The unsettling conditions…economic and otherwise… and events that surround us today are overwhelming, at times, to say the least. War, terrorism, poisoned environment, new strains of dis-ease. Economic, political, and ecological nightmares, all plagues of biblical proportions. Yes..Who really feels like celebrating?
Yet, here we are…in possession of the great gift of Being alive… Embracing the priceless Gift of Life! How do we dare not to celebrate? I ask you and yours…How can we not gather together in joy to honor our connection, our communion, our Essence with Source…with Spirit…with GOD…NOW? How dare us not to reach out to embrace each other and to appreciate the bountiful Blessings of breath… and food, shelter and love? It would be like spitting in the face of Life not to celebrate it.
All we have in this world is our Life. We owe it to ourselves, the lucky ones, the privileged, the living, to be very, very thankful to be alive in this Magnificent…yet, challenging world. We owe it to those whose lives and livelihoods have been upended… or, perhaps, ended altogether, to honor their presence and their impact on our life and times. We owe it to the entire complicated universe to live our precious and priceless life with full consciousness, conscience, Awareness, and compassion.
And… we owe it to Life itself to wake up each morning with gratitude and retire each night filled with reverence and awe at the mighty miracle of it all, humbled, to have been even an infinitesimal part of the wonder, the wisdom, the intricately woven web of existence.
So, what’s stopping us from celebrating life…from embracing It as a priceless gift, regardless of situation, circumstance or event? Anxiety is perhaps the answer to that question, as well as the culprit to sabotaging to Living the Life we Desire. You know…we worry about the future…that which has not even happened yet, and we become anxious…which is hardly worth celebrating. The Peace of remaining in the present moment is a Celebration in and of Itself!
Now, safely on the other side of 50, several years ago, it seemed like a good time to set myself a major challenge as I face my next half-century. And here it is… to be rid of that marked trait…anxiety. It has served its purpose, right there when I needed to be extra cautious, or to worry about a person I loved. But, more often, anxiety had caused needless worrying, even suffering. Yes…been there and done that. And so, I brought my relationship with anxiety to an end…and refer lovingly to anxiety as my “ex”.
I know it is not as easy as just saying so. Anxiety is like a virus that lodges for life on sections of nerve fiber innervating the skin. Perfectionism is its perfect host. You must hit the home run or not play at all. You must answer every question correctly. Deliver the speech flawlessly. Execute the business plan exactly. Perform in bed spectacularly. Sleep eight hours without waking. Anything less… less than perfect… and you risk a meltdown.
If over-worrying has always been your default mode, it’s time to stop being sucked into the eye of an unseen hurricane. It’s a new Season…and, a reason… a time to Celebrate…To BE re-birthed, resurrected, resourceful, and resonate with LIFE! To Thrive, rather than merely survive!
And…that worrying remains a valuable lesson. Rack up enough worrying episodes… learn to manage them… and you see a pattern emerge. Anxiety itself is not going to kill you, any more than a sleepless night does. But it makes life so much less enjoyable. The things that do kill you are far less ambiguous, like brain tumors, heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, cancer, suicide, car accidents. You see these take friends and family members and gradually, almost without noticing, you find yourself worrying far less about things going perfectly, or about minor mistakes in your wake. You cut yourself some slack. You are glad to be still going….and thoroughly realize what a Celebration Life is!
I have learned firsthand that the flip side of anxiety is excitement…and, both are fueled by the same neurotransmitter. One can therefore choose to view anxiety as positive rather than destructive. In this, I take a cue from the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. In his autobiography, “The Magic Lantern,” he wrote that depression per se was not his thing (as one might expect) but instead it was anxiety. He called it “my life’s most faithful companion, inherited from both my mother and my father, placed in the very center of my identity, my demon but also my friend spurring me on.”
Although anxiety and I remain acquaintances, what Bergman called a friend, I refer to as my “ex”. Still, I recognize that we must coexist. And if this is so, I expect something in return; it shall serve as my most effective motivator — the sense of aliveness that gets me out of bed, to my desk, anxious to work. Indeed, without some anxiety, I would not be here right now, writing this blog… searching for the “perfect” words to describe it.
Ultimately, I have had enough experience with anxiety to sense when it may turn destructive. My strategy is to call it out on the proverbial carpet when it surfaces. As it starts to crest into a wave that threatens to turn tidal and take me under, I take a step back on an imagined beach: “Hey! You!” I silently yell. “I see you coming. Bye for now…and thanks for stopping by.” I take a deep breath. I stand my ground. The wave begins to still, the swirling winds die down. Something lifts. I dive in soundlessly and Celebrate.
I invite you to join me, and live the life that we have, while we can, as best as we can… and appreciate and celebrate every minute of it. L’ chaim!, the Yiddish toast, “To life!” recognizes and salutes life in all of its fullness and complexity. It celebrates all of it… the good, the bad, and the ugly… for all we really know that we have is this present moment. Of this, I AM certain!
How beautiful and brave we human beings can be. Though fully cognizant of our mortality and the perils that surround us, we gamely keep on continuing on. Yes…ever trying to make things better…. Making the best of things…. Living as if it mattered…because IT does, and we can! May we sing like no one is listening, and dance like no one is watching, ever spinning toward perspective, acceptance, compassion, wisdom, and grace. Our Magnificence…our birthright!
May we be walking, talking, living celebrations. Yes…L’Chaim!
Are You Ready To Celebrate Life…and BE the Best that YOU can BE?
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To Our Health, Well-BEING, and Empowerment Together!
Much Love & GOD’s Blessings!
“There is a mighty Power within you. There is that Spirit of Life, Light, and Love. The more you feast on these ideas and fast from old corrosive ones, the closer you experience the Life you desire.”
-Frank Richelieu, The Art of Being Yourself
Rhonda Maria Farrah, MA, DRWA
The Wellness Institute International
The Art of Feminine Presence™
Author of the Forthcoming Book
How To Forgive, Live & LOVE During The Process of Divorce…
A Journey In Healing & Transformation
Speak Up, The World Is Listening!