Celebrating Milestones (and creating rituals that sustain you)


Part Two

My husband and I recently sat in the local hamburger joint discussing the new year, new diets and OTHER —Important—Things—In—Our—Lives.

We discussed a number of things we were not happy with. We talked and talked and talked. And then…at the same time… we both wondered out loud: why are we more likely to remember the Awful Bad Horrible things that happened to us first and then we have wrack our brains to remember and celebrate the Wonderful Awesome Heroic things we have done and accomplished?

As we fished around for an answer, we realized that it is our habit to have knee jerk reaction that focus on trauma and bad news. Pain is easier to remember than joy. We are for the most part living in reaction to what has happened to us. We allow  the bad things that happen to have more power and take control over us more than the positive things we do. Are Bad Feelings more powerful than the Good Feelings? Is the fight or flight response the reigning reaction in our lives? Whew, really? Is it really? What do we want to do about this? Is this habit helping us be happy in our life?

 A lot of this is about choice…observing our habits is the beginning of empowering ourselves to make new choices. (Hmmm…choosing a happier life is what I think we are actually talking about.)

What are the things we celebrate in our lives? What are the events in our lives that we celebrate and how do we celebrate them? Do we even acknowledge those occasions or are we too busy? Even celebrating and enjoying the scheduled Holidays can fall through the cracks as we rush through them. (Are we having fun yet? )

 When we take time to honor, mark and celebrate accomplishments and milestones in our lives, we are honoring the light within us. We are telling our inner spirit and our Creator that THIS is what is meaningful to us. “THIS is what I want more of in my life.

What is stronger than bad news? Love is a powerful force. When we fall in love, we REMEMBER it. Love in its highest form (self love and love for others, compassion and passion, spiritual love) heals us because it brings us home to who we really are. When we celebrate our lives, we are remembering to Love ourselves. When we love ourselves we are growing that wonderful healing part of ourselves that changes everything. The key is to keep it small and keep it simple.

 A daily ritual can set us up for a lifetime of happiness. Six years ago my husband was in an accident that changed our lives. Taken by ambulance to the emergency room he hovered at the edge in intensive care. Once he stabilized and was sent home, just a couple weeks later he was rushed back to the emergency room with complications from his wounds. Another “too” close call. Once he stabilized again, the healing process took months and months of arduous care. Every day, at the end of the day, my husband would hold my hand and list all the positive progress he had made that day. He looked for at least three positive things. Those three points of progress were his pathway to healing. Little by little he got there, to the healed body he envisioned.

The value of those three simple things, once added up day after day for nearly a year, was like winning the lottery. As we talked over our burgers, we observed that we had forgot this routine. We even forgot to celebrate the anniversary of this amazing heroic accomplishment in our life. I am glad we had the discussion in the restaurant. We needed to get back on track, finding the three things every day to mark the progress in our lives.

 So…what are the three things in your life for you to celebrate today? How many days can you find those three things that will be your pathway to a lifetime of joy? Choose one thing each day that is a positive movement forward towards a dream or goal, or simply joy. Acknowledge it! Tell someone.  Give thanks and be grateful. Let the Universe and Spirit know where your joy is!

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