We’ve all heard that catchy cautionary warning, “Your life is not a dress rehearsal.” That phrase might give us pause, and in the moment, we stop to consider that THIS IS IT. However, often before too long we’re right back where we were before that pause: back to thinking that we’ll be happy when we lose those ten pounds, get the new job, move someplace else or fill-in-the-blank with your own “I’ll be happy when…”
There’s a seemingly gravitational pull toward not remembering that this moment NOW is our “one wild and precious life,” as Mary Oliver so famously wrote. Yes, it’s easy to forget that our lives are fleeting and we actually don’t have all the time in the world. That’s why for many years my life’s mission has been about bringing more celebration into everyday life.
Everyday life or “ordinary” life is actually quite spectacular. Everyday life or “ordinary life” can be our best life, if we are willing to be present for it and to celebrate what is, rather than what isn’t. I suppose you could say that I was lucky enough to have desperately needed this message. When I was a young girl and was suicidal because I couldn’t live up to the expectations in my head or around me for who I thought I should be and how I thought my life should be, there was no sense of celebration. It was the flip side of the coin: depression.
Everything in my life felt heavy. I had this sense of an iron wall closing in on me. All the ideas about how my life didn’t look like it “should” or how I wasn’t being the person “I should,” weighed me down. They insulated me from any sense of delight or gratitude. After all, if my attention was on what was missing, how could I see what gloriousness was right in front of me?
I was so caught up in thinking that my life was not worth celebrating (or even living) unless I was accomplishing the things I thought I should. Or, unless I was doing the things I thought I should be doing. Or unless I was making headway, getting somewhere, winning things, all that jazz.
The path I followed was one that encouraged me to let go of all those ideas about how I should be and instead, simply be. Whew. What a relief. Instead of thinking that my life couldn’t be a celebration unless x, y, z happened or were accomplished, I decided that being alive was enough to celebrate. That’s right. We are here. We are creative, thinking, loving beings. We live on a ball that spins in the universe. Creatures fly and flutter around us. Grass grows and tickles our toes. Flowers bloom in a rainbow of colors and a tapestry of textures.
What if we allow ourselves to love ourselves and our lives, no matter what they look like?
What if we make the choice to live a life of abundance right now, with everything we are and have?
What if we come out of hiding, thinking it isn’t safe until we are “better?”
What if we choose to celebrate now and to step into living our best life now?
Let’s do it! I’m here to coach, encourage and support you!
My steps to celebrating life are detailed below. They are simple, but powerful. These are the steps I took in my own life, when I was depressed and anxious, to start to come to life. These are the steps that allowed me to feel that I deserve joy. I hope you feel it, too!
Get centered and compassionate
Start by planting your feet on the ground, taking a deep breath and fully accepting who you are and what your life looks like. Be compassionate and kind to yourself. Repeat this phrase as often as necessary, “Everything is perfect just the way it is – and that includes me.”
Allow yourself to pay close attention to what calls to you. What sparkles when you look around? What nudges of intuition are there? When we get quiet and curious, life speaks to us. It really does. Follow the bread crumbs that lead you home to yourself! Let yourself be curious about what makes you tick and what makes you smile.
Connect with yourself and others
Relationships give our lives meaning. And that includes the relationship you have with yourself! Consider what makes you feel most connected. How do you reach out to people you love? How do you allow yourself to be vulnerable? How do you give yourself time and space to know what you are thinking, what is important to you, what you need and what next steps will feel most aligned for who you are?
Everyone is creative. Creativity is simply how we connect the dots from one thing to another. It is how we cook, how we build, how we write, how we tell stories, how we take photos, how we appreciate color, how we listen to music, how we imagine, how we dance, how we walk through the world. Creativity is allowing ourselves to start in nothingness, watch an idea spark, and follow through. It is trusting the unfolding. It is being willing to step through a brand-new door.
Look around. We can see that we are not alone in this world. So many other people feel anxious, lonely or unfulfilled. So many other people wish their lives could feel different. If we reach out to each other and share our compassion, curiosity, connection and creativity, we create a circle of acceptance and love. When we invite others in, everyone can feel a sense of possibility. Everyone can feel free to be who they are. Everyone can share their unique way of being. We all get filled up.
I’m offering a free five-day challenge that walks you through these five steps. The challenge is colorful, playful and simple. I hope you’ll join me! It is called “Olly Olly Oxen Free: Permission and Belonging.” (Olly Olly Oxen Free is something we yelled as children when playing Hide-and-Seek. Whenever that phrase was yelled, it meant that it was safe to come out of hiding and come to home base. That’s what we are doing together: coming out of hiding and coming home to ourselves!) The link to join is in my bio below! See you there, where we all get to live our best lives — the lives truest to who we really are!