“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey
We don’t make the time to celebrate.
A client of mine, Susan, is a super achiever, hard worker, and extraordinarily creative. When she walked through the door for her weekly appointment, I saw how exhausted she looked. Before she even got settled into her chair, she began talking about the pressure she was feeling and how she needed to make certain decisions before leaving on her holiday in a few weeks.
For years, Susan has been running non-stop and is constantly pushing herself to get ahead. She never feels like she has done enough and is living with the unspoken anxiety of trying to figure out how she can juggle all of her commitments.
We need to appreciate our achievements.
Susan is like most people who feel the need to respond to a society that values production far beyond anything else. Few of us have the awareness and/or courage to get off this endless treadmill, slow down and configure a more meaningful and joyful way of living.
I listened intently, gazing at Susan’s eyes and feeling a great deal of compassion for her. After she finished speaking, I sat for a moment and then asked: “Do you have any idea how much you’ve achieved this year – both your soul work and professionally?”
She paused for a second with her head down, then looked up at me sheepishly and said “No.”
I let out a big laugh and said emphatically “I do!”
I proceeded to go over each of her achievements and asked if she ever took the time to appreciate them?
“No” she quietly responded.
It’s important to celebrate when our endeavors give birth or come to fruition.
To celebrate means to mark an occasion or moment in a significant way. We usually think of birthday parties, anniversaries, good news, and accomplishments.
But it’s also important as creative beings that we celebrate when our endeavors give birth or come to their own natural conclusion.
We honor teachers at the end of the year for having finished the cycle of teaching our children ~ and our children for having completed another grade.
Two friends of mine are partners in an architectural firm. They never miss reveling when a job has been completed. They may pop a cork on a bottle of champagne, go out to dinner, or even treat themselves to an afternoon at a spa.
The ritual they’ve created allows them to stop their normal routine – even for a short while – and honor their accomplishment.
Celebrate the small stuff.
It’s not necessary that we celebrate only major accomplishments.
It’s important to honor the journey for simply having happened.
As a child, I remember being scared to death each year playing in a piano recital. I tried every trick in the book to get out of it but my parents won out. Somehow, with shaking hands and butterflies in my stomach, I always made it through. Afterwards we celebrated with a big hug, and going out for a hot fudge sundae.
When my children were young, we celebrated when they learned to ride a two-wheeler, hit a goal in soccer, got a good grade on an exam, or stuck up for a kid being made fun of.
We feted their courage, their persistence, their efforts, their values and their willingness to show up with all that they had in whatever they did.
Think of what you have to celebrate this week – with your children, partner, spouse, friends, or extended family. If you sit down, relax, and let your mind wander, I bet you can come up with more than a few things.
Now it’s your turn.
Share a special celebration in your life.