In a couple of days it will be my birthday. I have noticed over the years that most people seem to be in one of three camps when it comes to celebrating this day. One birthday camp is all about it! Lets celebrate in any and all ways possible. Another camp is pretty nonchalant. They go about their day as usual with a few special touches to mark the occasion. Yet another camp wants nothing to do with noting the day for themselves.
As anyone who knows me well, or even casually, will tell you, I fall very firmly in birthday camp number one!
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I have loved celebrating my birthday as long as I can remember. As a child my mother made a big deal of each birthday, for myself and my three sisters. This was particularly noticed by us all -- the only special occasion where my mother went over the top with anything, with exception of Christmas.
Most of the year she was instructing us to think first of others, to appreciate what we had, to stop asking for more, and to tone down any kind of self congratulatory notions.
On our birthday, however, her attitude was completely different. On this one day of the year we were Queen for a Day! Nobody was allowed to boss us around or say anything negative. We got to choose what we wanted to eat, what we wanted to do and what we wanted not to do.
I learned a very important lesson from this experience that has kept me in the "Let's celebrate up a storm!" mode when a birthday rolls around.
My Birthday Lesson:
When we celebrate ourselves, we touch something very precious inside ourselves that actually makes us more loving toward others.
It is a wonderful paradox, I believe. Instead of this kind of celebration being selfish or self-centered in ways that are narcissistic, celebrating ourselves actually fills us up in a way that is very healthy.
Taking part in another's celebration of themselves can be fun and enlightening, as well. I remember many of my sister's birthday celebrations and how I came to know something new about each of them, each year. Still do as a matter of fact!
Celebrations bring out the best in us and often teach us what is most important in life. We so rarely celebrate to this degree, denying that any occasion is worth honoring to the hilt.
Birthday celebrations give us the unique opportunity to see who we have become and to allow ourselves to enjoy ourselves in a very individual way.
There are, of course, some guidelines to follow to insure the birthday (or any kind of celebration) is one that will bring you joy.
Take time to check in with what kind of celebration is right for YOU at this particular point in your life.
Take responsibility for honoring yourself in exactly the way that feels good to YOU.
Include the people you love most in a way that feels right, without allowing thoughts or feelings of obligation, in any way.
This week I encourage you to celebrate yourself, even if its not YOUR birthday. Take an hour one afternoon, or even take a whole day to take a look at and honor who you have become at this point in your life.
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You are someone truly worth celebrating!
P.S. I am starting a new FLASH Feature, and will adding your comments and questions to my summer messages - I would love to hear from you!