Sitting in Central Park on a Saturday morning, a couple walked by with two adorable small dogs. One was on a leash and the other ran free. One member of the couple needed to walk back to see if she had dropped something and, as she returned, the dog on the leash saw her and began to excitedly wiggle and run toward her. What I noticed were her smile and delight in greeting the dog and it reminded me of the power of appreciation shared with a smile.
There’s a concept called “heightening”, offered by David Spangler, a spiritual teacher and guide. What the word addresses is the natural response of “coming to life” and becoming more energized when we feel seen, acknowledged, appreciated, and celebrated. Watching the dog brought to mind the inflow of life energy that is naturally experienced when we offer and are offered delight in someone or something else.
This brings to mind a practice I’d like to invite you to play with this week. As you move through your regular daily routines, take a moment when appropriate to offer appreciation and a smile to the people you encounter, as well as to the other-than-human lifeforms you engage along the way. Remember to include as much of the world around you as you can and then notice the quality and tone of your inner experience as you do. Not only will you be “heightening” the enlivened experience of everything around you, but expressing appreciation will tend to heighten the enlivened experience within you, as well.Read More “851st Week: Sharing Smiles, Offering Appreciation”
As I write this, on what is normally a quiet Saturday morning, I am listening to cement mixers and other elements of building construction that are happening across the street from where I live. It all started at about 5am this morning, accompanied by flood lights and a good bit of noise. It has now been about four hours since then and the noise continues unabated, except in those moments of relief when one cement mixer truck leaves and the next one pulls in.
What I’ve noticed as the morning has unfolded is the power and impact of remembering that there is constantly a choice about how to respond to any given set of circumstances. Read More “732nd Week: Choices”