I relate the act and practice of appreciation as being the necessary ingredient in learning how to swim.
You may have seen on my site the quote by Joseph Campbell, ‘The schizophrenic drowns in the same waters the mystic swims with delight.’
I believe that the schizophrenic drowns because they are resisting the process of how they experience their reality. Appreciation is the cure for this.
Appreciation means ‘being a Yes’ to your experience. It means allowing the flow of whatever is arising to be what it is, and to not resist that flow.
Appreciation can be practiced in the sensations of the body, in the mind and its thoughts, and also with our perception of reality, whether that includes an awareness of the astral or spiritual realm.
Appreciation is letting go, and letting life happen without trying to stop what is happening.
A great practice I suggest, is to lay down and simply allow. Be a yes to what is happening for you. See how it feels to do this, how it feels to be this way. Simply let go and let flow. There is nowhere you need to be, and nothing you have to do, except for exactly what you are being and doing now. Enjoy the process.
Because certain people with mental illness have an awareness of the other-worldly, it can be a very great thing to do to practice appreciation with that aspect of life. Allowing the flow of this realm will help you swim.
Not resisting anything can be a great practice, and I highly suggest this also as something you can do to create more appreciation within your being. Simply lay down and resist nothing that is happening in your experience. See what happens. If it becomes overwhelming you can also get up and do something, and if it does become overwhelming for you maybe go outside and go for a walk or do the dishes, something to change what you are experiencing. Though remember that this is coming up for you now because you have been resisting it, so it is a good idea to let this practice work for you in stages.
If you are working through intense emotions, it may help to release that resistance to these emotions. This practice of non-resistance can certainly be valuable for emotions such as anxiety, depression, fear, jealousy, or anger. You have to be careful though, because the practice of non-resistance to an emotion can make it more intense for a short period before it subsides and you come back to your normal state.
I’ve found that this practice is especially useful with anxiety. And yes, it may become more intense for a moment, a few seconds, but it stops you from resisting the emotion, and it helps that emotion to move through you and out of you.
This is a call to practice appreciation in your daily life. It is a gentle practice, and that should be the starting point here. Be gentle with this practice at first, and then if you want you can go into the practice of ‘resist nothing’. Start slow and gentle, and see how you feel as you do this.
If anything becomes too much for you seek someone you can talk to, or someone who can help you move through what you are facing.
Be calm, be gentle, be kind to yourself and be a yes to your experience.