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.

425 thoughts on “Birthdays

  1. Likewise appreciating ourselves, and appreciating others can be a moment by moment, day by day experience rather than waiting for the one day of the year that we allow it. As a side benefit we get much better at it with lots of practice!

  2. Today is my birthday and I can feel the expectations to have a ‘special day’ and the pictures about how it should be. All of that is something that creates a tension in my body that prevents me to truly celebrate myself. There is a whole consciousness around birthdays and other days previously marked in the calendar that makes no sense to me anymore. It’s like we would need things to garnish specific days when the others are void of true appreciation just for being us. It seems like honouring who we are, truly appreciating the unique qualities we bring, being content with ourselves is not enough, not glamourous and too simple…that we always need something else. The fact is, do we appreciate and celebrate ourselves? and if not, why don’t we start today, whether it’s our birthday or not?

  3. We can have varying views on what it is to celebrate our birthdays. From the people who do nothing, and completely discount the day to the ones who make a huge deal, big celebrations, inviting all of their friends, family and acquaintances. I notice that the ones who do nothing actually want to do a lot, they want to feel celebrated and appreciated by those around them but they dare not show that. It’s possiblr that that occurs because they dare not celebrate themselves in every day so they don’t hve the courage or foundation to have that even in one day of the year.

  4. Life would be very different if we celebrated ourselves and those around us every day. Perhaps the feeling of loneliness that is so prevalent in the world today may be less present, perhaps we will be closer to one another and all of our barriers of protection will fall off…

    1. This is very beautiful to read Viktoria. Celebrating ourselves and others can be life-changing and perhaps the medicine we need to come back to our natural state of being, which is truly joyful and very loving.

  5. Its lovely to send a text or email to someone when we feel the impulse and tell them how much we appreciate them or love them.

  6. “Do I celebrate myself as a woman when I have a bath? Great question. I know when I take the time to have a bath, I have listened to my body and surrendered while in the bath as I very quickly deeply relax coming back to my body and my stillness. So yes I guess I do.

  7. To come back to the naturalness of who we are, to celebrate us for no reason just because we are, and that in every moment we can express that joy in us for us and all to see, that’s to celebrate, without need for confirmation or any external event.

  8. This is so true – we have been walking around in life with a lack of worth of who we are. With one day a year that we can not escape is our birthday were people will think of you or either send you a message or give you gifts.. Hence we can either try to overextend this day or push it away.. leaving us to feel both empty at the end. But this blog invites us further to explore that there is a celebration within all those other 364 days where we can actually feel content within ourselves and actually feel our worth and the love we truly deserve.

  9. Universal Medicine help people unpack what is considered normal in today’s society and help you open the door to questioning – is this my normal? Is this how I want to live my life? If you answer yes, then you continue, there is no right or wrong or telling you what to do. If you choose otherwise, as you have with celebrating birthdays and yourself, then a whole new path unfolds and you set yourself a new normal.

  10. Growing up with my siblings we had a special rule on our birthdays and it was that we were not allowed to hit the birthday girl. This rule came in due to jealously directed at the one who was getting all the attention and presents. Maybe if we were celebrated every day equally, this jealousy would not have been part of our existence.

  11. Thank you Shannon I love this. I have had times where I have felt a daily sense of celebration of myself and others and there is a light and joy in myself during these times. Then life, as you say gets in the way, hurts come in, expectations aren’t met and I can feel down on myself and others. This has been such a beautiful reminder of how life can be, thank you.

  12. I agree, having that one day in a year makes up for the other 364 is kind of a hard thing. I think celebrating ourselves is a great way to have it in a way we feel is most honouring of us, otherwise it can be easy to be disappointed.

  13. We’ve made celebration into something it is not, with its focus on the outer. Then we miss the opportunity to feel the simplicity and the naturalness of confirming ourselves from within, the connection we can have with who we truly are.

    1. So true Annelies, and it is so important to confirm ourselves from within, and to make this a daily practice as we deepen and strengthen our connection to all that we are – in a word, love.

  14. It is true we should celebrate us but I remember well the time when I did not know what it meant, or I would only celebrate achievements. The road to true celebration of oneself is the one of connection and self love, so we get to feel who we are from within and then celebration will be as natural as you felt it to be as a child Sharon.

    1. That’s so true Carolien, we mostly celebrate achievements and milestones, we have forgotten how to value our innate qualities and celebrate people for who they are not what they have done.

  15. You cannot feel the beauty of being confirmed unless you have a feeling of self-worth running in your body. Not everybody has this and that is why not everybody is at ease with these kinds of occasions.

    1. True Eduardo, I used to find it very hard to take a compliment or an expression of appreciation and so it is not something that just magically appears. It asks of us to work on our relationship with ourselves and to accept by feeling from our bodies who we truly are, free from the images that have kept us locked in lack of self-worth or even self-loathing.

  16. Truly celebrating ourselves and another is an expression outwards from deep within us, whereas birthday celebrations usually involve trying to celebrate us from the outside in. This can only ever be short lived as it is limited to twenty four hours and doesn’t confirm us and our divine qualities which are who we are, day in and day out.

  17. Is that the day or the person we are celebrating – is the question that comes to me. It seems that we are good at keeping the formality and create a tradition/pattern, but leave its essence behind.

  18. Genuinely appreciating ourselves and others can make such a difference to the way we live life and our quality of life and it needn’t be a big affair as such, it’s in the simple things that we lay the foundation for the next moment…

  19. I used to hate birthdays when I was a child because the way people interacted with me on this day, I never felt met in the truth of who I was. I always felt somewhat rejected on this day and so would try to avoid spending it with family.

  20. I was just reading another blog about Christmas and had a very similar awareness about how much goes in to celebrating that one day and the impact this has on the rest of the year. There is, and certainly has been this January, a period of deflation as the return to work in the new year happens. Maybe people enjoy these ups and downs – but it does seem to me that making one day such a big deal has a rather negative effect on the rest of the year. Having learned to be in a deeper connection with my sense of self, I have found these ‘ups and downs’ less impactful on how I feel. I feel we can all have a deeply loving connection with ourselves every day and not be so dependant on so-called special occasions for our happiness – and hence not experience the corresponding ‘deflation’ either.

    1. The way we generally celebrate does encourage peaks and troughs, so much effort going into the preparation of one day, then the abuse that generally occurs on that day (I remember parties I would get so inebriated I could hardly remember what had happened at the party), followed by the hangover and down the next day….. until we have the next thing to look forward to. Consistency is the king here, as it allows something very beautiful to grow and develop inside building one day steadily on top of the last.

      1. Like you Simon I too can remember not remembering many a celebration I attended in the past – which is quite crazy considering the massive lead up to some of these occasions or the wasted day/s dedicated to hangover recovery.

    2. We always seem to be heading towards something and focused on that future goal, whether it is Christmas, birthdays, holidays, the weekend, even the grand final for our preferred sports team. But much less are we content and enjoying just being ourselves, present in each moment connected to our essence. We go into the illusion that happiness is ‘over there’, in whatever future moment, not right here right now for simply being connected to our essence.

  21. It’s like we are given permission on that one day to let someone know how much we care for them and how much they mean to us… yet, where has that permission come from, where has that belief come from? It’s great when we question the status quo and why we actually do what we do. Years and lifetimes of doing something in a particular way can be exposed and the true way felt in an instant.

    1. That’s so true Aimee, it’s like we are following a set of instructions or rules for when we do or don’t do certain things like celebrating each other.

  22. How awesome would it be to appreciate and celebrate each other and ourselves every day and not just wait for one day of the year? This in itself would be a game changer of how we treat each other and approach life.

    1. Offering a true, soulful reflection to others is like an invitation for people to come home to themselves.

  23. There are so many occasions peppered throughout the year to prompt the celebration we long for – the celebration that will relieve us from the mundaneness of what we have set up life to be. The game-shifter is that it is very normal to celebrate daily, always, in every moment of the day when we live with our Soul. And this is simple – it’s an alignment back to Soul, back to the place we know within that’s been tugging within us all along nudging us to remember that we are worth celebrating, always, every day, all day.

  24. Thank you Shannon, this is very powerful to read. I recently had a birthday and felt the weight I had put on that day in the past to be so very much, and it makes sense that we naturally know the feeling to be celebrated and confirmed, so when it’s not there 364 days then on that one special day we want it to be over the top! I also appreciated how you explained that we can move into a too outward focus on celebrating instead of on who we are on the inside.

    1. Very true Caroline, there is also no excitement and high or low with one day being better than the other. Because that celebration is from within first and foremost and then our surroundings begin to reflect that, we just see each day as confirmation of what we have chosen energetically first. Every day is amazing – it becomes our living way, our way every day.

  25. 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 ✨

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

    1. I know what you mean Joshua, from a young age I felt the imposition from adults around me to ‘fill’ them up, especially on birthdays and Christmas and I’m only just in the last few years seeing the poison of entertaining another’s emptiness.

  31. 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.

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

  33. 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.

  34. “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.

    1. We accept so much mundaneness and averageness instead of life being amazing and filled with love and celebration every day. We have so much love inside that goes unexpressed, it’s like a wasted resource.

      1. Absolutely – it’s like having the crown jewels or all the riches of life, while living on the street begging, thinking you have nothing.

  35. 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.

    1. What a beautiful comment Jill and reminder too that we have much to celebrate and hold precious in ourselves. I especially loved your words about “having found me after a lifetime..”, thank you.

  36. 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!

  37. 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…

    2. I’ve experienced that too Aimee, the love, appreciation and celebration feels so normal and then it’s over the next day and it feels quite abrupt. We live life in reverse because it feels so natural to be showered in love and equally express love, to celebrate and appreciate, yet we have the opposite happening 364 days of the year and reserve all that love for one day. What’s natural (expressing love and celebration) and what’s normal (holding all that love in) are very different!

      1. Beautifully said Melinda. Same goes for Anniversaries, Mother and Fathers Day and don’t get me started on Valentines Day! Anyway, there are all these days and ‘special’ moments set up to replicate how we naturally know to be with each other all the time. We have an opportunity every day and in every moment to love and be love and allow love in.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

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

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