“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Today is my 62nd birthday.
A long time on this planet. Sort of unreal. In so many ways I feel decades younger. In others, not so much ;)
I celebrated this weekend by throwing myself a party. It was a magical night, one I am so grateful for.
I had to overcome some old mental drama to do it.
About six weeks ago, I was thinking about my birthday, how I was going to spend it, who I would spend it with. I am single. And though I am enjoying the hell out of my life right now with friends, pickleball, yoga, my business, and my home overlooking the water, there was a nagging, negative voice telling me that I should feel sad and alone because I don’t have a romantic partner.
So I decided that night that I was going to create the birthday celebration that I wanted. I was going to surround myself with all my friends, old and new, from all my different communities. I was going to create a festive atmosphere of lights, good food and drink, cake, candles, music, pretty decor so my friends would have a place to mingle together and have fun.
I had to put aside the negative voice that kept telling me…
“Who are you to throw yourself a birthday party?”
“Why would people want to come to celebrate your birthday?”
“Pretty egotistical to think friends would want to take time out of their weekend to hang with you.”
I have a really mean inner critic. She’s a force. She’s had 60 years of practice.
In coaching communities, there’s a saying, “I am a product of my product.” Meaning I live what I teach. And this was a perfect example of that.
When I took a moment to reflect upon what I help clients with and what I’ve learned in the past twelve years, I was able to quiet that voice down, recognize its origins and its purpose.
We all have a negative inner critic, it’s how the human brain is wired (for survival). For those of us who’ve grown up in dysfunctional households, or who are highly sensitive, our voices get louder and louder as a way to keep us safe. The voice keeps us small, hidden, protected from external harm.
The irony is that ultimately we cause more harm to ourselves internally by listening to those voices than anyone or anything ever could externally.
So, I took what I knew from mindfulness and coaching tools, and I let the negative nelly say her piece. Then I gently put her aside, and replaced her voice with thoughts that made me feel better. That were more my truth now…
“Why wouldn’t my friends want to come to a party?”
“I feel so happy when I’m invited to someone’s party, why wouldn’t they feel the same?”
“If people say no, it doesn’t mean they don’t care about you.”
“How many people show up is not a measure of my worth.”
These thoughts were truer for me and, so important, made me feel calm, happy, and peaceful versus the negative thoughts which weighed heavy and felt bad.
As it turns out, the party was amazing!
Plenty of people came.
Some couldn’t make it.
And all of it was okay.
The best thing about my birthday is that it was an opportunity to really focus on my friends (we’re all so busy) and have them meet each other.
My inner voice kept trying to convince me it was selfish, egotistical to throw myself a party.
It was trying to protect me from shame, embarrassment, rejection.
And years ago I would’ve listened.
Not now. And I’m so glad. Because it was such a lovely event, with lovely people who were so open to getting to know each other. It was warm, inclusive, full of joy.
Just like I’d wanted. Just like I’d envisioned.
I could’ve waited to see if anyone was going to ask to celebrate my birthday with me. I definitely have friends who would have taken me to dinner or lunch.
But I wanted more than that this year.
So I created it.
And I’m so grateful to myself for not listening to my negative voice and replacing her with a loving, supportive voice that reflected who I am and what I want now.
Shifting thoughts is a consistent practice. The brain’s neural pathways have to be reprogrammed from the mindset of scarcity to abundance. Surviving to thriving.
The particular practices I used for this were:
Positive Living Vision
Internal Family Systems (IFS) / Reparenting(my inner, scared child)
Shifting thoughts/mindset work
Listening to my body - what feels heavy, what feels light, joyous
It sounds like it could be a lot of work. And in the beginning, like with learning any new practice, skill or habit, there’s a bit of a learning curve. But once you get it, it becomes a part of your routine, you can do it while you’re going about your day.
It’s been hard-earned work and the most rewarding work (on par with, or maybe even more than, raising my kids!).
I recommend it for anyone who is dissatisfied with their life.
Who feels out of control about what happens to them.
Who knows they want to make changes but doesn’t know how to start.
The tools I was taught, and now share with others, are life-changing. I experience the transformations continuously and I’ve seen it happen with clients.
I am forever changed and I will keep going because my life gets better and better with these practices in it.
For now, I guess, these practices and tools are my romantic partner!
If you would like to learn more about working with me to set yourself on a pathway to abundance, now is a great time because I’ve got a SPECIAL HOLIDAY PACKAGE.