Gratitude and Appreciation


Happy Twin Girls by Donnie Ray Jones on httpsc2.staticflickr.com654989477327336_3264f050a6_b.jpg

Better Together!

Want more of the *bliss* of Gratitude and Appreciation? Read on for a deeper perspective, a 6-minute meditative exercise, and 3 simple tips to grow these beautiful twin *blissciplines* in your daily life!


GO DEEPER: Telling Your Twins Apart


I think of Gratitude and Appreciation as emotional (but not identical!) twins, born out of spiritual awareness. As our awareness opens and we pay more attention to energy flow in our lives, we are naturally led to feel both gratitude and appreciation for the good we see happening in us and around us. These feelings carry with them the energies of innocence, gentleness, wonder and joy–qualities of little children, and very rejuvenating for us adults!

And why *Blissciplines*? Because the word is so totally right and cool–I didn’t create it but I really really love it! (The fabulous souls at FinerMinds get the credit on this.) It’s the fusion of bliss and discipline because dwelling in Gratitude and Appreciation often feels quite blissful, AND it takes some discipline to get in and stay in those states of being.

On the differences between Gratitude and Appreciation, I particularly liked the explanation here. Interestingly, the dictionary actually lists gratitude and appreciation as synonyms for each other! Here’s a visual I found on the “family relationships”:

A harmonious family of interconnected energies

EXPLORE THE ENERGIES: 6-Minute Meditation on Gratitude & Appreciation


Try this 6-minute exercise to feel your way into the energies of Gratitude and Appreciation:

  1. Sit in a quiet place, relax and close your eyes, and take 2 or 3 deep breaths to center yourself in the moment.
  2. Think of something or someone you are grateful for. Picture or sense yourself looking at them. What position are you in? What expression is on your face? What feelings or sensations do you notice in your body? Find specific images, sensations or words that make gratitude clear to you.
  3. Take a deep breath in and out to clear those impressions.
  4. Now bring to mind something or someone you appreciate. Mentally gaze at them and again observe: your position, your expression, your physical feelings or sensations or descriptive words. How does appreciation become clear to you?
  5. Breathe in and out again, wiggle your fingers and toes, open your eyes and maybe stretch a bit to get back to regular reality.
  6. If you like, jot down some notes on what you discovered.

Here’s what I got:

When I’m in a state of gratitude, I see myself humble, childlike:

grateful child

When I’m in appreciation mode, I see and feel myself more like this:

thumbs up

Or, to put it in Animal-Speak:





 So–now that you’ve got a literal body sense of Gratitude and Appreciation, I hope you noticed, as I did, how GREAT both of those states actually feel!

The physical benefits of gratitude and appreciation are being documented by scientific studies. This short article details some notable ones; I was most intrigued by the protective effects against heart attack!

ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE: 3 Simple Tips to Grow Your *Blissciplines*


  • ENCOURAGE yourself to be fully aware of things and people you appreciate or are grateful for. For example: Each night, as you get into bed, mentally list at least 3 things you are grateful for in the day you’ve just finished. My mother did this for years, and she found it helped her feel peaceful, content, and ready for sleep. Or you might choose to write in a gratitude journal each day. The point is to train your mind to notice and dwell on what is good in your life on a daily basis.
  • ENJOY the actual moments throughout your day when you feel grateful or appreciative. Spend an extra few seconds just savoring the sense of “inner smile.”
  • EXPRESS your feelings of gratitude and appreciation, to those who inspired them or to others around you. Speak, write, draw–maybe even act, dance or sing out!–those magic words:

See my Thanksgiving blog post for my personal random act of thanks. And have fun energizing your own life with these gentle yet powerful *Blissciplines*!


Happy Twin Girls by Donnie Ray Jones

Thankful Dog by David Armano

Reese Praying Before Legos by Donnie Ray Jones

Thumbs Up by Anthony Kelly

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