The Magic of Appreciating What Is

Change doesn’t happen when we are fighting against ourselves. ~Stacey Morganstern

There’s a concept in the transformational coaching model that says transformation can only occur when we appreciate the positive intention of the present state.

Wonky-sounding, I know.

But this degree of appreciation is one of the pivotal steps in transformation.  

Without appreciating what is, we fight against ourselves.  And when we’re fighting against ourselves, we stay stuck right where we are, like two equally matched teams in an epic battle of tug-of-war.

Here’s how it works, in part…*

In order to get closer to what we want to create in our lives, we have to appreciate what we’ve created already—our present state, where we are now, flaws and all.

That seems doable, right?

So why have I spent so dang much time resisting where I am in life?  Pining for what I don’t have?  Wondering what’s wrong with me that makes me feel (more often than I like to admit) like the Universe is conspiring against me and dedicated to making my life a struggle?

That struggle is the wake up call.  It shows me how I fight against myself.

(I can appreciate that!)

So even though I’m actively participating in things that are supposed to lead to transformation (Landmark, anyone?), change isn’t possible when I’m still holding one end of the tug-of-war rope.

Whether it’s the struggle to get to a certain level in my business.  Or the struggle to be joyful in traffic.  Or the struggle to keep my relationship delicious.

When I struggle, part of me wants one thing and another part wants something else.  Part of me wants to choose love.  And part of me wants to ram that asshole who just cut me off on the entrance ramp.  Part of me wants ease. And part of me wants to keep struggling.

The tug of war is epic.  Neither side is winning.  Nothing budges even though both sides are pulling like puppies holding on to their squeaky toys.

A brilliant way to drop the tug of war rope is to acknowledge and appreciate what is.

No drama.  No judgment.  Just acknowledgement.  And appreciation.  Totally doable.

I may want more in my relationship, but I can appreciate how my husband has been an answer to my drawn-out prayer for love.

I may have visions of a more robust coaching practice where I get to serve more, and I can appreciate how far I’ve come already.  (No more day job…woot!  How huge is that?)

Now, even though the parts of me that want different things still want different things**, at least they’re not trying to yank each other into the mud.

No one wins when everyone gets muddy.  

So, appreciating what is, acknowledging and appreciating what’s present in my life right here, right now, eases the struggle.

It stops the tug of war. 

Which allows me to put all that energy that I’m using to keep me out of the mud into moving forward towards the rest of my life.

And that is a LOT of energy.


One thing I’ve found that helps me appreciate what’s present in my life right now is to ask (and answer) these questions: 

  • What’s good about this situation/where I am in my life right now? 
  • How is Universe be conspiring for my good?  What evidence do I see right now that lets me know the Divine is on my side?


I’ve been incorporating Young Living essential oils, mostly blends, but some individual oils, into my own transformational work and the work I do with clients and seeing some incredible breakthroughs.  Between the oils and the changework I do with my own coach, patterns I’ve tried to shift for years are no longer releasing incrementally.  Since I added the oils, it’s exponential!  And quite the ride.

Click here to see a great essential oil playlist for aiding work around this foundational step in the transformational process—appreciating what is, what you’ve already created in your life up to this very moment. 

*Appreciating what is is just part of the story.  Another part of the story is appreciating our role in creating what is, and then acting accordingly.  We’ll cover this next week, so stay tuned.  It gets juicier.  And more empowering.

**There’s work to be done to get the parts that want different things aligned with each other and with the greater good (and that’s a story for another post), but acknowledging and appreciating the present state at least stops the tug of war and opens us up to new possibilities.

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