Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Appreciation Day

February is here and the signs of it are everywhere: Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. I have nothing against this. In fact, I love cards, chocolates, romantic dinners and flowers. And, this year I would like to challenge you to celebrate in a slightly different way.

What if you make a point to let the people in your life know, in so many words, what you appreciate about them?

Appreciation not your strong suit?

Many people feel unskilled at saying kind and tender words to another. Here are some ways to express appreciation in words:

(Feel free to use any that appeal to you)

  • Thanks.
  • Thanks for … (fill in a small, everyday thing the other person does that you often take for granted)
  • I appreciate that you …
  • I really like it when you …
  • I love you.
  • You are a wonderful person and I am glad to have you in my life.
  • I feel happy (inspired, cheery, better, relaxed, etc) being around you.
  • You are really good at …
  • You are dear to me and I am proud of you.

(Even if it feels awkward, say it out loud, its good for your soul, and for the relationship.)
Now for the hard part:

Do all the above for yourself as well.

Every time you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror, wave and say – I appreciate you.<

Make a list of 10 things you like about you. Start small if you need to, and don’t quit until you have TEN. Every one you know has many qualities that are wonderful or lovely. When was the last time you noticed them in yourself? Again, here are some examples for those who find this onerous or overwhelming:

  • I like that I notice and appreciate a Blue-Sky day.
  • I like that I keep my sock drawer tidy.
  • I like that I am intelligent ( or kind, or funny, or dramatic, or outgoing, or whatever)

Valentine’s Day may be driven by consumerism, but we can all cash in on it by looking for, and noticing LOVE in all the ways it flows to and through us today and every day.