No. 12

In Celebration

There’s so much I want to share with you about what’s been happening in my life lately. I feel renewed in a way that I never have before. And I’m a bit overwhelmed because I don’t know where to start my story. Figures that I’m a writer and just want to drop you into my world, no introduction necessary. But introductions are helpful, and so this short and unavoidably vague paragraph must do. Some days, I may share specific events; other days, I’ll share ideas and I hope they sing for you the way they do for me.

I drove up to New York City this weekend for a workshop. I had hesitated to register for it, as the topic made me mildly uncomfortable. But sometimes we need to be in our discomfort, and so I went. Eight hours and seven pages of notes later, I left feeling the beginnings of real transformation. This is one piece I want to share with you:

We spend so much time trying to fix ourselves: make our bodies thinner, our minds smarter, our skin smoother and flawless. What would happen if we stopped fixing? What if we started celebrating instead? The action can be the same, but the intention is different. So instead of running at the gym to lose weight, what if we ran at the gym to celebrate the amazing things our body can do? How would your life change if your actions weren’t about fixing what’s broken but about celebrating what’s already whole?

Do you think it’s possible to transform our daily actions into celebrations?

How will you celebrate yourself today?

I really want to hear your answers, so please leave a comment. Today, I’m celebrating with a Bollywood dance class.

{photographs by Felix Meyer, used and licensed under Creative Commons}

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

25 thoughts on “In Celebration

  1. Okay for starters I think Bollywood is FANTASTIC!!! And I really admire this post. I dove back into my bad place this weekend and I’ll be completely honest about it.

    My boyfriend and I are trying to make new friends and he happened to connect with this group of Asian girls who are here to study English. Honestly, they are perfectly sweet and met me with hugs for the first time. But it’s hard for me…I was already feel low due to work and money and stress of moving/being alone and to be surrounded by girls half my size (in height AND weight) was really hard. I went to the bad place because I kept telling myself that my boyfriend would prefer someone like that etc (Even though we’ve had that convo and they aren’t his type…).

    But for two days I was so full of HATE for myself. I was on the verge of tears, I didn’t feel good enough for anything and I couldn’t get myself out. Yes, I’m still on the border of that place, for I can’t get myself out easily it takes time, but I’m feeling better. If I let my insecurities get the better of me that it’s all over, I’ll end up living in the bad place and that place just isn’t fun. It isn’t me.

    Today, I will celebrate what I am. I will celebrate that I am loved, that I am unique, that I am funny, that I am smart and that I know, deep down, what I am doing.

    I’m going to celebrate by…well I don’t know actually. I’m open to suggestions! Happy Monday!

    1. It was long but fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing all of that. I think we’re often hardest on ourselves when it comes to our bodies. You seriously are gorgeous — but even more than that, you’re an incredible person and that light absolutely shines through you.

      I think you should go dance too. Just let go. Play. And maybe bring your boyfriend along so he can join in and witness how vibrant and awesome you are.

  2. I love this post my friend- such simple words and yet so incredibly powerful. I was already out walking today and in that time was able to do some mental quieting and also some planning for the day/week. I am trying lately to put a positive spin on things so as it was cold and gray today I was grateful to stay cool on my walk and smell the really fresh air.
    Today I promise to not “fix” but instead celebrate!
    xx

    1. And you have so much to celebrate. Have I mentioned how much I admire you? As a photographer, as a woman, as a mother, as a person. You deserve to do something awesome for yourself today (and everyday).

      1. Well my friend, you are an endless inspiration. I did a post recently on being a jack of all trades and how I spent much of my life wishing I was different. However in my advancing age, and meeting incredible women such as yourself, I am realizing that there is something great about knowing a little about a lot rather than a lot about a little. With age comes wisdom- something I am grateful for every day.
        xx

  3. That’s a really really inspiring way to look at it. Celebrating your accomplishments and the potential of what you can do. Today I’m going to celebrate my past hard work by extending my comfort zone with what I am willing to do professionally

  4. baby girl, the only way you get comfortable is by sharing and shedding beautiful light on things that are less than comfy.
    love you.

  5. Funny, I was thinking almost exactly this as I pushed the pram up the hill today. I think I spoke about it to you a while back. How when I was pregnant, I felt so helpless and unable to “fix” my body: I couldn’t lose the weight I’d wanted to lose before baby, because now it was my body’s job to nurture the baby. For the same reason I couldn’t do anything drastic to get fit, and had to forgo so many activities I suddenly wanted to do.

    But on the other hand, while I was at a loss to know what to do being pregnant and am at a complete loss knowing what to do as a new mother, my body knows EXACTLY what to do. It changed smoothly and seamlessly to bring a child into the world: to nurture it for nine months, to push it out when ready, and now to feed my little girl and make her big and strong. And I am back to power-walking up hills and able to pick her up and carry her around and do everything she needs.

    So my body may not be the svelte powerhouse of fitness and leanness that I’d once wanted, but today I am massively celebrating the extraordinary things my body can do untold, untrained: something ancient and beautiful.

  6. This was lovely. It sounds like an amazing workshop. :) Hmm, today to celebrate myself I will go running. The path provides a beautiful view of the ocean and it’s the perfect place to celebrate having a healthy body and living in a wonderful world. :)

  7. I absolutely believe we can transform our daily actions in celebrations. It’s all about the mindset. I hope your celebrations are wonderful, creating a beautiful day that you can enjoy always. :)

  8. You always post about the most profound things, Brandi! I’m not sure if it’s just going through, catching up on all your inspiring posts and finally getting to this one and not being able to handle it anymore, or that I’m just extra emotional right now, but this post made me tear up. All I hear at work all day long from the girls I work with is how to fix all the problems they seem to have in their lives. Every day I have to discipline myself so I don’t spout off like a know-it-all because all I really want to do is help them.

    But this is just a whole new way of thinking about things that I really love. It’s so simple. The way we think about things all day makes such a huge impact on our lives….

    1. Amanda, let me tell you, when I first was told that we should celebrate ourselves rather than try to fix ourselves, it was as if the light in the room had finally been turned on. So many of us — especially women — walk around thinking that we’re not good enough or that we need to change something about ourselves. I’ve always hated to hear others say such things about themselves, but I’ve been talking the same talk to myself for year, I’ve been putting myself down and that’s not right.

      I wrote “How will I celebrate myself today?” on my whiteboard, along with several other phrases, and I try to look at it each morning and remind myself of that.

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.