Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually.
― Abraham Joshua Heschel
In light of all the tragedies around the world, “celebrate” might be a strange word to use, but I feel it might be the right one.
There are still so many opportunities to celebrate life as the phenomenal miracle that it is. I’m not talking about toasting to our yesterdays for a hangover tomorrow – I’m zooming in at the mini-celebrations that don’t cost a dime.
Mini-celebrations that can offer some sort of balance to each person’s unique and vast grief.
Some of these celebrations focus outward, but many focus inward on ourselves. Because the first step to being compassionate towards others is knowing how to be compassionate to ourselves. I see a lot of my peers, especially women, who fail to treat themselves with kindness.
Be kind, be gentle. And celebrate whenever you can in whatever way is best for you.
Ten ways to celebrate today
- Share your money, resources or time. Give blood or find a charity that’s close to your heart to donate to. Volunteer – the holidays are a great time to share yourself with others.
- Take a walk. Walk for any reason – to boost your creative thinking, to lift your mood or just to get a few extra steps on the pedometer. This is a great time to build a mental gratitude list or to just let your thoughts work themselves out.
- Call a friend. And don’t just call to say hello or casually ask how they are. Ask them: how is your heart? Dive under the surface of things to make a real connection and check-in with them on a deeper level.
- Make a gratitude list. Thinking about what you are grateful for (without denying hardships or negative life events) impacts you more than you would think. I jot down three quick things I’m grateful for each day, and it is has become such a happy and rewarding morning exercise.
- Sit in silence, prayer or meditation. Whichever one of these floats your boat – just take a few moments of quiet time to recharge your heart and your mind.
- Do your favorite thing. What’s your favorite show? Or do you prefer cozying up with coffee or tea? Find some time in your day to do what you love doing so you can get that spark back.
- Spread joy. Play with your children or your pets, or say something kind to a stranger. Hug your partner like you mean it.
- Dance or sing. Not everyone will love this, but it helps me when I’m feeling down. I sing along to the radio or sing and dance with my rabbits at home (actually, it’s just me dancing like a fool while they look at me with judging eyes). Let your child-like, goofy self come out for a while.
- Tell someone you love them. This one isn’t difficult if you’ve already told them. But I challenge you to text or call a friend that you haven’t told this to. Start small by saying you appreciate them, but work your way up to regularly telling your friends you love them.
- Care for yourself. I’ve been on a self-care and self-compassion kick lately, and for good reason: I’m no fun when I haven’t taken care of myself. So eat some vegetables, do some yoga, take a shower or even take a nap. Be good to yourself so you can be good to others.
Why celebrate now?
This year is almost over. We’ll never get these last days of 2015 back once they’re gone, so why not celebrate?
And if you’re reading this six months from now, remember that each day is incredible and worth celebrating, even a little bit. Even in the darkest of times.
There are 43 days left in 2015. How are you going to celebrate?