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Two large sunflowers in front of a barn are shown.

I remember my response the first time I was asked this question. My first thought was, “Having enough means I have all that I want (and then some).” That sure caught my attention since it actually sounded more like excess than enough.

I quickly realized that at some point what constituted enough had become laced with fear. Rationally, I knew that enough falls into the territory of having my needs or expectations met. And yet, emotionally that didn’t feel like enough. That definition left me feeling a bit vulnerable. Having more than I needed, well, that felt safer.

I couldn’t help but dig a bit deeper and wonder. How do we recognize enough in a culture that celebrates over-achievement, over consumption – pretty much over the top everything?

What became clear was how much suffering stems from our thoughts of not having enough and not being enough. These thoughts stir up all kinds of fears that grip us with such force it’s hard to see the distortion they cause.

We negate our strengths and long for the talents we see in another. We spend money we don’t have hoping to fill this internal hole with more stuff. We hoard what keeps our illusion of safety alive and well. We hide who we are and pretend to be what we hope others will acceptance and love.

Stepping back, it’s easy to see that this is way out of whack. Once aware, it’s hard to go back to living in this space. When we see our self-destructive patterns, it’s good to know there some simple solutions that can help us break free. In fact, there’s a simple daily practice that always works and leaves you feeling happy, satisfied and full.

It’s called appreciation!

I know you’ve heard it before. Live with appreciation, give gratitude and acknowledge all you already have. It seems to be the standard solution offered up for nearly everything. And here’s why. It works.

Genuine, heart-felt appreciation reduces internal fears. It stops the brain from streaming those endless, negative messages that drain your energy. It’s a neurological fact. The brain cannot be in a state of appreciation and fear at the same time.

This means that when you consciously choose to live with appreciation, you strengthen your well-being on every level-physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. You boost your health, strengthen resilience and flood your body with all kinds of supportive neurochemicals that keep this energy flowing.

I highly encourage you to make it a daily practice to live with appreciation. Get started right now with the tips below:

• Make appreciation a positive, daily ritual
• Start each day recognizing and feeling what’s going well
• Actively appreciate who and what you value most
• Identify your daily accomplishments and see your strength
• Make it a practice to write it all down each night
• Pay attention to how full you feel as your energy expands

“The trick is in what one emphasizes.
We make ourselves miserable,
or we make ourselves happy.
The amount of work is the same.”
-Carlos Castanada

Get good at living™!
Maryanne

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