There have been lots of celebrations among my friends recently. New babies, new grandchildren, college degrees, retirement, new homes, new jobs, successful surgeries, celebrations of life, birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. Yesterday, many Americans celebrated along with the families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee when they returned home safely from North Korea. You know these momentous occasions typically include: Presents, food, guests, large gatherings, lots of good wishes, memories, hugs, compliments, laughter, relief, tears, joy, pictures, video, and sharing the news with family, friends and sometimes strangers. (The availability of social media means it can be shared with people you don’t even know.)
What about other events and milestones you reach – how are they celebrated? Are you aware of them? Think about the myriad of choices you make each day and the ones you strive to make. Today I: exercised; learned how to create a website; approached someone to increase my network; was patient; let the dishes sit for 20 minutes to talk longer with my friend, significant other, child, parent; told someone no; drank more water; made a conscious choice to honor my values; smoked one less cigarette; spoke up in a meeting; laughed out loud; watched less TV; accepted a compliment; reused, recycled or reduced; stopped my gremlin from telling me I’m not capable or good enough; gave a customer (or sales person) direct eye contact; ate healthier; let someone else go first. You can think of many more.
These items are insignificant, you say. They may seem small; and yet, they can be the foundation for something much bigger! Little moments can have an impact on your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. You can be modeling behavior which gives others permission and courage to do the same. Take a moment to recognize what you accomplish and who you are being. Pat yourself on the back, share the achievement with someone else, write about it in your journal, tweet it, or put a purple star sticker on your calendar – like the ones that made you happy in grade school.
When you were a toddler, you received lots of encouragement to continue to attempt walking, despite the number of times you ended up on your bottom. People clapped, smiled and cheered for you and even held out toys for you to play with once you navigated your way to them. Over the years, the encouragement has become less and you’re expected to get off your bottom on your own. There’s nothing wrong with a little celebration for whatever you accomplish, and for however you get off your bottom! Shout YeeHAA! CELEBRATE!