If we can't celebrate what we've accomplished or what we're currently doing well, doing "more" won't help anyway.
If we can't be grateful for something in our life, we won’t be able to be grateful for anything. We have to start with gratitude.
Celebration and gratitude work in the same way. That’s why, as with gratitude, we need to start celebrating ourselves. The challenge is that sometimes it feels like there is very, very little to celebrate or be grateful for. Whenever I feel this way, I remind myself of something else that's very small: a seed.
A seed will grow if you nourish it. What sprouts from the seed will continue to grow as long as you continue to tend to it. And eventually, it can stand strong on its own.
I had never consciously practiced gratitude before 2016. Around that time I was introduced to journaling on things I’m grateful for. I played with that on-and-off and then explored some other forms of gratitude. Over time and with consistent effort, gratitude became a part of my being. It's something I write about frequently and think about every day. When something sub-optimal occurs, I consciously turn to what I'm grateful for, to what went right.
Though I’ve taken a seed and cultivated a strong tree of gratitude, my celebration seed is just now sprouting. I've had to replant the seed a few times, but as I give it more energy and effort, I’m finding more to celebrate:
- choosing to read for a few minutes instead of continuing to look at my phone
- eating dinner early so that I can get the best sleep possible
- noticing when I feel overwhelmed and using that as a cue to take a walk outside
The more I celebrate, the more I desire to do the things that I find worth celebrating.
Just as is the case with gratitude, our mind likes to latch on to what we feed it. If we feed it blame, shame, social comparison, and not-enoughness, we'll suffer. If instead we feed it celebration and gratitude, we'll flourish.
Take a moment now to be grateful for something that happened in the past day. And another moment to celebrate yourself for something you're proud of in the last 24 hours. You can be grateful or celebrate anything. It doesn’t matter how tiny it is...maybe it's the size of a seed. Now watch it grow.