TWO Choices for Clarity and Connection with Celebrate You™ in 2018

History of Celebrate You™

Historically, the Celebrate You™ gathering in January has been a half day spent wrapping up last year's lessons and thoughts and discovering the next year's intentions and inspired actions, then ending with a word of the year chosen by each of us.

2017 has been a year of growth for the Celebrate You™ movement and in an effort to include more women, we're offering two options for this first meeting.

Choices in 2018

We're expanding and you have two choices!

  1. A Weekend Retreat in Port Townsend, WA to expand the time for learning, connecting and celebrating yourself

  2. A One Day Retreat in Langley, WA the traditional time filled with meaningful connections and celebrations

Everyone is Welcome to Come

Just like in previous years, everyone is welcome to participate in this first meeting. No membership is required for these events. Both events will use the 2018 Celebrate You™ Workbook and offer similar content. 

Of course... we do hope that you continue the momentum by joining the 12-month self-discovery program called Celebrate You™.

Talk Less, Smile More

Anyone else singing the title?

If you are, it's likely because you've heard the "Hamilton" musical soundtrack. Perhaps you're like me, with a teenage daughter obsessed with the soundtrack, the story line and all things 1776-1800. "Isn't Alexander Hamilton dreamy?" says my teenager without a trace of sarcasm.

For those lacking 24/7 "Hamilton" knowledge, Aaron Burr (the guy who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel) is portrayed as a waffler, a political flip-flopper. He's like a chameleon, changing his political views and colors as needed for the situation.

He advises Alexander to "Talk less, smile more, don't let them know what you're against or what you're for..." in the song "Aaron Burr, Sir". Alexander replies, "If you stand for nothing Burr, what’ll you fall for?"

This American Revolution-era conflict combined with the most recent presidential election got me thinking about my convictions and activism. Do I know what I stand for? Do other people know what I stand for? Does it matter? What am I teaching my kids when I speak up? Or when I talk less and smile more to be agreeable and not have to take a stand?

I've spent some time thinking about this.

What I'm willing to fight for is kindness. Kindness in my family, kindness to strangers, kindness to myself. I believe the world's problems disappear with kindness. I will defend acts of kindness.

You? What do you stand for?

Bucket List Item #34 (aka Singing Lessons)

Do you keep a bucket list?

It's one of the ways we keep track of our dreams in my program Celebrate You.

Growing up I was pretty sure I couldn't sing.

Sure, I could hold a note on key, but my voice never sounded like a singing voice to me. I woke up with a desire to sing after a conversation with a friend's father, a well-known opera singer. He said that in his experience, anyone could be trained to sing, and he said it with such confidence that I believed him. I tucked that seed of hope into my heart and waited for the right time. Three years ago it sprouted onto my bucket list.

There it was, #34 on my 2014 Bucket List: Singing Lessons.

It was scary to write down. I couldn't imagine actually doing it.

And I didn't.

I re-evaluated that list in 2015. Do I write it again? Am I still drawn toward it? Yes.

Same process in 2016. It made the list a third time. Not many things stick around that long--either I do them or I lost interest in doing them and they disappear.

Singing lessons started to feel important. I started paying attention to coincidences and synchronicities. I collected names of recommended singing teachers. One day when I was feeling brave, I contacted my top pick and we set up a time to get started. Over time my confidence while singing improved. Singing in front of others is still scary as hell, but guess what--I do it!

Here's what I did not see coming:

Singing lessons have been a metaphor for finding my voice in other ways.

Seriously! Expressing myself through song, by opening my mouth and feeling vulnerable, yet still sharing my voice, is empowering me to be brave and speak up in other ways.

I am willing to be heard and willing to be judged.

Who knew that's where singing lessons would lead...

What's been on your bucket list for awhile?

What are you waiting for? I dare you to take a tiny step toward it...

When Pin the Tail on the Donkey isn't Fun

Recently a client described an awkward conversation with a family member like playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. He was never quite sure where his target was or what he could say to make his point.

This image has stuck with me.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey is a game from childhood, requiring the player to wear a blindfold, get spun around a few times then try to find the picture of the donkey and affix a tail in the correct location.

It's a game of chance and competition. You win, I lose.

It's a game that makes me feel a little jackassy, wandering around dizzy,  holding a donkey tail. It's a game where everyone is watching the player fumble around and laughing. And for perfectionists, fumbling in front of others and wandering around without the tools to succeed is our worst nightmare.

Imagine this person's discomfort in his relationship. He feels like everyone else knows where and how he's supposed to go, while he's only able to guess at where that is. He's feeling a ton of judgement about how he's doing. No wonder he feels unsure.

Have you ever felt like this?


Here's the exercise--take a relationship that's troubling you and find a game it resembles. Is it the old card game War? Monopoly? Boggle?

Then ask yourself why you picked that game. What are the rules you're uncomfortable with? How do you feel as you're playing?

Next, what game would feel better? How could you invite the feeling of playfulness while losing the "me vs. the world" mentality, the rules you don't like and all the perceived judgment from others? Is there a cooperative game that fits?

What if you chose a board game like Cranium or an athletic game like soccer, where you're both on the same team and have different skills? How would visualizing this type of game change how you approached a conversation with a family member?

Spend some time with this and let me know what you come up with.

Chickens: the Embodiment of "Not Enough"

I adore our five chickens--Dixie, Sparkle, Vampira, Gold Bar and Daisy.

(No, I didn’t name them all.)

They all have unique personalities and quirks. However, they are ALL convinced that another hen has more food or better food. Always.

It's comical to watch the chickens run around our yard, finding their own food, while always keeping one eye on the others. They scamper around, shoving and pecking each other, trying to get the best and the most food.

It reminds me of us. Humans.

As humans we have two basic fears: lack and attack. Lack means we are afraid we don't have enough. Maybe it's enough money or friends or time or patience. Attack means we are afraid we're going to get hurt mentally or physically. These fears ask us to stay safe by staying small. Our ego is boss and it says "I'm most important and my needs trump others'."

The opposite of fear is love. We can choose love. Love asks us to courageously care for ourselves and others, while doing no harm. We thank our egos for wanting to keep us safe and we move into a state of expansiveness that includes all beings on the planet.

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."

Audre Lorde, American poet