I was sitting in my therapist’s office the day after I graduated with my Masters from NYU. He asked how I felt about my big accomplishment. “I have been up most of the night researching PhD programs for the Fall,” was my reply. “Can you stop for a moment and celebrate?” he asked. Which was a good question because it had never entered my mind that it might be important to acknowledge and celebrate all of my hard work. This session was a turning point when I realized the importance of celebrating big and small accomplishments and creating rituals. Once I was able to slow down long enough to let it all sink in, I realized I did not want or need to get my PhD and that immediately planning the next thing was a way to avoid feeling the normal anxiety that change creates.
Do you celebrate yourself and your hard work? Do you take the time to enjoy reaching goals big and small? I find that many of my high achieving clients are future focused like I used to be. The problem with this defense mechanism of onto the next, is that it robs you of the joy of present moment consciousness. There will always be another goal to reach but without the sweet moment of being here now and celebrating, it can be an endless cycle of striving.
Oprah says that the more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate, and I agree!
Most cultures reserve celebrations for annual holidays and ‘big’ life events such as birthdays, weddings, births and retirement. The importance of acknowledging our everyday accomplishments is not really encouraged. Some cultures perceive self celebration as selfish or frivolous, yet all work and no play will not only make you dull but bitter too.
When you rush through your days pausing only for a moment in time to celebrate particular life events, you then quickly find yourself moving on to the next. This pace of living and lifestyle can lead not only to exhaustion, but to a total lack of inspiration. It feels like a race against the clock to pack in as much punch as possible, and then what?
Without taking time to celebrate the small victories, you can lose momentum and inspiration. I often encourage my clients and friends to celebrate every little thing. You made it to a 6:30 am spin class, awesome! You honored your body, took a bath and got to bed early, amazing! You finally completed that month long report, go grab a latte. Good job, go you!
So, celebrate! There are far too many people who reserve a beautiful dinner, dress or vacation for “special” occasions only. I try to live as if every day is a special occasion, because it is. Living this way brings more meaning and joy into your life and gives you the encouragement and inspiration to keep moving forward.
Celebrate not only yourself but others as well. When your husband, friend, child or co-worker accomplishes a seemingly small gain, acknowledge them. Create a habit of looking for and acknowledging your own efforts and those of others and life begins to be more joyful. You can even cultivate more present moment consciousness, through the acts of celebration.
In addition to celebration, I make a consistent effort to incorporate rituals such as meditation, energy work and a morning green juice into my daily life. These simple acts keep me grounded and connected. Rituals are just another way to celebrate life while cultivating good habits.
Now, let’s you and I celebrate! In the comments below share 3 ways you will celebrate yourself and others this week!! Also if you have any rituals or ways you already celebrate, share them with us! I challenge you to take this idea to heart and start the practice of celebration right way. It is a fun, easy and joyous way to make life just a little brighter. Have a fantastic week and as always, take care of you!
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of Keith Davenport