It’s officially Day 2 of the Gratitude Project Blog Summit! Our first day went off without a hitch and we are one day closer to the main event for the Gratitude Project – find out all about it here!
To kick things off today, let me introduce you to Simon Duncan of the Inspired Life Portal. His site, http://theinspiredlifeportal.com/index.html acts as a way to help you to explore, discover and live your authentic self. Simon’s goal is to inspire you to live your truth, to listen to your heart and to act on it, and to do all of this himself. To this end, he wrote The Loving Life Program – a free 7 day course to help you to connect with the love that is ever present within, and to experience that in all areas of life. Find out more and sign up for The Loving Life Program here. You can also find Simon on Facebook and on Twitter.
Gratitude and Appreciation – Inseparable Partners?
By Simon Duncan
Is gratitude just about giving thanks and being grateful? Is an attitude of gratitude just that – an attitude? What else is there? I believe for gratitude to be truly sincere it must be heartfelt and combined with appreciation – whether or not it is expressed. Let me explain.
When you give thanks, the emphasis is on the giving. Giving out, giving from yourself to someone or something outside of you. And that giving is very important. It is an expression of feeling, an outpouring from your heart, an outward flow of one of the many forms of love. It is what your heart is designed to do. Express love.
Or at least half of what your heart does.
Your heart is your giver and your receiver of love. I’m not talking about romantic love here, though that is one aspect. I mean the love that connects us all and gives life to everything. Your and everyone’s heart has channels in and out through which love in all its forms flows. When your heart is fully open love flows in and out equally, smoothly, without barriers. But what happens if your outbound channels are open, but the inbound channels are restricted? Simple – the outbound channels restrict too, and the flow decreases.
So to give love out fully in the form of gratitude, you must be accepting the inflow of love too. Appreciation is that inbound flow of love. And so gratitude and appreciation go hand in hand.
Accepting the flow of love both in and out is crucial to your health and your well-being and is essential if you want to help others and to truly express your gratitude. When someone is kind or says something lovely to you, let it in. Don’t block it with a barrier of unworthiness. All that does is limit the depth of your gratitude when you try to reciprocate. When nature shines its beauty upon you (as it constantly does), drown yourself in it and allow that beauty to fill you with its love. When someone praises you, gives you a hug, or says ‘I love you’, open up and let it in.
The result of all that appreciation will be a natural opening of your gratitude channels and love will pour from you with a greater and deeper feeling than you have ever known. Nor does this need to be expressed in words (though don’t hold back). The flow of love as gratitude is the true sincerity. It’s less what you say, and more the love that you say it with.
So open your heart and allow gratitude and appreciation to light up your life and the lives of those around you.