For all our "celebrations," we women haven't felt worthy of celebrating ourselves. It's time for women to claim our right to "bask in the glory" of who we are by finding some celebrations that capture our unique spirit and personality.
After attending a three day conference honoring the Devine Feminine
in Assisi, Italy the music came on to signify the end of the gathering.
And then something amazing happened: one after another, the women in the
audience spontaneously rose to the music, swaying, twisting, and
turning in celebration of our feminine essence. We danced uninhibited,
letting the music flow through us. Feeling light of body and heart, I
moved carefree as a child imitating a nymph in the forest. We literally
floated home. Why don't we celebrate more often, I wonder?
At a recent workshop an attendee asked me, "How do you celebrate?" Her
question made me stop and think. Our methods of celebration should be as
individual as we are, yet they are so often relegated to following
meaningless dogma. For some, celebration means chocolate, balloons, or
fine wine, and for others it's a wild 50th birthday party with the
proviso, "what happens in Vegas..." Yet regardless of our favored mode
of celebration, they almost always connote familiar traditions on
calendar holidays, rather than an individual cause for celebration.
Furthermore, if you're the one responsible for providing the food,
gifts, and decorations, these events can be exhausting, to the point
that they don't feel like celebrations at all!
The bottom line is that for all our "celebrations," we women haven't
felt worthy of celebrating ourselves. It's time to think about claiming
our right to "bask in the glory" of who we are by finding some
celebrations that capture our unique spirit and personality. Here are
some ideas for creating our own rituals:
1) Honor your family and friends. One reader emailed to
tell me about a pub-crawl that her aunt organized for her matriarchal
family line. The youngest of the group was 16 (shhh!) and the oldest was
88 (women weren't permitted in the beer parlor in her day). They had
tons of fun celebrating their membership in a strong and admirable group
Another friend celebrates something she calls "Ancestor Day." She
gathers family and gives tributes to those who have gone before her.
Celebrating the roots and values that give her life meaning is
enriching. But the pleasure starts with the fact that the date and theme
are of her choice - no one at the top of a hierarchy is telling her how
or when to celebrate!
2) Make it significant to you. Peggy Holt, an
instructor at Canyon Ranch, describes how one day each year she
celebrated "Holt Holiday" with her children. After waking them she would
surprise them with an unexpected change in routine - rather than being
hurried off to school, they would take the day off to play with the
family! Now that her children are grown they continue this ritual by
having these annual celebration days with their own children.
To create your own ritual, ask yourself what gives you energy and honor
that. Start by finding a date that holds special meaning. Then celebrate
with something that is fun for you. Last year on my birthday I invited
women to a dinner where we celebrated femininity by doing the Yoni
dance. I also make a point of celebrating the new mobility that came
with losing 100 pounds. In my recent travels, I've celebrated with
activities including zip lining, trekking, and white water rafting. Each
activity is elating!
3) Celebrate more by doing less. Sometimes we think we
need to organize a big celebration, but little things can be even more
enjoyable. Something as simple as buying a book and taking time to
reflect on it can be celebratory. The sixth Stilletto Step is
Self-Celebration, which means that rather than getting co-opted into the
masculine energy of always doing something, we should instead celebrate
by enhancing our inner experience.
The best celebrations are outward manifestations reflecting who we are,
which is what happened with our spontaneous dancing in Assisi. What
could you do to celebrate the special and unique person that you are?
After a highly successful career in business, including 26 years with
PotashCorp where she was Senior Vice-President, Betty-Ann retired in
2007, the same year that she was named to Canada‘s Most Powerful Women:
Top 100 Hall of Fame™. She now works as a speaker, author and mentor and
is committed to using her personal and professional experiences to
inspire and empower other women. A firm believer in the value women
bring to organizations, Betty-Ann explores changing perceptions of male
and female roles including candid observations about what she calls
"Good Gender Physics” on her blog at www.stillettochick.com.
She helps both men and women understand the primary energy of their
gender but also accept and appreciate the strengths of their opposite.