Is There a Difference Between Gratitude and Appreciation?


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Why do we have so many words in the English language? We’ve swiped/adapted many of the thousands of words that make up what we call “English” from other languages.

 

Trivia question: what percent of the English language comes from French? Answer: 45%. That’s amazing, isn’t it?

 

We love variety in our lives. And one of the ways we express that desire for diversification is in our everyday use of language.

 

One of the reasons I cringe when I hear the overuse of “four letter words” is that it’s such a lazy way of speaking. You need only a miniscule vocabulary to use the F-bomb as a verb, adjective, adverb and noun in every sentence. We English-speakers have an incredibly rich language open to us to explore and use. So let’s use it!

 

We use different words to mean similar things, but think about the words “pretty” and “beautiful” – both mean someone or something is attractive or pleasing to the eye. But they are different degrees of what we are trying to express, and usually beautiful is used for something of a higher degree.

 

It’s always subjective, of course, as is any expression of our thoughts via the clumsy use of language to define the indefinable and try to share what we experience in a way that others can get a picture of it in their own mind.

 

Back to Gratitude and Appreciation – are they completely the same? Think about it for a moment. All of us have our own reaction internally to different words, depending on how they were used in our family growing up, or in school and among friends and people who influenced our thinking.

 

Every word in our language is actually a vibrational use of speech that sets up a reaction in the person or persons who are hearing or reading that word and the complex construction of paragraphs, essays and books. Effective speakers and writers use language to paint pictures for their audience, but there is no way to resonate the same with every single person, because of our individuality and our own experiences with certain words.

 

If you have the practice of writing a daily Gratitude List, which is something I often recommend to my readers and in my coaching courses, you know that being grateful for something is also a way of saying that you appreciate having it in your life.

 

When we take gratitude further, we can generate the feeling in the present for what we want to magnetize to us from out of the “unseen” picture of it in our mind and into the physical so we can experience that new job or relationship or vacation.

 

But for many of us, if you grew up being scolded that you neglected to thank someone for a gift you hate, and being forced to say you are grateful for it, then the word “gratitude” can set up an invisible sense of dismay and anger inside. Perhaps even a big resentment! That energy will negate the good that you are trying to create with your Gratitude List.

 

If you sometimes have that feeling of resentment at the idea of “having to” be grateful when there are so many things going on in your life that you feel upset or unhappy about, try this…

 

Switch to the word “appreciate.” Here’s why:

 

When we shift into a word that resonates more happily with us, we can use it like a stepstool to reach that higher vibration where our results are waiting for us to catch up. Think about it a moment. In saying “I am grateful for…” we may unintentionally set up an image of someone else giving us something as if we are a lower sort of being, gifted with it and having to say thanks.

 

But when we say “I appreciate…” we may feel more empowered. We can look around us and say very easily, with no resistance, “I appreciate how pretty that flower is… I appreciate that I have clothes to wear and food to eat…”

 

And in that state of appreciation, we are feeling less resistance and doubt about deserving all the things on our vision or wish list…and we allow those wonderful outcomes to come to us.

 

Play around with the words you use to build your consistently higher vibration of happiness. You may discover that simply plucking a different word out of the vast dictionary of the English language will be the simple key to manifesting your desires.

 

When we turn our attention toward finding things and situations to “appreciate” in our lives, it uplifts us – we not only feel better about ourselves and our day, but we begin automatically attracting into our experience even more things to appreciate!

 

As Wayne Dyer put it: “What we appreciate appreciates.”

 

When money appreciates, it gains interest.

 

When we appreciate life, those things we are happy about multiply.

 

Start now…

I appreciate that no matter how my day is going, I can start over by changing my attitude to a more positive and hopeful outlook.

I appreciate that I always have second chances in any situation.

I appreciate that I am here at this time in history for a purpose.

I appreciate that I can help others smile.

 

Smile, and appreciate your ability to do so!

 

When we learn to reverse some of our old thinking habits that we learned in childhood from others who were taught the old way of reacting to live instead of creating what we want, then we truly have the power of manifesting our desires.

 

We manifest all the time—whatever goes on in our lives is something we vibrationally had a part of, no matter how awful it appears. Does that feel discouraging or too preposterous to believe?

 

What it means, though, is that we are already very high level manifestors!

 

You don’t have to “learn” how to create things on this planet. You’re already doing it all day long—but when we do it without realizing we are even doing it, then we’re acting in a haphazard way.

 

Try appreciating everyone around you. Today, find something to like about each person you encounter. Begin each day feeling more appreciative, and yes, grateful, for the incredible opportunities to create more joy in the world, and to be a part of progress for humanity.

 

with love,
Evelyn

 

 

Everything Is Energy


Have you ever thought about what everything in the universe is made out of? It’s energy! All of us are vibrating energy beings, and we, along with everything else we can perceive, are vibrating at different frequencies, which are then interpreted by our senses. We know that we can’t see a radio frequency with our everyday sight, but we can perceive it with our ears.

 

The importance of understanding the basics of energy—without the need to get into quantum mechanics or even a beginner’s course in radio frequencies—is that it relates to the results we get in life.

 

The following statement has been attributed to Albert Einstein:  “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

 

When he says that we need to “match” the frequency of what we want, and then we’ll get it, what he’s talking about is becoming in harmony with our desires.  Let’s say you want to write a book. If you keep that thought in the realm of a wish, or you just talk about it all the time to your friends but you never actually write a word (or maybe a few notes), you might upset with yourself that you didn’t complete a book but that result wouldn’t surprise you.

 

In other areas of our lives, however, we tend to overlook the connection between the energy or “feeling” we are emitting, and the energy of what we want. We figure it’s bad luck that we never attract a guy who treats us well, or it’s bad luck we get passed over for a promotion at work time and again. But if that is a pattern you recognize in your own life, take a look at what you might be doing wrong as far as matching frequencies.  If you want a soulmate in your life, start matching the energy that person would emit: caring, compassionate, generous, loving, and so on. Make a list of all the qualities you want this companion and lover to have, and then be sure you are demonstrating those qualities yourself! That action will do far more to attract your romance than all the makeovers and dating tips can ever do for you.

Try this with everything in your life that you wish to improve. List the qualities that person with the promotion should have, and make sure you act as if you are already that person. Don’t wait until you get the job, that’s Old Worldview thinking. Demonstrate today that you are the one deserving of the job, and it will be yours. You’ll magnetize it to you, perhaps at a different company, so don’t get discouraged and give up before the results come true.

Signs Your Manifestation Is on the Way


Have you been studying how to manifest all that you want? Perhaps you have something specific in mind, such as a new car, and you’ve been using the law of attraction processes of imaging that you already have it, holding the feeling of owning and enjoying that car you want, and cultivating an expectation and belief that since you can see it in your mind’s eye, that means it is real in the metaphysical plane and soon will be real in the physical plane.

 

However, given the fact that everyone I’ve ever met grew up with the advice that “seeing is believing,” it can be a challenge to hold your faith in the new car steady and strong enough for it to actually manifest.

 

Most of us wish for some kind of sign that it’s on the way, some hint that we’re not doing all this visualizing and affirming to no avail. We’ve been taught to be logical and rational, but the reasoning mind is our enemy when we are in manifestation mode. It looks all around and grumbles, “You’re an idiot falling for that law of attraction stuff—where’s the car?!”

 

What if you could learn to detect the signs that your manifestation actually is on the way? That would be a big help, wouldn’t it? It would give encouragement, and help you keep going with the process. The worst enemy to our manifestations is doubt, and the fear that somehow this is never going to work, not for us, not in this lifetime.

 

So let’s look at the signs:

 

  1. First sign is that you will feel happier! This is a wonderful sign because it shows you are vibrating at a higher level. We have to elevate our frequency to get what we want; otherwise, we continue getting the junk that matched our old, lower energy frequency.

 

  1. You’ll start seeing that new car, in the color you want, seemingly around every corner as you go about your day. Your connection with that car is now in growing harmony, so that source within you is manipulating your turns and the other driver’s turns, and the events of your day so that you will be in the right place at the exact right moment to see that beloved car. Use these sightings to bolster your visualizations and expectancy. Some people take the opposite tack, and seeing others driving “their” new car evokes feelings of anger and frustration—which, of course, makes their energy vibration take a nose dive off the frequency where the manifestation was humming along.

 

  1. Another car will be offered to you, or come into your experience, such as a friend asking if he can park his car in your garage while he’s on a business trip. At first, this might seem like a slap in the face and a rejection of your manifestation wish, but it is a sign that you are bringing a car into your life. It’s on the way. This other car arriving at your house is a sign of the change in progress.

 

Too often, we misread those signs because we were never taught how the process works. What if a friend called and said you could have their old car for five hundred dollars and it’s better than the one you’ve been driving. You might mistake that offer as being a sign you’ll never get that new car, and that you might as well take your friend up on the used car deal.

 

Metaphysical author and teacher Florence Scovel Shinn tells the story in one of her books about a woman who was trying to manifest a new set of china dishes, and was given a broken plate, which she thought was the answer to her manifesting processes. Shinn explained that it was simply a sign the dishes were on the way, and to bless that broken plate and be grateful for it, to keep the energy frequency high in the final stages of manifestation. Her client followed the advice and soon thereafter was gifted with a beautiful set of china.

 

When you seek too hard for signs, it can evoke a sense of discouragement. Far better to enjoy the process, enjoy the new feeling of happiness and lightness of being, and simply allow your new car (or dishes or soulmate) to show up in the perfect way and at the perfect time.

 

What Is True Compassion?


 

We get confused between compassion for someone we like who is easy to get along with and loving, and a higher level of compassion that invites us to remain compassionate for all people, no matter how they behave. Often, the love and compassion we feel for our family members and spouse get tested when challenges arise, and we realize a lot of the things we believed about the other people were just part of a façade. Here is how the Dalai Lama explains compassion:

 

“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively.”

 

With our cultural emphasis on instant gratification, if the people around us don’t act the way we think they should, the relationship usually falters or the marriage ends in the divorce courts.  However, here is another way to look at compassion, from the perspective of learning our lessons in the real world. The Dalai Lama says, “I must emphasize again that merely thinking that compassion and reason and patience are good will not be enough to develop them. We must wait for difficulties to arise and then attempt to practice them. And who creates such opportunities? Not our friends, of course, but our enemies. They are the ones who give us the most trouble, so if we truly wish to learn, we should consider enemies to be our best teacher!”

 

Is there some person or situation in your life right now that is an opportunity for learning? It doesn’t mean we are supposed to stay in an abusive or unpleasant or detrimental relationship purely for the reason of practicing our principles of love and compassion in a difficult situation, but rather to use the situation for growth. I think it feels natural to want to shut the door on a bad relationship or experience, but take time to extract the lessons it came to teach you, and with this practice, you’ll find an easier way to detach from the pain and upset feelings.

What Does It Mean to Have Faith?


For many of us, we grew up being told that faith means believing in the unseen, and it was used as a way to explain why we should accept certain religious dogma and teachings without the proof that we were logically requesting. For many people, faith still is synonymous with their chosen religion. And for that reason, people of a more secular mindset will find themselves ignoring or pushing away lessons that include the words “have faith,” in the assumption the lesson is a religious teaching of some kind.

 

Faith is belief in the power of the universe, God, Source, Universal Mind, One Mind—we have many names we use for the unexplainable force of creation. Of course there are many millions of people who doggedly believe that “God” is an old man with a long white beard sitting on a throne off in the blue yonder, ready to punish the wrongdoers and reward the faithful. That conception was based on the image of Zeus when early Christians were seeking ways to convert “pagans” away from their beliefs in multiple gods and into a belief of their own three-in-one godhead.

 

When you have faith in manifestations, it means that you understand the mental process of creation: first form an image—that is always based on a desire for expansion, for joy, for more beauty—then have full faith in the process that says believe it is yours, expect it to come, and it will be yours.

 

We tend to falter in the “faith” segment of the creation process because of the challenge of believing in the unseen and understanding unseen doesn’t mean it’s not on the way, and that is how we end up with so many undesirable results in life. But with practice, we can and do get better and better at manifesting happy and healthy lives.

Count Your Blessings in Advance


One of the core principles of using the law of attraction to our advantage instead of unconsciously magnetizing results that we don’t really like or want, is to understand the power of focusing our thoughts so that we appreciate what we want to experience even before we get it.

 

When we enter into a practice of being appreciative of all that we already have, we set up an internal vibration that brings us into harmony with a higher quality of circumstances. We thus draw those conditions and circumstances and relationships into our life, simply by being grateful. And then, to take the practice even further, if we start being grateful in advance for all that we desire, being thankful we have already received it, the law of attraction will match our energy with what we want to get.

 

Here’s an excerpt from my book GET HAPPY TODAY: No More Excuses! that explains more about building up an attitude of gratitude.

 

Chapter 5 – Action Steps: Cultivate gratitude

 

  1. Don’t expect yourself to be a magical mystical being who doesn’t have fear and who dances through life with a song on your lips every moment of every day. That’s not what being “happy no matter what” means. Happiness is an intention to accept the ups and downs with good humor.

 

  1. Be grateful for every chance to love someone who is, at this point in time, acting in an unlovable way. Isn’t that what love is all about?

 

  1. There’s no mystery to how I went quickly from panic to acceptance in the dentist chair. But there is indeed a secret that I will share with you, and here it is: I used gratitude as my path.

 

  1. Make gratitude a habit in your daily life. It works.

 

  1. From now on, in everything you do, even the mundane tasks, find ways to say to yourself, “I am grateful for this situation because…” Try it. With practice, it leads you to feel more empowered about your life. As well as happier.

 

 

 

A Book Excerpt from “Forget Your Troubles”


I started writing books and blogging on the topic of stress relief and the law of attraction some years back, and I know that both topics are still very applicable to all our lives. It’s far too easy to feel stressed-out and overwhelmed with all the demands on our time.

 

I hope you enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 8 “Chill, Baby – Learn to Relax, No Matter How Crazy Everybody Else Is” in my book “Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today.”  

 

Your “Simply Being” Meditation

 

Meditation is a way to quiet your frantic mind and find peace for a few moments. It’s an excellent way to keep your heart healthy and your stress level manageable. 

 

This is a simple meditation that even a young child can learn.

 

–Turn off the TV, loud music and computer games.

 

–Lie down in a restful place with minimal distractions.

 

–Relax your muscles, close your eyes, visualize yourself as floating on a raft in a gentle stream.

 

–Take deep, slow breaths.

 

–Imagine fluffy clouds overhead. A soft summer breeze embraces you.

 

–Enjoy the beauty of being part of this world. Rest for a few moments, quietly and calmly.

 

–Silently tell yourself: “I am here.”

 

If you are new to meditation, a few minutes might seem like a long time. With practice, you will look forward to ten or fifteen minutes of “Simply Being.”

 

There’s a reason you are called a “human being” and not a “human doing.”

 

Take time for the human “being” portion of you. It drives all the rest.

 

Your days will be more fulfilling when you take time to relax. Feed your body and spirit with a dose of contentment time.

Would It Help to Change Your Perception?


Wayne Dyer and others remind us that when we change the way we look at things, those things actually change. The reason is that our point of view or perception of circumstances, events, people and conditions colors absolutely everything. Within our perception are our judgments, labels and evaluations about the world and all that is in it.

 

It’s a good thing to have a point of view or we would walk around totally overwhelmed. Imagine the chaos if every time we were faced with a green light in an intersection we had to dredge up information about whether it meant “stop” or “go”! We judge constantly because the stream of impressions our mind receives each day is staggering. And in today’s world of instant communication and massive amounts of internet mail and websites to visit, we can get sensory overload quickly.  Our mind helps us assess all these things so that we can make quick decisions about whether something interests us enough to look further, and we all know how that channel surfing works with television, too. A quick glance and instantly our mind calculates whether we would like “this” or not like it, based on…what? Based on thoughtful contemplation? Rarely. Based on thousands of impressions we’ve already had and stored for just this purpose: to help us sort.

 

But there’s more to perception, because it affects the choices we make, and if we make a snap judgment against something new that could help us lead better lives, then we end up sabotaging ourselves by being too rigid.

 

Carol Adrienne, the co-author of The Tenth Insight, said, “Once we shift our perspective, we can never turn back. We stand poised like a deer sniffing the wind—alive.  With this new way of looking inward for direction, watching for tiny clues, we realize that not only can we make a difference, but this is the real reason we are here.”

 

What do you feel your real reason is for being here? If you shifted your perception away from what everyday life has been up until now, do you think that would make a difference in your life?

Are You Trapped in Demand Resistance?


Have you ever been in a situation where someone asked you to do something, and you automatically refused, not because you didn’t want what the request would bring you, but because you were resisting the person doing the asking?

This is called “demand resistance” and, not surprisingly, the behavior is closely tied with self-sabotage. Sometimes the term used is “demand sensitivity” and it is a common element in codependent relationships.

To discover whether this is a habit in your life that is getting in your way, take a look at your history of dealing with opportunities. If someone you feel is trying to control you suggests that you do something, do you metaphorically speaking “dig in your heels” and spurn the offer? It might be something you really want, and you feel a sense of conflict inside over saying no, but it’s as if some deeper need is forcing you to stand up for yourself and turn down what is being suggested.

Now look at the regrets and the feelings of being cheated out of a trip or an event, a party or an outing, that you secretly wanted to agree to do or attend. And yet that stubborn voice inside was saying: Don’t you dare say yes! You always say yes! You’ve got to start saying no for a change!

The problem with that voice is that it doesn’t have your best interests in mind. It’s speaking from your paradigm, or mindset about what actions will keep you safe from potential harm or distress in an already rocky relationship. It’s coming to you from a frightened place within that can only look at the future and predict more of the same outcomes as the past dished out.

When we learn more about standing up for ourselves and our best interests, the urge to say “no” when you really do want to say “yes” and the seemingly paradoxical pattern of frequently saying “yes” when you want very much to say “no” will start to straighten out. You’ll find more balance. You’ll find that you can be your own best friend.  You don’t have to label yourself as a bad person for reacting in this way. It is probably something you learned in childhood as a way to try to control confusing situations in your home life and at school.

Once we see demand sensitivity as being a behavioral tool that no longer serves us (if it ever did), then we can begin the process of releasing it. Don’t try to push it away or scold yourself when you realize you are being overly resistant to a “demand” or request from someone. Simply take a deep breath, remind yourself that you choose to be  the one making right decisions for yourself, take some time to consider your options, and then reply. A great trick is to tell the other person, “Let me think about that and get back to you.” That helps avoid the hasty response that turns to regrets later.

As we grow and learn more about being authentic and healthy, these issues start falling away because the lesson the other person’s request offered has now been mastered.

What Are You Going to Do When You Grow Up?


I was in the grocery store line and heard a little girl behind me pipe up, telling her mom, “When I grow up, I’m going to teach running because I’m really fast, and I’m going to teach singing because I like it.”  The mom replied that she thought those were great ideas and that her daughter would be good at them.

 

I chuckled to myself, wondering how many times that child will change her mind about what she wants to do when she reaches that magical stage called “grown up.”

 

The rest of us know that we never do arrive there. It’s not a real state of mind. Some people are all grown up by the time they are twelve, and they never allow a new idea or belief to cross their mind. They are middle-aged in advance, and not in a good way.

 

So, what if we think about what our answer to that question would be:  “What Are You Going to Do When You Grow Up?”

 

My answer is: keep growing!

 

There are so many ways that all of us can easily grow, expand, stretch ourselves to learn new things. With online sites offering inexpensive courses we can learn a new language, or take a cooking class, or, as a friend of mine did, even learn how to knit by watching free YouTube videos prepared by other knitters.

 

In the “old days” before the internet, it was of course possible to continue stretching our minds with new ideas by studying, reading, taking a class at the local community center or college. But now it’s so easy you don’t even have to leave home to experience an amazing access to learning.

 

What does learning do for us? We not only get exposed to concepts we might not have considered before, but we stimulate our minds to keep active. Everyone knows it’s far better to wear out than rust out, as the old adage goes.

 

What are you going to do today to keep growing?