Every year around this time I've wondered why parents of school aged children everywhere aren't thrown a party. Why aren't the streets of towns and cities everywhere closed to celebrate what they all feel? Oh. My. God. Look at what I have just accomplished! I've just [FILL IN THE BLANK] gotten kids through another summer (not to mention a pandemic); nursed scraped knees and egos; sent kids off to college; brought others back home to take over their old rooms; traveled with cranky toddlers or teens; made sure everyone was clothed, fed, walked and watered. . . I ASK YOU: Where is your parade?! Even if you aren't parenting children I know you've done some very heavy lifting. I know several women who can claim these marching-band-worthy life transitions: You've completed your first book, traveled alone on an adventure, finished a new body of work on deadline. Maybe you've moved primary residences; were downsized or let go; grieved a loss or a diagnosis; had an elderly parent move in; were separated from a marriage or partnership? Where is the confetti? Where is it?! Start shredding your own confetti dear ones, because your party is yours to create. I believe in celebrating ourselves. It's central to one of the 5 pillars of my signature coaching practice: Empowerment. Sure, we can go forward after all of the chaos of change and transition and not celebrate at the finish line. But imagine declaring your brilliance!
imagine recognizing how your efforts have changed you,
imagine celebrating your courage to stand in the middle of the storm,
imagine claiming your mistakes as your most worthwhile experiences,
imagine letting us know that you created something new from complete uncertainty and blank space.
Do you think celebrating these things will have an impact outside of your own experience? Would your family and friends take note? Would strangers or distant acquaintances benefit from your honest reflection? I believe the answer is yes. But like all worthwhile things, there is some vulnerability in this act of self-celebration. What if no one comes to your party? What if they miss the one email you sent and wonder why you are dancing in the streets alone? What if they don't think it was such a big deal, or worse, think you are selfish or nuts? What if? You know my answer. I think it's worth the risk, because someone will take note. Someone will see your courage and recognize it themselves. That person will show up for you. And you'll show up for them. And that is how we transform ourselves and make an impact in this world.
We can't grow if we aren't willing to celebrate ourselves and then share what we have learned with each other. Your courage is contagious.