30 Days of Love and Appreciation

I believe that love has the power to heal the world – you, me, and plants and animals too.

There is always a fountain of love within each and every one of us.

But sometimes we lose touch with that inner spring of love.  Difficult circumstances set us back.  Busyness sets in.  Negative emotions dominate.  Bad habits take over.

Love and appreciation may be there, but we don’t take a moment to feel and express it.

Whatever the case, we can rekindle our love and appreciation and gradually grow it bigger and bigger.

We all want to be happy, there’s no doubt about that.  Love, kindness, and appreciation are the simple path to happiness.  When we express these qualities, we feel happy.  What could be more simple?

I myself would like to be more loving and appreciative. So I’m going to focus on love and appreciation for the next 30 days.

This is not a complicated mega-challenge. I need simplicity in my life – not stress and complexity.  My plan is to send a loving and appreciative message to one person  each day for 30 days.  I see so few people in any given day.  That’s why messages are my method of choice.  But when I do see people, I will express my appreciation to them too.

Of course, I already express love and appreciation at least a few times a day and sometimes much more.   This is just stepping it up a notch and making it conscious.

I welcome you to join me in 30 days of appreciation and love – if you would like to.

If this might be fun and meaningful for you, please feel free to join in.  Your approach could take any form and be very simple. You could express your love and appreciation in person. Or you could practice smiling at others. Or you could gaze at others with love in your eyes. There are probably endless variations on this theme. See what fits for you.

I only have one rule – for myself – which is to be genuine.  I’m not trying to suck up to anyone.  I simply want to cultivate more love and appreciation until it becomes boundless.

There are no sign-ups, prompts, reminders, or daily check-ins.  Keeping it super simple, right?  I will write a blog post in 30 days (or so) to conclude and share any insights I have.  If you decide to join in, I would love to hear your insights at that point too.

Reflection:  The Power of Love and Kindness

For the reflection this week, I’ve chosen five inspirational quotes about the power of love and kindness to kick start 30 days of love and appreciation.

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.”  – Gandhi

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”  – Lao-Tzu

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

“For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

You could also take a moment to reflect on the presence or absence of love and appreciation in your life:

  • Do you feel a lack of love and appreciation in your life?
  • Is love an active and alive presence in your life?
  • Would you like to express more love and appreciation?  In what ways?

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This article is part of a weekly series of reflective exercises to help you – and me – uproot limiting thoughts, emotions, views, and habits. See more mini-mind challenges.

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks so much, Sandra.

Comments

  1. says

    Sandra,
    What a beautiful thing….bringing LOVE into a deeper part of your conscious being.

    I want you to know that being here in this place you have created, it’s a gift. Your words are a gift. They reach into my soul…the light of your being, illuminating light within me…

    Today, I feel that very deeply, once again.

    Much love to you, on this journey over the next month, and in all lives you will touch with your loving and giving heart…

    • says

      Lance,

      I love the image of the light within us illuminating the light within others. Thank you for those beautiful words. May we all shine bright and illuminate the world!

  2. Amelia Colvin says

    Dear Sandra,

    I am joining you with your 30-day challenge in showing more love and appreciation to others. It reminds me of this quote by Mother Teresa which is beautiful; ‘We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do’.

    When I put them to bed in the evening, I make a point of telling my children that they are prefect. I also try to remind them during the day that I am there for them (a practice by TN Than) and that I appreciate them TRYING so hard to be good. I try to encourage them to be strong in their goodness and realise their perfect nature.

    You have inspired reflection on all the many people I have in my life which deserve my love and appreciation, from inner family and close friends to the postman, delivery man and our quiet neighbour.

    This is an exciting and practical challenge – thank you!

    • says

      Greetings Amelia,

      What an amazing way to support your children, help them connect to their fundamental good heart, and grow with positive self esteem. Thank you for taking a moment to share your bedtime ritual with us.

      Your reflection has produce such wonderful fruit! It’s amazing to see how interconnected we are with people throughout the day. Please enjoy your 30 days of love and appreciation and let us know how it goes for you.

  3. says

    Good challenge. Like you I don’t interact with many people during a typical day. To be loving and appreciative shouldn’t be too difficult, I just have to be mindful.

    I’ll start now: I appreciate your posts and friendship, Sandra.

    • says

      There’s no time like the present moment to begin. Thanks for modeling the process for us, Bob. And thanks for you words of appreciation. When we stop to think how good we feel when someone appreciates us, it fuel the passion for appreciating others. I love and appreciate your comments. They always add perspective.

  4. says

    Excellent plan, Sandra

    In Chop Wood, Carry Water, the author shared a true story about a man in prison who sent thoughts of loving kindness to other inmates with interesting results. If you’re interested:

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/good-vibrations/

    He transformed the world around him into a friendlier, less hostile place merely by changing his thoughts.

    And . . . not a single word was exchanged.

    Here’s to being the change we wish to see in the world. Namaste.

    • says

      Hi Nancy,

      I popped right over to read your post. It’s so inspirational! The power of the mind is amazing. Our thoughts have consequences for better or for worse. So why not for better!

      I also enjoyed exploring your blog ~ Spirit Lights the Way. I love your topic and found we have quite a bit in common in our work history.

      Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story.

      • says

        Interesting. I thought I had read your “About” page before, but I hadn’t. Definite parallels in our work back ground . . . plus we both live on islands with a cat and a husband. :)

        I look forward to reading more of your blog. Your posts are always an inspiration.

  5. says

    I love this post Sandra. In the busyness of our lives it is so easy to take things and people for granted. This challenge creates a space, the warmest invitation to step into love and appreciation and I am there.

  6. says

    Hi Sandi,

    Glad you are on board and like the “challenge.” Love and appreciation are the fun way to go! More joy and happiness all around.

  7. begethers says

    Hi Sandra,
    My deep appreciation is being sent to you as my fingers press on these keys. Love and wholeheartedness has been such a strong theme these past few days – my beautiful wife Kirsty gave me the gift of a white porcelain heart which has inspired me to add into the work i do the developement of a progrmame called:-
    Quiet Mind, Open Heart – a way of being with people with dementia.
    I am blessed to be nurturing a collaboration with Stpehen Post who you may know writes and teaches on the healing power of unlimited love.
    My firm belief is that we are here on this beautiful planet to serve each other. This is what you do.
    My love and thanks.
    Andy
    http://www.knowingyoumatter.com
    http://www.frameworks4change.co.uk

    • says

      Andy,

      I am so amazed by your work to bring connection to those who often feel separation. This is such a beautiful title for your approach – “Quiet Mind, Open Heart”. I am so happy to have connected with you and learned of your work. I wholeheartedly agree with you belief that we are here on this beautiful planet to serve each other. Thanks for your kind words and taking the time to connect. May 2011 bring you much joy and beauty.

  8. says

    Sandra, I love this “30 days of appreciation and love” I’m happy to join in and follow your lead on this – how wonderful!!! :)

  9. says

    Hi Sandra,

    This is an important article on love. All of us have love and know love, but in the living of our busy daily lives, we can disconnected from it because of all the problems we have to deal with.

    This post has inspired me to write an article on expressing the love we feel towards the people we love. I will post it during the second half of the week and link to your article as the source of inspiration. All too often, it is so much easier to keep our love within. But we forget our loved ones are not mind readers and that they would appreciate acknowledgment and affirmations. Through the article I can hopefully reach out to more people out there and remind them of the need to express the love they feel.

    Thank you for reminding us to love! :)

    Irving the Vizier

    • says

      Hi Irving,

      I’m so delighted this article is inspiring you to write an article on expressing love. I can’t wait to read it. Your articles are so meaningful. You are so right ~ we just get lost in busyness and forget to express our love. We can also express it to people that we aren’t so close to because everyone needs love to thrive.

      Thanks for sharing your inspiration.

  10. says

    Thank you Sandra for this challenge-count me in. I too often forget the miracles we can see when we love and express kindness to all. Gandi’s quote really resonated with me, “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” Looking forward to the challenge. Hugs-Lori

  11. says

    I have a new personal slogan:

    “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” – Gandhi

    Thank you for this. Unfortunately, I have a very formidable opponent, and we are going to court in a couple of weeks. It is the perfect experience to utilize this and all my spiritual tools.

    Great post. I, too, will participate in the 30 day challenge. It would be interesting in 30 days to share experiences just to see what happened. I am sure we will be surprised.

    • says

      Hi Debbie,

      I’m glad you found the perfect slogan for your upcoming challenge. Whatever happens, you will be perfect. I’ll be there with you in spirit and wish you all the best fortune in the world.

      Great to have you participate. I am looking forward to hearing your experiences in 30 days when I post the wrap up.

      All the best to you.

  12. says

    Hi Sandra! I also believe that love has the power to heal the world. There is nothing more powerful than love. I like to send love to others or seeing them as love. I feel that love is a constant presence in my life as part of who I am and everywhere I look. I’d love join you on this 30-day challenge, sweetie. It sounds like a beautiful idea.
    Thanks for this beautiful reminder. Loving blessings!

  13. says

    Andrea,

    It’s such a blessing to feel that love is a constant presence in your life. I truly respect you dedication to living a love-focused life. Glad you will be with us! :)

  14. says

    > send a loving and appreciative message to one person each day for 30 days
    That’s a beautiful goal and I bet you will make their day.

    I already do this as a habit. I forget when I started — probably around 2002. I think I decided I didn’t like silent appreciation, and that I would lead by example. I don’t mind pointing out to people the good that I see. What surprised me along the way, is how many people don’t always see the good that they do. I try to be specific when I praise to make it more meaningful or special … so somebody sees the unique value they bring or how their special approach makes a difference.

    • says

      J. D. I’m not surprised! I wish you were my mentor when I was a manager. Appreciation is one of the most simple gifts we can give to another. You are so right when you observe that people – in the West, in particular – are so in need of it. Thanks for sharing your approach. I’m sure it will inspire others who manage and coordinate teams.

  15. says

    I love the challenge Sandra. I do believe I’ll take ya up on it ;-) … I feel in general I’m a kind and thoughtful person, but I know I can do better, and help more people, if it’s just something on my mind. ‘Simple challenges’ are just the type of thing a guy like me needs to get a little more out of himself and life.

    Thanks for all you do. :-)

    • says

      Hi Marcus,

      I’m glad this resonates for you. So many of us need more simplicity these days. I like your take one this: “…if it’s just something more on my mind.” Have fun with this and let us know how it goes when I post the wrap up at the end of the month. Thanks so much for your comment.

  16. says

    ” “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao-Tzu” I love this guys wisdom. Live and think with your heart. It’s where all change begins. Have you been living with love Sandra? ( rhetorical question, I know you have)

    • says

      Hi Jonathan, That’s actually a good question, Jonathan. They often say that you “teach” what you need to learn. Well, I’m not a teacher but I do write about what I need to learn. I grew up in a slightly harsh environment – not a terrible environment, just a little harsh. On top of that, I don’t have many water signs in my birth chart. So I’m not always spontaneously loving by any means, but this is what I aspire to be. Thanks for traveling with me on the path.

  17. says

    I am so miserably bad at expressing emotion towards people (no problem with animals; we communicate by touch!) — I spend most of my time up in my head, and I don’t even realize that I’m being cold, closed off, and reserved. It takes conscious thought for me to remember that the people who matter to me need more affection and openess than I do. I know my spouse and my marriage would be happier if I tried harder. Thank you for this reminder!

    • says

      Jennifer, I really understand where you are coming from. I am not exactly a pro myself ~ that’s why this is my focus. I don’t have much water in my astrological chart so I need to flow in this direction intentionally. I find that what I give comes back in a wonderful way and enriches my life too.

      We weren’t all born warm, fuzzy, and cozy so it’s a little harder for some of us. Your self insight is awesome though. Good luck with this. Every little bit helps! I appreciate you and the deep thinking on your blog.

  18. says

    This is a great post and a fabulous idea. I’m in. Your quotes remind me of one other, which was posted in a coffee house I frequented as a young teenager – it said, ‘The smile you send out returns to you’. It’s true.

    • says

      Welcome Louise,

      That’s a beautiful quote and I’m so glad you shared it. Glad you are in. Let us know how it goes when I post my wrap up at the end of the month. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  19. says

    What a wonderful challenge Sandra. This is both inspiring and a comfort as each day i do meditate on love and living more from my heart. Focusing on appreciation is for me like acknowledging both the love and the abundance that shows up daily. Like you I need to acknowledge this more

    with love and appreciation
    Suzie

  20. says

    Hi Sandra .. I’d been saving this post .. but life once again caught me up in it .. have just been to Cornwall and back to clear my mother’s flat – not something I needed to do in a rush – but so be it. Those words ‘so be it’ when I’ve been lost in the tangle of family and life as a whole come to my rescue more times than I care to think .. sometimes we just never get a chance to think straight and life goes on – those times are challenging to hurdle, but hurdled they must be .. and times will change & then we will have learnt so much … so love is there .. but sometimes it just is under the swirling surface.

    I love your thought of 30 days of love and appreciation .. x 12 for the year and x life for a lifetime of a happier, peaceful and gentle existence in this world .. Thanks Sandra .. wonderful words .. love Hilary