Today is my birthday. So is tomorrow. So is yesterday. So is every day I’m alive. Stick with me.
I remember my cousin Gabrielle’s first birth day, the day she was born, when I was ten years old. I was in the delivery room holding her mom, Andrea’s, hand, playing with her hair, and practicing Reiki without knowing what that practice was called. And then a baby was born!
That’s what we think of as birthdays. The commemoration of the day our little wrinkly bodies burst out into the world one way or another. We each arrived on Earth. Born! Birth! And then, yearly celebration of that calendar date.
The thing is though, only one day exists and that’s the day that you are experiencing right now. Literally, there is no day but today (thanks RENT).
Sometimes the sky leaks and sometimes it’s hot. Sometimes you’re weeping your guts out and sometimes you’re laughing so hard that you pee a little in your pants. Whatever is happening, this is your life! We all have an invitation to be re-born in each moment. To celebrate each new birth into awareness. To say, “THANK YOU FOR THIS LIFE!” with consciousness.
As I remember Gabrielle’s first day alive outside of her mother, when she was super fresh to the world, I recount my own birthday celebrations. Many of my happiest ones were in childhood. I felt very lucky to get two parties, one with friends and one with family.
At the family party I’d be surrounded by the grownups who loved me and my mom would cook dinner. Then at the friends party my mom would set up an arts and crafts project so everyone from my various friend groups — old neighborhood, new neighborhood, public school, Hebrew school — could meet and greet in a low stakes activity. Then pizza, ice cream cake, a movie, and a sleepover! Oh, sleepovers. So good.
One year, the craft project was scooping the seeds out of pumpkins and drawing faces on them in permanent marker. Then my parents carved and lit the jack-o-lanterns while my friends and I watched Now and Then. I bow to that parental devotion.
Remembering these past birthday parties fills me with joy and then it clicks: “Oh! Those are some of the activities I actually like to do the most!”
Connection with friends and family. Making art at a table with people I love. Yummy food, singing, and laughing. Playing outside in daylight. Cozy nights indoors. Sharing secrets, talking about crushes, getting advice, staying up late, and stumbling upon inside jokes in the middle of it all with best friends.
And then my thoughts drift to . . . what if I started acting like everyday was my birthday? What then!? Why would I only play and celebrate with that much intention and enjoyment once a year?
Linear time is made up. It just is. And we can read and write a ton more posts untangling the illusion of time.
But to sum it up I often come back to this Janis Joplin quote that, “It’s all the same day, we just take naps.”
Last year I got super nervous about what to do on my belly button birthday, November 3. I got out some pink construction paper and a marker and wrote out the sweetest list of things I want and don’t want on my birthday. Then I built my birthday around those activities and, as Danielle LaPorte puts it, core desired feelings. I loved myself and my community and my life that day, so big and so tender.
I posted that poster next to my bed and every night for the next many months I gazed at those words as I took an inventory of the daylight hours before. Most days I hit most of the guidelines on the list! On the days that I didn’t I went to sleep with the prayer to invite those activities into my re-birth into wakefulness after sleep.
This idea that everyday is your birthday is another way of saying:
– Give yourself the gift of the present.
– One foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow and you’ll piss on today.
– Tomorrow isn’t promised.
All this is about bucking up to honor your life for what it is: precious, unique, spectacular, perfect in it’s imperfection. What I’ve been learning as I attempt to treat every day like it’s my birthday is this:
I’m the only one who can open my heart to more happiness, joy, pleasure, satisfaction, appreciation, and presence.
Literally no one else can do this for me. But I can. And I want to!
This “every day is my birthday appreciation overhaul” didn’t happen in an instant for me, but now it does. What I mean is that it’s been many consecutive days of practice and falling short and continuing to desire to bring sacredness and love to my one and only life — to be reborn and celebrate my being each day. For me this hasn’t been an overnight, quantum shift.
Now, though, with all this practice, I can experience instant miracle mindset shifts in perspective. I often forget that my life is precious — that my life is happening RIGHT NOW — but that’s okay. As soon as I remember the truth, I can say, “I’m so glad that you were born. Surprise Leah, Happy Birthday! Let’s celebrate. What do you want to do now?” Instant shift.
And the forgetting and remembering cycles are not bad. Not at all. Abraham-Hicks teaches that we need contrast in order to keep aligning ourselves in the direction of what really feels delicious.
Every time I forget my sacredness or your sacredness, or the absolute thrill that today is my birthday and your birthday too, then I get the opportunity to remember again and to launch, as Abraham-Hicks says, rockets of desire for more presence, connection, communion, creation, love, honoring, and learning.
Important Note: It’s not that your actual calendar belly button birthday isn’t special or shouldn’t be recognized. Same with anniversaries, coming of age events, and other commemorations. That stuff is fun! Those events help us to recognize the passing of life. Community recognized dates give us the invitation to pause and reflect on where we’ve come from and where we want to go.
What I am suggesting is that we can invite every day to be holy. The word “holiday” comes from “holy day” — ya know? Care about what you are doing. Celebrate your life and the lives of the people you love. Every day is your day. Make it count.
Now that you know everyday is your birthday, here are some fun things to do on this very special day, the only day that exists:
– Write a love note to yourself.
– Set up an alter.
– Go look at the sky!
– Do a water ritual, set new intentions, and eat sweets.
– Have a dance party in your living room. Here is some music I love.
– Wear an absolutely fabulous outfit.
– Call your loved ones and tell them you are glad that they were born.
– Light a candle.
– Watch your favorite movie.
– Read a book that will change your life.
– Go ice skating, jump at a trampoline park, check out a bathhouse, go with a buddy to the museum, take a bubble bath, hula hoop.
– Give yourself the greatest gift: Forgiveness.
– Practice some affirmations.
– Have a play date with your favorite crystal.
– Make art. Make it now.