What’s worth celebrating? (Hint: A lot)

I want to share something with you: I started a graduate program in Social Work and Research at Bryn Mawr College this past Fall 2020. This exciting step will allow me to support a broader range of people.

But I don’t just want to share this. I want to celebrate it with you. 

This might sound random. Celebrate when I’m only a third of the way into the program? Celebrate before I’ve fully figured out how to balance my commitments while deepening my skills? Celebrate when I still have some doubts?

Yes. I believe in celebrating — early and often— for two reasons:

  • Celebrating helps us sustain action and motivation. Acknowledging success paves the way for more success. 
  • Celebrating helps create a satisfying process by putting the focus on the learning, trying, and innovating that is required to create something new and meaningful. 

Celebrating the so-called “smaller” moments and intermediary steps in life can feel awkward. That is because most of us have been cultured to believe that only big events, completion, and being the best are worth celebrating. We are not taught to acknowledge and build up what it takes within ourselves to get there. 

Celebrating makes visible the growth or effort underlying the accomplishment. 

When I celebrate with you that I am a third complete with graduate school, I am actually acknowledging a fear I had that I might not like the program once I started; I am celebrating, with relief and gratitude, that I’m in the right place. My share also acknowledges the healthy boundaries work I have done to be able to carve out dedicated time and space for my school work within our busy family system. 

So, thanks for letting me share a celebration, and for even sharing why this feels like a celebration to me at this awkward 1/3 point in my journey.

What if every day for the next week, you try to notice the times you:

  • take a risk or challenge yourself
  • keep your word to yourself
  • show up as a more grounded, compassionate version of yourself
  • do something well
  • … or do any of the innumerable things I’m sure you deserve to be proud of?  

What if you celebrated these worthy accomplishments? How might that shift how you relate to yourself?

If you are curious about celebrations, start asking yourself, “what in me wants acknowledgement” and then find ways to actively celebrate yourself and your journey.

Notice if/how actively celebrating your journey impacts your relationship to self and life.

The more micro the celebration, the better! Even on the worst day, you can celebrate taking one deep breath to ground yourself or offering a stranger a kind word.