chalk boardLast month I purchased adhesive chalkboard paper.  In my desire to have my household enveloped in love as much as possible, I was thinking it would provide a unique way to communicate appreciation to my BF and his kids. It’s not the only way to communicate mind you. This was not an attempt to replace live, 3D communication. This was a practice of amplifying the love in our relationships.

I envisioned us writing each other public love notes, maybe adding a chore list (being practical is a form of love), or occasionally ranting to rid any pent up qi. We could also use it as public art space or for sanctioned graffiti.  The creative potential was limitless. Then it occurred to me that just a month away was Thanksgiving–the time of giving thanks, of expressing gratitude. But I didn’t want to wait until then. I saw the chalkboard paper as a vehicle to make our gratitude transparent, starting now.

When I receive acknowledgement and gratitude, I really love it! It feels like someone lit my internal sparkler. However, it wasn’t always this way.  I used to ignore the appreciation I received, and then, strangely, wonder why I wasn’t appreciated more.  I was keeping it at bay and starving myself from something so simple and yet so nourishing. Then I finally got one very important piece of appreciation that I had never considered, one that made all the difference and stopped me from pushing it away-the giver of the acknowledgement also basks in the process of giving. It has the giver be equally nourished.

Almost a month later, the board is still being used.  And not exclusively for appreciations such as Charley appreciating our dog Adam or throwing the football with his dad, or Georgia expressing a special appreciation of milk or the homework help we give her, but for other positive declarations about the day.  For example, Jim regularly writes the word “ease” as a way, I imagine, to anchor his day. And me? It doesn’t take long for something or someone to surface that I’m appreciating. Today it was the very excellent editing skills of my beloved to make my muddled thoughts easier for you, the reader, to decipher. And, I couldn’t be more grateful for loving a family who loves me just as much as I do them.

 

What’s your appreciation ritual?

Happy Thanksgiving!