Celebration - I'm putting on my psychotherapist hat for a moment. For those of you who are interested, that hat is a rich velvety dark blue affair with a slight point that I fold softly down so it doesn't intimidate. Yes, it is a wizardy thing but understated. Back to the celebration. For many of us, most of us, I might even suggest all of us, the true understanding of celebration has eroded and become an empty ritual. Sure we get it up for someones birthday, a graduation, etc...but we do it either with too much gluck and glitz and not enough heart, or with a panicky feeling of guilt - especially if it is ourselves we are celebrating. What happens when we ignore our goal-posts and just trudge on up the next hill? The child in us gets discouraged and says 'what's the use'. In fact, reading Daniel Kahneman's amazing new book Thinking, Fast and Slow, I'm aware that when we use our brain for too long of a time without resting it or celebrating it - we start to make stupid decisions, we veer off our healthy habits, we negate the very strides we've taken. If we continue to ignore our need to stop and celebrate even our smallest of victories, our inner-kid gets cranky and stops doing what it does best - play in the world of imagination, create and inspire.
For those of you who are new to the idea of celebration I'm going to give you a few notions of how to go about it. It doesn't have to be a big deal. I called down to the guy when I knew I had a chance of finishing on Sunday, 'Can we go to the movies tonight if I finish this revision?' and he answered, 'Of course we can!'. He didn't say and I didn't ask but we both knew that even if I didn't finish we could go to the movies. I need a carrot and a stick and he knows me well. It was heavenly. We went off and entered the magic of the cinema and watched the latest Downey doing Sherlock Holmes and it was good. My kid felt treated and I felt like I could go on to the next mountain refreshed. So the parts of this you need to note are;
- it can be something small that you might do anyway.
- you need to state your intention so your kid hears it loud and clear "we will celebrate this victory!"
- you need to do it as close to the victory as possible. Making it a no biggish-deal will help with this.
- it needs to fit the accomplishment - going to Paris because I finished a revision would be goofy. When I get a contract, I'll go to Paris!
I know, I know. I've been telling people to walk in the woods for over twenty years. All my clients, all my friends, all my everyone who has an ear to listen. Why? Because we need to exchange particles with the trees. They remind us of what is important with their simple selves and they actually let off particles which calm us down and make life worth living. And the walking does some of the same. I try and walk every day in the woods. It is why I got a personal trainer, Hoagy, to live in my home. He knows about strolling, sniffing the air, and trying to spot wildlife and he is generous with his knowledge. He understands that to spend a half-hour appreciating the nowness of our senses - our sight, our taste, our ability to smell, to touch, to move, to hear - this is what causes us to come back into sync with our true purpose.