The secret of appreciation

The secret of appreciation


We are highly skilled at complaining about the things that are wrong in our lives. We all know what we don’t want or don’t have.

When was the last time you focused on the things that are working for you? The things that you have and want in your life.

The law of attraction

According to the law of attraction, you attract into your life those things that you put your attention on. If you want more good things in your life, appreciating the good things already present is one sure way of attracting more of them.

The flip side of the law of attraction is that if you put your attention on the things that you don’t want or don’t have, you will continue to attract more of those.

For some reason, we tend to take the good things for granted and devote our energy to bitching about what we don’t want or don’t have. Now that you know about the law of attraction, you know what that means, don’t you?

Actions to consider

By giving up the bitching, you can refocus your energy on appreciating the things you have been taking for granted. In other words, stop complaining and put your attention on what is working for you in your current circumstances.

Look around you. The circumstances of your life reflect what you have been giving your attention to. Okay, it might not be all that pretty but, if you’re reading this, somethings must be working for you.

Take a moment and identify the things, conditions, and relationships that support your wellbeing and prosperity. Acknowledge that you have attracted them into your life. Be grateful for them.

A few items that could be on your list of things to appreciate

The people that love and support you: lovers, parents, friends, children, people that you work with.

People that serve you: shop assistants, postal workers, public transport drivers, police officers, teachers, government employees, farmers, truck drivers…

All those things that keep your body alive: air, water, food.

Things that provide bodily comfort: clothing, housing, electricity, plumbing, warm bedding in winter, air conditioning, microwave oven, gas cooktop, refrigerator, freezer, hot and cold running water, inside flush toilet, shower, washing machine, clothes dryer, windows, lighting….

The job or profession that provides your income. Even if you don’t like your current job there is something about it that is working for you. Appreciate that part. That’s the bit you want more of.

The secret

The secret is to give your attention to the things you appreciate every day.

IMG_0156Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic and The New Girlfriend. He has also published colouring books and journals under the Sharing the Journey banner.

Teachable moments

Life is a series of moments.

Every one of those moments is a teachable moment.

Sometimes it feels like you are being asked to take the role of teacher.

At other times you know you are the student.

Eventually, you realise that no matter what role you think you are playing, you are always Life’s student.

photo-1423784346385-c1d4dac9893aIt’s easy to miss Life’s teachable moments, unless you are paying attention to what’s going on around and within you.

If you are always plugged into your device, playing games, reading FaceBook or Twitter feeds, listening to music or podcasts, or texting some absent friend; how aware are you of what’s going on around you? Can you even notice what’s going on inside you?

Yes, you can access to a lot of information through your smartphone or tablet while you are riding public transport or filling in all those empty spots in your calendar. If we’re honest though, most of it is noise.

Sometimes I wonder whether we are plugged into our devices because we are afraid of Life. We’re busy avoiding her teachable moments, because we fear she might ask us to confront something that will burst our cosy reality bubble.

We’re busy avoiding her teachable moments, because we fear she might ask us to confront something that will burst our cosy reality bubble.

It’s one thing to be concerned about the conflict in Ukraine. It’s something altogether different to deal with conflict in your immediate environment, and absolutely terrifying to have to deal with it within the relationship with your significant other.

Ukraine is not a teachable moment for most of us. The teachable moment is there where you are, and there in your relationship. The conflicts we see on the news are reflections of the conflicts in our lives that we are refusing to address.

Those moments of conflict in your life become teachable moments when you engage with the one in front of you and embrace the moment.

Those moments of conflict in your life become teachable moments when you engage with the one in front of you and embrace the moment.

If there is one thing I have learnt on this journey it’s that Life is a patient teacher – she keeps presenting you with teachable moments until you notice and engage with the lesson. So do yourself a favour and get your head out of cyberspace every now and then, and check in on what’s really going on in your life.

It’s much better to hear Life’s teaching prompts when they’re a whisper.

She’ll knock you for six if she has to shout to get your attention.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Special Roles

Some of us are ‘special’
In our world, people are rewarded for the roles they play, and we treat some roles as being more important, special or of a higher value. The chief executive officer (CEO) role, for example, is seen as a more important role, one that makes a more valuable contribution to the success of the company than, say the role of the mailroom clerk, who only ensures that incoming mail is delivered to the correct inbox and that outgoing mail makes it into the postal system. Consequently, the CEO is paid several multiples of what the mailroom clerk is paid – in some cases 100’s of times more.

Then, for some reason, we have movie ‘stars’ and professional sports ‘stars’, at least in some sports, that get paid more than CEOs, while the guys in the fire trucks, ambulances and patrol cars, who risk their lives to provide public safety, get paid very little.

We all want to be special
Let’s be honest. We all want a better position in the game we call the world. We want to make the most of what’s available. How often do we tell ourselves – I will be happier when I’m doing [……] or when I am a […..] ? We’re all dreaming about what we could do with all that extra money we’d get in our dream role. Of course, that dream doesn’t include the bit about paying more tax, does it?

There are no special roles for spiritual pilgrims
For the spiritual pilgrim, one walking the path to awakening, every function or role is equal. There is no need to wait until you have undergone some special initiation, or completed some magic 12 step program, or learnt to meditate sitting absolutely still in some far away ashram. And, it doesn’t matter what role you’re playing in the world, whether you’re the CEO or the mailroom clerk or a taxi driver. Wherever you are in the world, whatever role you’re playing, you’re in the perfect context for your journey.

No need to wait until circumstances change. Start from where you are. Your soul’s gone to a lot of trouble to put you in that context. You can be who you are and you can love just as well being a mailroom clerk as being the CEO. You don’t need to wait until you make it in your chosen career to be present to yourself and to those around you. Being present may in fact enhance your career. It will certainly make it a more interesting experience for you, as you stand a better chance of noticing what’s actually happening in your life.

If you are going to change anything in the world, first change your perspective – look inwards and not outwards for your answers. The ashram is not in India or Tibet or in some secluded valley deep in the mountains. It’s in your heart. That means you can spend all day in the ashram as you go about the daily tasks of whatever role you’re playing at the moment, whether that’s being a mother, a nun, an executive or a prostitute. You might want to sit with that thought that just popped up.

When your attention is on the present moment; when you listen for the voice for love; if things need to change in your life, they will. But, you don’t need to change the circumstances in your life to place your attention on the present moment or to listen for the voice for love. You only have to do what you already know how to do: breathe and pay attention.

Give yourself the space to breathe, and a moment to listen, before you act. I’m not talking about listening to the voice in your head shouting that you’re worthless or ugly or that nobody could possibly love, or even notice, someone as stupid as you. No, allow that voice to let off its fear generated steam, and listen for that voice that always affirms you, always tells you that you are loved, loveable and loving, and go with the wisdom of that voice. That’s your soul speaking. It never shouts. It’s there all the time. All you need to do is turn down the volume on that radio station you think is your mind, so that you can hear it.

I encourage you to give it a go today, and for all your tomorrows.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.