Love. Appreciation. Gratitude.


Love, appreciation and gratitude come alive only when activated and experienced in the body. Otherwise, they are roaming concepts. Concepts don’t support authentic connection so don’t bother trying, unless you find your body. In my somatic practices, when love, appreciation and gratitude blossom – I notice that they often arise in that order.

When I open and move with love, appreciation for the experience quickly follows. Then, gratitude arises as a powerful bow. Picture a trio playing instruments, or a pick-up practice of basketball. Each player has a unique chord or move – but they all move together in beautiful rhythm.

I am not clear why I am writing about this topic. But my heart has been very active (sore and achy) for many months and it is in my heart (in all hearts) that love, appreciation and gratitude reside.   Serving as a Lead Meditation Instructor for an online meditation program, I recently offered the following instructions to the Meditation Instructors when they hold videoconferences with their students. I said, “Love the people in front of you.” It reminds me of the lyrics from the Crosby Stills and Nash song, “Love the One You’re With.”

It has been said that if you really want to see – you need to love what you are looking at. What is more important than looking at and loving the people in front of you? Seeing registers that which we can appreciate. Thus, we feel grateful.

Before we go all ice cream, rainbows and sparkles… loving the person in front of us is not always easy. I get cranky and close down. In the best of moments, somatic awareness reveals that my body is contracted. To open, I move, usually with breath, or if needed, a wiggle or shake. In a less than stellar connection, I stay closed and barrel through the familiar sludge. Later, when I reflect with a relaxed body, I am able to make a better move. I see what happened and gain muscle to shift quicker next time. This is how development works. This is how love, appreciation and gratitude grow.

How do we love the people in front of us if the content of the conversation is heated?

When money is the topic of conversation, heat easily arises and the importance of heart work becomes explicit. Daily, I’m not exaggerating, clients struggle to connect with what really matters because of heated tugs and contractions about money.

Money, bound in fear, gets hit by outside forces which are not ready to include heart wisdom. Media, big investment houses – adrenaline-pumping sources.  It is up to us, those of us willing and committed to face fear-emblazoned money ways, to create new open generous pathways of money love. Yes, I did say money love.

Money, in the best way, is an expression of that which we most love and appreciate. It then expands our gratitude and the gratitude of those around us.

Here are a few creative moves to consider in your practice of love, appreciation and gratitude. Try it first without the subject of money. Gain new muscle. Then, allow money to be a potent muscle-strengthener.

•    Get willing and committed to love what is – even though you might not “know” how.
•    See others as works of art moving, breathing, living at whatever level they are capable.
•    Look at the idea of “level.” Eliminate the tendencies to evaluate and to need to help.
•    Allow heart curiosity to replace the notion something needs to be different or improve.
•    Expect and welcome surprises.

As I offer this to you, I receive a juicy reminder for myself.

Love, appreciation, and gratitude are potent presence that transcend all boundaries and ideas. No other subject in our modern world has more conceptual ideas than money   . Our heart intelligence is practically void. Any profession, any money situation, any money struggle asks for this kind of presence: loving attention.

The potential we bring to every relationship, every situation, and every money-second is a more evolved state of consciousness sourced through love, appreciation and gratitude.

Let’s practice this way together and see what happens.

Loving, appreciating and feeling gratitude,