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This has got my head spinning…‏

Spring has officially sprung and so it seemed about time to be in touch with a (very) occasional blog posting.

As many of you know, my mission is to share what I call The Art of Acknowledgement with as many people as possible. I’ve seen for myself, and have received many testimonials to the fact, that this creates an amazing positive change for people. Acknowledgement is an extension of both gratitude and appreciation. When we acknowledge something about another person – be it the cool tie they are wearing or the sparkle in their eye – we are telling them (to their face and not behind their back) how we’ve noticed them. We all want to be seen, yet it’s easy to feel invisible in our big, bustling cities.

Research has shown that both the giver and the receiver of acknowledgement experience the delicious release of positive endorphins. Because it feels so good you’d think we would go around saying nice things to each other all the time just so we would be infused with these feel-good chemicals. But it’s hard to sustain these positive states and we tend to move back to “ordinary”. I’ve also noticed that some people are reluctant to use The Art of Acknowledgement because they are naturally shy or not as outgoing as I am. So how about starting with trees as Michele did the other day when she came home beaming with joy and a unique take on acknowledgement and gratitude.

This time of year, Vancouver is abloom with fruit trees, making it one of the most magical aspects of living in this city. And while the rest of Canada doesn’t like to hear about the blossoms when they are still buried under the worst winter since forever, we know that eventually every part of the continent will also be welcoming their own spring magic.

Michele said that as she drove around the city, she would say, “Thank-you,” to each tree that was in bloom. “Just the playfulness of doing this made me laugh,” she recounted, “Noticing and thanking the world for its beauty made me unaccountably happy.” On our next outing we tried it together. Every time I saw a display of Nature’s artistry, my heart would swell with the joy of being alive. Soon we were seeking them out, pointing to yet another spectacular display. It was a great reminder that there is beauty lurking around every corner and all we had to do was to be seekers for that joy.

Many wise life-coaches and sages have made the suggestion to keep a daily gratitude journal – a list of things in life that we are grateful for. This is even simpler: acknowledgement isn’t just for other people. Acknowledgement is the very act of noticing something attractive or beautiful and declaring it. This in itself creates a positive endorphin feedback loop that infuses us with joy and well-being.

 Of course you don’t have to wait for spring. I recall the snow glittering under a brilliant March sun and how the dripping of icicles were a reminder that warmer days would soon arrive. Beauty and the gratitude for it can be found everywhere. My wish is that you go out and get some of that tasty spring happiness for yourself.