I’m turning 40 this month!
I feel like everyone I know is already 40 or above and I am finally catching up.
I have been laughing at myself as my birthday approaches because when I turned 35, I was MORTIFIED to be a “35-year-old wife and mother of 2.” I kept repeating that phrase to myself like I was being described on NPR. It felt depressing, like my life was headed downhill.
In a few weeks, I'll be a “40-year-old wife and mother of 2” and I feel completely delighted and excited! I feel proud of myself for how far I’ve come in my life. I feel interested and excited about where I’ll go in the future, ready to face my realities with anticipation.
Now is the time to Celebrate!
I realize I have so many positive things going for me. I have set up my life in a positive way and am aligned with love, joy and awakening. I have deep friendships, health for myself and my family, and work I adore. I have powerful, kind teachers and mentors, inspiring colleagues and wonderful clients and students who open their hearts to me each week and let me do my work in the world. It would be easy to ignore all of this and take it for granted but I am so grateful to pause, take it all in and celebrate the beauty my life is bringing my way. As I approach my birthday, I am taking time to reflect and reconnect with my innate wisdom.
I’m also planning some celebrations. As a teenager I had a few disastrous birthday parties that made me want to give up on celebrations but I am starting to see the importance of celebrating every day.
Obviously a milestone birthday is a great reason to celebrate. But when life isn't filled with big milestones and you are just slogging through trying to keep your head above water, it is harder to find reasons to celebrate. We have to look closely because I believe it is possible and extremely important to
Find Something to Celebrate Every Day.
Reasons to include celebration in your day:
It is a sneaky way to rest, without taking a nap. You step out of the habit of nose-to-the-grindstone working, come up for air and get to take a break.
It lets you recognize your accomplishments and it lets others recognize them too.
It frees you to experience and express JOY.
It opens you up to gratitude for all the many gifts in your life.
It reminds you of what is important, what could be lost - celebrating a friendship for example is a way to honor the impact the other person has on your life.
Celebration can be extremely elaborate or exceedingly simple. The important thing is that it takes you out of the mundane into a more expansive mental and emotional space. It doesn't have to take a lot of time or money to celebrate. Here are some quick and easy ways to enter celebration: sing a song, say a prayer, light a candle, have a mini-dance party, send a card, make or share a meal, decorate your home or dress in a celebratory way. Some slightly bigger ways to really bring celebration forward could be to take a trip, dance all night, gather your people and do something different, or even make a donation or be of service in some way. The point isn't what you do. The point is that you do it at all.
What about you, what do you want to celebrate today? You probably got out of bed. Maybe you made a meal or several, or you did the laundry! Is there a way that you showed up differently for yourself or someone else? Did you earn the free coffee? Did you park your car in the perfect way? Hey, maybe you graduated a program a while back and never took a moment to recognize yourself for it. Maybe you finally accomplished something you've been wanting but the public doesn't naturally celebrate. You woke up this morning - need I say more? The idea is that it is completely possible to look around your life recognize the greatness, the beauty, the goodness of even a tiny part of it and find some reason to celebrate.
As Oprah Winfrey says: “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
So Pause. Rest. Celebrate the goodness of your life.
What and How will you celebrate today?
What about you? What have you accomplished lately? Who has made a profound impact on you recently? What goodness has come your way? How do you intend to celebrate it? Share in the comments below. Big or small, let us celebrate with you!