I’m sitting in my studio at 6:22am, sipping coffee from a mug that my friend, Denise, gave me years ago. I notice that if I pause to remember the moment she gave it to me, to remember her face, and to remember the way she laughs, it changes something in me.
If I linger just a few seconds longer and recall the last time I saw her, when we took a long walk at Ocean Beach, when the sunset was peachy and gold and we took selfies with Seal Rock in the background, all of those good feelings rush in as if they are brand new experiences.
I feel connection. I feel a little tingle of life force. I feel energy and vitality that wasn’t there a moment before.
My friend, this is really important. Please listen.
This is about the experience of noticing a moment of celebration. We don’t even have to create it.
It’s there, waiting for us, like a puppy by our side, wagging its tail, hoping for the moment we will see her, pet her, love her.
Celebration is waiting for us.
I’m reminded of a quote I heard recently:
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. (W.B. Yeats)
Yes, I know there are so many things happening right now that don’t feel magical or beautiful. I know the heartache and grief and disappointment and fear.
But please, for now, join me in a moment of celebration, okay?
It is good for your body to feel joy. It is good for you emotionally. It may even cause you to light up a little and perhaps infuse someone in the room who is near you with a little joy, too.
So, back to my coffee mug.
That experience in itself was a gift. Simply to pause and to feel connected to Denise. To feel gratitude to her for this mug, for the sunset, and for our friendship.
However, I took it one step further. (Because taking things one step further is my work in the world.) I picked up my phone, turned on the recorder, and started a message to Denise.
I just started where I was — “I’m drinking out of the mug you gave me back in 2017. I’m thinking of the event you planned where you gave everyone special mugs that were perfect for each of us …”
I told her I was remembering our sunset walk. I mentioned some other memories that dropped in randomly as I was talking to her. Partway through the voice message, I turned on an R.E.M song, “Shiny Happy People” and I played a snippet for Denise, telling her that even though she pretends to be curmudgeonly, I see her big, generous, loving heart in action all the time. I see her as a “shiny happy person” who spreads love — not just to me, but to so many people.
I thanked her for being a good friend and good person in a world that desperately needs love.
My message to Denise was 5 minutes 33 seconds long.
Altogether, with those earlier moments of noticing, I’d say my “Denise celebration experience” was about six minutes long.
Those six minutes changed the course of my day. How do I know that? Well, this actually happened yesterday morning and I’m sharing from a place of perspective a day later!
I saw the way that connection to her, the reaching out, the remembering fun times, the swimming around in love, all changed my entire morning yesterday.
I was lifted. And, I ended up writing some cards to other people. I took myself on a walk and noticed the shapes of the clouds. I put on a fun outfit. I was invigorated.
More than anything, I want you to GET IT that we tune into celebration like we tune into our favorite radio station. (Or, to get with this century — our favorite Spotify/Pandora station!)
If that is all you did today — pause to notice something beautiful or a sparkly pinprick of light — you will be changed. You will be lifted.
If you take the time for a Say it Now moment, and you share that beauty or sparkle with someone you love, you will be lifted even more.
Celebration is a practice. Love is a practice.
And you just heard my story of how I practiced both of them — in six minutes.
Do you have six minutes to elevate how YOU feel?
Do you have six minutes to share some good, loving, positive energy with someone?
Just look around you right now. Is there something in the room you are in that was a gift from a loved one? Maybe there’s a piece of art, a book, a card, or a hand-knit shawl?
SEE that object. Really look. Remember the story. Feel the story. Feel the love that was behind it.
Let the celebration waft out of it, like a sweet scent. Let the celebration wrap its arms around you and hold you.
Then, extra credit: write a card or send a text or call or create a voice message for the friend who gave you that special something. If that person is no longer living, tell someone else who loved them about it.
Make a connection to another human being centered around the celebration you feel.
You can do this for yourself.
Heck, if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for ME. Do you know how ecstatically happy I would be to receive an email from you telling me that you took even just one minute to bask in noticing and allow joy to fill you?
That would make my day.
I mean that.
My spiritual teacher, Cheri Huber, says, “We will do for the love of others what we won’t do for ourselves.”
If you won’t find a moment of celebration for YOU, will you do it for ME? Or, for the person in your life whom you love, like I did with Denise?
I’ll be waiting for your email today.
You deserve six minutes to tune into celebration. And I deserve the joy of hearing what you tuned into!
I love you and am cheering you on, always.
Thanks for who you are.
Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,