On a Rampage of Gratitude and Appreciation

by Tess on October 22, 2010

Hand And Heart
Photographer: Francesco Marino

We expect things, we feel entitled…our ego's shout, "I should have this or that…now!"


I know half of the people in India don't have a roof over their head, they sleep outside, unprotected from the rain.


Ego: I want to monetize my blog. 


If you have an income of at least $3 a day, you are better off than 1/3 of planet. Even after hubs lost his job, in less than a year, we've bounced back even better than before. 


Ego: I want more subscribers and better statistics.


If you have a refrigerator, electricity, food, a phone…half of the people on the planet don’t have these things. 


Ego: I want a new laptop and iPod.


Take a minute now and notice what you have that people in third world countries do not. They are happy with a pair of shoes.


Our problem is we're never satisfied. We always want more and when we get it, our ego moves the line. 


We're never satisfied for very long. We continue to look for the next best thing.   

When we fill ourselves with gratitude and appreciation, we can be joyful now. We can be generous now. We can live in the moment now. All of our needs are met. 


I think happiness depends on external things. Joy comes from within, our soul.


The following is an exercise from the Institute of Heart Math that I was taught in a Jack Canfield seminar. I'm putting my own twist on the end of it.


It's called appreciation breathing or breathe into your heart.


Locate your heart, just left of the middle of your chest. Now close your eyes.


Imagine your nose and mouth are located in your heart, in the middle of your chest.


Next inhale through your heart and exhale right below your heart.


Inhale slowly, count silently to yourself as you lengthen your breath…1-2-3-4-5 breathing in and lengthening your breath.


Next exhale, counting silently 1-2-3-4-5 lengthening your breath below your heart.


Now think of who or what you love: your spouse, child, music, dog, cat or a parent.


You want to feel the love…like when you’re watching a small child in bed sleeping and you’re filled with appreciation for the joy the child brings into your life.


Feel it, get that higher level of feeling and think of a balloon. Begin expanding your heart like a balloon , inhale and fill it with love…blow in and fill the balloon.


Then pinch off balloon so it won’t come out as you exhale. Do this breathing in and out into your heart, expanding your heart and filling it with the love you feel for what or whom you have chosen.


The original ending from Heart Math requires you to focus on a vision, dream or your desires when you're in the altered state of love.


Keep breathing in and out, lengthening the breath in your heart while visualizing how your life will change and what it will look like if you take action.

Because of our never ending desire for more, I've changed the ending.


When I'm in the altered state of love, I see a vision of love and basic needs being met for everyone in the world. This takes me out of my greed and ego state.


Another change you can make is instead of seeing a person, animal or object you love you could envision all of humanity.


This change, I've added, reminds me it's not "all about me." We are interconnected.

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    { 50 comments… read them below or add one }

    The Exception October 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Tess –
    A man went to a family counselor and explained that he deserved to have his child because he could give said child so much – a nice house, property, material comforts and lifestyles. The child would be happy.
    At no time did he mention love, nurturing, care, support… laughter… affection. Sometimes I wonder just how we arrived where we are today and our thinking that money and the material are our highest priorities.
    I have read that there are societies in different parts of the world (far less affluent than the US) that have a greater number of people who are happy. They have less and yet, they are happier than we are, in general. It seems that we have so much that we forgot that perhaps what it is we left behind was what we seek in our attempt to buy everything we can… the community, the “village” the family time, the rituals of aging and maturing… the focus on meeting the primary needs…
    Wonderful and powerful post.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:29 am

    You raise very good points. I think one country you’re talking about is Buton. Like the USA measures National Gross Product they measure their happiness.
    I think of Haiti and after the earth quake how the people were singing in the streets as they were surviving in a living hell. Again we’re so blessed!


    Peggy October 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Dear Tess,

    What a treasure this post is! A great reminder that when we take the focus off what we think we lack, we have more than enough. Jack Canfield’s homework this month (I tune into his *Ask Jack* calls the first Wednesday of every month) is to take five minutes every day to be thankful, grateful, and to appreciate what I have and who is in my life. I LOVE doing this.

    Hugs to you!
    .-= Peggy´s last post…Career In Transition Image Makeover =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:31 am

    This doesn’t surprise me that you love doing it. It’s the reason you’re so joyful. You walk your talk and do the work required. Hope all is well with you.


    Keith October 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Tess,

    WHOA! Now THIS is what I’m talking about. This post is energetic, powerful and BOLD! It must be from Tess Marshall!!

    Seriously, this post is packed with power. As I was reading, it just jumped out and shook me, forcing me to open my eyes and allow gratitude to pour out from my heart!

    So many excellent points here, but this statement really rocked my worold because there’s so much that can be said about this “We always want more and when we get it our ego moves the line” That statement conatins so much and ot cries out for us to listen to it’s teaching. The old adage “More is never enough” comes to mind.

    Grateful. That is what I am at this very moment. For everything in my life.
    I am also grateful for you Tess and for the big splash you’re making in the pond of humanity.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Hi Keith,
    Thanks for your support. Jacob Glass always reminds me of the ego moving the line. I don’t know one person who can’t relate. I’m loving your words of love and I’m sending back a big Thanks for being in my life.


    Clearly Composed October 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Your heart is so HUGE!! The amount of love it pumps…wowsa, wowsa, wowsa. Thank you for being such an advocate for compassion, love, and kindness. I am pretty grateful for just about everything after reading this audaciously enthusiastic post on what really matters. :)
    .-= Clearly Composed´s last post… Success- 7 Questions and 14 Answers =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Remember I’m a reflection of you so you must have a huge heart as well! Thanks for your support and for all the good work you do on your blog. Your photo makes it so personal.
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…On a Rampage of Gratitude and Appreciation =-.


    Dandy October 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    That’s lovely Tess. Our souls need to feed on positivity and gratitude. We need to focus on our advantages and blessings instead of what we don’t have. Thanks for the link to Heart Math. I can’t wait to check it out. It sounds facinating! Thanks.

    Many blessings,


    Tess Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Thank you for stopping at my blog with your kind words and big heart. I appreciate you.


    Patty - Why Not Start Now? October 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I like your ending so much, Tess. It really puts things in perspective, and helps me feel my place in the larger world. And you know, I think you could record this one. It’s a standout guided imagery activity. Thanks.
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last post…Dream the Impossible Dream Redux =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Hi Patti,
    I can only record the ending. That is truly mine;) Thanks for you encouraging words and love you consistently leave on my blog.


    Brenda October 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Beautiful posting Tess!! I am so grateful for all the reminders to take time to appeciate all the blessings in our lives.

    As the Joy Lady around here…I loved what you said about happiness depending on external things and joy coming from the soul…I always say that Joy is peace…with wings.

    My daughter was mugged yesterday. in NYC..he wanted her cellphone and came up behind her and grabbed it. Do you know that I went to bed feeling grateful to this man for not being violent with my daughter? And also grateful for the reminder for her (and my family and friends) to be more alert and aware.

    May everyone be blessed with love and joy~~!!!
    .-= Brenda´s last post…The Magic in You =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:39 am

    It doesn’t surprise me about your gratitude. What an awesome way to reframe it. And I understand your gratitude for that. You’re amazing.


    Angela Artemis October 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    What a beautiful post Tess! We do have so much – we want for nothing, yet we want and we want….. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. Yes, we are all interconnected I truly believe this and know it in my heart.
    .-= Angela Artemis´s last post…How to Plug Into The Reality of Our Oneness =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I’m glad I’m connected to you! Hope your packing is coming along fine. Hugs to you my friend.


    Alex Blackwell October 22, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Joy comes from our soul – wonderfully comforting! Thanks Tess.



    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Rock on Alex! Does anyone besides me say that anymore.LOL


    Suzie Cheel October 22, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I just adore the image : ??
    I love to read your soul speaking and I know the more time I spend giving thanks and being grateful the more love flows to me and through me. I am smiling as I type away here think of seeing. i like how you take away the greed and the ego. Yes it is all about us……. when we get that we let go of the personal- it’s all about me.
    Gratitude and love bold lady
    .-= Suzie Cheel´s last post…Do You Follow The Gurus or Your Heart =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Your’e the best…anyone who has a blog dedicated to gratitude is on the right track!


    Sue October 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Tess,

    What a great post and I love your revision to the end of the exercise/visualization. Thank you, Tess, for respectfully yet clearly reminding us of how privileged many of us in the developed nations really are–and how easily we lose sight of our good fortune when we’re suddenly seized with a case of the “wants”.

    Maybe one more step that we could add to the exercise is to not just visualize or wish that all people everywhere could have their basic needs met but also choose to find a way to make that happen for at least one or two individuals.
    I know it seems almost overwhelming when we think of the total number of people in the world living below the poverty line, even by their own countries’ standards, and yet even if we find a way to boost one or two people out of the poverty cycle (through educational programs for children or micro-loans to help people start a small business and become self-sufficient) it has a huge impact for those individuals and there is probably a ripple effect.

    What seems like a pittance here often goes a long way and has a lot of buying power in developing countries. As an example, I recently heard about a program in India (Delhi) for which $120 USD a year–or $10 per month (which roughly converts to 500 Indian Rupees per month or 6,000 rupees per year)– results in enough money to provide remedial education and extra tutoring to one first generation learner for a year. The money also allows for extra-curricular activities and excursions for these children, basic health care and better nutrition. That’s perhaps the equivalent of 3 months’ worth of lattes at a rate of 3 per week at roughly $3 for the smallest size?


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Yes it’s putting action behind our words. I agree whole heartedly and I do! Thanks for touching on that point;)


    Linda October 22, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Tess, I so love you. About the time I lost my house, left my husband and had no job, I met you. I grew to love my apt.. My balcony looked out on one beautiful tree instead of the parking lot and I filled it with flowers. Many of my possessions were in storage or friend’s homes. When I began working, I worked harder than I’ve ever worked before and studied to earn a Master’s degree.
    Hardship? No….you helped me find joy and affirmation. My youngest son has recited some of the statistics you mention in this. Now that I have so much materially, I need to be brought back to basics with this reminder. You are such an example of what you “preach.” Thank you for your incredible testimony. My life is enriched even more because of you.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:44 am

    I love you! xo


    Sandra Lee October 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm


    You are so right about our fundamental discontentment – as soon as we get one thing we want the next. Gratitude, joy, and being in the moment is the way to find true contentment and to realize it never comes from externals.

    May you realize all your visions and find complete contentment always.
    .-= Sandra Lee´s last post…The Web of Love and 5 Beautiful Bloggers =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Thanks for your lovely words. I wish the same for you and I’m grateful in advance for it all.


    Evita October 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Hi Tess

    I know, I know, I am at the Expo and busy with stuff, but I saw this come through and I just had to read it!

    This is beautiful Tess and rings true to my heart because at the end of the day, we are enough and have enough (a wise woman by the name of Tess told me that once ;)

    Thanks for sharing and amazing reminder!
    .-= Evita´s last post…New Moon Expo and New e-Book Released- Healing and Prevention Through Nutrition =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Thanks for being my friend and thinking of me at the expo. Congrats on you new ebook and other services.


    Leah McClellan October 23, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Great post Tess….you made me think of how I watched some TV shows last night–a very rare thing for me–and thought about how the advertising shapes us so much: you must have this, you must have that, and so many messages–blatant and underlying–about why you should have this or that and how it will make us feel. And in the absence of any other messages about what we should do to feel good, well I guess that’s what we go for.

    That’s just part of it. What else is anyone supposed to do but buy stuff and want stuff when most people around us are doing that and expect us to do the same? We change the world when we change ourselves, and that’s just what this post is about, seems to me…the more people question things and talk about appreciation and gratitude and letting go of grasping and wanting etc and HOW to do that (so important) the louder the message gets and it won’t be so hard or lonely for people to let it go.

    Awesome, glad I read this :)
    .-= Leah McClellan´s last post…Bullies Aren’t Born That Way–They’re Made =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Thanks for visiting TBL! Yes I agree with television and our kids get that coming at them from the first day we turn it on for them. With several TVs in each home is it any wonder kids follow in our footsteps. I love your point about the louder the message gets the less lonely people will be. Love it!


    Katie October 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Tess, lovely. Very human, very giving and very true. Honestly, we are so greedy and needy as a species, aren’t we? It’s good to be grateful, good to think beyond yourself, good to be here at The Bold Life getting inspiration for life.
    .-= Katie´s last post…Milestones Can Pave the Road to Your Calling =-.


    Tess The Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Yes katie, I’m very needy and greedy and that’s why I rewrote the ending. The time they are a changin’ like that old Bob Dylan song. Because if I can honor and admit to my greed and live simply I’m making progress.


    Alex Yong October 23, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    True happiness comes from within our soul as like you don’t need a mirror to tell you that you are truly beautiful.

    Thanks for a beautiful post, Tess.


    Tess Bold Life October 24, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Thank you for you kind words and support. I appreciate you!


    Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) October 24, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I just love the title of this post, Tess – on a rampage of gratitude and appreciation. It got me so excited for what I was about to read. Thank you for cutting through our tendency to take things for granted and for offering these beautiful reminders of what is truly important.

    Love to you,


    Tess October 27, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Gail, thanks for you compliment and support. You know I write this stuff for myself more than anyone else. So it’s a bonus when others can relate and enjoy it as well.


    Tim October 24, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Hi Tess:

    This is a pretty cool exercise. It seems like sometimes we’re all striving toward something…something that’s supposed to make us happy and complete. Your exercise is a great reminder that we’re complete already. Knowing this, it’s still easy to lose sight of this. Ah, we’ll get there – oh wait, we’re already here.
    .-= Tim´s last post…Making Your Own Creative Luck =-.


    Tess October 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Yes what a great reminder for me today…we’re already there!


    Marion October 25, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Hi Tess
    Thank you for a great reminder. I read the Heart Math Solution a few years ago and did the heart breathing exercise then. It was a great way to find inner peace.
    Many Thanks
    .-= Marion´s last post…Have you turned into a Frog =-.


    Tess October 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Those people at Heart Math are on to something. Amen to that. Thanks for stopping by. xo


    rob white October 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I love your perspective, Tess. “Breathing into the heart” is a wonderful way to think about it. Appreciation is big breath of golden fresh air for our hearts. It is the single most important thing to maintain a soaring attitude and mood… we simply cannot be the expression we intend to be without that attitude of gratitude.


    Tess October 27, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Yes I’ll be breathing into my heart today. Thanks for joining me.


    Aileen October 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Tess, I love that exercise and the ending you gave it. It is an incredible feeling when I remind myself of the interconnectedness of all beings and all of life. Thank you for this uplifting post – it’s so refreshing to get out of the sillyness of desire.
    .-= Aileen´s last post…Infuse Your Life With Momentum =-.


    Karen (from Scraps of Mind) October 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks a lot for this post Tess. You’re right. We have so much that we don’t even consider it. All our focus is on the things we haven’t got. And we want them. For someone who has no shoes a pair of shoes is the epitome of a dream. I appreciate you reminding me of that.


    Christopher Foster October 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

    “We always want more and when we get it our ego moves the line” is brilliant Tess. It sums up “the human condition.” But here’s something to be thankful for — I don’t have to play that tired, nonsensical game anymore.

    I can reach out and give my ego a friendly pat and say to myself: “It’s allright. It’s allright. Be still, and know that In this moment everything is perfect just as it is.”
    .-= Christopher Foster´s last post…Is there any greater joy than finding a true friend =-.


    Travis Webster-Booth October 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    The phrase, “rampage of love and gratitude” brings the most wonderfully entertaining images to mind!

    But my favorite thing about this post is the connection drawn between ego and material overabundance. Where does “getting to the new line” get us? Not much farther. Especially when you consider what could be achieved if we re-directed that attention towards the ends you mention… gratitude, appreciation, and love.

    Most of us could do with about %1,000 more gratitude throughout the day…..


    Patricia October 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I am reading and evaluating all these grants that volunteers used to help kids stay in school, teens not get pregnant, pre-natal care, young fathers take responsibility, nutrition, and young children not afraid in their own homes….I start each report with a breath of gratitude for all the work that these folks have done on behalf of the citizens in this state…All the $100,000.00 grants are now $30,000.00 so I find the most radiate grateful words to share with these volunteers who just keep going and going, because children need a future.
    Nice post…I enjoyed the reminders very much


    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now October 27, 2010 at 7:33 am

    What a beautiful meditation! I know that I don’t take enough time to appreciate the people that I love. We live in a very rushed culture and if we don’t take the time to slow down and appreciate who and what is in our lives we get lost.

    I just wrote a piece about respect. I think gratitude and respect are closely tied together. When we take time to appreciate other people as well as ourselves the respect flows freely.

    Thanks for such an inspiring post.


    Nea | Self Improvement Saga October 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    The heart breathing exercise was amazing. I love the way you changed it up on the end. I spend enough time in the “wanting” state. It felt wonderful to simply feel love for all of humanity and to envision needs being met for all. Thank you so much for this, Tess.
    .-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last post…8 Ways to Look and Feel Better Than You Ever Have =-.


    Cameron Smith November 13, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Nice post!
    I am really impress by the professional way!


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