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There are four universal NEEDS of the heart.  They are appreciation, attention, affection and acceptance.  Each and every one of us has these needs and much of our behavior, consciously or unconsciously, is driven by these needs.  We were never taught that we could provide these for ourselves, so we end up seeking these needs externally with varying degrees of success, but almost always at an enormous cost.  Let’s start by exploring APPRECIATION.

If there was a wooden plank with a hole in it floating somewhere in the ocean and a turtle surfaces once every century to take a breath, then imagine that the turtle happens to perfectly put its nose through the hole in the plank of wood…it is said that this is how rare a human birth is in the ancient wisdom texts.  Yet, how often do we curse this human existence?

John O’Donohue in Anamcara writes this to remind us to bless this human existence:

“The human body is beautiful.  It is such a privilege to be embodied.  The body is the place where the soul shows itself.  The body is truthful.  Your body tells you, if you attend to it, how your life is and whether you are living from your soul or from the mazes of the mind.  The body is your only true home.  It is your house of belonging here in the world. Talk to it. Thank it.  Care for it.”

How does appreciation show up in your life?  In what ways could it show up for you?  Could it be that you recognize yourself by saying  “Thank you for taking care of me” when you make yourself a healthy meal or go to the gym?  Could it be that you praise yourself for speaking up when you normal keep your mouth shut?  What is it that you yearned for as a child in regards to appreciation?  Now start giving that to yourself.  While this may seem silly, you most likely berate yourself when you don’t measure up.   With that in mind, doesn’t make sense to show your beautiful self appreciation?

Over the next three blogs I will address affection, attention, and acceptance, so stay tuned.  Blessings and much appreciation!

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