Research in psychology has supported this finding for decades. However, recent research has provided us with an even more extensive and rich understanding of the profound benefits of appreciation when it is expressed in the form of noticing and drinking in that which we already have (our abundance), that which we find beautiful (within others and in the natural kingdoms), and that which we admire (excellence in many forms). As we attend to any of these elements we experience:
- a sense of connection to that which is larger than ourselves
- a sense of awe or wonder
- increased happiness and optimism
- the desire to not just admire, but to become more like those who exhibit moral beauty (such as a stranger jumping in a lake to rescue another, or a leader choosing to tell the truth about the difficult road ahead in the face of a product failure, or a young person standing up to a bully on behalf of her friend)
- an increased care of and kindness for others
- an increased attention to and action taken toward care of the earth
- increased meaning
- increased satisfaction and engagement at work and at home.
In general, we become more enlivened, more optimistic, more generous and better stewards of the earth.
How might this connect even more directly to our theme of abundance?
When we exercise the habit of appreciation in these forms, we experience a deeper sense of the abundance already present to us, no matter the current condition of our lives. To activate this habit, we must pause, notice, and savor, all of which cultivate a sense of time abundance or time affluence. Abundance, for those of us who are conscious, can feel embarrassing, as if we have been given too much, when others do not have enough. Activating the habit of appreciation addresses this inner turmoil by connecting us to others through our virtue of kindness and protection. It focuses the lens of our abundance away from consumerism and toward that which we can all experience.
In our workshop we will explore the most recent research on the power of the practice of appreciation of beauty, excellence and abundance and apply fast skills that will enable us to gain benefit at work and at home.