Monday, October 20, 2008
The Art of Appreciation
I returned last evening from a week-end in Stratford, Ontario where I was part of a group trip with Hamilton-Gibson Productions, our local community theater. The purpose of our visit was to see three plays, Music Man, Cabaret and The Taming of the Shrew. All three productions, although very different in content, were fabulous... giving me much to appreciate.
What was quite evident in using my fine Art of Appreciation is that I must be present and tuned in to whatever it is I am appreciating. Without fully being with whatever it is (in this example, each theatrical production) then I cannot even see all the layers that exist that deserve attention. For instance, I appreciated the theater itself. The seats were comfortable, my view was excellent, the ushers were helpful, and the surroundings, lighting etc. were all beautiful. The curtain goes up and the performance begins....and there is more to appreciate. The set, the special effects, the stage lighting, the acting talent, the singing voices, the beautifully detailed costumes, the orchestra and the story.
Over the course of the week-end I also appreciated the organization and planning it took to make the trip happen, the company of my friends, the delicious food and wine, the quaint shops, my extra spacious hotel room, my easy-to-be-with roommate, the many moments of laughter, the friendly hotel staff and a heavenly dessert (Pavlova) following our last show, to name a few.
When I focus on each of the items listed, my appreciation is expanded. It is as though there are layers upon layers in everything I see, smell, hear or touch. When each layer is fully taken in and enjoyed and appreciated at my fullest capacity, good feelings seem to take over.
The Art of Appreciation is so powerful that when you are able to really let loose and feel the joy of seeing each layer or component fully, you could not possibly feel sad, mad or disappointed at the same time.
So the next time you're feeling a bit low, off center, or just plain grouchy find something or someone nearby that you can fully appreciate. It will surely turn things around. If you're already feeling pretty good, it will take you to an even higher level of appreciation and enjoyment....and that always feels good.