The Power of Celebration
“Celebrate” means to “publicly acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity”; and “to honour or praise”. (www.oxforddictionaries.com). When we examine cultures around the world, we find that all cultures, religions and spiritual traditions have special holidays in which people gather to celebrate. Whether they be Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Eid, they all provide opportunities for us to connect with people we care about, share certain rituals, and to reflect and take time out from the busy lives many of us lead. It’s interesting that thousands of years ago, people in positions of power realized the importance of taking time out, connecting, and publicly acknowledging a remarkable person or event.
Many cultures also celebrate the birth of a child and subsequent anniversaries of their birth. Isn’t it curious in the busy lives we lead, that many of us don’t take time to celebrate ourselves, and our accomplishments?
When we get together with people we care about, we often laugh and engage in playful activity. When we laugh, we release endorphins and encourage energy to move throughout our body. In the words of Candace Pert, a neuroscientist and pharmacologist who has spent much of her scientific life studying the mind-body link:
“Play and laughter are vital to feeling good. Recreation isn’t merely a frivolous addition to life or a hard-earned reward for work…I believe that in a society driven by a strong work ethic, with so many individuals burdened with workaholism, people aren’t getting enough endorphinergic surges through the bodymind on a regular basis. For you to not be laughing and playing during some part of every day is unnatural and goes against your fundamental biochemistry.” (Everything You Need to Feel Go(o)d), 2006)
I’d like to share a couple of strategies to support you to celebrate yourself. At the end of everyday, I encourage you to reflect on your day and identify at least one thing (big or small) that you’d like to celebrate. Also, instead of going through your ‘to-do’ list and only checking off what you’ve done, or finishing a project and quickly moving on to the next, I recommend that you feel into your body and acknowledge your accomplishments.
In the video below, I share a technique I’ve found helpful to encourage those endorphinergic surges Candace Pert recommends. Try it and let me know what you experience.
I invite you to share below how you celebrate yourself and any “ahas” you’ve noticed.