Birthdays

by Shannon Everest, Brunswick Heads, Australia, Beautiful woman, Mother and extraordinaire in many fields….

When I was growing up, the one day in the year that I was celebrated in my family was on my birthday. That day was all about me and I felt special. I received gifts, had parties, there was a cake made especially for me – the type I liked. People even sang directly to me and about me! Now that was something I didn’t get often. This was not something I desperately craved but when I got it, it was a strong feeling of ‘yeah, this feels right, this is how it always should be. This feels natural!’ When others celebrated me, I felt confirmed.

And I loved other people’s birthdays too: it felt right to celebrate my family and friends on their birthdays. I didn’t have a sense of jealousy at this time about celebrating others or felt concerned that I wasn’t getting gifts or attention focussed on me. It felt so amazing seeing someone light up on their birthday because that day was all about them. So to celebrate my loved ones on their birthdays was a confirmation for me of what felt natural. 

I just loved birthdays! And what I loved about them, whether it was mine or someone else’s, was that this was the most normal, natural thing – to be in celebration of ourselves, and each other. It was so normal to me, so what were all the other days I was living?

If there is one day, the world over, that we can give ourselves permission to celebrate ourselves – it is on our birthdays. But for anyone who takes this opportunity to celebrate themselves, it’s quite a depressing thing the next day to not have that again. I have noticed sometimes, when I speak with people about their birthday, that it can be depressing, an anticlimax, like it didn’t happen the way they wanted it to. What I have noticed is that we have often already learnt that in the past – it hurts to go from a day of amazingness to the next day of ‘not that’.  So better to play it safe and not go there in the first place.

But it just doesn’t make sense! What I have also realised through having children and taking time consistently, daily, momentarily to celebrate them, is that the natural thing for them will be to grow up and celebrate themselves. Because through making it normal and natural and through making it something that doesn’t happen just on their birthdays, they get to feel they are worth celebrating just for being them. When you have experienced what that is like as a child, you don’t grow up wanting it or expecting it to come from outside. You grow up and it feels normal to be this way with yourself because the natural feeling was already confirmed in you. It then is a natural way of being with others, reminding them how amazing they are.

This is HUGE. It means that we can claim any day, every day, anytime to start celebrating ourselves. We don’t need to wait until our birthday, because it just doesn’t make sense to have 1 day of joy and 364 other days of ‘not joy’.

The problem is that when we save the celebration of ourselves for just one day in the year, it’s usually got to be a pretty big event to make up for all of those aforementioned 364 days: we then condition ourselves to expect a big party, lots of people around, stimulation, yummy food, big outings and therefore lose the essence of the celebration of ourselves…. we miss what is at the very heart of celebrating. We miss celebrating all of the simple things, all the beautiful things we see and feel and connect to with others – the magical moments that happen with our children or out on a walk in nature, or even when we are shopping and meet eyes with someone.

When I was a child, the truth was I wanted to celebrate myself and others every single day. It wasn’t until I attended a presentation by Universal Medicine and was asked the question: “Do I celebrate myself as a woman when I have a bath?” that I began to wake up to life again. My answer was no, that part of me that naturally felt that way had gone to sleep. I had grown up and become a partner, a mother of two children, and was not looking after myself properly, let alone celebrating myself. I had given up on that being normal and natural because the world around me reflected that it wasn’t normal, even though I could and can feel that in the heart of every person is that natural feeling to want to celebrate who we are and to celebrate each other, but life gets in the way.

So, I had stopped celebrating me and would only do that on my birthday. I started looking back at everything I felt as a child and how I had since then let so much come in the way of what I naturally felt. I started celebrating me. The simple truths expressed by Universal Medicine have re-kindled the natural childhood feelings of joy that I am now bringing into my life – in a celebration.

399 thoughts on “Birthdays

  1. Birthdays can be used – like every date – as a marker. We can see how we did live the last year and what we learned. By claiming what we have lived and so expressed the last year, we can build on this and expand. We can use those markers for evolving.

  2. I asked my students if any of them were doing anything for Valentine’s day. One boy said he was taking himself out on a date, buying himself a present and taking himself to the movies. Love it. It made us all laugh, but it was a lovely message that we can celebrate ourselves any day.

  3. Were we to celebrate and confirm each other constantly in every moment, the depth of connection and intimacy that would result would turn our world on its head.

  4. It was interesting, my experience of birthdays was something very different. I used to do the opposite and dismiss them and just want the day not to happen. As a kid it was often a day where there would be a big fight between my mum and I and so after that I just despised birthdays and would often isolate myself on those days. Even though I went to the other extreme of behaviour- it is the same as what you describe- not living in a way that I celebrated and appreciated myself.

  5. Celebrating ourselves and each other as the normal way of living every day, wow – that´s a game changer setting a new standard in a world that is used to know itself by suffering, insufficiency, striving to better and be liked.

  6. Celebrating oneself every day inevitably brings up the question of self-worth and how much we love and cherish ourselves – ‘celebrating myself’ definitely is now a new marker for me to check the way I am living and being with myself.

  7. We need to love and appreciate ourselves every day! Not just on our Birthdays. If only we had this information and the inclination to enjoy all that we do when we were very young, how different the world would be.

  8. Celebrations for adults, as presented by the media and institutions such as universities, almost always include promoting the ingestion of poison (alcohol) into one’s body. How far away have we come from true celebration when this is part of our ‘good times’?

  9. Developing an appreciation for ourselves, for our qualities and not just what we do is the very foundation that helps us realise that in the uniqueness of how those qualities are expressed, we are all worth celebrating.

  10. We seem to have a knack of doing things just on special occasions, like a birthday or Mother’s Day or Christmas. No wonder it is such a letdown – why not celebrate us and each other every day as a natural expression of our love and appreciation?

  11. On reading this blog has given me permission to celebrate myself in so many more ways than I do now… why put a limitation on how, where and why we celebrate ourselves or others…it can be as simple as celebrating myself when I walk in my full presence for all to see – shinning my light and the truth of who we all truly are.

  12. I wonder if celebration and appreciation go hand in hand, when we lose our appreciation for all the small beautiful moments in life and our appreciation for who we are and the bigger picture, we tend to stop celebrating everything that is amazing in our lives.

  13. I notice that when I haven’t been appreciating myself I am not able to really appreciate another and then issues become the focus. However, when I do appreciate myself this then flows to others – you can’t not appreciate them.

  14. We have indeed got it so wrong. We should celebrate ourselves every single day. But it should be a true celebration, felt in the body, because we feel joy-full, beauty-full, power-full and many other qualities. Celebrations coming from our head, out of an ideal or program do not count.

  15. Lovely sharing and Great point you bring here Sharon.
    I love to celebrate myself everyday even more and more natural so.

  16. Thank you Sandra – a profound sharing on the truth of life and the way we have lived with ourselves. It is simply true that we have not taken care of ourselves to the depth we know we are worth. Yet we have lived in this opposite way that we need to care and take on burdens etc, hence it is so important to read back and see what things you have let come in your way of that inner truth – you knowing who you are and All you deserve.

  17. I have always loved Birthdays and still do, I have slowly over the years extending them to be more like birth months but what you are sharing in this blog is the possibility that we can have the celebration that comes with a Birthday everyday. On one level I understand this concept but the problem is that it still just a concept. Maybe I am expecting too much but on my Birthday I do whatever I want, I am free, I buy what I want and I feel like I am just more open to relaxing and having fun but on a normal day, I have lots of things I have to do and sometimes that fact alone brings with it overwhelm. I know that I am more celebratory and generally enjoy life more since Universal medicine but I have certainly not got to the point that I feel like I can celebrate like its my Birthday everyday but I am certainly open to the possibility.

  18. It strikes me days like birthdays and Christmas Day should be to simply confirm the love we already have for ourselves and our loved ones.

  19. I could relate to feeling flat after my birthday each year because those around me would treat me differently, more loving or caring, for just one day and that was it. Next day like clockwork it would be back to arguing. Now I love celebrating any one in my life any day. Such a huge change.

    1. So true, when I was growing up there would be a few days in a year (birthdays and christmas) where no matter what there would be no arguments and on those days everyone would be super nice and in a really great mood. I remember a) being confused by the fakeness of the situation, and b) wishing the same amount of effort was put in everyday.

      1. Yep it’s almost like you’re walking on egg-shells waiting for one wrong step to break one and for all everything to go back to normal. There’s a lot of tension involved in faking it…

  20. Children are in natural celebration of themselves everyday – but we teach/condition the idea of 1 special day being birthdays to them. I’ve seen this happen where the child wasn’t understanding the gifts and fuss that was happening around them and ended up having a big tantrum and reacting to the whole thing… quite a scene to observe!

  21. Thank you Shannon, I loved your blog about celebrating ourselves, celebrate myself every day, wow, that would be a game changer for me, I could take myself out on a date, enjoy being with me, now having found me after a lifetime of hiding, that is something to celebrate.

  22. “The one day in the year that I was celebrated in my family was on my birthday” – Our approach to birthdays really illuminates the fact that we do not celebrate each other enough. Surely the amazingness of a child (or anyone) should be celebrated every single day.

  23. Birthdays remind us that we have another number or numbers to really embrace and get to live in full. Having a greater understanding of numbers let’s us appreciate the cycle we are embarking upon as every year we travel around the sun revolving and evolving.

  24. Confirming each other for who we are is a deeply honouring way of being with ourselves and each other…

  25. If we all celebrated each other more and the qualities each person brings our relationships would naturally deepen and become more loving.

  26. this is such important blog – as we set ourselves up for less when we make it just about one day, one celebration or a few a year.. Simply saying ‘well, I am great or joyful but just for a day or two. Hence, what you bring with this blog is the awareness of a broader approach we can and must take for ourselves – to see, feel and claim that celebration in you no matter what – birthday or not.

  27. If we need birthdays to make life worthwhile then, what are we lacking in our everyday? Birthdays are more joy-full when they are not loaded with the need from our lack to make up for our dullness in life.

  28. Thank you for the reminder that we can celebrate ourselves. When I pause and take a breath it’s as if the inspiration is there ready and waiting, there is much to celebrate.

  29. Celebrating each other should be our natural way of being for it is only then that we get to appreciate our differences and honour how amazing we are for just being us, life would be so much grander if we all lived this way!

  30. It is so important that we learn to develop an appreciation for ourselves, for our qualities and not just what we do is the very foundation that helps us realise that in the uniqueness of how those qualities are expressed, we are all worth celebrating.

  31. When we embrace the true nature of who we are, there is no other way than to live in constant appreciation and confirmation of what is within equally in us and that deserves to be celebrated and moved in a way that inspires others to live the same way.

  32. When we celebrate ourselves we give permission for others to celebrate themselves too. Similarly if we hold back celebrating we inadvertently communicate to the whole world that it’s ok to not celebrate too.

  33. If we appreciate ourselves in every moment .. or as many moments as we can! it kind of makes that ‘whole special day’ think pretty insignificant .. in a good way. However, I still love Celebrating people on their birthdays ✨

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