Monday, April 5, 2010

Appreciating contrast

I did promise to keep you posted on my documenting of things I find to appreciate in everyday life. When I contemplated my promise, I found out that in theory, I could sit for days and write pages up and down of things to appreciate and why to appreciate them.
A few of the things I´ve found to enjoy today are the smell of ocean, as I took a short trip down to the ocean with my girls today. I live about 30-40 minute drive from the ocean, so I’m not there that often in the winter time. It was both delicious for the eyes and the nose, and for the whole of my being to get out there today.

To hear the birds singing and welcoming spring, feeling the sun warm my face, knowing I still have a day off, smelling the forest waking up from its winter sleep. Even smallest things like the flower in my windowsill have been my excuses to feel good.

Remembering how life was back in the days, when life was hard and I was cranky and tired and too busy to enjoy just being alive, I realized that it might be wise to give those of you reading, that have not practiced this before, an example of how you can find something to appreciate in everything. And yes I truly mean EVERYTHING.

Of course it is sometimes extremely challenging, and you may need to give yourself some slack and wait till the storm blows over before contemplating what positive aspects you can draw from the situation.
My example for you is the weather, and I got inspired to make a short list, for the fun of it. The reason why I picked the weather is that it just is and doesn’t involve people that might happen to be in your face, and could disturb your feeling of appreciation.
• Sunshine is the obvious one for many people especially for those of us living far north of Equator. It is life giving, warming, helps to melt snow and boosts the humor. In addition we need sunshine in order for our bodies to make full use of the healthy food we eat and exploit vitamin D.
• Windstill is often very pleasant as it gives its own kind of peace to nature. No unpleasant smells from factories or farms will blow your way, and usually you will hear nature clearer.
• Wind brings you a breath of fresh air! Storm can even help you feel more in sync with nature, and more alive. It also helps produce electricity that is clean and doesn’t pollute the air!
• Rain will clear the air and wash away dust and sand, even dirt. It also, of course, nurtures both plants and animals. And where we utilize waterfalls to produce energy, it can also mean cheaper electricity in near future.
• Overclouded weather will give a stable temperature, both during the day, and at night. Where I live it can make the difference between frosts or not at night, especially in the springtime and in the autumn.
• Clear skies at night may reveal both the moon and the stars, giving you a perfect opportunity to contemplate the endlessness of the universe and your possibilities.

Of course this list is only just me scraping in the surface! The whole idea is for you to make your own list, or at least to contemplate and consider what good and delicious things you can find on your own. They may very well be pinpointed and narrowed down to details, if you wish!
Now it’s your turn to play! Have fun with it, and remember you cannot get it wrong!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Have you ever contemplated the subtle difference between love and appreciation? As I touched on in my last post here, I started contemplating that after listening to Angela Gower-Johnson share her insight on the subject. I suppose it really isn’t anything new, to know that appreciation is a good thing, but I still wanted to share some words with you around the subject.
Most people, at least from my generation and older have been taught that we are supposed to be thankful for what we are given, and to show appreciation and thankfulness at least towards the giver. Many of us were raced by parents who tried to manipulate us to do things we really didn’t want to, by telling us that we were so much more fortunate than others. For instance: “eat up you meal! (Even if you’re full) Think of the hungry children in Africa, who have nothing to eat!” Well excuse me, but that reasoning makes no sense, and that’s probably why it didn’t help feed the hungry either. I was already full, and ate up to stop the nagging, and learned to eat with bad conscience. Of course it is horrible to see pictures of people suffering. But me feeling bad because I am fortunate serves no one. It took more than 30 years to figure that one out. Eh, well… I wasn’t contemplating it the entire time, but now I finally get why those “threats” felt so off. I know my mother meant just well, and being brought up during WW2, and in great poverty, she had come to the conclusion that throwing away food was not an option.

So, back to the core; Appreciation.
I have found out that it is quite easy to feel appreciation for something, even if it is just a small thing. It’s easiest to find many things when you are feeling somewhere between contempt and happy. With practice you’ll be able to do it, even when you are not really in a good mood. On the other hand, I find it very challenging to love anyone or anything if I am cranky. And the more one practices the easier it gets.
Abraham and many other spiritual teachers / guides / coaches also talk about the importance of appreciation. I’ve taught my kids simple practices, like writing down 10 positive things about themselves and their siblings. It is hard at first, especially for older kids but my kids loved the outcome. And they were amazed at how warmly their siblings thought of them, and that the others really saw strength where they didn’t see them themselves.
Just sitting in peace somewhere, breathing deeply and really considering what things around you you’re glad you have. It may be your chair, your clothing, the room you’re sitting in, the fact it is quiet, a beautiful piece of art, a loved one, the air you breath in, your body, mind, or whatever you can think of.
So why would you, or I or anyone take time to stop for a few seconds or minutes every now and then to appreciate the obvious things in life, that “everyone” has, or at least could have if they wanted them? It is NOT to feed the hungry or to make you feel guilty. It is so that you can feel good in the moment, and for no other reason!
Law of Attraction states: The more you feel something (any feeling you can think of), the more you get of what you´re feeling. So what could be better than finding a lot of reason to be appreciative and feel good? In my understanding that can only lead to feeling good, and thereby attracting more things to be appreciative about and to feel good about.
The more you do this practice the more things you find to appreciate! It’s quite magical.
More often times than not, I don’t write down what I appreciate, even though many teachers do recommend it. The reason why I have rarely done it is that I may find things when I’m doing other things like driving, making dinner, talking to someone and so on and so forth.
Having said that, I’ve now decided to start documenting some of the things I find during the day, so that I can remind myself of them whenever I want to. Documenting these things may also help others to find their little things in life to enjoy from a whole new perspective, because I plan on sharing them, either here, or on Facebook, or maybe both.
Now it‘s your turn my friend, to look around, focus and figure out what you appreciate. Feel free to shere with me!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Have you ever heard a spiritual teacher say that all is really ONE, that we are all one with everything and everyone? And that it so important to love everyone and everyting in order to live a whole and full life?
Well I’ve heard that a lot, wondering how on earth is that possible? I have even thought with all these stupid ignorant people, that are destructive and annoying it is impossible to feel love for everyone. And all those people that have hurt your feelings or your body in any way! Seeing things from that perspective it sure makes sense to believe in heaven and hell, and to hang on to a revengeful god and hope that karma or the justice system will one day pay them back as deserved. You might even have taken matters into your own hands and done something revengeful to another.

It has taken me many years, but I’ve finally found a place within myself where I’m able to really let go of those thoughts.

I want you to know that I too have been in a place in my life, where I blamed others for all things going wrong in my life. For a period early in my adult life, I blamed my parents for my unhappiness, later I blamed my (now ex) husband, I have blamed my siblings, coworkers, friends, strangers , the government and even my children for my own unhappiness.

So how does one go from there to this bliss of love for everything?

I think the answer to that is different for everyone. I’ve read a lot of different theories on how spiritual teachers, coaches and gurus have made that transition, and the common nominator is that they all found their own way. Some have used meditation, others prayer or they have perhaps had visions or experiences with the fourth dimension that has inspired them.
For me it has been, and still is a process and a work in progress. Through some tough times I have figured out that it all comes down to choice. We may not always feel we choose what happens to us and with us, but we do always have the free will to choose how we deal with it. That goes for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in your life. However, having lived many years or even decades of blaming, or experiencing lack of control over your destiny, it takes time to change the pattern of thoughts that brought you where you are emotionally.

I don’t intend to tell you how to live your life, or what to do to experience love for everything, but I can provide you with some of the things that helped me on my path. I don’t feel that love all the time, and in fact I don’t know of anyone that is walking this earth that feels like that all the time!
Some of what I’ve learned has been through other teachers and some has dawned upon me long after hearing or reading about it.
So here is a list of some of the things that have dawned upon me:
• You are where you are in life, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t expect quantum leaps or blame yourself for where you are. Going from feeling “off” to feeling wonderful is a process through all the emotions in between. Remember that there is nothing wrong with being angry or sad, you just don’t want to stay there too long.

• Often we have routines of thought that make us feel miserable, without us even realizing it. Start listening to what you say to yourself and you will be able to stop yourself before you lose control.

• Listening to negativity never makes us feel good. How about turning off the TV, ignoring discussions on what is wrong with everything and instead listening to music that makes you feel good? You will also find that people in general rather want to be positive, so by making positive remarks, you can help others as well as yourself turning negative discussions around.

• What you have experienced makes you unique and valuable to the world. It is your own uniqueness that is your biggest asset. Sometimes we need “bad” experiences to help us see something really important.

• Holding a grudge for another only makes YOU miserable. Just read the sentence word for word… why would you want to hold something negative FOR someone. They are capable of holding that stuff themselves, it’s not your responsibility. If you are able to see that, and chose to let go of negative emotions towards others, you are taking a big step towards controlling your experiences.

• Try focusing on the positive in everyone and everything. Often times it is too big of a challenge to do that when things are in your face, so to speak. Start with something easy, like your lover, your child, your pet or even your bed. After a while you will find that you are able to enjoy things you thought you hated, like washing the toilet or picking up trash from your driveway.

• It is of great value that we all are as different as we are. Just imagine what the world would be like if no one wanted to produce food, build houses or pick up the garbage! Isn’t it really wonderful that someone wants to serve the world by doing all the stuff you don’t want to do?

To me it was too big of a challenge to start loving everyone so I had to go through appreciation. I realized that through listening to wonderful Angela Gower-Johnson when she was a guest on Sydney Chase’s talk show, The Indigo Room.
I have mentioned the teachings of Abraham earlier in my blog, and they have influenced my life big time the past years. The core of their teachings is get happy! So I’ll round up this blog post by inviting you to contact me if you feel within yourself that I could contribute to your life in some way. Feel free to comment or send me an e-mail by clicking the envelope below.