Life is far too important to be taken seriously. ~ Oscar Wilde.
I am writing this blog on March 20th, the first day of spring, International Happiness Day and my birthday! I’ve always felt honoured to share my birthday with the first day of spring and, since 2012, International Happiness Day. I love my birthday. It’s the one day of the year that I love celebrating and feeling special. It’s funny because I definitely don’t feel like that every day. Lately my coach has been asking me, “What did you do to celebrate a particular milestone?” My answer, more often than not, is nothing. So if I’m okay with making a big deal of my birthday, why do I find it so hard to celebrate my life and accomplishments at other times throughout the year?
I know I’m not alone. For some reason, celebrating does not come naturally to many of us. Celebrating, not just birthdays, but who we are and our accomplishments throughout the year, can be tough.
Have you ever accomplished something big only to immediately look forward to the next goal or milestone? Do you feel guilty talking about how well your business is doing?
How about feeling like you are being boastful when you talk about something wonderful your partner has done for you? When life feels great, are you afraid to talk about it for fear that others will think you are bragging?
Taking it to the mat.
As a yoga teacher, I see that our yoga practice very often mirrors life off the mat and I cannot help but compare celebrating this life to Savasana. Savasana, also known as Corpse Pose, is usually done at the end of a yoga class. After moving and breathing through poses in a class we take time at the end to lie on our mats, with our eyes closed and bodies totally relaxed, to absorb our practice, help us heal and rejuvenate.
I also like to think of Savasana as a time to celebrate all that our bodies do for us and enjoy quiet and stillness. Sounds divine doesn’t it? It definitely is, but often it isn’t easy. Anyone who has practiced yoga and taken Savasana can probably recall a time (or many times) where they didn’t want to be there. You lay on your mat thinking: How much longer will this be? What’s on my list that I have to accomplish next? What will I have for dinner? You go through all you have to do and then feel that it is completely indulgent to just lay there. You often feel guilty for allowing yourself to enjoy the stillness. I know all these thoughts have passed through my head during Savasana at one time or another.
However, as I can attest, the more you practice Savasana the more comfortable you become in it. You start to see it as a necessary and very enjoyable part of your practice. You start to look forward to it.
As I have said many times in the past ‘there is no substitute for practice’. To improve your physical practice, to become comfortable with deep breathing and to change your thought patterns you need to practice.
Back to the real world:
After my coach asked me a few times about celebrating, I started to reflect on my uncomfortable feelings with it. I began to wonder if I do not celebrate my successes and where I am with my life, then what am I doing it all for. I’m striving for that elusive end state. I think I’ll celebrate later when I’ve accomplished another goal. But there is only this present moment so the time to celebrate is now. I know we can all think of something we have accomplished recently that is worthy of a celebration. So as Nike says ‘just do it’. Share your accomplishment with someone, treat yourself and your employees, take some time off, do something you love, etc. Share your accomplishment in the comments section below.
Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate and I promise, it will get easier!