It always makes me sad to hear people dread their birthdays or lament the fact that they are another year older. I believe that birthdays are a chance to take a step back, reflect, and fully appreciate the miracle of being alive. At its very core, the birthday is a celebration of life itself. I recently had the pleasure of celebrating a birthday and it was one of the best ones I’ve had so far. I was overwhelmed by the expressions of love and the warm wishes from people in my life. I spent the day teaching fitness in my community, sharing wellness with coaching clients, throwing a big birthday ball for charity at the Westin Saint Francis hotel in SF, and hanging out with my loving birthday present: a kitten named Tux. All throughout I was present to a very intense feeling of gratitude for the gift of life and for the blessings in my life.
At the end of the birthday weekend I came to the realization that a year is much too long to wait to take part in the joys that make your special day so special. Some might argue that treating every day like it’s your birthday might dampen the celebratory nature of your actual birthday, but I believe if we celebrate all of our days as if they are special, we’ll always be looking for the good, hoping for the best, and seeking out the ways to make the most out of every day. So that is my resolution for this New Year: live every day like it’s my birthday! For me this means to become present to the gift of being alive EVERY day. It also means being open to and aware of all the love in our lives EVERY day. You see, I believe our birthdays are just an opportunity to experience an outpouring of the love that is there all the time. The only thing stopping us from experiencing that love on an ongoing basis is our inability to realize it, but it’s always there. Want to join me in this resolution to make every day feel special? Here are a few ways to celebrate each day like its your birthday:
- Show Yourself Love. Why wait until your birthday to treat yourself special? Self love, self respect, and self care starts with YOU and is the most important part of living a happy, healthy life. Show yourself love every day by taking excellent care of yourself – mind, body, and spirit. It seems simple but this concept is hard to master (Im working on it daily and getting better, but trust me I need a constant reminder!) Here is my list of 100 ways to show yourself self-love to get you started. This is not a checklist – only a list of suggestions. Feel free to take the ones that speak to you and ignore the rest. One thing I know for sure is that if you learn how to love yourself on a daily basis you will have the keys to success. Start treating yourself like you would treat yourself on your BIRTHDAY, with the special kind of care that you deserve.
- Dont save it for a special occasion. Every day of your life is a special occasion. We forget what a gift it is to be alive. LIVE YOUR LIFE NOW, this is not a dress rehearsal. Use your fancy dinnerware. Travel somewhere new. Tell the people in your life you love them now. Dont wait till your birthday to celebrate the miracle that is your life. Do it now.
- Remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Each year I usually use my birthday as day to reflect on the year. I look back at what I’ve accomplished and try to focus on the good things I’ve done throughout the year. I’ve found it to be a worthwhile exercise and something I’ve always thought I should more often. You don’t need to pat yourself on the back every minute, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a moment every once and awhile to think about all of the things you’ve done and be proud of the person you are.
- Leave enough time for fun. Sometimes you need to take a few steps back to see things clearly. Birthdays tend to be moments in our lives where we reflect, relax, and enjoy life. Why not make this a regular practice?? Never let your life become so filled with work, your mind become so crammed with worry, or your heart become so jammed with old hurts or anger, that there’s no room left in them for fun, for awe, or for joy.
- Express gratitude. Birthdays tend to remind us of all the wonderful people and blessings in our lives. But why wait to recognize how fortunate we are? Gratitude is a way of living not an action only reserved for birthdays and holidays. Live your life every day with a grateful heart and you will find more to be grateful for!
Imagine taking this approach to life every day. Celebrate being alive, remind yourself of everything you have to be thankful for, love yourself to the utmost and tune into to all the love around you. If you really want to get into the spirit, you can even give yourself a gift every day to rejoice in the treasure of another beautiful day of living. And remember, every day that passes, every year that goes by, although we may be getting older, what’s really happening is that we’re getting to live longer, one more day, one more year and that is the greatest gift of all.
Happy Birthday! With Love,
Other Things To Check Out This Week:
- How To live a Positive Life
- Surviving Whole Foods. TOO funny – must read!
- End of Day Relaxation Sequence. My latest Youtube video. 19 minutes of soothing, de-stressing movement