Life gets hard sometimes, and other times it can just feel blah and somewhat pointless. When you feel like you're in a mental or emotional funk, it just means that you're ripe for a fresh perspective shift!
Let's talk about celebrating your life in an everyday fashion, what that looks like and ideas for how to do it. It's the small things we can do every day to show up for our lives with curious, open hearts, present for all that life has to show us.
Why is celebrating your life important?
Celebrating your life is so important because it brings such significant meaning, joy, and clarity to your heart and mind. When we live life from a place of celebration, we are eager to wake up every day and see what awaits us.
Celebration of life services are becoming a preferred way of remembering someone who has passed instead of holding a funeral service. Even the words evoke different feelings: funeral or celebration of life?
Funerals carry a sense of heaviness, seriousness, and even an attitude of pessimism. They are the standard of how we should behave set for us by society. Society tries to set the standard for us on everything, from how we should look to what we should accomplish to how we should live our lives.
A celebration of life service, on the other hand, carries a sense of joy, gratitude, and a focus on the positive. It bucks the old narrative set by society and offers a fresh perspective and alternative to how we can view things. The choice is ours.
Which energy are you LIVING your life with? That of a funeral–heavy, serious, all work and no play–or that of a celebration of life–grateful, light-hearted, with a focus on the positive?
Your life can be celebrated NOW–not when it's over. And it is to be celebrated by YOU, because who else is going to do it? Your life is worthy of being acknowledged, celebrated, and lived fully while you grace this planet with your unique and beautiful energy.
How do you celebrate your life?
Celebrating life comes down to a few intentional practices a day, though that's not to say there aren't a million ways to celebrate your life. But just a few actions a day make all the difference.
It really boils down to making the choice to see life through rose-colored glasses despite what the world tells us about how we should view things. To do things that light you up, open you up, and to embrace your tenderness.
Most of us try to hide our vulnerability, because it's so scary to think about getting hurt or humiliated. But when we open up our hearts fully to life, we get to experience its immense beauty, even when that includes pain.
Life IS messy, beautiful, imperfect, awe-inducing, and at times bewilderingly painful. And all of it is to be celebrated, experienced fully, and appreciated. That is a true celebration of life.
Here are some ways to open your heart and start celebrating your life today.
1. Tap into the magic of gratitude
One of the quickest ways to celebrate your life is to think of the things that are going right and that you love and appreciate so much.
The practice of gratitude shifted my life in a significant way when I first began to practice it. I was at a rock bottom place at the time and so even thinking about the food in my fridge brought me to tears of appreciation.
So often we go to bed at night thinking about something that doesn't make us feel all that great, whether it's what we need to do tomorrow or something that ticked us off during the day. That is funeral energy! It sucks the life-force right out of you and is also super boring.
Try this: go to sleep thinking of at least ten things that you are currently loving about your life. If you can't think of ten, think of five. Some days it's easier to think of things to be grateful for than others, but it's truly a way of orienting yourself to life and the more often that you do it, the easier and more natural it gets.
Gratitude shifts energy, and shifted energy has the power to transform your whole life experience. Appreciation is the key ingredient of a celebrated life.
2. Make each day a special occasion
I homeschool my kids and also work from home, but it would be a rare chance that you would show up to my door and not see me dressed up with my hair and makeup done. Why? Because it makes me feel so good. And if it were my last day alive, would I want to croak not feeling my best? No, that's boring funeral energy.
Why do we wait for special occasions to do nice things for ourselves and others? Our funeral-approving society says there's a time and place to dress up and use your best dishes, but when you're in the habit of celebrating your life, you might feel like wearing a dang gown while making dinner and sipping on some champagne at that.
How would your days look if you treated each of them as a special occasion?
Try this: give a gift to a loved one for no reason at all. Bake cookies for your neighbor. Dress to the nines even if no one will see you. Write an old fashioned letter to someone who would be delighted to receive it. Journal in the evenings to recount all the beautiful things that were sprinkled throughout your day. Channel your inner goddess and wear only your favorite perfume to bed à la Marilyn.
The special occasion is the NOW moment. Do things that feel celebratory on a more regular basis.
3. Acknowledge your growth
Most of us acknowledge our mistakes, but how often do we acknowledge our growth and all that we've learned. I can easily think back to my 20's and all the horrible decisions I made. But it's an entirely different energy when I think about all that I know now as a result of those decisions.
When you're little, you have to learn to walk, and it's a given you're going to fall down a lot before you master it. Yet we don't extend ourselves that same grace in our adulthood. Each decade of life has its own unique challenges and lessons, so why do we tend to focus on our falls instead of how we were trying and growing?
Try this: anytime you feel a pang of regret, guilt, or anxiety over something you've done, stop for a moment and think of what you learned in that situation. How are you different now? What do you know now in a deeper way that you didn't before that experience?
If you have more time, another life-celebrating way to acknowledge your growth is to sit down with a pen and paper and write down what you've learned. Think through each decade, or every 5-year period, and write down the hard things you went through and how they changed you for the better.
What you'll find is that you've gained so much wisdom and become more of who you really are through all of those experiences.
4. Show up with positive curiosity
Ditch the funeral energy of meeting each day with apathy or dread and instead choose to meet it with a curious, open heart and positive expectation.
What if you were to believe that everything happens for you, and not to you? If you were to look for the good no matter what the situation? Imagine how different life would be if you just showed up vulnerable, fully present every day, curious and open about the way it will all unfold.
When we shift into trusting that everything is always unfolding in a way that is for everyone's highest good, we are able to let go of emotions and beliefs that hurt us. Believing that things should be a certain way, or that we've messed up somehow, is funeral energy, plain and simple. It sucks the life out of you and causes us to retreat and push away our feelings.
We allow ourselves to feel during shows and movies because we aren't attached like we are to our own lives. A quote that I put on my vision board this year says, "Be more involved with life and less attached to it."
Try this: be involved with your life and less attached to any ideas about how it "should" be. This person "should" still be alive, I "shouldn't" be sick, my child "should" be doing better. Byron Katie frequently says, "How do you know something should've happened? Because it did. How do you know something should be happening? Because it is." And only an insane person argues with reality.
Opening and flowing with life requires us to trust that all is always well, even if we can't currently see how on the surface. When you greet your days with this life-giving energy, you are able to show up fully for your life and for others. That is a life that is truly lived and celebrated.
22 quotes for celebrating your life
I love quotes because they evoke such clarity and emotion in a short amount of words. Allow these quotes to inspire you to live in a way that celebrates your everyday life.
1. "The sound of joy, heartbreak, ecstasy. It is all for the fine tuning of our soul. We learn to calibrate the sounds of life. No more sensitivity, but making it all music. Go ahead, appreciate the soundtrack of your life. It makes for good dancing too.” Emmanuella Raphaelle
2. "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." Oprah Winfrey
3. Life is meant to be lived as a celebration. This is how you write on the wall of life." Topaz
4. "Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever: in which ever chapter is better than the one before." C.S. Lewis
5. “Be the celebrators, celebrate! Already there is too much—the flowers have bloomed, the birds are singing, the sun is there in the sky—celebrate it! You are breathing and you are alive and you have consciousness, celebrate it!” Osho
6. "When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow." Shauna Niequist
7. “Keep creating: the world yearns to celebrate your next masterpiece.” Ken Poirot
8. "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln
9. "As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death." Leonardo Da Vinci
10. “Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.” Rumi
11. "Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away." Maya Angelou
12. "We turn not older with years, but newer every day." Emily Dickinson
13. "Happiness requires that we celebrate the positive sides of life. Peace requires that we accept both the positive and the negative outcomes of life and move on." Terry Mark
14. "Every day of your life is a special occasion." Thomas S. Monson
15. “Shall we walk through the woods, dance through the meadows, and celebrate the miracle of this garden world?” Leland Lewis
16. “Celebrate the varied splendour in this world, and remind yourself that it can also be found in you.” Dr Salma Farook
17. “It’s another day and I’m alive and so are you. Isn’t that wonderful?” Wayne Gerard Trotman
18. “Pursuit of contentment is not the pursuit of an elusive tomorrow; it is the celebration of today. In that, it is the pursuit to end all pursuits.” Majid Kazmi
19. “Never hanker for others to make your life beautiful, orchestrate your life and celebrate in your own aliveness. That's HEAVEN, that's Godliness!” Ramana Pemmaraju
20. "Once you start living intensely, only then will you come to recognize your self, then you will be surprised how different you are, in your responses, in your actions–in your individuality–only then will you appreciate the uniqueness of others, not before. So, start living joyously, celebrate life!” Ramana Pemmaraju
21. “Why should we celebrate certain things at certain times? We don't need extra celebrations on anything, as every moment is already a great celebration moment to celebrate that we're just alive!” Mehmet Murat Ildan
22. “There is magic, beauty, romance and poetry waiting for you every step of the way. Life is waiting for you, with open arms. Remember: this moment is the only life you have! Unless you are present in the moment, you cannot celebrate life.” AVIS Viswanathan
Show up fully for your life but let go of the reigns. Be present, but not attached. Don't be afraid of emotions, but don't define yourself by them either. If sadness needs to rise up within you, let it, but don't hold onto it.
We're here to feel and experience, not to control and behave. So ditch the funeral energy and live your life in a way that feels celebratory to you, and life will show you things you never dreamed were possible.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this article and found something to take away with you.
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Thank you so much for this. I almost passed this article up. So glad I didn't because it was meant for me today.