“An Appreciation Jar”….what one appreciates, appreciates… recognizing and nurturing the positives

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appreciation jar nurturing the positives

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I was inspired to create an “Appreciation Jar” by a post from Marie’s blog, Love is the Answer.…a post about the many positive benefits of creating and adding to  a “Gratitude Jar.” I’d also seen this wonderful idea in Becca’s blog,  On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea and on Joss’ blog,  She Who Walks in Beauty. Joss created an “Awesome!” Jar

I created my “appreciation jar”  using some special items from various cupboards around our home…items that have some special significance… the brandy snifter, the very delicate glass swan, given to me 38 years ago by the mother of an incredibly loving, beautiful, joyful,  precious 3 year old girl who was deaf and blind, the sugar bowl, belonged to my husbands grandmother, representing “sweetness” in life, lambs ear leaves for softness, a card, “Pause, notice, appreciate”  from one of my previous posts and new, blank little   appreciation “papers” in the sugar bowl, created for writing appreciations onto each day.

And so….thinking, pondering, wondering and creating began…one idea led to another…ideas about what might “go into” creating one’s own  appreciation or gratitude jar or practice… a few ideas …not just for noticing appreciated “events” of the day, but also for:

noticing, nurturing and developing positive qualities in oneself, or others

(as in most of my posts, the ” image pages” speak for themselves. I add explanations, but for more “visual”  people, the explanation often aren’t really needed….)

gratitude jar becoming more aware of positive qualities

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It might be helpful to review and think about wide variety of positive qualities…qualities we often have, but might not acknowledge enough. Perhaps you might want to take some time to read carefully through this list, perhaps even print it out…to reflect on how many of these wonderful qualities you have and use….what we appreciate appreciates.

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gratitude jar qualities for cards list

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Steps I use….

gratitude jar qualities suggestions for using

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An expanded explanation about these ideas…about steps I use,
about the motivations, process and thinking behind the ideas
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gratitude jar qualities suggestions

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An example of how one might think about,  identify or specify  some appreciated, positive qualities that may be “within” a positive action.  (written a few days ago, based on some actual actions I appreciated) (btw…”H” =husband, “Embarrassed” about garbage=embarrassed that I don’t help take it to the curb, that I act busy and don’t help out….not very kind of me )

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gratitude jar examples of appreciations filled in

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A blank of that page… a visual thinking grid

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gratitude jar examples of appreciations blank~

After several days, I really started noticing and appreciating so many more positives from each day…. and even talked my husband into adding his own appreciations to the jar, too.

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For many months…well, actually years… I’ve also  been trying to keep in mind some deeply valued “aspirations” that I try to live with… a bit more expansive than just the individual qualities, often combining several qualities… so again, one idea leads to another… and…voila,  a group of  hanging aspiration cards and  “a pocket” was created… still tying in with the idea of “appreciating” and what one appreciates, appreciates.  (increases)

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appreciation hanging papers notice nurture use

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And so…
“an appreciation jar”
to notice the positives,
in daily situations,
in others and in ourselves,
to recognize and acknowledge them,
to appreciate and nurture them,
to develop and  use them in more settings and situations….
to pause, notice, appreciate,
and to be….so thankful
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gratitude and appreciation jar what one appreciates appreciates

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Three weeks later, January 24: The “Appreciation Jar” is filling up.  I put the swan on a little pedestal inside the jar, since it was almost covered up by “appreciations.” Jotting down little appreciations throughout the day is really special and leading to more awareness of the bounty of positives!

appreciation jar filling up

I’ve also continued to notice and acknowledge “progress”
in some areas I had hoped to expand upon…
another positive strategy, it seems….

From previous post….. “creating a positive path”

positive path progress 3 weeks into it

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what one appreciates….appreciates,
it seems to really be happening

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About Pocket Perspectives

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11 Responses to “An Appreciation Jar”….what one appreciates, appreciates… recognizing and nurturing the positives

  1. Eric Winger says:

    No matter what size jar I could choose to fill with appreciation, I’m afraid it would always be full.

    Have a good day, Kathy!

    Eric

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    • Eric, what a joyful thought! I’m sure if we stop and look around us and take it in, all of our jars are overflowing, each and every day! Wishes to you for a good day, too. 😀 Kathy

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    • ps… Eric, you are so tuned into supporting others in so many ways. Your post from yesterday, the message you put up on the school reader board…the thought that was behind that message was so kind and supportive of those kids who might struggle with school work… I thought about that kindness for a long time last evening, after reading your post. http://giveourtime.com/2013/01/06/subtle-messages/
      Another thought….a few months ago you left a comment for me….maybe I had doubted myself in a post or comment, I can’t remember….you made the suggestion that perhaps I might be more capable than I recognize or give myself credit for. Eric, I printed out your suggestion/comment and taped it up on the wall…to open my mind to that possibility. Eric, I think that is a possibility. Again, you are so tuned in to supporting others..thank you.

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  2. I love what you’ve done here and the meaningfulness of your own jar. Next time I’m feeling “less than” I’m going to sit with your list, and my sweetie, and check off all the ones that I have or express. I think most of us would be surprised, to do this, and discover, how truly awesome we are!

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  3. thank you Joss….yes, filling that “awesome” jar to the brim and overflowing! I hope people really take in that list of positive qualities and start/continue acknowledging, on an ongoing basis, how many of those each of us uses every day. Maybe then, when there are stumbles and bumbles in our day, we’ll have that ongoing, previously observed awareness of the positives to help get back to more balanced. I think the more that people become aware of their own “positives,” that “happier” they are, the more they give out their own happiness and positiveness to others…so everyone benefits. (I’m doing this about my husband too…really noticing the many positives that I sometimes just take for granted… and to let him know how much I appreciate him. )

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  4. sufilight says:

    I didn’t think of adding appreciation messages for myself, but thanks to you, I am going to also do this! I like the way you started with your beautiful empty jar, and now it’s filling up. 🙂 This morning, I was not feeling at my best, so I took the gratitude messages out of my jar and read them, and Kathy, I instantly shifted emotionally for the better. Amazing what the power of appreciation does, it’s healing. Thanks for including a link to my post. 🙂

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    • Marie, it took me several years before I would open my mind to thinking about positives about myself. I was encouraged to do that, but thought it sounded too self absorbed or too self centered. It took several years to understand/realize that the more I’m aware of positive qualities in myself, (and in others too) the happier I feel and the kinder and more generous I am to/with others and myself. I had doubted that, but now see there is validity in it. Your post was what finally got me to give the actual appreciation jar a try…to think it through and to write it down. (won’t the friend from Reflections be happily surprised when he gets out of his retreat in February….now that will be a surprise for him…all those years of encouraging and suggesting, and I finally follow your example/suggestion! ) I’m so happy that your own gratitude messages shifted your mood…maybe there’s more to this idea than we realize?…I think maybe so… ps..I just printed out more blank papers to write on…I was running out from the first “batch”… wow!

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      • sufilight says:

        Jampa is going to be very happy, so happy I was part of it too. 🙂 I think there is more to this gratitude thing for self and others. It’s amazingly healing, and I think it’s because it opens the heart, creates a softer space in us. When we are struggling the mind and body gets tighter.

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        • Yes, a nice surprise all around…reluctance released! crossing the rr tracks! 😀 (maybe this was “double teaming”??…I think that’s a sports term about 2 players surrounding one player?…something like that 🙂 )
          So…opening the heart and creating a softer space within…that would make sense…. I guess “goodness” might emerge from softening of body and mind…I think maybe so.

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  5. Pingback: Creating and nurturing a “positive path”…we each have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep.. | Pocket Perspectives

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