Monday, 12 November 2012

Appreciation: Giving and Receiving

Since the Writing From Your Heart Online Gathering began, I've been receiving feedback.

Positive feedback - which is absolutely wonderful.

Because when you set about hosting an online event, challenges abound. For me the technical issues were and remain the things that trip me up the most.

What I have enjoyed above all else is the connection with the speakers... and the listeners.

I've been that holder of a space where people can meet. In the past I've done it in physical space like facilitating courses. But this was my first cyber-space event and to begin with I wondered how I could do it.

Really though it's just the same as if people were in the same room. Doesn't matter that they listen singly all over the world.

For me I imagine them all connected up and together.

That makes it easy and it seems as if those who listen are receiving the feeling that I'm transmitting.

Which brings me back to the appreciation.

One definition of appreciation is: recognition of the value or significance of something.

Over this last weekend I've been mulling over some ideas about giving and receiving appreciation.

Why we offer it, why we don't and why it can be hard to accept.

During the last few years I've listened to dozens of speakers on a variety of online events.

How often have I sent an appreciative comment?

I'm ashamed to say hardly ever.

What stops us offering appreciation?

It's not because I haven't found significance or value in the talks. Far from it.

Especially this year I've gained huge support and inspiration from listening to speakers talking about subjects as diverse as abundance, lessons they need to learn as they follow a spiritual path, and how to improve your health.

So what stopped me?

Inertia, lack of putting myself in their shoes and a feeling it wouldn't matter. Especially with the more well known speakers, I felt that lots of people would be commenting so it didn't make a difference if I didn't.

Now the boot's on the other foot so to speak, I understand exactly what it can mean to a speaker or host to receive a comment that the words have helped them.

So I'm immensely grateful to those who took the time and trouble to comment.

Which brings me the receiving of appreciation.

Why do we find it difficult to accept appreciation?

Years ago I worked in a block of serviced offices and next door to mine was a young woman offering secretarial services. One of her clients came in most weeks and I'd often meet him in the corridor or we three would share a coffee.

On one occasion he complimented me on a jacket I was wearing and my reply was along the lines of 'I've had this ages, etc etc.'

He stopped me and said, 'By not accepting I meant the compliment, you're rejecting my good wishes.'

As you can imagine it stopped me in my tracks and after that I made a conscious effort, and still do to accept        compliments, even when they take unexpected forms.

Do we appreciate ourselves enough?

If we're exhorted to 'love others as ourselves' how good a job are we doing for others when we don't appreciate ourselves?

Not very good. But when much of my upbringing was to stop me being vain, and not blowing my own trumpet then self praise is tough.

I know that when I reach the end of the Gathering and I sit down to assess how it went, it will be more natural to focus on the mistakes than on the sheer achievement of making it happen.

Which would put down those people who took the trouble to send me their thoughts and loving kindnesses. So I've decided that at the head of the review list is going to be a Didn't We Do Well item.

Big lesson for me there.

How do you deal with giving and receiving appreciation?

There's still time to join in with six more powerful speakers in Weeks 4 and 5 as we look at transformation and how we get our message out in the world.

Join us at

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