Thoughts from my 55th Birthday10-06-2019
I just celebrated my “double nickels” birthday this week. (55!)
I have two traditions for my birthday that happen every year. One is my Birthday Kindness Project, in which I write love letters to strangers — as many letters as how old I am.
The other is that I take myself to a little one-room cabin and spend a day in solitude without the phone or internet. I usually write, set intentions, meditate, and have conversations with my hummingbird friend who inevitably visits me.
Now that my birthday is passed, I’m reflecting on how these two traditions have literally changed my life.
The thing that they have in common is that they both help me take a broader view of life and to get perspective. They also are deeply connecting for me. They both help me feel more grounded in what is important in life and what really matters to me.
THANK YOU to all of you who supported me in my Birthday Kindness Project by sharing loved ones who needed boosts of love. Not only was it an honor to write to your friends and family, but I also so loved connecting to you. It means so much to be invited into your circle and to be trusted with the task of offering love to those you care so much about.
I know it isn’t easy to know how to be with people who are grieving, lost, or lonely. It can feel awkward and uncertain. I know our culture doesn’t always support us in being open about these kinds of things.
That’s why I love that you join forces with me every year to practice reaching out to people who are suffering and to offer love and compassion.
Did you ever see the animated film, Inside Out? That movie just popped into my mind because there is a beautiful message in there about sharing sorrow/pain. One of the ways we express our humanity and our connection to one another is by sitting with one another in difficult times. It can be hard, certainly. But intertwined with the pain and awkwardness is something we all desperately want and need: authentic connection.
The world needs more of this!
So mainly this morning I wanted to offer my appreciation to you for helping make my birthday meaningful by sharing the practice of “celebrating in the dark” — finding meaning and connection in difficult places.
But I also wanted to take this time to remind you that we can continue to practice together.
On October 27th (10:30am PT) I am offering a short workshop in which I walk you through making a Love List in honor of someone who has died. This Love List could be a healing gift to yourself as you memorialize someone you love. Or, it can be a gift to someone else. Maybe you have a cousin whose mom died. You could make a Love List for your aunt and gift it to your cousin as a way to say, “I see your pain. I miss her, too. I want to share some beautiful memories about her with you.”
It is very healing to immerse ourselves in love.
As well, it is a beautiful thing to celebrate and honor someone’s spirit in this way.
I hope you will join me in this virtual workshop, which is in collaboration with the Reimagine Festival. (Reimagine envisions a world in which we are all able to reflect on why we’re here, prepare for a time when we won’t be, and live fully right up until the end.)
You can register for the workshop here. Once you register, you’ll receive a “ticket.” But you will later then receive the call-in instructions from me directly. You can join the workshop via phone or online. Once online, you can choose audio only or video. Whatever you are most comfortable with!
If you’ve already registered, I’m so glad. I haven’t yet sent the call information. But will do so soon!
If you know someone who would want to celebrate their love for someone who has passed away, please let them know about this workshop.
Sending hugs and love your way. And deep gratitude for all of the ways you support my work in the world.
Seek celebration — even in dark corners,