It may be true that the key to the kingdom is gratitude and appreciation, but just like humility, gratitude is rare

There is pretense gratitude... just like there is pretense humility. Ultimately your actions tell the real story.

I have been having shorter or longer conversations with people who ask for their Starting Point Measurements.

It's, as it is usual with me, an experiment. I ask for my time at $200-$250 an hour, and I give away 3-4 hours a week in strategy sessions. I am starting to feel the tiredness... in fact this morning I woke up exhausted.

For most people time is just time... not any currency... but for me it is the most valuable non-renewable resource. It is not just time, it is all I have... And it is hard on my brain, hard on my body, hard on my nervous system as I am giving all I have to a client.

Normally, when I talk to someone, they politely thank me for my time. Each time I get a stab of pain, sadness, when someone thanks me for my time.

In my world it says that my time is considered cheap, like your time. While I hold that giving you the only thing I have, what I do, what I offer in that time, what I can accomplish in that time is what is the value.

I have a client who pays for 30 minute sessions, and I have been giving him two hours more. And at the end of the call I thank him.

It is not the time I thank him for. I thank him for what I got. What I received. It was a bargain compared to the time I spent. A real value.

But, of course, value is in the eye of the recipient, and not the giver.

What you thank the other person for is what you got, the value you got.

Today, after a strategy call, the person on the call thanked me for my time... and after some hesitation, she thanked me for my skills.

This was the first time this happened on a free call. Somehow she managed to get a glimpse of what she got.

Don't be mistaken: a lot of people appreciate what they get from me, but when it's a free call, something happens, and they just can't appreciate what they are getting.

So this woman did something extraordinary, in my view. And I really appreciate it. The opportunity to look and analyze what happens when people appreciate what they get and what happens when they don's.

About 20 years ago I discovered that people to whom I gave the most, eventually started to hate me.

The way I learned to coach is by volunteering my services, through Landmark Education, and through friends, many hours a week.

I knew that coaching is not an easy profession to master, and I needed a lot of practice. Deliberate practice.

And even though I always told them how much I benefited from our sessions, occasionally they turned against me.

Why?

The answer is in the invisible. Always...

Humans are built to have a sense of balance in their dealings. They are not allowed, long term, to take more than their share... or they will be full of hate. And they are not allowed to give more than their share, or they will be full of resentment, which is just another form of hate.

It's a continual balancing act.

But gratitude is payment... fully paid. Account balanced. Why?

Once a teacher in a class asked people to raise their hand if they liked to contribute. All hands went up. And then she asked us to raise our hand if we liked to be contributed to.

No hand went up.

We all love to contribute, make a difference in other people's lives...

The gift giver experiences more joy that the recipient. Except where gratitude or appreciation isn't expressed.

Why? Because the way we are constructed/designed, the way our machine works is through balancing the books, so no one owes another too much for too long.

The tension, the inner tension is a killer. It won't let you sleep, it will make you sick. It will, eventually, kill you.

There are people who are takers, but only to a certain degree... The greed on one hand, the stinginess and hatred on the other will make them hate themselves, make them hate their lives.

And one of the things that can happen is this: they get something and they cannot benefit from it. They won't let themselves benefit.

I have observed exotic dancers for years: they made a lot of money, and they had to lose it to be OK with themselves. They got too much.

We all have different set points: how much imbalance you can tolerate. I can't tolerate hardly any. You know yourself.

In the woo-woo literature gratitude and appreciation is talked about a lot... it takes center stage a lot.

Most people consider that gushing is appreciation. It is a chore they have to get past... if they want abundance... but, of course, abundance, wanted, is scarcity.

Appreciation, the internal state, is like water for the parched earth. Like rest for the overworked body. Like a smile that warms the heart.

YOUR own appreciation of anything.

When you close your "heart" so you don't have to owe anyone favors, you close yourself and you'll get misery, wanting, lack, and hatred.

When you do a perfunctory "thanks" in return for some favor, you are parching your soil... and eventually nothing will grow in it.

It takes a lot of perfunctory "thanks" to render you unable to be well, and happy... And no single or any amount of gushing of appreciation makes up for it.

Death has already taken root in you.

You are a walking dead...

Let me return to the idea that we all love to contribute, we all love to make a difference...

When I contribute to a person, I have the vision of the change they will be able to experience. The difference I made. And that is my pay. It balances the books.

Some people want to pay with thanks... and that doesn't balance the books. I feel gypped... my contribution wasn't accepted, wasn't received.

I gave dollars and got cents back.

It takes a lot to keep on giving.

When I was born, 3 months prematurely, my mother got sick, an inflammation of the mammary glands, because the milk has to come out.

Your gifts are like that. Maybe this is why she hated me? Hm... interesting.

This topic is not finished... lots of food for thought.

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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