After attending a 3-day event honoring women who are the Devine Feminine in Assisi, Italy the music started to signal the conclusion of the conference. Then something incredible occurred: one after the other women who were in the room spontaniously embraced the music, dancing in a twirling, twisting, and turning to celebrate the feminine side of us. We danced without inhibition and let the music flow through us. With a lightness of both my body and soul I danced like a kid imitating an nymph in the woods. We literally floated back home. Why can’t we have more celebrations often, I’m wondering?
In a recent seminar, I was asked by a participant “How do you celebrate?” This question inspired me to think. The ways we celebrate are as individual as we are, but they’re so often consigned to following a meaningless dogma. For some, celebrating means chocolate balloons, chocolate, or even sparkling wine, while for others, it’s an extravagant 50th birthday celebration with the caveat “what is happening when you go to Vegas …” But regardless of our preferred method for celebrations, they nearly always reflect commonplace rituals for holidays on the calendar instead of a unique reason to celebrate. If you’re also the one who is responsible for providing the food, presents, and decorations, these celebrations are exhausting until they’re not really celebrations!
The truth is that despite all of the “celebrations,” we women aren’t sure we deserve to be being a part of the celebrations. It’s time to consider taking advantage of our right to “bask in the glory” of our uniqueness by locating certain celebrations that reflect our individuality and spirit. Here are some suggestions to create your own rituals:
1.) Respect your family and family. One reader wrote to inform me about a party which her aunt arranged to honor her matriarchal family line. The youngest was just 16 (shhh!) and the most senior was the oldest, 88 (women weren’t allowed to enter the bar at the time). They had lots of enjoyment celebrating their participation in a powerful, and breathtaking group of ladies.
Another friend of mine celebrates what she refers to as “Ancestor Day.” She celebrates with family and pays tributes to those who passed before her. The celebration of the values and roots that make her life meaningful can be rewarding. However, the joy begins by recognizing that the date and the theme are hers to choose No person in an organization will dictate what or when to be celebrating!
2.) Create it to be meaningful to you. Peggy Holt, an instructor at Canyon Ranch, describes how every year, she would celebrate “Holt Holiday” with her children. After they got up, her, she’d surprise them by presenting a surprise shift in their routine. Rather than being driven to school, they would have the day to have fun with their family! As her children have grown , they keep this tradition by celebrating these annual days with their children.
To design your own ritual, think about what motivates you, and respect it. Begin by identifying an event that has significance for you. You can then celebrate it by doing something that’s enjoyable for you. On my birthday last year, I hosted a ladies’ dinner party where we celebrated femininity with dancing the Yoni dance. I also take the time to celebrate the newfound mobility that comes with dropping 100lbs. On my recent trips I’ve celebrated by doing activities such as zip-lining or trekking, as well as white-water rafting. Each one of these activities is thrilling!
3.) Enjoy more celebrations by taking a smaller amount of time. Sometimes , we believe that we have to plan a huge celebration and yet, the simplest things can be incredibly pleasant. Even something as simple as purchasing books and taking time to think about it could be a celebration. Sixth Stilletto Step is Self-Celebration, that means instead of becoming a part of the masculine vibe of constantly being busy, we can instead focus on celebrating the quality of our own experience.
The most memorable celebrations are the visible manifestations of our individuality, which is exactly what happened to the spontaneous dance we performed in Assisi. What can you do to commemorate the extraordinary and unique person you are?