Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Getting the Clap

© 2010 by Joyce Mason

 No, I’m not speaking of sexually transmitted diseases—but if wondering helped catch your eye, I hope you enjoy the pun …

… because what I’m really talking about is applause. Some years ago, it occurred to me that when we clap at a concert, speech, religious service—what have you—we are sending little waves of heart energy to the object of our clapping. We clap our hands in front of our heart chakra. I’m sure I’m not the only person who considers this way cool. I can understand how this could become an addiction for those who love the stage!

Even if we clap over our heads—up, down, or sideways—our arms attach smack at the level of our hearts. Clapping sends waves of love and appreciation. Clapping is unbelievably energizing. It’s spontaneous to the beat of great music, the universal language and healer.

The Figurative Clap

OK, that’s the literal clap—applause. But what about the figurative clap, showing appreciation? I haven’t met the person yet that doesn’t want, need, or downright crave acknowledgement from others of his or her accomplishments. For many of us, it doesn’t have to be a big band and a parade. A quiet thanks, or “you did a great job” will do.

Then there are those who, like rock stars, crave recognition so much, they can’t climb high enough on the corporate or agency ladder, enter enough contests, or score enough trophies. I figure that must be exhausting. One of my college professors once said I was the biggest overachiever he ever met. (I thought he exaggerated.) Still, I can’t imagine adding a need for trophies to such “ambition.”

Questions to Ask Yourself

• How do I want to be recognized?
• What am I willing to do to get recognition?
• Am I adequately recognized at home, school, or office?
• Do I “clap back?”

Clapping for Yourself

Of course, it’s hard to give yourself a pat on the back or to jump up and down in a short skirt with a megaphone to cheer yourself on. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

In recent years, I’ve added a new ritual to my Winter Solstice favorites when celebrating with my Solsisters group. Before we “burn the old”—what we want to get rid of in our lives—we do a meditation to ponder our achievements in both the outer and inner world during the past year. You don’t have to wait till the cusp of winter to do it. In fact, doing this exercise twice a year—mid-year and at the end—would be perfect. Clapping for yourself in July will stoke your self-appreciation for the rest of the year. You can read the details of the Ceremony of Recognition in my article on Spirited Woman.

After my 2009 Winter Solstice meditation on self-recognition, I made myself a certificate. Last year, I most appreciated how I trusted my inner compass and connection with spirit to guide me. This alignment with the universal flow is unbelievably empowering. I thought you’d get a kick out of seeing how I “clapped for myself.” I signed it, dated it, and put it in a gold frame where I see it in my office every day. I can’t wait to see what certificate replaces it next year!

Clapping for Others

An attitude of gratitude underpins all manifestations in life. Tell life, “I love it!” and whatever “it” is, life will love you back and give you more. Same goes for people. Still, I don’t thank God or recognize others to get more; I do it because it’s the right thing to do. There is so much in life that can pull us under. It’s exciting to acknowledge what brings us up.

Rowdy Clapping for Others
When I first joined Toastmasters, I found the rah-rah and continuous clapping a bit much. However, I’ve grown to love it. It truly is contagious. All those heartwaves spinning around a room. The church I’ve attended most recently also is full of very raucous clappers. Enthusiasm. Optimism. Appreciation.

There was a wonderful song made popular in the 50s by various artists, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”

So do you.


Photo Credit:
Happy Friends Applauding © Justmeyo Dreamstime.com

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