I will do everything in my power to guide and support you to get you where you wish to be.
See you next Tuesday 12 noon..
First off, I stumbled upon your blog about 2 weeks ago and have been able to reach clarity on so many issues that I’d been working on for years and just needed that final push into crystal clear a-ha moments! Love all your stuff Melody!
Secondly, I did this appreciation game today. I’m training with a Personal Trainer to trim down and get fitter and I noticed from the get-go that he focuses 100% on the client he’s working on, he doesn’t let you rest too long and each half-hour leaves me dripping in sweat (rueing every last croissant). I have been appreciating this fact unconsciously. So after today’s session, I dropped him an email to say thank you for that kind of attention, drive and for giving me some really good food tips e.g. did you know that not all low-carb lifestyles are created equal? If you want to trim down, you want fish low-carb. If you want to bulk, you want meat low-carb. I would have thought I was quite well-versed in food matters and healthy eating and yet in all the last years of the low-carb food craze, nowhere did I come across anyone making this differentiation. It’s too soon to tell what the effect is but guess what? As a result of this tip from Keith the PT? I discovered that Sea Bream and Tilapia are MAGNIFICENT fish to eat and so irrespective of the weight loss effect, I added some new tasty ingredients to my repertoire.
And here’s the absotively-twerking-on-the-hallway-in-pure-joy moment: 10 minutes. 10 FREAKING MINUTES after sending that lovely email to Keith? I got:
1: Lunch invitation by a colleague from another company – she’s more of an acquaintance, rather than a friend. 10 mins later – she emailed to tell me her boss was picking up the tab and to book wherever we want. Another 5 mins later, we are going to one of those posh, eye-wateringly expensive Japanese restaurant in London for Sushi. I shall pause while you twerk-like-a-Miley-Cyrus-wannabe with me.
2. While randomly chasing some junk email in my Yahoo folder that had just popped up on my phone, I discovered that I had received an invite around 11:00am this morning to a press night for an opening show by a very well known Actor/Director and theatre group. I’m an actress so press nights are HUGE! Even though I know them, I haven’t seen them since December 2012! So ha!!
I chose a simple perspective – I chose for the next 30 days to concentrate only on feeling joy and happiness, however they may choose to come. Big or little, I am loving each and every one of them!
To the window…to the wall..to the sweat (that Sandra Bullock moment)
OK Mel u left yourself wide open here…
I appreciate your lovely name which makes me think of beautiful music
I appreciate so very much, all that you’ve taught me since I began following you
I appreciate your awesome humor that has me LOL!
I appreciate that you provide so much value, for free, truly my life has changed from this blog, and all for nothing from me 🙂
I appreciate that it is all archived for referring back to when I forget!
I appreciate my mum who put me onto you, and the great convos we have dissecting your latest wise tidbits
I appreciate the fellow readers here who also provide insights
I appreciate your fantastic pics
I appreciate the chance to purchase calls etc when I’m able
I appreciate that you take time to read all of our comments, and often interact
Big hugs 🙂
I’d like to add this – the appreciation for your blog, Melody ! Nay nailed it – to my post about appreciating the Law of Attraction. Yay, you rock Mel! 🙂
So I start with appreciating having found the loa of attraction itself ! It makes me feel like having discovered I have a great power within me, and it makes me feel safe and secure that will never again have to cry and dispair. Grateful that all the things in my life turned around since loa. Comforted like if i found my new best friend- one that I can always trust and always helps !
It’s the first thing to appreciate- the loa itself, and how it makes me feel.
I then appreciate in the same detailed way my home, my job, my friends, and you, Melody , for your amazing blog that i always turn to for advice.
Another amazing post! The process you’ve described has become a bit of a new habit for me and one that I love because it does feel awesome and helps me to raise my vibration! Thank YOU for being you!!!
I LOVE Melody Fletcher. She is just amazing. I have been so fortunate to stumble over her blog. I feel like her blog is a gold mine full of real nuggets and this is my treasure to keep so basically those of you reading this comment, I don’t really like that you are in here. I am a selfish person and I will not share Melody Fletcher with the world because Melody is too good to share. I cannot see people as beings of light, the way Melody does. Gosh, I try but no, I admit, I cannot. Like Melody has taught me, they probably mirror the crap inside of me and that’s why I align with their crappiest versions but why doesn’t Melody mirror the crap inside of me? Tell me WHY. Exactly. And that is why I love Melody from the bottom of my heart because I have never come across such a being. I don’t think she is real as in a real, live person. I really think she is not of this world and that one day, both she and her blog will vanish because both she and her blog are too good to be true. I am so selfish and so full of sh*t sometimes, but Melody doesn’t think so. Melody is like Haagen Dazs strawberry icecream for me. I never share that with anyone, not even a dying beggar. That’s how hateful I am sometimes and Melody says otherwise. That’s why, she basically surprises me. If I saw Melody in person, I would think I saw a ghost. I cannot imagine that such a person even exists. I don’t know if all this sounds a bit extreme or dramatic but that is how I honestly feel. I thank this amazing woman for making me think that even this crazy, weird, selfish me is full of light. Melody Fletcher to me is an incredible, ethereal being. I love, admire, respect and hold in very high regard Melody Fletcher. She has uplifted and helped me so much. I never thought I had any hope in my life. I was lost but now I feel so much more powerful. Melody just makes me feel like I can have anything and that I can do anything and that nothing is impossible. She makes me feel brighter, happier, lighter and more energized. Anything that comes from Melody is melody to my ears. 🙂 I feel like I was on a wheelchair and Melody touched me and I started to walk. I’m taking slow, baby steps, and I use crutches but hey, I can WALK. I can walk! I can walk! I can, walk! Thank you, Melody! Thank you for everything! I appreciate who you are and I LOVE you. You are just so easy to love and appreciate!
This post is so amazing! I had no idea there was such a big difference between gratitude and appreciation. I always thought they were kind of the same thing, but you cleared that up for me in the most down to earth way. I love your writing style! I can’t wait to get started with this today, especially writing it down. I usually have no problem telling anyone how much I appreciate them or even giving them a huge compliment about how great they are, or what nice things they’ve done, etc….. So that part won’t be a problem to continue to do. However I am very excited about writing down what I appreciate, but what’s going to make it fun this time is going deeper into detail with it as you have described. Thank you Melody and just to start off a day of appreciation I would like to say that I really appreciate your wonderful blog, amazing teachings, and witty and fun writing style you have. It always makes my day to see a post that resonates with me and speaks to my soul. ????
I have just moved out of a bad situation, because I met someone who truly cares about me, and I have expressed my appreciation to him, not only by telling him how much I appreciate him, but by doing things around the house and I know he appreciates me! I find myself giving complete strangers compliments, (admiring their dress, hair, etc) It is a great feeling!
I love the diff. between gratitude and appreciation. Yes, appreciation is much softer, easier to do, feels lighter, as gratitude does seem to carry a burden, a feeling of, you ought to be grateful, whereas appreciation is more a choice. I like it!
Also about the tears, my friend Alison thanked her doctor for all she has done for her when she told her there was no more they could do (she has chronic, long-term Crohn’s disease), and the doctor welled up and couldn’t stop crying, which totally surprised Alison and she felt bad then. But I guess doctors are under a lot of pressure and rarely get told they are appreciated under those circumstances! Wow, I love and appreciate Alison. x
thanks Melodie x I love the other comments on here too. x
Hi there Melody
When you said to choose something that you totally appreciate my first thought was you and this blog that you so generously share. So, having done the appreciation exercise, I want to say THANK YOU! You lift my spirits and you have helped me to change in wonderful, and often unexpected, ways. I am so grateful for the wisdom you share in such a humerous, no bullshit way. Thank you!
Melody, your happy, shiny puppyness always brightens my mood. Since finding your blog, my life has gotten so much more positive, so much easier, and so much more focused! Thank you!
I LOVE IT how you hit the nail on the head for me with every blog. (you peeking into my life?)
And I really DO appreciate your words and energy through your blog. You have made a massive difference in my life because you have inspired me to look at things with new eyes
Here – *throws a massive handful of sparkly blessings* catch this 😀 x
Do you think this can work with groups? Like a class full of students (what I appreciate about 2nd pd. etc)? I realize I’ve tried to do this individually subconsciously to good results with students but never in the way where it ‘caught’ like wildfire. I would love to use the LOA to improve my teaching and this post really resonates with that.
This is so great! I picked my website/business (food blogging). I started writing reasons why I appreciate it and I couldn’t stop, I’m so appreciative for the crazy awesome work I get to do and the opportunity to share my work with all the wonderful people who enjoy it. For Step 3, I couldn’t exactly tell my food blog how I feel, lol, but I Tweeted my appreciation to my readers and even that was so powerful. I love this process and I can’t wait to do it with more and more things in my life!
I can’t wait to do this!
A woman came into my workplace the other day and she put her phone on the counter top and it had the cutest little kitty cat case xD I told her it was too cute, and that I had a cat on my phone too, so I showed her my phone cat and we both ‘aww’d together about our phone cats xD!
True story ;P
Beautiful! I’m on it. 😉