For a lot of us, the words “Let’s celebrate!” automagically conjure up thoughts of junk food, alcohol, and other unhealthy things.
I asked my social network:
“What’s a healthy celebration? What can we teach our kids (and our big kid selves)? What feelings and connections are we chasing/craving when we think about alcohol/etc as the celebration? How else can we get that same feeling or make the same connections without hurting our bodies?”
Here’s what they said:
“So my husband and I talk about this all time. A beautiful meal out at a restaurant we’ve been wanting to try (doesn’t have to be unhealthy)… Going to a spa. Popping kombucha bottles!!” – Kelsey
“I think you can celebrate through experiences. I’ve heard of people skydiving for a milestone birthday or bungee jumping to celebrate an engagement.” – Erin (my sis-in-law)
“Celebrations reinforce creative behaviors. If I do something that I value, based on a $500 sale, it is more likely that I will get more $500 sales.” – Allysin
“I enjoy celebrating with a home cooked meal and a good movie, or having a game night with friends. I also enjoy celebrating with a fun dance party in my living room when I’m celebrating by myself. And depending on what we’re celebrating, a nice weekend away is a beautiful way to ‘raise a glass’ to the celebration. I’ve also been paying off debt so every time my credit score increases, my hubby and I have a 2 second ‘WOOOO!’ moment + talk about what this increase means for us.” – Chelsea
“We used to love going with all our friends to the movies followed by dinner (out) and then games at the house. Also creative things. We had a painting party here last year and it was so much fun (I had a few tiny canvases that are like $1 each, a bunch of acrylic paints and brushes and we all painted a few tiny pictures. So fun. Going to the beach at night is great. Of course concerts and plays. Going to the water is always a big one of mine lol (remember all our times in Port Jeff?!)” – Erika (my big sis)
“Karaoke party, potluck, game night, crafts, going to the park, a group trip somewhere, an event (midieval times, wrestling, monster truck rally, a fair)…” – Evelyn (my little sis)
When looking at the emotional experiences we are keen on tapping into via celebrating, it seems like this mix of pleasure (rich sensory experiences), presence (bringing ourselves into the moment, and sensory experiences can be great for that), connection, relaxation (exhaling!), pride (feeling proud of yourself and “popping” a bottle, buying yourself a gift, or doing a 2 second ‘WOOOO!” dance).
The ideas here outline experiences that take us more into our bodies and into a beautiful moment to bask in. And it also sounds like we are seeking to make a milestone memory — like with skydiving. (For the more faint of heart — meaning ME — I think a hot air balloon ride or boating would work). The connection aspect in celebrating is also apparent and the experiences mentioned would surely bring those involved together in the moment. My daughter Athena just asked me what my favorite emotion was and I said AWE. Having awe inspiring experiences with the ones we love would be a fantastic way to celebrate! AWE is one of those emotions that just knocks all the other stuff out of our headspace and truly “blows our minds” in doing so.
Allysin’s comment regarding rewards reminds me of a clip I once saw whereby Tony Robbins about how, for whatever he makes, he pays himself a certain amount, donates a certain amount, reinvests in his business a certain amount, and then he has “mad money” — money he gets to spend on himself so that it tells his brain: it’s fun to make money, do that again!