Leveraging The Good Ahead

If we’re fortunate during our lifetime, there will be many occasions to celebrate: birthdays, anniversaries, new births, milestone achievements, graduations, marriage, even the end of life. Maybe we’ll travel for the occasion. When life is good, we might leverage any and all opportunities to celebrate. My sisters, for example, created a hashtag to commemorate big birthdays throughout one year, not just one day. My father was famous for his birthday parties abroad. Friends had to travel to the destination for the party, which surprisingly they did for many birthdays.
Despite best intentions sometimes we let good times pass us by. Or we never fully arrive at the moment, unable to step off the treadmill, truly “take note” and fully enjoy the milestone. Admittedly it takes effort to emotionally and physically prepare for a big celebration. Yes, it is a strange concept – the need to prepare for something happy. Yet, setting an intention and being present is important no matter the circumstances. In the case of a noteworthy event, why not revel in the exquisite joy presenting itself?
Whether anticipating a big trip or a big event, here are Five Tips to augment the good, the beautiful and the happy before kickoff.
  1. Do the necessary work. Thoughtfully make plans. Reach out in advance, invite others in, let them know, on the phone, in an email or text, that you look forward to connecting (like the cousin who you haven’t talked with in too long). Wardrobe requirements?  Consider the minutia so all will be in order: buy the shoes, organize reservations, make travel arrangements (call me!), get ahead at work. Pack in advance so you’re not up late the night before departure. Then on arrival, instead of frantically running around, you can enjoy the destination, even feel rested!  
  2. Physically prepare.  Monitor your health. Digest lots of Trader Jo’s chewable vitamin C. Build immunities by consuming Umka’s warm lemon drink. Sleep a little longer. Meditate. Exercise. Strengthen your “Feeling Well” self. Squeeze in the time for yourself even when demands conspire the opposite. 
  3. Say thanks to the universe, in a journal entry, through prayer, in a thank you note, however expressing gratitude looks to you. Develop a practice of finding something to celebrate every day. Notice the good things in your day and or where you live. Bring a grateful attitude to the party and on the trip.
  4. Manage anxiety. Admittedly for hosts it can be hard to organize a gathering (especially a wedding). Or as guests, perhaps you’re carrying around “old baggage”. Take care of the anxious thoughts and feelings ahead of the celebration or trip. Spend some time processing whatever emotions need to be processed so those stories don’t ruin a happy time.
  5. Breathe and be where you are, when you arrive, during and when you leave the gathering and return home.  A breath creates a sacred pause for noticing and relishing as many moments as possible.
Some people celebrate life’s events by traveling, recruiting friends and family to join in. Travel can be a great gift for graduates (Call me for ideas). Others organize a party, keeping plans local. Or maybe some gather often around an activity and enjoy it together, like skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer or participating in a community garden.  
Why not make the most of good times and share with others?  Find your people. Find your place. When life is good,  leverage the gifts as often as possible. Wishing you many full-hearted celebrations.