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Appreciation as a pathway for patience and self-control

In our last Newsletter, I wrote about the power of appreciation and how the expression of it verbally or just in our thoughts, can be a form of blessing or karakia to our children and teens.  In this newsletter, I am going to further explore appreciation from a different perspective to achieve a different outcome in our lives.  This article is more specifically about the active pursuit of appreciation as a pathway for the manifestation of patience and self-control in our lives.

Although I have personally practised being appreciative for many years and it has certainly helped me be a more positive person, I did not fully realize the full power and incredible importance of actively pursuing appreciation in my life every day.  Looking back, it has actually been a long journey of discovery. One of the milestones on my journey was when I had the opportunity of creating the three courses in the Whanau Marama Parenting programme. By then I understood the power of appreciation from our hearts for our children. So I embedded this principle within the sessions in the form of a Gratitude and Appreciation chart. Each session parents could think of something they appreciated about their child or adolescent and record it on their page.

Over the last year, I have come to understand a little more about what appreciation means for me and especially the need and importance of consistently throughout each day actively and wholeheartedly pursuing it. The first noticeable change I experienced was that the more I verbally, or in my thoughts, expressed appreciation the more feelings of joy I noticed in my heart. It appeared to be in exact proportion. The more appreciation I express the more joy I feel. Now I am in hot pursuit of every opportunity I can think of! For instance, as I write these words, I feel a strong feeling of appreciation that my scheduled client unexpectedly needed to cancel her session, giving me this time to reflect and write. I try to do these moments of appreciation consistently throughout every day. Although I am still learning and there are times, I forget. How do I do this? I consciously try to be mindful at the moment by thinking the words of appreciation. For example, I appreciate that I have a house to live in… I appreciate I have breakfast to eat… I appreciate I have goldfish to feed… I appreciate my little dog that follows me around each step I take… I appreciate my car that takes me places I want to go… I appreciate the wonderful job I have done working with parents… I appreciate my wonderful neighbours who live close by… I appreciate the colour of the flowers that grow in my garden… and all the many colours of the leaves that grow on the trees, and on and on.  Therefore, every day I feel a huge sense of joy in my heart.

I am very interested in knowing if other people have a similar experience as myself. Especially as I am now starting to wonder if this active pursuit of appreciation is an effective way to have, or manifest, other basic qualities in my life such as love, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control as well as other similar values.  At this stage, I am only at the beginning of noticing that these other qualities are also increasing in my life in the same measure as my daily expression of appreciation.

 If this is actually what is happening it would be another effective strategy for the continuation of creating calm, patience, and self-control in my life. It would also be another positive pathway that I could teach parents attending our courses, especially parents who have set themselves a goal of learning how to be a more patient parents. 

 As we all know, the calmer and the more patient we are with our children and teens, the more we are able to respond and discipline them in a proactive and positive manner. 

I would appreciate your thoughts and feedback. 

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