& How to use Celebration as Fuel
On the BLU Talks stage in Toronto in February of 2022, I had the privledge and honour of sharing my message of the power of personal celebration.
How many of you would like to have more energy and fuel to take action in your life?
Often referred to as the energizer bunny, asked how much coffee I have had, and if I was a cheerleader. The answer is none for the coffee, and yes to the cheerleading. Today I am excited to share one of the things that I use to fuel my energy. Does that sound good?
I’m excited to take you on a timeline today and invite you to think about the parts of this message, that connect with you. I want you to think about the most recent brand-new baby that you’ve seen, maybe it was your own or a family or friends’ child, or maybe it was a picture or a video on social media.
As human babies progress, every small milestone is celebrated tremendously. The moment you smiled for the first time, the people looking at you, their eyes lit up and you were rewarded with that celebration of joy. The moment you first pushed yourself up. The moment you grabbed that first spoon, you were celebrated and encouraged. The joy was tangible. You took your first steps and you were constantly being cheered on.
And then we proceed down the timeline, and are celebrated for peeing on the potty, learning to read and talk. Moving along the timeline and the steps in our development intellectually, socially, emotionally, and we are celebrated by those people around us.
And then on our journey, roughly around the age of 9 or 10 (maybe sooner or maybe a bit later), when we share a moment of joy in our lives, we start to hear words like, don’t brag, don’t be boastful. Don’t be a show off. Don’t be arrogant, don’t be conceited. Or perhaps we over hear a trusted adult in our life saying words like “that person thinks they are so great, that person is conceited, she is such a show off, he has such a big head.”
And so we stop. Because we don’t want to be those things, we don’t want to have those labels or be those people.
We begin to push these moments down, to make them small, we stop noticing, stop recognizing, stop being aware, we become less excited about it because of these words/feelings of pressure and judgment, because what will people think. Can anyone relate to this?
This is a significant contrast from being celebrated for everything to having these positive moments given such a negative connotation. And often it is not on purpose. Those people who love us are trying to protect us from negativity and judgement.
I wish we lived in a world without that.
It is my deep belief that we were never taught how to celebrate ourselves, for ourselves. The things to say and do to integrate the positive vibes we feel in those happy moments. and instead were taught to fear judgement in this critical time of self development.
Today I will be sharing:
- Why I believe it is so important that we develop the muscle of celebration
- How to use celebration as your fuel
- How this can change your life
To clarify, I am not inviting us to become chest thumping, self obsessed, haughty or arrogant as humans, there will always be a place for humility.
This message is especially for people who have felt less than, who have begun to feel like nothing they do is worth noticing or celebrating, for these people developing this muscle is key.
I would love to share a story.
This young woman was new to being a wife and mother. She juggled raising her little people, her household, her part time business, the requests of her husband and volunteer activities. People often told her “I don’t know how you do it all, and how you made it look so easy.” What they didn’t see were the times when she was crying her eyes out in the closet or bathroom – her only spot to be alone, feeling like she wasn’t enough, feeling like she wasn’t valuable because she wasn’t earning like she used to be and therefor wasn’t enough. On the outside all together. On the inside seeing and feeling no value at all.
We know the power of gratitude and this was certainly a component that helped her come out of her dark times. But my friends it was the power of celebration that helped her begin down a new path of seeing her value and allowing that to fuel her.
She had a conversation, in a safe space with a kind friend, who shared her own celebrations. She wasn’t bragging, she wasn’t boastful, she was simply sharing something that brought her joy. And she was showing what was possible. This celebration was the inspiration this young woman needed to feel new levels of growth were possible for her. That the actions she already was taking needed to be recognized as valuable, realizing this for herself and simply built upon. Step by step.
When I talk about strengthening the muscle of celebration, I simply mean the act of becoming present in our life, being honest with ourself and really seeing our actions, all of our actions, recognizing them as valuable and connecting to the positive feeling it elicits to notice.
I call it being ‘Plugged into life’. I know this concept of celebration can lift us up my friends, because this story is my own.
I am not suggesting that we throw a party or hand out ribbons every time we move the needle forward in some aspect of our lives. But think back to the time someone applauded you or said something kind to you. It feels good right. To be noticed, to feel valuable, to be recognized. What if we decided to say those kind words to ourself more often? What if we decided to listen to these kind words? Imagine the power of creating this feeling of value for yourself, this recognition and celebration for yourself.
When we are experiencing positive feelings, emotions and vibrations everything is easier right? Think of those goals you have. The goal to move your body everyday. When you are energized, happy, generally feeling positive it is easier to take action right?
This is why it is so important that we develop the muscle of celebration. So we can live life fully and not count on the external validation, recognition or celebration from others. Sure that is nice to have when it happens. But as grown adults there are fewer and fewer opportunities for those moments to occur in our lives. Learning to celebrate ourselves and those positive actions, thoughts and behaviours we are taking daily, this is the catalyst for even more joy in our life.
So now that it is clear why celebration is important, explaining the how is the next step.
I begin each coaching session asking what are we celebrating today? In doing this I am demonstrating a safe space to share; I am inviting the individual to recognize themselves (which often feels very foreign because we were told not too brag and show off) and I’m helping the individual to strengthen the muscle of celebration through practice.
At the beginning of my journey with a client they say, oh, nothing, nothing really. I can’t think of anything.
Can you relate to that? If I were to ask you right now, what you were celebrating today, what comes to mind? nothing?
There is an opportunity for us to begin to notice, to begin to strengthen that awareness of all of the micro moments in our lives that we get to (not should, have to, need to), we get to celebrate and how those can be used as fuel.
Over time, what I’ve seen with these clients is they begin to recognize and enjoy the feeling of sharing the things that they are celebrating. And it can be anything.
Remembering to take their supplements in the morning, celebrating that they did that for 3 days in a row. And they’re so happy because they’re noticing the difference.
Celebrating that the moment that they wake up, the first thoughts they’re thinking are that of gratitude for another day and setting their intention for the person they want to be walking into that day.
Celebrating that they made a really healthy meal, or they chose a healthier alternative for snacks yesterday.
Or that they were present for a moment more than they’ve ever been. They put their phone down and, and instead of trying to multitask on their phone and listen to what their kid was saying, they put their phone down and were there. Present in the moment, locking eyes, sharing the experience and really hearing the words.
So often we discount all of these micro moments, but there’s so much power in becoming aware and strengthening that muscle of noticing and celebrating. Turning inward and learning to say “I am celebrating me.”
These clients begin to realize that they can celebrate themselves at any time in the day, and if they chose to share it with others like me, a safe space is key.
I am showing them in my receiving of their celebration, that it is a safe activity. It is a safe action to take. This is a safe space to be joyful. You will not be judged here. Because what brings you joy has NOTHING to do with me at all. And this is shifting the energy around taking the action. We are shifting the energy now. Not every space is a safe space to share, but that is one of my goals. To inspire others to create the space for celebration without all of the pressure, judgement and negativity weighing down what should be and what are, happy and joyful moments. It means being present for that person without bringing ourselves and our own stories and stuff into the mix. And sharing in the enthusiasm that is pure fuel when people share in that safe energy. This is where my natural cheerleader comes out. And it is such a win-win vibe my friends. It fuels me as well to be that safe space and to witness their joy.
We get to be that safe space for others. We get to develop this muscle of celebration for ourselves . And I knew that this was part of my purpose when numerous clients of mine start to begin our coaching sessions now, not by going into a state of hiding those moments of joy or simply not remembering these important moments, but by celebrating them truly. By lighting up.
I have to share the turkey bone story.
A client had shared with me how she was feeling pressure building as the holidays were approaching. And keep in mind, many things cause us to feel pressure and stress, especially around the holidays. For her it was the knowledge that after the turkey dinner she should – emphasis on should make a soup from the left-over bones. But she was feeling really down and frustrated with herself because the bones from the last holiday were still in the freezer and she ‘should’ make a soup out of those first. I am not going to go into the details of our coaching session, but the most important moment of this story happened when she decided after our call to throw out the ‘should and the other bones, and that she no longer was going to put that added pressure on herself that she ‘should’ make soup after the turkey dinner. She was done with it. And she felt so proud of herself for making the decision and was fully aware as she celebrated this with herself. She texted me as she was celebrating this awareness and being present, releasing the pressure.
I had another client message saying.
I’m celebrating myself for being so aware that I actually celebrated myself without you. I caught myself in the act of not only doing the thing that I wanted to do, and for her, she caught herself being present with her daughter. Then she noticed herself celebrating after the moment with her daughter. She was doing it on her own. And the celebration felt good. This is the fuel.
Does that give you goosebumps? Because it sure gives me goosebumps. So not only is she taking the actions that she deeply desires to take, she’s being present in the action and she’s celebrating that she took the action. Ya!!!
Developing the muscle of celebration, means the act of becoming present in our life, being honest with ourself and really seeing our actions, recognizing them as valuable and connecting to the positive feeling it elicits to notice.
The compound effect of this is how to use these celebrations as fuel. Noticing how by truly feeling that moment of happiness and joy we can take another positive action in our lives. And another and another. Just like we can spiral down because of negativity, we can spiral up with positive fuel.
By strengthening this muscle of celebration, we can change our lives. We are connecting more deeply with positive feelings; we are becoming our own cheerleader by strengthening that voice which usually pulls us down to be the voice that lifts us up and we become the person we really want to be through our actions and energy.
In closing, celebration is fuel that can change a life.
Starting now. Starting today, we can choose to be that safe space for another human. To allow that person to notice their actions, recognize them as valuable and connect to the positive feeling it elicits to notice. We can share in their enthusiasm and joy and allow that to be positive fuel.
Beginning today we can open our awareness to every micro moment in our life. These moments we are living and choose to see them as valuable. Choose to place a hand on our heart as often as possible, in recognition of the moment, being present with the moment and say out loud, or in our heart, “I am celebrating me.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR & SPEAKER:
Amy Ballantyne is an accredited Wellness & Life Coach, a speaker and author. As a coach she supports clients who want to shift limiting beliefs, patterns and stories, improve wellness habits, reduce stress and create the life they truly desire. Her process is focused on accountability, empathy and support.
Her product partnership with USANA Health Sciences for the last 14 years has been an integral part of her business. As a Gold Director within the organization, Amy has had the opportunity to share her passion for these incredible, premium level wellness products with clients and on training stages internationally.
As a speaker she brings her energy, passion and knowledge to every webinar or stage to help the audience connect with the information in a such a way that they leave feeling inspired, informed and primed to take action! She has shared wellness webinars for companies across Canada including Ernst & Young, Star Metroland Media, Vidyard, SunLife, Manulife and more.
As an author Amy is a recent Amazon Best Seller as a co-author for the compilation book Business Life & the Universe Volume 6. She has also published Mr. Poop Knows Poop (a digestive health book for parents and kids) and a youth empowerment series for girls called Diary of a Softball Girl.
Wellness is so much more than eating an exercise. Taking a holistic approach to well-being is how Amy supports her clients.