Celebrate Yourself

July 17th, 2009

underwater tea party

Awhile back, I wrote about celebrating your creativity. Celebrating in general is something that can be challenging for many of us, myself included. For me, when I finish something, I tend to move quickly on to the next without taking the time to celebrate, but it's something I'm working on because I believe good self-care includes celebrating the good stuff, big and small, in our lives. And as it's the month of self for the Creative Every Day Challenge, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to talk about celebrating yourself! 

Today happens to be my birthday. I've always felt like my b-day is a day to do something special for myself like taking the day off to get a massage, go to a movie by myself, get taken out to my favorite restaurant, or plan a mini-trip. But you don't need to wait til your birthday to celebrate yourself. One of the simplest ways I've found to celebrate is to think about what brings me delight.

Take a moment and write down 25 - 50 (or more!) things that delight you. How can you bring more of these things into your everyday life? What things can you schedule in this week or this month?

Some things that bring me joy are: snuggling my kitties, reading good books, wandering aimlessly in a bookstore or library, laughing with the hubster, sitting by a body of water, doodling in my sketchbook, and silly socks.

As much as I love enjoying my birthday, I sometimes get a little shy when receiving gifts or compliments. But it's so good to be open to receiving love from others and from yourself. Do you ever disount someone's compliment? I used to do it all the time. Someone would say something like, "Oh, your hair looks great today!" and I'd say, "Oh, thanks, it's kinda frizzy." It makes others feel good to shower you with love, so try allowing yourself to drink it in without trying to squash it. Try simply saying, "Thank you."

How can you celebrate the wondrous person you are? If you're a bit reluctant to celebrate yourself, start small. What's one small thing you adore about yourself? Keep adding to the list.

I think the nicest way to celebrate yourself is with fabulous self care. Here are some ways to rock out with your self-care celebrations:

  • Foot rub: Treat yourself to some yummy scented lotion and rub your feet.
  • Shower Power: Spend some extra time in the shower or the bath with some scented shower gel or bath salts. Warm water feels fabulous and taking some time to take excellent care of your body is so important.
  • Good Grub: Making yourself a great meal is a wonderful way to treat yourself. Even something as simple as a slice of lemon in your water can feel fabulous.
  • Flowers: Simple, yes, but a small vase of flowers can give you such a great lift. Bring some beauty into your space and delight in it. You're totally worth it.
  • Treat yourself: Treat yourself to a massage, a pedicure, a facial, or get your hair done (I love getting my hair washed!)
  • Let Go: Let go of something that you've been holding onto that you just don't love and don't use. It feels great to let go of stuff that doesn't bring you delight.
  • Create: Write, paint, draw, get creative. Express yourself freely, just for fun, for no other reason than because you love it.
  • Move: Moving your body feels good. I used to focus on exercise as a way to stay in shape. But now I see it as self-care. I feel better when I get regular movement, from the more intense (jogging, dancing) to the more mellow (stretching, walking.)

What are your favorite ways to celebrate yourself?

31 Responses

Happy (B)Earthday!!! May all your dreams come true and leave you enough room to celebrate yourself every day! And keep the art coming. I really enjoy your work.
Blessings all the way from Berlin

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Have a great day and many more!


Thank you for making me giggle with the underwater tea party. I used to try hard to keep up appearances and it felt more like I was underwater pouring tea. Now I worry less about what others think. The balance though has been to stay mindful of taking care of myself. Sure I can go without makeup, but the act of putting it on can also be meditative and a way to care for myself instead of using it to hide flaws.

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday, fellow Cancer! Your article is a great reminder of the need to celebrate.
Really relish your birthday and set a great intention for your year.
I love your art and your blog looks great. Stop. Re-read. Take that in, because I really mean it!
To your wildly creative success,

I love your post today….I have a pretty girl painted in my art journal and this was exactly what I needed to journal about. I often forget I am someone to be celebrated and it all starts within. Will post it on my blog when I’m done. Happy Birthday!!!!Have a wonderful day and celebrate YOU :-)

Happy Happy Birthday!

Celebrate the Love that is within You, it is infectious.
Today is also my son’s 35th birthday :)


A very Happy Birthday to you, Leah.
Thank you for this post. I really love your suggestions for ways to celebrate myself. I used to worry about what others think of me (I secretly still do. I’m trying to let that go – a little at a time.) Now I tell myself that I’m the one that I have to live with, the others will go home after the event or meeting. It’s a struggle to be satisfied with everything I do.
The Underwater Tea Party is so inviting. Like teach yourself a new skill -hmmm.
Enjoy your beautiful summer day, and thank you again for sharing.

Happy birthday, dear Leah! The day you were born is a celebration indeed. May this be a year filled with delight and creative blessings for you.

Love, Hiro


Happy birthday. I share the same sign too! Always enjoy looking at your magical artwork. Feels like a celebration in and of itself! Love cuddling with the kitties too. Don’t you LOVE celebrating their adorable paws?

Giulietta the Muse

Happy Birthday Leah… hope you have the best year ever… I’m a Cancerian too.. so I understand where you’re coming from and I feel that celebrating our acheivements is very important… actually I’ve started to do it just this past week with a project that took me 3 mths to complete… I knew something was missing… it’s amazing how a little self-appreciation can make the whole experience so much nicer….. love your blog and your work!!!! Elle

Happy birthday, Leah!

Isn’t it neat how sharing self-love actually spreads love to others? (:

Happy Birthday!

I celebrate myself by cooking for me and my family. I work in a kitchen and usually the last thing I want to do is cook at home, but when I have family over, I like to cook and watch them all swoon over how delicious it is. I’ll be full before I even start my own plate.

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Happy, happy birthday Leah ! I am so glad you are in the world ! I hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration of the wonderful you !

I have had an underwater tea party before – I remember having them with the sunfish and tadpoles on the sandy brown bottom of my lake when I was a kid. The only problem was that as a human being, I could only stay as long as I could hold my breath, which wasn’t nearly long enjoy ! Ah, to have some gillyweed (Harry Potter reference ;) ) or some other magic to be able to visit underwater for longer…Love that piece.
Enjoy your day !

First off: happy happy! Hope you’re having a wonderful day.

Second off: You’re speaking my language! I’m super-big on celebration, & keep a list handy so I don’t hem & haw when I need to celebrate (sometimes it’s tough to just do something for yourself, right?). I keep it on my blog, & have broken it into “big” celebrations & “little” ones: http://is.gd/1Ct74 Some of your suggestions have definitely made me think of new ones, so I’ll be adding more soon!

Happy birthday! Wishing you a year full of love and laughter. :)

Happy, Happy Birthday!

You said:
“when I finish something, I tend to move quickly on to the next”
I think this is the real celebration for creative people like us. The celebration and the pleasure is the new work itself not the result.
This is such a lovely subject.
Have a great weekend.

[clears her throat...me...me...me...me...me...OK better now]
“Happy birthday to you… Happy birthday to you……
Happy buRRRRRRRRTHdaaaay, dearrrrr Leeeeeeahhhhhhhhh…
Happppppppy Birthday toooooooo Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!”

[here's Opie Taylor's part]
“annnnnnnnnnnnnd maaaa-kneeeeeeeeeee morrrrrrrrrrrrre” Purrr

[here's everyone's part]
“Hip-Hip Whoooooooooooooo-Raaaaaaaaaaaay!”

OK now make it an entire birth month celebration!
Eat two pieces of cake—one for each thigh.
And remember we are singing with you………

Happy Birthday, Leah! Hope your day was as wonderful as you are! :)

I was in the middle of over scheduling my life when I happened upon this blog entry. I stopped right then and there and grabbed my journal, sat on the couch, and wrote down 26 things that delight me.

#4 The sound of a gentle breeze blowing through the tree tops
#14 Dad’s chocolate chip cookies
#21 My beloved’s delight
#26 Vibrant, colorful sunsets

Thank you for the inspiration to take a few moments to remember the things in life that I cherish.

BTW: I LOVE the underwater tea party!

Happy birthday dear Leah. May all your dreams and wishes come true.
What a great post – to remind us that we must celebrate all that we are – that we can celebrate even small steps as well as big things.
I will have to think through and journal on my list.

*Do you ever discount someone’s compliment? I used to do it all the time. Someone would say something like, “Oh, your hair looks great today!” and I’d say, “Oh, thanks, it’s kinda frizzy.”*

I *used* to do stuff like that until a dear friend killed it once and for all. She complimented me on something, and when I hemmed and hawed, she looked me straight in the eye and demanded, “Are you calling me a LIAR??”

Worked like a charm.

And happy birthday Leah!

Happy Birthday!!!! Yeah!!!
I try and celebrate myself everyday..and I make sure it is priorty in the morning just in case the day gets away from me at least I can say I took some time out for myself.

Happy Birthday! I don’t celebrate myself enough, but I am working on it and getting better at it! I’ll be working on my list today!

Happy Belated Birthday! My way to celebrate myself is to go to the bookstore, buy a large mocha something or another with plenty of whipped cream. I then gather up all the magazines and books which attract my attention and sit down and long and flip through. They are sorted into ‘get’ and ‘maybe later’ and ‘nope’ piles. No kids….no phones….just me and my books.

Happy Birthday+One Day!!!

What’s kind of funny is that lately I have been feeling the need to do this exact thing. On Monday I even wrote down a list of the things in my journal that I enjoy–that nurture me and make me happy!! And yesterday—I did a bunch of them. I had a delicious raspberry muffin for breakfast, I went to a morning Yoga class, followed by a massage, followed by a long bath, followed by laying on the couch with my furry kiddos reading a book, followed by dinner with my Hansel boy!!

Today I feel like a whole new person!

I love when we’re on the same page.

Hope you had a great birthday…if not…I did for you!

Peace & Love.

Happy birthday to a very sweet little lady! I hope something special happens for you, every day.

I am teaching my Mum how to say thank you, she’s a lively 81 yrs old and is still shy about receiving compliments for her artwork. My sisters and I visit with my Mum every Sunday and that’s where I’m heading right now.

I hope my birthday wishes for you (all the way from Australia) reach you in time.


Thanks for this great post. I agree. Last week I bought myself flowers to celebrate a personal accomplishment. It felt great! And they lasted nearly an entire week!

Leah –
thank you thank you thank you for including all of us in your celebration – I’m taking a break and reading through a bunch of back posts (one of the things I love to do – read blog posts – it’s like the best self-curated magazine ever!), and I’m realizing that I forgot a huge chunk of the Giving Back chapter – it’s about celebrating completion! big hugs to you for all the wonderful work you do in the world – Bridget

I’m a little bit late to the party, but –
Hope you’re still celebrating -
wishing you another wonderful new year of you,
and everything that you wish for yourself!

Happy Belated Birthday!
I found my way here via Beverly’s blog to discover that we both have birthdays in July. My birthday is in a couple of days. I so often find birthdays very difficult. Last year was a big milestone and I planned months in advance for the big day and celebrated with a SoulCollage tea party for me and a couple of friends. It was magical and warm and so affirming. This year I don’t have big plans. The days leading up to the birthday can be so hard. I often find myself evaluating where I’m at and comparing it to where I thought I would be. It really comes down to feeling like I’m never enough — which really when saying it out loud seems quite silly and untrue. Your post ties in with where my head is at the last couple of days…reflecting on celebrations and how I can love myself more.

So my dear, happy belated birthday. May you remember to celebrate you in some small way each and every day.

{soul hugs}

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