Do you give an appreciation message often? Appreciation is a perception and defines your lifestyle. You can choose to look at what is lacking or what is already existing in each moment.
The more we appreciate, the more we realize how abundant our life is.
Appreciating our loved ones is also important to deepen our relationship. Especially those days such as birthdays or family gatherings are great times to give appreciations. You can also consider giving appreciations in equinox or solstice times, as you can see here.
This is why in this blog post I have prepared 2 very nice appreciation tools for you from the resource of Yes Jam Facilitation Manual. Use these tools and be surprised to see how rich you are while deepening your relationships.
What is an appreciation message & What to say to show appreciation?
An appreciation message is basically responding to some appreciative questions about another person such as:
- What gifts did you see in this person?
- How do you see them making a difference in the world?
- What did you learn from them?
- How have they touched your heart?
- What inspires you about them?
How to show appreciation message & how to reply to appreciation message?
The best way is to connect to your truth. Instead of preparing it beforehand with some prepared messages, connect to your truth and tell what is alive in you.
Once you will do that you will be surprised by all the nice ideas that are coming to you about this person.
Why is it important to appreciate?
All too rarely in our society do we have the opportunity to fully honor and appreciate those around us. And yet, when it does happen, it fills the giver and the receiver with so much joy and energy.
It inspires us to our greatest potential when others name the gifts they have seen within us and received from us. We are lifted, heart and soul.
Tools to give appreciation message to friends and appreciation message for birthday wishes
While organizing both the appreciation circle and appreciation ceremony, there will be a person with the role of a facilitator who is the host, mainly the person who is giving the invitation.
#1. Appreciation circle
How to organize and facilitate an appreciation circle?
Everyone sits in a circle. One person is appreciated at a time, going around the circle. Depending on the time available, the facilitator can call on three people to give appreciations per person. The facilitator can call on different people each time, to ensure that everyone has a chance to give an appreciation.
To appreciate someone, address him or her by name and say one or two specific things you appreciate about them. For example: “José, I appreciate your honesty in the last discussion and your ability to bring laughter in key moments.”
The facilitator makes sure that appreciations are spoken directly to the receiver, i.e., “I appreciate you, Cindy”, not “I appreciate her,” or “I appreciate Cindy”.
Variation of an appreciation circle
Each person has two minutes for anyone in the group to appreciate them. The person to the left keeps time, and the watch is passed around the circle.
The benefit of this approach is that more people can get a chance to state their appreciation. The drawback is the time stress, which encourages more surface appreciations and people feeling the need to jump in fast.
If you are doing this with fewer people for example as a family of 7 people lets’s say, you can make it more informal and give each person 2-3 minutes to appreciate.
#2. Appreciation ceremony
This process, more so than the Appreciation Circle above, has the quality of a ceremony, and it allows each person to be appreciated and to give appreciations. The result is love and vitality, for all.
You will need 3-6 chairs, positive music (preferably without words), candles, or fire for ambiance.
How to organize and facilitate an appreciation ceremony?
- Depending on the size of the group, you choose several chairs and set them around in a semi-circle. For example, for a group of 30, you would have six chairs; for a group of 12, you would have three chairs.
- In a small family, it would be only one chair. The people who sit in the chairs are the ones who will be receiving the appreciation. Their job is only to listen and receive. They do not need to speak and are invited to keep their eyes closed for the entirety of the time.
- The rest of the group divides up and lines up behind each of the chairs. So, for example, if six people are sitting, then out of a group of 30, four people would be standing behind each chair. Those who are standing are the givers of the appreciations.
- The facilitator explains and demonstrates: “When it is your turn, you will speak an appreciation to the person sitting in the chair by quietly whispering in their ear. You are encouraged to speak directly to them, in the ‘you’, and in your own words, share what you appreciate about them.
- What gifts did you see in this person? How do you see them making a difference in the world? What did you learn from them? What inspires you about them? How have they touched your heart?”
- The facilitator reminds everyone that this is the time to truly speak straight to the person’s heart and try to refrain from any advice, guidance, or responses to other conversations.
- The facilitator also encourages the speaker to maintain a gentle touch on the shoulder of the person as they are sharing their appreciation, and when they complete, to make sure that the next person in line has gently touched the receiver’s shoulder, before removing their hand and going to a new line to appreciate another person. This continuous gentle touch is so that the people sitting in the chairs always feel a connection to the group.
- The facilitator chooses some moving and powerful music (ideally, word-less) to play in the background to both create an ambiance and muffle the sound of the simultaneous appreciations being given.
- They may also light candles or have a fire, to create a sense of the sacred in the space.
- Depending on the time you have and the numbers, you can set how much time each group/person will receive appreciation for before a new group sits down. Typically, for a group of 30, with six receiving appreciations and 24 rotating around to the different lines, we set ten minutes per group, so each person is receiving ten minutes of appreciations.
- Typically, a person receives 10-15 appreciations, and a giver gets to about three or four of the seated receivers. The facilitator can encourage people to take their time giving their appreciation, to make sure they fully express themselves, and also to please respect the time and remember that many people want to appreciate this person.
- So about 30 seconds per appreciation is the guideline. When standing in line, people are encouraged to stay quiet and focus their energy on the people sitting, to maintain the beauty and power of the appreciative atmosphere.
- When the ten minutes have passed, the facilitator encourages the last speakers to complete, and as they do, to maintain the gentle touch on the shoulder until all the speakers are done. Then, at the same moment, they all let go of the shoulders, and the facilitator encourages the receivers to take in all the love and support around them (the whole group stands around them as they complete).
- When they feel they are ready, they open their eyes, look at their inner circle, and then the wider circle of support around them. Then, when complete, they vacate the chairs and make the space for the next group to sit down.
- Be sure to have a tissue on hand, as it can be quite emotional for people to really hear all the gifts people see in them and to fully receive the appreciation. This process has the feeling of a ceremony, so be sure to take time and space to let it unfold.
These experiences are magical and life-changing. Try them. Do not wait until the last day of your life to give your appreciation to those people around you. Appreciate them. Show your love. Deepen your relationships. Witness your true richness.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Relationship Board!