How (and Why) to Celebrate Yourself

“I celebrate myself and sing myself…”

-Walt Whitman

OK…serious confession time here. I am wearing very old underwear. It’s possible it’s maternity underwear and my last child was born 10 years ago. It’s the sad truth. It’s been years and years since I’ve bought myself a new, pretty pair of underwear – and I’m not talking Victoria Secret underwear – just nice underwear thats sole purpose is to be worn as underwear.

And why is that you ask? Well it’s complicated.

Part of it is just me being busy; taking care of my family, my business, my friends, my life in general. Part of it is just the way I was raised; my mom did the same thing – she was the last one to get new clothes or new things in general. I don’t recall her ever splurging on herself or celebrating herself. She always got the small piece of chicken, if you know what I mean.

And most women I know are like that, especially once kids are in the picture. We just don’t consider how vital it is to love on ourselves, take time for ourselves, cherish ourselves, celebrate ourselves.

We just don’t do it – yet we don’t expect any sort of consequence for not doing it. We keep running on all cylinders, giving way more than we get (because we don’t ask and we don’t take or make time for ourselves) and ending up wearing very old underwear, feeling kind of run down and a little bit bitter…yep I said it…bitter. Ugh.

If the idea of celebrating yourself makes you feel uncomfortable this post is for you. To be frank – it makes me a little uncomfortable and so maybe we can shift together on this. Because I have a sneaking suspicion that if we were nicer to ourselves — offering ourselves the love and recognition, time and celebration that we happily give others it’s possible that we (as women) could work and live in a much happier state and in turn, not need to give as much AND have a lot more to give.

Cool how that works isn’t it?

CHOOSE

It’s really easy to live on autopilot – just following the routine you established for yourself and living one day to the next as id each one should be the same.

Something that is pretty cool about getting older (and wiser) is that we don’t have to be the same person this year that we were last year. Just like you can’t step into the same river twice, we have ample opportunities to change every day. We’re allowed to shift our paradigm. Your life is (wonder-fully) a series of choices. So what choices are you making today? Can you make a couple that involve “you first?”

It may need to be a gradual shift, but, if everyday, you could choose one thing that feels like a “you first” choice those will add up and lesson the odd feelings around celebrating yourself.

RESPECT

I think we as women (and some men too) spend an awful lot of time looking at other people’s accomplishments and comparing ourselves or our lives to them. (Thank you Social Media!)

It’s critical that we not do that. Someone is always going to be further ahead than you. I try to remind myself (often) that I am on my own journey. It’s twists and turns are unlike anyone else’s AND I’ve come a long way.

It’s super important for you to recognize and respect your own journey, your own struggle, how far you’ve come and to embrace and celebrate that. I know amazing women who are absolute survivors; beautiful, strong warriors of light and love who don’t get even begin to see their worth.

Think about all you have done. Reflect on your past and recognize where you are now. Then write it down. Make a list of things that you should celebrate about your accomplishments and celebrate that. Post it on your trusty bathroom mirror and read it over everyday and give yourself a big hug or a high five. You deserve it. You do. You really do.

ASK

If you’re not feeling your celebration worthiness ask your biggest fan what’s great about you. There are people in our lives who get us and not just because they love us, but because they truly see us for what we are and what we are capable of.

Call that person up and ask, “What’s great about me that I should celebrate?” Then listen. Listen good and take notes. Start a “feel good file” that contains these “notes” and any other conversations or emails or texts you come across.

Lean into these when you don’t feel like celebrating yourself. Understand that how other people see you can be actually more accurate than how you see yourself. No kidding. I’ve often thought if I could give someone 5 minutes to see themselves as I see them, their whole life would change.

LEARN TO CELEBRATE

So now that you have something you can point to to celebrate – choose to do it. Really. Break the pattern in your head (and heart) that says you don’t have time or you’re not worth it. Answer that voice with your new found list of accomplishments or your “feel good file” and celebrate!

Take time for yourself, take a nap, find a good book at the book store, get a massage, take a yoga class, take yourself on a hike, take a bubble bath, have tea and scones and clotted cream, buy some chocolate or special jewelry for yourself or (gasp) nice underwear! You may even find yourself giving yourself the big piece of chicken…

Embrace and remember whatever makes you feel alive and the most in tune with the best version of yourself and do that on a regular basis. The more you do it, the more it will become your normal, the more you will understand the absolute necessity and reward of celebrating yourself.

You deserve the world my sweet friend.

Now – I’m off to celebrate myself. Hope to see you there!

Namaste

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