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A Sacred Self-Care Birthday Ritual

A special way to celebrate and love yourself on your birthday

“Today isn’t my birthday, but it might be yours. If it is, I hope you’re having a wonderful day–a day of authentic indulgences, joyful simplicities, contemplation, closure, and celebration. We should all commemorate our birthdays that way. I’ve reached a point where I’m not really big on major birthday gatherings, but I do need to distinguish the birth day of my life in special ways from the rest of the calendar. So I’ve created my own birthday ritual to help me commemorate the year just past while invoking illumination for the year to come.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach 

Have you ever celebrated yourself on your birthday? I know a lot of people throw birthday parties for themselves every year, but I mean have you really celebrated you

Usually every year I try to avoid telling anyone it’s my birthday, and yet at the same time, I’ll get sad if the people around me forget it or don’t make it as memorable as I actually want it to be. That’s a lot of pressure on the poor souls who know me!

I read the daily book Simple Abundance every morning, and there was a day in December that talked about how to celebrate your birthday with a beautiful self-care ritual. I had never really thought of celebrating my birthday like this, but I instantly knew it would feel transformative and couldn’t wait for my January birthday to get here.

Simple Abundance

I turned 33 this past week, and I have to tell you that this has been the BEST birthday I’ve had since I was probably 5 years old. I know it’s because I was looking forward to doing this birthday ritual and not caring if anyone noticed if it was my birthday or not. I was too busy picking out the perfect gift for me, shopping for the prettiest wrapping paper and bow, gathering all the supplies I would need, and making arrangements so that I had the day to myself.

Anything else was just going to be icing on the cake.

Birthday ritual supplies

Birthday ritual supplies

I gathered my supplies:

  • Old and new photos
  • A journal 
  • Tea light candles
  • Bath bubbles
  • My favorite flowers
  • Champagne and champagne flute
  • My favorite playlist
  • Freshly made bed
  • Cute pajamas
  • Beautifully wrapped gift from me to me!

Birthday Ritual

This is part of my gift that I didn’t wrap, which was this purse. I have been carrying the SAME diaper bag for the last three years because I loved it so much. I was in desperate need of a new bag but finding a bag for me is like finding jeans or a bra. I finally found this one on Amazon! And since I still need some sort of diaper bag organization, I bought this insert, which fits perfectly. It’s the perfect mix between a diaper bag and a normal purse.

A birthday ritual

“First, I take a soothing bath, symbolically washing away the past year’s pain, sorrow, regrets, mistakes, and guilt.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

With the house empty and silent after taking my kids to my mom’s house, I pulled all of their toys out of the tub and ran a bath. I lit several tea light candles and placed them around the tub, turned off the lights, and enjoyed a blissful and peaceful bubble bath by myself.

I thought about the way Sarah said the bath was symbolic of washing away all of the past year’s mistakes, any regrets and any lingering guilt. For me, the only real pain I experienced in the past year was the pain and regret of not being my own best friend sooner.

This would be the perfect time to let go of any of the criticisms you’ve been carrying around about yourself. Let go of any disappointment or hurt from others. Let go of any guilt! Guilt over not being a good enough mom, wife, sister, friend…guilt over things not being the way you had hoped, guilt over things you wished you would’ve done and things you wished you wouldn’t have. Wash it all away and let it drain with the water.

Let it go, this is a fresh slate. A new year.

A birthday Ritual

Next to my bed, I set everything up. My 33 candles, the card from my husband, the Duplos my boys built for me (of two little brothers holding hands), my favorite bouquet of flowers, champagne, the photos, and my journal. I also had my twinkle lights on that I’ve put up around my bed!

A birthday ritual

“Then I go alone to my bedroom and light one votive candle for each year. My favorite music is playing in the background, fragrant incense fills the air, and beside my bed is a bouquet of my favorite flowers. I put on a brand-new nightgown and get comfortable in my freshly made bed.

Then I offer a personal psalm of thanksgiving for my life. As the candles burn I reflect on my personal journey so far. I look at old and recent photographs, then read selections from my journal. So many wonderful moments from the past year have already slipped from my conscious memory; it’s comforting to call them back for a brief visit.

Next I ask for a birthday gift that only the Giver of Good can bestow: to conceive a wonderful new dream or plan; to realize a dream delayed; to overcome an old fear or be released from an old pain; to experience a new freedom; to discover a new strength; to find a new friend; to achieve a long-sought goal; to reach toward a new aspiration; to overcome a new challenge.

I sip a glass of champagne, then slowly open a beautifully wrapped gift from my authentic self. And of course, it’s the perfect present.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

I LOVED this part. Lighting the candles for each year I’ve been alive felt so special, and taking quiet moments alone to look at old photos, remember the past year, and feel grateful for my life was the most unique way I’ve ever celebrated my birthday.

Books

The two other gifts I got myself were these books. Eat Pretty Every Day has an entry for every day of the year and is specific to the season, and it’s full of self-care ideas, healthy recipes, and mindset tips for shifting the way you view yourself. Heart Thoughts is a gorgeous book by one of my favorite authors, another book on shifting your mindset and releasing negative beliefs about the world and yourself. I’ve added both of these books into my morning self-care routine.

“Many people who love you will try, but no one can celebrate your birth day exactly the way you need for it to be observed. That’s because no one really knows the year you’ve just completed; no one else has lived it. What’s more, each year is different. Your thirty-second and forty-eighth birthday won’t begin to resemble each other. Your husband, lover, children, friends, and co-workers can be aware of recent events that have unfolded in your life, but only your authentic self knows how deeply these events reverberated.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach 

The most magical thing that happened for me with this ritual is that it caused me to have no expectations on others for how my birthday should be celebrated, which in turn manifested an abundance of love pouring in from others. My husband took me out to dinner and it was horrible but I don’t remember a night that I’ve laughed so hard. The day was perfect, and nothing was able to ruin it.

Every year that I get older I become more of my own best friend and give myself the things that for so long I thought I needed to get from others. When we relieve others from needing to be the source of our happiness, the ironic thing is that so much more love and acts of kindness flow in from others. And the more love we give to ourselves, the deeper our sense of worth becomes so we’re able to allow others to love us instead of pushing it away because we don’t feel worthy. It’s a beautiful chain effect!

I created this checklist for my own reference when I followed Sarah’s birthday ritual. If you’d like this download, it’s available to my subscribers. Sign up for my newsletter and you will receive it in the welcome email.

How do you celebrate your birthday? I hope that whatever you do this year on your birthday, you make time to celebrate yourself and give yourself the best birthday you’ve ever had.


Jessica Dimas is the author of Sacred Self-Care for Moms Guide + Worksheet Bundle. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and updates.

Sacred Self-Care for Moms Guide and Worksheet Bundle

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Jessica Dimas

I'm Jessica, the creator and author behind Dwell in Magic. My passion is sharing my love for the power of sacred self-care and the art of manifestation. When the two are combined, life is ABSOLUTELY magical.

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Comments

  1. What a lovely idea. I bought Simple Abundance last year because of your suggestion. It’s a beautiful book and I enjoy reading it often. I just turned 32 on the 10th. I spent my birthday taking care of my four children and husband who were all sick with a yucky stomach bug. The next day, when they were feeling good enough to celebrate my birthday, I was sick! Some how I don’t feel the loss of not celebrating. When I felt better I took some quite time for reflection and did a birthday spread with my new tarot cards (I’m just learning and am having so much fun). According to my cards I’m doing very well in life and my new year looks bright. I am an incurable optimist and my cards always reflect that part of me 🙂 Thank you for this wonderful article and words of encouragement.

    • Your comment made me smile, Jessica. I love that despite everyone being sick on your birthday, and then you being the sick afterwards still didn’t get you down. I’m glad you were able to take some time for yourself and also I’m SUPER interested in tarot cards. You’re the second person to mention them to me today. I think I’m meant to get some, they sound so fun! Thank you for your comment, and happy belated birthday 🙂 xo Jessica

  2. This is so awesome! I am definitely someone who looks forward to celebrating my birthday every year (my husband thinks that’s silly haha), so I love this idea! I have never bought myself a present, but I think this year I will! And happy birthday to you!!!

    • That’s so awesome Chelsea, you’ll definitely love this then, it’s like taking it to the next notch haha! And yes, I also have never bought myself a gift like this, very deliberate and then wrapped it for myself. It felt really special and slightly transformative 🙂 Thank you for commenting xo

  3. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing! Now I can’t wait for my birthday! Greetings from Argentina

  4. Omg – this sounds and looks so amazing! I am a total bath-aholic but adding all of these other special elements like lighting candles for each year and looking through old pictures to celebrate your life just sounds so perfect. I love planning a whole day for myself and spoiling myself but I’ve never considered doing it for my birthday! This year I am SO doing this. Thank you for sharing these tips! Wonderful, I can’t wait! <3

    • Yessss, all of these extra little things made it all so special. I loved the candle and photos idea, it was a very unique experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year. I hope you have a wonderful birthday this year! Thank you for commenting! xo Jessica

  5. My birthday just passed, dangit! I might have to do a “2 weeks later” ritual as I don’t want to wait a whole year to partake 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Valentine’s day would be a perfect day to do it as well! 🙂 And I think any day is a good day to celebrate yourself, honestly. I may have to do this a few more times this year, haha! Thank you for your comment, xo

  6. Jessica,
    My birthday is coming up in 2 weeks and this is just awesome! I plan to do this for my birthday this year.
    I am also usually alone and never get a Valentine anymore so I decided to show myself some love on Valentine’s day and just ordered Heart Thoughts. I thought that would be such an appropriate book for the day and gift to myself!
    Jenny

    • I know this response is late but I hope you had an amazing birthday!! And I love your idea for Valentine’s, that book is so appropriate. I think that book is one of my favorite book purchases, I read a page every single morning. Thank you for leaving your inspiring comment! xo

  7. Love this! I’ve been reading Simple Abundance for over 15 years and somehow this part never stuck out to me. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I can’t wait for my birthday. (The big 4-0!) 🙂

    • I swear new things stick out to me all the time with that book. That’s exciting, you should definitely try her birthday self-care ritual this year. I know I’ll never go another birthday without it 🙂

  8. Thank you for this Jessica! My birthday is later this week and I’m going to try a few of your ideas! I love the idea of new pjs and lighting a candle for each year. I believe our birth day is such a spiritual day and one that should be revered and honored. The past few years I’ve focused on being grateful for myself being alive and doing activities I love. This takes it to another level!!

    And I adore the Dream, Hope, Love book pictured! I couldn’t find it in any of the links. Is that a journal??

    Many Blessings,
    Lisa

    • I hope you had an amazing birthday and tried a few of the ideas! I agree, I really do feel like a our birth day should be honored and made to feel like a sacred day. It really does take it to another level feeling that gratitude for your life and focusing on what you love. I won’t go another birthday without doing this!

      And that Dream, Hope, Love journal was something I found at Home Goods! I tried finding it on Amazon so I could link it but I couldn’t find it.

      Thank you for your comment xo
      Love and gratitude

  9. Another great read. Last year myself and two friends, a mother and daughter who are equally 10yrs either side of me went for afternoon tea and it was lovely. Invariably all three of us feel disappointed after our birthdays but I think this plan worked for us together so this July/Aug I think we must make hay 🙂

  10. Woow!!! Thank you!!!! I’ve been crying and crying about my upcoming 30th birthday. Now I know what I have to dö – give myself all the love I want <3

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reader love

I have binge read so many of your posts in the last few days! I've been trying so hard to heal my soul, and I feel like you're introducing me to the tools and techniques to finally do that! Thank you so much!

Melanie D.

2019-03-28T15:54:56-04:00

Melanie D.

I have binge read so many of your posts in the last few days! I've been trying so hard to heal my soul, and I feel like you're introducing me to the tools and techniques to finally do that! Thank you so much!

Hi Jessica. Hope you are well. I have just got your manifesting magic with the moon worksheet and I LOVE IT,THANK YOU.

N.F.

2019-03-29T17:03:23-04:00

N.F.

Hi Jessica. Hope you are well. I have just got your manifesting magic with the moon worksheet and I LOVE IT,THANK YOU.

I have a dedicated album for sacred self-care & I'm posting a bunch of your blog posts and links in them because you are my absolute favourite!! I found you a couple of years ago and started with your "anything can be" bundle and I've been following you ever since and love your stuff ❤Thank you for what you do and for sharing your knowledge with the world!!!

Sandra

2019-03-29T17:05:31-04:00

Sandra

I have a dedicated album for sacred self-care & I'm posting a bunch of your blog posts and links in them because you are my absolute favourite!! I found you a couple of years ago and started with your "anything can be" bundle and I've been following you ever since and love your stuff Thank you for what you do and for sharing your knowledge with the world!!!

Wow, is all I can say. Your blog made me realize that I am 100% an empath. It explains SO MUCH. I am in shock. I've been researching it for four hours now, and I'm just blown away with the answers and validation that I am experiencing. Everything is all making sense now thanks to you. THANK YOU.

C.E.

2019-03-29T17:08:33-04:00

C.E.

Wow, is all I can say. Your blog made me realize that I am 100% an empath. It explains SO MUCH. I am in shock. I've been researching it for four hours now, and I'm just blown away with the answers and validation that I am experiencing. Everything is all making sense now thanks to you. THANK YOU.

Hi Jessica, I have recently discovered your work and I love every word you write. I purchased the Self Care for moms and I am working towards setting up this sacred space and time in between the chaotic time I have currently being a full time working mother and also expecting my second baby in May.

Jisha

2019-03-29T17:12:20-04:00

Jisha

Hi Jessica, I have recently discovered your work and I love every word you write. I purchased the Self Care for moms and I am working towards setting up this sacred space and time in between the chaotic time I have currently being a full time working mother and also expecting my second baby in May.

Thank you so very much for the gorgeous moon calendar!  A lot of time and love went into it–hugely appreciated!

Tracy

2019-03-29T17:13:30-04:00

Tracy

Thank you so very much for the gorgeous moon calendar!  A lot of time and love went into it–hugely appreciated!

Thank you!!!!!!! Just discovering your blog and loving it so much! I marveled at how full the moon looked last night and I am so happy you sent this reminder to act on it.

Cat

2019-03-29T17:14:26-04:00

Cat

Thank you!!!!!!! Just discovering your blog and loving it so much! I marveled at how full the moon looked last night and I am so happy you sent this reminder to act on it.

Oh my gosh. I love you. Thank you for making everything so succinct. You have such a user friendly approach to all of this.

Rhyne

2019-03-29T17:15:10-04:00

Rhyne

Oh my gosh. I love you. Thank you for making everything so succinct. You have such a user friendly approach to all of this.

I just downloaded your 7 day bootcamp. I cannot wait to start it tomorrow! Thank you for making it!!!

Julie

2019-03-29T17:16:43-04:00

Julie

I just downloaded your 7 day bootcamp. I cannot wait to start it tomorrow! Thank you for making it!!!

Hi Jessica! Just wanted to write & say thank you for your 7 Day Bootcamp! I just love it and have implemented morning and evening self-care routines and maintained them for a few weeks. I also have Sacred Self-Care which I can't wait to dive into. Thank you for your blog and courses, they are just wonderful.

Monique

2019-03-29T17:17:39-04:00

Monique

Hi Jessica! Just wanted to write & say thank you for your 7 Day Bootcamp! I just love it and have implemented morning and evening self-care routines and maintained them for a few weeks. I also have Sacred Self-Care which I can't wait to dive into. Thank you for your blog and courses, they are just wonderful.

I'm a new blogger and found your blog planner a couple weeks back. I instantly fell in love with it, it was everything I was looking for and more. I have a horrible habit of buying planners and never using them, until I bought this one. I always have it next to me when I blog and I'm constantly pulling it out to add things to it.

Christina

2019-03-29T17:19:42-04:00

Christina

I'm a new blogger and found your blog planner a couple weeks back. I instantly fell in love with it, it was everything I was looking for and more. I have a horrible habit of buying planners and never using them, until I bought this one. I always have it next to me when I blog and I'm constantly pulling it out to add things to it.

If you don't have Jessica's Manifesting Magic with the Moon worksheets, I highly recommend you invest in them! They help me so much and are easy to follow!!

Kristy L.

2019-03-29T17:22:38-04:00

Kristy L.

If you don't have Jessica's Manifesting Magic with the Moon worksheets, I highly recommend you invest in them! They help me so much and are easy to follow!!

Jessica, you're the first person that really inspired me to take care of myself. In 2016 I really wanted to do daily practices, but I never did it. Reading your words made me give it a try. Thank you so, so much for all of this.

Amanda

2019-03-29T17:23:34-04:00

Amanda

Jessica, you're the first person that really inspired me to take care of myself. In 2016 I really wanted to do daily practices, but I never did it. Reading your words made me give it a try. Thank you so, so much for all of this.

Jessica, I can't even begin to tell you how your book & exercises have been changing my life! Can't thank you enough!! it's been so eye opening for both my husband and I.

Melissa S.

2019-03-29T17:24:24-04:00

Melissa S.

Jessica, I can't even begin to tell you how your book & exercises have been changing my life! Can't thank you enough!! it's been so eye opening for both my husband and I.

Hi Jessica, I've been following you for ages on Instagram and have more recently been finding your group so useful.. so thank you.

Louise

2019-03-29T17:01:17-04:00

Louise

Hi Jessica, I've been following you for ages on Instagram and have more recently been finding your group so useful.. so thank you.

I have purchased both the Anything Can Be bundle and the 7 Day Mini Manifesting Boot Camp. Both are so helpful in prompting me to write out my thoughts and to focus. The worksheets are beautiful, and they have become a calming ritual. I bookend my days with candles glowing and pen in hand.

Sandy

2019-03-29T16:59:19-04:00

Sandy

I have purchased both the Anything Can Be bundle and the 7 Day Mini Manifesting Boot Camp. Both are so helpful in prompting me to write out my thoughts and to focus. The worksheets are beautiful, and they have become a calming ritual. I bookend my days with candles glowing and pen in hand.

Hey Jessica! I have been following you for some time now. Your work is inspiring and resonates with me so much! Your posts on self care have influenced a lot of what I do now and helped me really get into intentional self care. I believe what you offer is so needed in today's world.

Odessa

2019-03-29T16:58:31-04:00

Odessa

Hey Jessica! I have been following you for some time now. Your work is inspiring and resonates with me so much! Your posts on self care have influenced a lot of what I do now and helped me really get into intentional self care. I believe what you offer is so needed in today's world.

Without Jessica's worksheets and the whole bundle that is, I would be so lost, unorganized & frustrated. She has created such an awesome platform for even the newbie like me just getting started. Thank you Jessica!

E.M.

2019-03-29T16:33:49-04:00

E.M.

Without Jessica's worksheets and the whole bundle that is, I would be so lost, unorganized & frustrated. She has created such an awesome platform for even the newbie like me just getting started. Thank you Jessica!

Ahhhh LOVE this! You're so inspiring. I just ordered your Moon Manifesting workbook last night and I'm really loving it from what I've seen, planning to dive in with the full moon worksheets Friday and moving forward! Super appreciate the amazing art and wisdom that you contribute! Keep rocking it, beautiful!!

Stephanie

2019-03-29T16:36:49-04:00

Stephanie

Ahhhh LOVE this! You're so inspiring. I just ordered your Moon Manifesting workbook last night and I'm really loving it from what I've seen, planning to dive in with the full moon worksheets Friday and moving forward! Super appreciate the amazing art and wisdom that you contribute! Keep rocking it, beautiful!!

Your email today literally changed my life. Thanks for contributing such magical elements into my life.

Rosie

2019-03-29T16:38:13-04:00

Rosie

Your email today literally changed my life. Thanks for contributing such magical elements into my life.

Just bought the Manifesting with the Moon worksheet bundle! I've felt drawn to it for while now. Just in time for tomorrow's full moon!! Thank you <3

S.E.

2019-03-29T16:39:05-04:00

S.E.

Just bought the Manifesting with the Moon worksheet bundle! I've felt drawn to it for while now. Just in time for tomorrow's full moon!! Thank you <3

Omg the moon worksheets are my fav!!! A friend asked if it was a course and I was like it's a self-taught course but the pages are self-guided and I love it!!

Frances

2019-03-29T16:40:26-04:00

Frances

Omg the moon worksheets are my fav!!! A friend asked if it was a course and I was like it's a self-taught course but the pages are self-guided and I love it!!

Hi love! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your beautiful moon worksheets! I purchased it over the weekend and I am so excited to get into it!!

Laura E.

2019-03-29T16:41:06-04:00

Laura E.

Hi love! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your beautiful moon worksheets! I purchased it over the weekend and I am so excited to get into it!!

Hey Jess :) been doing your worksheets and loving them!

Kelly J.

2019-03-29T16:41:51-04:00

Kelly J.

Hey Jess :) been doing your worksheets and loving them!

Hi, just wanted to tell you your blog is wonderful and in a span of 10 minutes gave me answers to two questions I had. Truly magical.

Christina

2019-03-29T16:42:37-04:00

Christina

Hi, just wanted to tell you your blog is wonderful and in a span of 10 minutes gave me answers to two questions I had. Truly magical.

Hi! I'm a hugggge fan, you are such an inspiration and a huge motivator! Thanks for being such an amazing person in today's world.

Dakota

2019-03-29T16:44:11-04:00

Dakota

Hi! I'm a hugggge fan, you are such an inspiration and a huge motivator! Thanks for being such an amazing person in today's world.

Seriously your words are thoughts my mind craves!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful knowledge! Please know you're helping change my life for the better with your posts!!!

S.F.

2019-03-29T16:45:05-04:00

S.F.

Seriously your words are thoughts my mind craves!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful knowledge! Please know you're helping change my life for the better with your posts!!!

Hi Jessica! I wanted to thank you for being so amazing. I have been struggling with panic and anxiety now for some time and have been trying to self heal with some of the strategies you use. I'm 10 days without a panic attack, I'm slowly getting there.

Kellie M.

2019-03-29T16:46:43-04:00

Kellie M.

Hi Jessica! I wanted to thank you for being so amazing. I have been struggling with panic and anxiety now for some time and have been trying to self heal with some of the strategies you use. I'm 10 days without a panic attack, I'm slowly getting there.

Hello Jessica. I just wanted to let you know that your seven day mini manifesting boot camp has helped me a lot and I am only on day two!

Jen

2019-03-29T16:52:03-04:00

Jen

Hello Jessica. I just wanted to let you know that your seven day mini manifesting boot camp has helped me a lot and I am only on day two!

Thank u thank u thank u so much for being so caring and considerate I would have slept with a heavy heart today had I not received your reply. I love reading your articles cause they are easy flowing, not too hard on the brain. Life seems so simple and so amazingly beautiful in your articles. Keep inspiring 👍

Anjum

2019-03-29T16:54:52-04:00

Anjum

Thank u thank u thank u so much for being so caring and considerate I would have slept with a heavy heart today had I not received your reply. I love reading your articles cause they are easy flowing, not too hard on the brain. Life seems so simple and so amazingly beautiful in your articles. Keep inspiring 

Hi! I first found you on Pinterest and from there started following your Instagram page. I truly appreciate your work that focuses on well-being of self & others. Also it gives peace and positive vibes. Keep shining and spreading the magic!

Suchi

2019-03-30T14:16:12-04:00

Suchi

Hi! I first found you on Pinterest and from there started following your Instagram page. I truly appreciate your work that focuses on well-being of self & others. Also it gives peace and positive vibes. Keep shining and spreading the magic!