Ceremonies of Celebration
Life is more than simply one grand story — rather, it’s comprised of a million tiny stories that embellish the life we have chosen to lead. There are so many opportunities to deepen life’s meaning and create purpose and celebration around the small but significant moments that enrich our lives. It’s the little moments that build lives worth remembering, and the little ceremonies that make us family. Come, let us celebrate together.
- First day of School
Set your child up for a great year with a wonderful send-off ritual. If someone is worried about separation (even you, Mom and Dad), design a family blessing that emphasizes the family’s connections and your understanding of the importance of education. If summer has to end, there may as well be a fun ceremony to look forward to that will start the summer out right.
- Family Night
Dedicate a night of the week for family night. Ban sports practices and late meetings as you carve out time for the people who give your life meaning.
Every other culture has a celebration of this important moment in a young girl’s life. Whether you want a small family ritual or a larger community ritual with the young women in her crowd (or both), you can help your girl understand the annoying, messy, sometimes painful sacredness of this important moment.
- Coming of Age
At different ages, there are different expectations, privileges and responsibilities expected of a growing child. Define for your family or community what it means to become a young adult and then find the modern resonances for this timeless ceremony. We all do better when we know what is expected of us and delight when we transition into a new age of our lives. What does it mean to be a member of your family? Here’s a chance to teach yourself, your family and your community.
Hallelujah! You’ve graduated. Your discipline and hard work have paid off. It’s time to celebrate your accomplishment and the pride you and your loved ones take in the work you have completed. This much hard work deserves to be taken notice of. Walk across the stage and then come home and tell your family and friends what it meant to you.
- Leaving Home
It’s time. You’re ready. Whether you’re leaving for college, the armed services or a job, there comes a point when it’s right for both you and your parents to change your living arrangements. When a child leaves home and begins to provide for him or herself it’s an important moment. When you leave, you want to realize that although you’ll always be welcome, from this point on you will be a guest in this house, because your home is somewhere else. Ceremony can help make dreams and desires clear.
Friends are the glue that hold our lives together and the sequins that embellish it. Tell your friends how important their place is in your life. Make a commitment and accept theirs to be BFF — in a way that will always make a difference.
The places where we grow up, create traditions, get educated, find support for our challenges and our dreams and find wonderful models for living life well are incredibly important. Why not celebrate their existence and dedicate the work that they do? Today’s small communities are yesterday’s clans. Those clans required oaths of allegiance to friendships and a way of life. When you make those oaths, you commit to making a place in your heart for those people and for new people who come along. Whether you become community over shared holidays or shared care for the river that runs through your valley, these communities are important. Create a yearly celebration. The more ritualized the event, the less anyone will want to miss it!
What if instead of hating the fact that you were getting older, you and your family and friends developed a birthday ritual that really celebrated the life you’re living, by giving you the opportunity to take stock, set goals, celebrate your successes and enjoy your friends? It would be so much more fun — and your life would be better for it!
Whether you’re celebrating romantic memories or ones from your career or life, life is better with goals and acknowledgments of successes. Sticking to your dreams deserves support, encouragement and celebration. Create a ritual that helps deepen the meaning in your life.
Menopause means a lot more than stopping your monthly bleeding. It is a signal to a woman that her life focus can change from family life to her work in the world. The world needs the healing energy of women ready to indulge their passions. So shout hurrah at the end of the inconvenience, acknowledge the body changes that are inevitable and distressing, and dedicate yourself for the next part of your life. You might as well decide to have a wonderful life doing what you love and what you believe in, and declare it before your friends and family.
Hurrah! You’ve spent many years at work. Now you’re free to explore the things that make life interesting for you. If you’re going to keep working, find work that pleases you and engages you in so many ways. Celebrate your