Behind me, at the Olive Garden in Bellingham, there was a commotion of a celebratory nature. A couple was having lunch in honour of their seventieth (Yes, that is 7 - 0! ) anniversary. The staff, upon learning of this monumental milestone, poured out the compliments with the same amount of attention they provide when they wait on tables. To put the icing on the anniversary cake, the manager, Kara Mech, informed the couple that their meal was on the house, which was a complete and pleasant surprise to them. (If my hearing aids served me right!)
|Image: Fleur Suijten|
It was a touching moment on so many levels. The length of time that they had been married. The kindness and consideration shown to them by the staff at the Olive Garden. The generosity of the restaurant for picking up their tab.
It was an honour to share, if only from the sidelines, in their celebration.
One of the keys to transforming stress is to mark the important events in your life. Celebrations are more than what they seem. When you know what they can do for you, you may begin to look at them differently.
A stressed person may not have the energy to celebrate. They may feel like there is nothing to celebrate, anyway. Life can seem like it is too much work and effort. "Fun? That's for other people."
So, how do you crack through the ice to defrost that frozen-in-stress person? By starting small. By learning to balance your nervous system with techniques that activate the power of your heart. Things like honouring your values and scheduling time to do the things you love. Amping up your appreciation and forgifting yourself.
Celebration is another way. This doesn't mean that a party is thrown each and every time, with invites to the fête going to half the neighbourhood. You can do a private happy dance.Give yourself a little pat on the back for completing a small task. Smile. Begin honouring your successes - big or small. Privately, or with friends and family. With co-workers, too, as Dr. Ellen Weber beautifully explains in her post entitled "A Brain on Celebration".
With the right tools and techniques, celebrations make for a happy heart.
Care to share? Have you witnessed or been part of any celebratory milestones? What do you do to celebrate your small successes?