Yes, it’s true. I’m quoting Earth, Wind and Fire. But, stay with me. I recently heard Barbara Biziou, author of The Joy of Ritual, speak and she said something along the lines of, “Our lives have become a series of run-on sentences where we are so busy, we’re not taking time to stop, to slow down and really be present with each other. Rituals are an opportunity to put a period at the end of the sentence, to mark the important times in our lives.”
A birthday dinner where we sit down and celebrate a loved one’s life. Last weekend, families observed Yom Kippur to fast, pray and atone. Halloween is coming up, where we dress up and that day becomes memorable because it breaks us out of the mundane pattern of our lives, sometimes feeling like Groundhog Day. As much as I love Bill Murray (see photo below) let’s consciously mix it up today and remember the 21st night of September (or whenever you read this).
Question: What is something that you can honor about your life? What is an accomplishment, big or small, that you could acknowledge?
Find examples of things that you have already done that you are choosing to celebrate:
*ways you have been courageous in taking action towards your dreams by researching possibilities, connecting with a like-minded community or graduating from a program
*ways you have been standing for what you believe is important, modeling the behavior you desire to see in others....being the change
*ways you have lived your life with great love, where you extended an olive branch symbolizing peace, choosing to be kind instead of needing to being right
*ways you have lived your life with beauty, even if it didn’t always seem that way, but today you choose to view your life as a journey, an epic one, and you as the heroine.
See the places where simply your presence has contributed to the well being of this world. Write one or more instance down on a piece of paper. Let's dance to that.
Intention: Once you find something and you have written it on a piece of paper, create a simple ritual to honor it. Some easy ideas are lighting a candle, setting an intention to celebrate, put on a special outfit (optional, but very fun) and then be fully present as you do your movement.
Example: My very close friend Becca invited me out to dinner last night to celebrate the launching of this site www.wisewildfree.com. I thought...how can we make it memorable? How can it be more than just dinner but marking this as a special day? I came up with the idea that we would put on hot pink sequence dresses and tap dance around New York City, just to make ourselves laugh. We never made it outside because we were having so much fun dancing around her apartment. Now I will always have the gift of our memorable celebration dinner. Breaking up the run-on sentence of our days, we put an exclamation mark on our night.
Movement: With the stage set (candle lit, consciously honoring a part of your life, and maybe a fun outift...) dance! Kurt Vonnegut says, “Dance! Even if the only place you have is your living room.” Trust that your body knows how to move and give it the space to move the way it wants to. Bend your knees, feel your hips move from side to side, take deep breaths into the sensation of your body and go for it.
How to take it with you into your day: Once you’ve celebrated yourself in your own creative way, take a moment to think- is there someone close to you who you could reach out to and acknowledge a moment in their life? Make sure you don’t skip your own celebration and go straight to doing it for someone else. Do yours first! From all the energy and joy you have from your own celebration, you'll have infinitely more to give.
For a song to dance to...you guessed it- September by Earth, Wind and Fire. Click on the link below for the music video and ideas for costumes! Enjoy and report back on what sort of fun memories you create. I’d love to hear.