Week 18 – Shift Your Expectation to Appreciation
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. Voltaire
We opened this series this month discussing the Power of Gratitude and Appreciation, The Joy Starts Here. We talked about how and why it works, and how we can leverage the two concepts in to produce a better life. Then we talked about how When We Search for Gratitude, We Find Contentment, and how gratitude is a superpower God gave us that has the ability to have an immediate impact on our personal realities. We also talked about Conscious Appreciation and how being mindful and deliberate regarding the things you’re grateful for causes an avalanche effect of more things like it to manifest in your life. Lastly, explored how We Find Enlightenment Through Gratitude, and by focusing on gratitude, we begin to actually see what is real.
Today we want to close this series out by talking about shifting your expectation to appreciation.
It is quite a different feeling of expecting something, compared to appreciating something. In one you feel owed, and in the other you feel awed. One is entitlement, while the other is enlightenment. Expectation is looking forward to what you hope to attain or looking at the past in what had hoped to have. Expectation doesn’t really focus on the here and now. Appreciation, on the other hand is strictly about the present moment. You appreciate what you have, what you may not have, what’s around you, what you see in others, you appreciate both the possibilities as well as what’s present.
On the surface this may sound somewhat contradictory our philosophy here at Align to Enlighten. We teach on positive expectations and how belief + expectation = manifested desires. However, this is not the expectation we’re referring to here. What we mean here is the expectation for something to be different than what is it. The expectation of someone else to behave differently or the expectation for some circumstance to be other than what it is. So you may say, “If I don’t have the expectation that my husband will treat me fairly and be loyal, won’t I be promoting his doing wrong?” Or, “If I don’t have strong expectations that my court proceedings will have a positive outcome, aren’t I sabotaging my own destiny?”
The answer here is no, not really. It’s okay to have standards for yourself, as a matter of fact, you probably should. But if you have an expectation of your husband or wife that exceeds their expectations of themselves, then you set your own self up for disappointment, disapproval, discontentment, and a whole lot of other disses. Remember, it’s always about alignment with your inner being.
Expectations, and beliefs come AFTER appreciation. Putting expectations and beliefs first is putting the cart before the proverbial horse if you will. Appreciation is the foundation of all other positive emotions and beliefs. Appreciation sets the tone, it regulates us into a state of allowing all that we truly want to transpire. Because the fact of the matter is that sometimes our expectations fail. Sometimes what we were expecting to happen doesn’t happen even with all of our best efforts. Why? Because we did not set the correct tone. And by not setting the correct tone of appreciation we weren’t a true vibrational match to what we expected and desired.
For instance, the court proceeding example I just mentioned bears truth in my own life. A couple of years ago I was going through some serious litigation. I had a strong positive expectation and belief of the way I wanted the outcome to go, and the other person was granted judgement. Now on the surface, some would say I lost. I say, I won. My true desire was freedom, peace, and a fair and equitable outcome. I was granted just that. And because I had firmly established and attitude of appreciation and traded in my expectation of the way I thought it should be, I prevailed, by my own standards. My appreciation and ability to be thankful in the midst of what could have otherwise been a horrible situation, shaped my perception which changed my reality.
So how did I do it?
Every day, several times throughout the day I began to find things about the court case to appreciate. I found appreciation for the judge, the clerks, the building, the court system itself and reminded myself of how thankful I was to live in a society where issues are dealt with amicably, and most importantly I focused tremendous appreciation for the other person who was suing me. That’s right, I found a way to be really and truly thankful for them. This exercise opened up the greatest amount of blessings to flow my way. Because I truly and sincerely appreciated the experience and believed wholeheartedly that this situation was for my greater good despite the perceived outcome of loss, the outcome was favorable for me. I Gave God something to work with and to work through. It was my sincere appreciation that afforded me the greatest allowance of abundance and well-being.
Why is this important?
Appreciation gives you tremendous leverage because all your power is in the present moment. Everything you’re thinking about whether it happened yesterday or 5 years ago, or if you’re thinking about tomorrow or 5 years ahead – you’re doing it now! You are generating all your power and all the power of the Universe right now as you think a thought no matter what the thought is about. So appreciation for any given circumstance you’re in provides you the focus that creates allowing of well-being in the present moment. This empowers you to navigate successfully through any life event or circumstance with confidence and assurance, and without doubt, fear, or worry.
How and where can you apply this your life?
Anywhere you can look at your life and notice where you have expectations of others, yourself, circumstances, etc. consider shifting that attitude from expectation to one of appreciation. This may seem like a daunting task– flipping the expectation switch off and turning the appreciation switch on, but you can do it. And the rewards will be immediate and long lasting. You don’t have to do it all at once. It’s not an all or none concept. Begin by just focusing on appreciation a little bit more than usual. Pay attention when you feel an expectation arise and at that moment make the shift.