Issue #1 |Nov 2007

Topic for today: The Power of Appreciation

Dear friends and colleagues,

Welcome to the first issue of Fulfilling Relationships!

After some years of writing a newsletter for singles, I am excited to widen the focus of my writing to the broader spectrum of CULTIVATING fulfilling relationships. I hope this newsletter will provide something meaningful for anyone who is committed to the quality of their relationships.

Whether we are single, coupled or somewhere in-between, having loving and supportive relationships is high on the priority list for most of us. I have spent much of my personal and professional life engaged in discovering what it takes to have relationships work. In my travels I have come across some wonderful teachers, resources and “gems of wisdom”. Through this newsletter I hope to share some of that collected wisdom with you.

I appreciate your feed-back and comments and I invite you to forward this newsletter to others who might also enjoy it. If you don’t wish to receive further issues, simply hit REPLY and ask to be unsubscribed.

Warmly Yours,
Shirley Vollett, BSW
Life & Relationship Coach

Something to think about…

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
-Mother Teresa

Love may make the world go round. However I believe the world turns much more smoothly and joyfully, if love is accompanied by frequent expressions of appreciation!

A Personal Story

I was recently reminded of this when my husband returned (exhausted) from a business trip. After a hot shower to unwind, he was just settling into bed with a good book, when I reminded him that he’d left his wet towel on the bathroom floor, AGAIN.

Need I say this was not well received?

After an increasingly heated exchange, it became clear to me that we were both suffering from a lack of appreciation. After managing the home front in his absence, I felt unappreciated for all the invisible housework and pick-up I do for others. After a challenging trip away, he felt unappreciated for the work he does to provide for the family.

Being the better rested one that evening, I was able to take a step back and realize that my timing was not the best! Looking at the big picture, I decided that the wet towel was not where I wanted to put my focus.

I acknowledged this to my husband and then took a moment to express my appreciation to him, for his commitment and hard work in support of our family. By expressing my appreciation, our connection was re-established and the tone of our conversation shifted positively. I experienced how appreciation can “bounce back” energetically, to the one who gives it

We have all experienced the warm glow that comes from receiving appreciation.

When we are appreciated by another we feel valued, known and nourished in a very profound way.

However, similar to physical exercise, we can get out-of-shape and out-of-practice when it comes to expressing appreciation. We may get lazy about generating positive energy, and start to want others to appreciate us FIRST.

Here are 4 reasons why it’s worth keeping your “appreciation muscle” in good condition:

1) Appreciation benefits the giver.

Expressing appreciation is an anti-dote to taking our loved ones for granted. Giving appreciation can help us re-experience just how much we value and love the people in our lives. When sincerely given, appreciation isn’t a “concept”. It is an “experience” of another’s greatness. When we express our appreciation for the qualities of another person, those qualities are highlighted and we enjoy and love that person in a more tangible way.

2) Appreciation benefits the receiver.

Like shining a spotlight on an object, appreciation highlights something wonderful about that person and they shine even more brightly for having been noticed and seen. When we give appreciation, we are giving another food for their soul. With nourishment, they will continue to grow and flourish. Nowhere is this more evident than when we affirm the strengths and gifts of children. However it applies to adults too. Our words of affirmation empower others to live their light fully. Isn’t that what we want for others, especially our loved ones?

3) Appreciation is contagious and attractive.

Have you ever noticed that when someone pays you a compliment, you naturally want to give a compliment back to them? One appreciation leads to another and before long you are both feeling extremely grateful for your lives and each other. When appreciations are flowing, it becomes a regular love fest! This positive energy cannot help but flow out to others and to attract more to itself. What you focus on GROWS.

4) Appreciation can powerfully shift your perspective.

Appreciating others can shift our perspective from one of lack, to one of abundance. When we focus on what we are receiving, we are much less likely to see ourselves as a victim or as someone lacking in love. We begin to notice all the gifts we receive from others. This results in an expanded experience of gratitude and fulfillment in our relationships and our lives.

When you focus on appreciating others, you will find that you notice more of the positive’s in your relationships. When you appreciate the good in others and in your life, it will grow and attract more of the good to you.

Invitation to Action

Increase your “appreciation fitness” by exercising one or more of the following options:

  • Express your appreciation to one stranger per day. It could be the store clerk who greets you cheerfully, the waitress who serves you promptly or even the telephone solicitor who has a creative opening line. Let them know what quality or characteristic you appreciate about them. Notice how differently you “see” people when you are looking for something to appreciate about them.
  • Give a daily appreciation to the persons (or pets!) who share your home. You can appreciate a quality (sense of humor, kindness, etc.) or a behaviour. No action is too small to be appreciated. In fact, it’s often the small daily acts of service for each other (like doing the laundry, getting the car washed, fixing a light switch) that we most want to be appreciated for!
  • Send an email or a note of appreciation to someone who provides a valued support service to you. It could be your massage therapist, your hair stylist, your chiropractor, your house cleaner, your babysitter. Notice how many people support you in having a great life! Let them know what you value and appreciate about them and the difference that they make in your life.

Shirley Vollett, Life and Relationship Coach, delights in working with pro-active individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives, their work/business or their relationships. Her clients appreciate her ability to listen deeply, her compassionate wisdom and her support in moving forward. Shirley offers a complimentary intro session for those who want to explore how coaching works and how it can help. Click on a link below to contact Shirley or visit her website at

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Copyright © 2007 by Shirley Vollett.
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