I've been doing a lot of celebrating recently....Doorways to Transformation won several awards this spring, which was a very fun gift to welcome along this writing path. And, I'm also settling into life in a new neighborhood in Mexico City - one that is filled with lush parks, tree-lined streets, and outdoor cafes.
As I've been enjoying these recent shifts and joyful additions to my life, it has made me think more about the choice we have to celebrate. It is, of course, much easier to think about celebrating when good things come our way. But the choice to celebrate, even when life is more challenging, is always available to us, regardless of circumstance. To intentionally notice the good and to let our minds dwell in that space. And it is a practice that has a unique way of lifting us up and setting our gaze on a higher reality.
With that in mind, I want to share an excerpt on celebration from my book, Doorways to Transformation. I hope you enjoy this reflection and are encouraged to think about ways you can more consciously allow celebration into your life this week.
"Celebrate life in all its glory—challenge yourself to let the routine sing and the new dance." —Maximillian Degenerez
The other weekend I traveled to Mexico City to visit a good friend. I stayed in my favorite neighborhood, which is filled with lush parks and tree-lined streets. Taking a walk is always a pleasure.
One afternoon, after sitting down on a park bench, I caught a glimpse of a man holding a gigantic mass of colorful balloons overhead—floating animals, stars, hearts, and yellow smiley faces. He walked through the park, calling out merrily as he went. Occasionally he stopped to play a toy flute, in the hopes of attracting either children or their parents to his colorful mass of delights.
Watching him pass by, a thought flickered through my mind—This simple image of him captures so much of the true essence of Mexico, a country that excels at celebration, fun, and joy. This is one of the reasons I find a lightness of spirit living here, something I am not so good at myself. With all its grown-up responsibilities, my adult persona feels the need to be more serious, and falls prey to the belief that she must work tirelessly toward accomplishments, making a constant effort to improve the world.
Maybe you can relate. In the midst of our endeavors, it can become second nature to carry all kinds of heavy responsibilities upon our shoulders. While not bad in and of themselves, they can easily sap a childlike joy and wonder from life.
But this balloon man and the gifts he carried invoked a sense of cheer within me. He elicited curiosity and aliveness. And he reminded me to celebrate. To treat life like a party far more often than I do. His presence suggested that our inner spirits come alive when we play. And that our creativity is nourished by celebration.
Sitting on my bench in the shade of a large tree, I felt grateful for the children at play and for the balloon man who encouraged their joy, lightness, silliness, and fun. One little boy ran excitedly down the path, a massive smile on his face, his giant balloon trailing behind him. His actions reminded me that celebration is a gift we can choose.
As I stood up to continue my stroll, I decided to take this precious child’s example to heart and open myself a little more to wonder. Each day offers us a myriad of opportunities to consciously give welcome to delight.
What deserves celebrating in your life?
How can you allow a greater sense of wonder into the moments of your day?
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