It was the end of 2016, and I was taken by gratitude and appreciation for all that I had learned, the love that I had received as well as all the chances I had had to be stretched, pulled and to grow – despite my best attempts to stay the same during that year.

Having always been a pretty cheerful person, it was only recently that I had learned of how powerful the practice of appreciation could be to make our lives more creative, fulfilling and joyful.

As a Thinking EnvironmentTM (TE) Facilitator I experienced first hand how being appreciative, as a practice, floods our bodies with oxytocin, a hormone that not only generates incredible relaxation and wellbeing for our bodies, but also allows us to think better.

After my latest TE training session, I asked myself: “How can I continue to experience appreciation to build a life filled with compassion, acceptance and gratitude for all things?” I looked around and found support groups to share painful events, to talk about addictions and shame, but I couldn’t find any support group where people meet to share what they appreciate, to be thankful, to count their blessings or to celebrate, nor even to intimately disclose what they are most proud of having overcome, or cheerful for having conquered amidst difficult times.

So, I decided to make an open invitation to the universe and see who else out there felt the need to share a moment with other human being to simply give thanks, appreciate or cherish the treasure in our lives, as well as the hard things in life that have made us better or allowed us to grown beyond our own limits. That is, to experience appreciation.

I posted an invite on Facebook to hold an online circle in Dec/2016. 28 friends replied, 22 showed up, from 16 countries. We held the first Appreciation Circle in English and it was really beautiful: the Appreciation Project had become a seed in mine and my friends’ hearts.