The LIFE that we were meant to live, is not necessarily what we tend to live out. There is a consciousness, an awareness that is most often ignored by individuals. Getting lost in the forest for the trees, most of us never recognize the Source of the ALIVENESS that is all around us, that is within us.
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Appreciation: The Aim of Life
said, “The aim of life is appreciation.”
It has been shown
that the deeper your ability to appreciate, the more access you have to your
intuition and inspiration. HeartMath research has shown that a practice of appreciation
is an “effective way to improve mental, emotional, physical and spiritual
is related to gratitude.One definition
of appreciation that stands out to me is “the act of
recognizing or understanding that something is valuable - To perceive
those things that give life (health, vitality, excellence) to living systems” (Cooperrider
and Whitney, p. 231).
Appreciation (and other related emotions) boost the immune
system, while frustration and its ilk can suppress the immune system for up to
6 hours. Positive
emotions have been demonstrated to improve health, increase longevity, increase
cognitive flexibility, facilitate “broad-minded coping” and innovative problem
solving, and promote helpfulness, generosity, and effective cooperation.
a sincere practice of appreciation, a person can make significant changes
toward living a more enjoyable and less stressful life. At the physiologic level, appreciation shows
increased synchronization between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches
of the nervous system, and entrainment between the heart rhythm pattern,
respiration, and blood pressure rhythms.
While cognitively induced breathing patterns can generate
similar coherent patterns for brief periods, it is difficult to sustain these
breathing patterns. However, appreciation can cause the coherent patterns to
emerge naturally and can be sustained for longer periods. Once a pattern is
established, the brain strives to maintain and match the pattern.
Studies show that
after a practice of short periods of appreciation several times a day over a
few days or weeks, people report a reduction of mental dialogue along with
increased peace and sense of well-being.
In a HeartMath paper called, “The
Appreciative Heart, The Psychophysiology of Positive Emotions and Optimal
Functioning"Rollin McCraty, Ph.D.
concluded that positive emotions, based on appreciation are easy to learn and
have value cross cultures, age groups, and spiritual backgrounds. Most people may understand this concept, but
don’t have these skills because their emotional life is based more on reaction
to outer circumstance than conscious choice. However, learning to replace
maladaptive (negative or inconsistent emotional) patterns with appreciation
related emotions require conscious choice, commitment and a regular practice. A regular practice of the Art of Ascension includes Praise, Gratitude, Love and Compassion.