The last couple of weeks I’ve been celebrating. Besides the fourth of July, my birthday and wedding anniversary both fall in the first joyous weeks of summer. Even if that weren’t the case, the onset of summer always makes me want to celebrate. After our long, cold winter and spring, nothing seems more wonderful than a stretch of cloudless blue sky days.
Celebration is so important to us humans that we designate holidays to make sure it happens. We mark our calendars, invite loved ones and plan festive meals. We build up a rush of anticipation…and may feel exhausted or deflated when it’s all over.
I love good company, good food and gifts as much as anyone, AND I’ve learned not to wait for vacations or holidays in order to celebrate.
Let’s see…what have I been celebrating the last couple of days?
I celebrate the bursting flavor of fresh fruit in my smoothie every morning.
I celebrate having the strength to walk 7 to 10 miles a couple of times a week.
I celebrate the volunteers who maintain the beautiful urban trails I walk on.
I even celebrate pulling the explosion of summer weeds when I can do it under sunlight that warms me down to my bones.
And you know what I noticed? When I celebrate little things throughout my day, I feel a lot less anxious.
It makes sense if you think about it: we can’t be both celebrating and anxious in the same moment. When we celebrate, our bodies do too: they bathe our cells in “feel good” hormones that help us relax. If we’re anxious, we produce stress hormones that make us tense. Our bodies literally can’t do both at the same time.
The best news? We get to choose which happens.
It’s natural to feel fear from time to time. The question is, do we choose to stay with it and drench our inner landscape in stress hormones? Or do we find something to celebrate – even something small and every-day – and replace the corrosive stress soup with hormones that nourish and normalize?
All it takes is choosing where to place your attention.
Let me know below…what will you celebrate today?