Celebration serves a purpose. It is the bridge between the end of one journey and the beginning of the next. It is an important part of feeling alive and it is detrimental to overlook it.
Celebration is the end of a journey because it is an acknowledgement of your accomplishment. A recognition. A stamp declaring, “I did it!”
It is the beginning of the next journey because success breeds success. As you accomplish a goal – and acknowledge that you have – you raise your energy. When you are in a state of being that is joyous and fulfilled and happy, you are open to more possibilities and opportunities and have more momentum to accomplish the next task. Success breeds success.
We often forget to celebrate our successes – especially the “small” ones – and, in forgetting to do so, we do not fully finish the journey we have started. Energetically, this breeds a sense of not being finished, which can easily turn into dissatisfaction, despair, desperation. Not celebrating is cutting the journey short.
You may be accomplishing a lot, but in your lack of celebration, it is almost as if you haven’t because you aren’t allowing yourself to feel it.
I say this because I, too, forget to celebrate.
I set a goal for myself, accomplish it, and then look around for “what’s next” or just dive into the next project. This breeds a sense of hurrying, desperation, and feeling like whatever I do is never enough. Wondering when “it” will end. “It” being the feeling, the feeling of overwhelm or dissatisfaction or stress of having to do so many things. I feel like I “haven’t accomplished anything” because I am not acknowledging that I have.
If I died today, my inbox would still be full. And someone would either take care of it, or it just wouldn’t get done. And the world would still go ‘round.
I think that sometimes we have this need to feel important, to feel useful, that we get so trapped in the feeling that we have to be doing something at all times or the world can’t function without us. So, we just keep going and forget to celebrate what we have accomplished.
But then we miss out. We miss out on that happy feeling we were looking for in the first place when we set the goal. We miss out on that feeling of satisfaction, of closure. We miss out on a huge joy in life.
Some people think that celebration is for things like birthdays or holidays or anniversaries only. Or maybe for huge business deals, or long terms goals like graduating from college or buying a house. Yes, of course it is for those things.
And it is also for the little things, like having a hard conversation with someone and cleaning up a relationship, or going to the gym when you just really didn’t want to get out of bed. Like learning a new skill, trying something for the first time, or fixing your broken bike; maybe even making someone laugh, or getting the grumpy cashier to smile today. Find all the little things in your life that you are accomplishing on a moment by moment basis and celebrate them!
While celebrating the big things is important, it’s the little celebrations that count the most. Why? Because they happen every moment. And if you celebrate those, then you are building joy upon joy so that you are bridging your life with a feeling of success, which breeds more success and more joy.
We think that dealing with the despairs of life is what is hard, but actually celebration can be hard for some of us, as well. It is a place of vulnerability. It’s saying, look, I did this! And, as celebration means so much more when you can share it with the ones you love, there are witnesses to our accomplishments which can make some of us feel like we are in a spotlight we don’t want to be in. So, we may avoid celebrating because we don’t want the attention. We don’t want to be vulnerable.
And then we miss out.
But then we are looking at celebration like there is just one way to do it — in the spotlight, make it bit, throw a party. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate. It is the intention. Of course you can celebrate by going out to dinner, or throwing a party. You can also look your loved one in the eye and say, “I did this! I am so proud of myself! Please celebrate with me!” and share smiles and hugs to celebrate. Or even silently – and consciously – acknowledge to yourself that you just made a stranger smile. The important part is the acknowledgment of having accomplished something. You will find what works for you.
Just imagine if your life was a string of celebrations. You can make it happen – because you already have lots to celebrate. And you deserve to be celebrated.