Over the last week I saw an old friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while and we caught up on a lot of things including some struggles that we went through. And at some point after comparing our stories, I realized that one of the most important components in growth and forward movement is the ability to recognize your accomplishment, feel gratitude and even celebrate how far along in the journey we already got. Without that we literally stay stuck in the same old.
While I said a bit about reflection on past achievements and dreams fulfilled in my block post 50 Dreams, I think it is really important to emphasize the practice of gratitude and celebration further.
We often consider gratitude and celebration a more spiritual practice, as it is often brought to us through our spiritual teachings and not as part of our educational framework. Therefore, we do not consider it an important practice in our daily life and work.
However, if you can’t see what you already have accomplished, be grateful for it and even celebrate it, where do you take the energy from that you need to move forward, find the hope and strength to tackle the next hurdle? You need to remember that you have already moved a few mountains in order to move the next. Angeles Arrien says in her book Living in Gratitude that the daily practice of gratitude increases our resilience and our experience of contentment, peace and satisfaction.
You can find references to it in all stories (Campell’s Hero’s Journey, Meade’s Initiation etc.), and religions, and while we are accustomed to athletes and warriors to celebrate their victory, we miss out on celebrating ourselves and the milestones we have achieved.
So let me show you the Gestalt Cycle as I learned and interpreted it from my teacher Zuza Engler.
Though instead of a circle that usually describes the Gestalt, I use a spiral as it highlights the growth and the ability to move forward to the next. While feeling gratitude starts at step 6 imo, celebration has to happen at step 7. It helps us to feel satisfied and nourished. And only when that happens can we move on to the next without being trapped in the same old.
I am a firm believer in creating rituals for gratitude and celebration. For some people that happens through journaling, for me it nowadays it happens through drawing, reflective walks on the beach. My biz coach Tara Butler Floch at Broadview Coaching actually asks all the time: What do you want to celebrate today?
I picked up Angeles Arrien’s book Living in Gratitude again and August is about Cultivating Peace and one of the gratitude questions she asks here is: Where are you currently experiencing awe and reverence in your life?
If you struggle with any of this I’d like to invite you to a breakthrough session with me and we can discuss how you can create space in your life to celebrate yourself.