Celebrate Yo Self!
Yes, and encourage others to do that too. Because if you're anything like me, you probably live on go-go-go.
Fact: you don’t celebrate yourself enough. In fact, this is something I personally find cringey - the thought of patting myself on the back for the badass ways I manage to navigate life. Despite significant odds against my survival. So, do you celebrate YOU?
Why we struggle to celebrate ourselves
Celebration is something everyone loves - theoretically. We have set definitions of what celebration is. The bar on what counts as worthy of celebration has become sky high and we have lost sight of the simple pleasure of it.
Pleasure - another thing we hate to love… but, I digress (maybe a post on this soon).
Celebration has impossible criteria, reinforced by the many unattainable versions of picturesque celebrations we see on social media. And of course our own fear of appearing fickle and self-indulgent. Never before have we become more obsessed with feeling painfully deserving of being celebrated than we are now. We hustle for our worth now more than ever before.
So, in turn, we struggle to see the obvious reasons why we should celebrate what is seemingly ‘everyday’ life. The miracle of having the little (or much) that we have, the choices we can make, the reality we can enjoy. I could spend days counting the threads in the carpet of miracles life lays before our feet (I won’t). We’ve lost sight of the important gateway to lifelong gratitude hidden in the ability to celebrate ourselves first and foremost.
Celebrating myself is a deeply tender growth point in my personal development journey. Only after coming across an episode on SelfHealers SoundBoard, a podcast hosted by Dr. Nicole LePera and Jenna Weakland, did I realize how much I struggle with thanking myself for the incredible ways I remain resilient, focused, positive, and dedicated to my growth. This podcast episode helped me realize that we need a new definition of celebration.
Celebrating oneself has become harder than it should, despite all the 'self-care’ content we all double-tap on Instagram. We struggle with finding and celebrating anything that isn’t a milestone. So I vote we reframe the way we think about celebration.
Celebrating small miracles
Trust me when I tell you there are many reasons to stop and celebrate.
Don’t think too hard, but what’s the one thing you have done from start to finish recently when you were sure it was impossible to do before? Where did you find the energy, time, and resources to get it done? How did seeing it complete make you feel? There, you’ve found at least one reason to celebrate yourself already.
Just asking yourself these questions can get you started on recognizing the small ways you make the most of your existence on this planet, despite the wild place the world has become in the last few years, especially.
Now now, I’m not saying you need to book yourself a vacation for everything you find worthy of celebration and make a Reel of it (so not the point). I am saying it’s healthy to take a moment to let that warm feeling of gratitude, wonder, and subtle joy spreading through your chest settle and blossom. Celebrating yourself can be as small as that and still be valid. Just imagine the contentment you can cultivate by doing that more often.
Celebrating myself more often has made me more grateful. I realize that I let precious moments slip right past me without notice. I’m always chasing milestones that will make me feel deserving of attention, even just from myself. But I have so many reasons to celebrate myself, so many challenges I overcome that I wonder why I can’t use those to build a mountain of gratitude atop which to enjoy a wondrous life.
Learning how to recognize moments I can celebrate, savor and allow myself to experience has come with hindsight regrets. I wish I could have celebrated overcoming cancer as a teenager, being the first university graduate in my family, and managing to bravely start a brand of handmade body products from scratch. I’ve definitely missed out on obvious reasons to give myself the proverbial pat on the back.
One small daily promise
So, since giving myself permission to celebrate my life’s miracles, I have made one small daily promise: when a moment to celebrate presents itself, I will stop and live it. Yes, I still feel silly at times and a little guilty too, feeling like I don’t deserve it enough. But, as with everything, practice is key. My intention is to make celebrating myself part of my gratitude practice. And so far, so good.
Imagine you had a palm-sized packet of confetti you could throw up in the air for a single moment every day. Which moment would you choose?
Adieu for now!