Iyanla VanZant, African American inspirational speaker, author and spiritual teacher, has a lovely BLUEPRINT she follows regarding the way she interacts with others:
Every one of us has a basic need to be "seen". We would like to have our presence recognized and not in an offhand, careless manner as if to say "I see you've come into the room but I'm busy doing other things."
Even if we are otherwise occupied, we can always look up and smile (thereby radiating love) and let the person know we are AWARE of their presence and will get back to them when we finish our task.
And, when we do have the time and energy for this interchange, we ENGAGE with them.
We give them our full attention (and if we cannot, we express our intention to do this and explain why we cannot give this energy at this time). We honor their feelings and try to understand them. We listen with sensitivity and caring and we help them "see" us and know the substance of our hearts.
To affirm is to declare the truth of something. What a beautiful practice to announce, proclaim, reveal the truth of our heart...something that has touched us deeply and now wants to be expressed when we have noticed something beautiful or generous or loving in someone's behavior.
Expressing "affirm"ation is an awesome gift which only grows in abundance as the vibrations are shared with the person with whom we are interacting.
To appreciate means to be grateful or thankful for...to be fully conscious of. so much of our life is lived on default. We walk through life unconsciously following the same pathways and patterns. It is when we bring our full consciousness to something that we are able to recognize the gift it holds for us...the new beauty and wisdom that is revealed to us. When we are fully engaged, fully conscious, the appreciation that we express...that we give to someone...is really a confirmation of a gift that has been given to us.
Acknowledgement, Affirmation and Appreciation...
What beautiful treasures to bestow upon someone and what beautiful gifts to request for ourselves!
Knowing the joy these benevolent actions inspire and their stunning potential for enhancing our life we, too, can dip into this wellspring of grace and ask for these beautiful blessings when our heart needs to be soothed and comforted, thereby strengthening and deepening our relationship with someone important in our life.
image from www.rose-gardening-made-easy.com