Celebrations and Gratitudes, Part One

By Jill Place, The Acting Intuitive

Christmas gifts 199x300 Celebrations and Gratitudes, Part OneI do believe that a fulfilling life is a balance between celebrations and gratitudes. If you swing from one to another without enmiring yourself a lot in self-doubt, past baggage, or allowing your little-kid self to rule your life, you’re sure to notice the richness of the moment. And revel in as many of these magical serendipities as you can.

I do believe that, on this physical plane, we miss a lot of them. One of my favorite plays is Our Town. I watched several bad high school versions before I acted in it myself and realized what an amazingly powerful testament to life it was.

At the end of the play, when Emily realizes that life goes so fast we barely notice it, she asks, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?”. To which the Stage Manager replies “No—Saints and poets maybe—they do some.”

So, during a season where we pull family and friends tight around us, now might be a good time to set a resolution to see your life more clearly as you live it. I don’t know about you, but that’s one of the reasons I became an actress. Not only did I ache to perform. But I wanted to understand myself better. Acting opened the portal to my spiritual quest. And kicked my butt to keep me on the path. It still does.

Here are some ideas for things you might want to do before the first to start off 2014 right. Let’s begin with celebrations . . . we don’t celebrate the good things in our lives nearly enough. Grab your journal or a pad. Actually, for this exercise I’d recommend that you gift yourself with a new journal just for Celebrations and Gratitudes. Name it that. Then buy yourself a pen that you love writing with. I’m kind of addicted to these disposable fountain pens. I use a different color for each journal.

You might also want to set the stage beforehand by bringing together items that reflect celebration and place them before you. I have wands in a jar, my money tree, some scripts and my business cards in a semi-circle here on the floor. Then light a fire or candle. Or I also might choose to fire up the incense burner my mother gave me with a charcoal pellet and sprinkle on some sage and cedar or one of my aromatic oils. You can do all or none of these things. Or create your own. After all, it’s your ritual!

Then before you write, take a few moments to close your eyes and breathe in and out a few times. My favorite meditation breath is to take air slowly in and fill my lungs about two-thirds of the way (if you do fast, deep breaths you may shock your nerves and create exactly the opposite of what you want), then hold for two counts, then slowly release. Next, set an intention to celebrate your life every, every moment. You may want to write the intention out beforehand. Or wait until after you’ve done this process.

Now, take up your pen and writing paper and respond to the following. Don’t think! Or punctuate. One of my mentors calls this “Wild-Mind Writing”:

1. Where are you at right this moment with 1) work, 2) life, 3) goals?

2. What things can you celebrate as wins this year? They don’t have to be big or even medium-sized. Write down all the things you want to celebrate.

3. Then celebrate your celebrations by burning them in the fire, with the candle, or in the incense burner. Or roll them up, dip them in melted wax from the candle to seal them, and place them under your pillow. Whatever seems right for you. I’ve done all of these. They all work.

4. Now ask yourself (don’t scrimp on this one . . . it may be the most important part of the process) . . . Is this where I want to be in six months? If not, picture your perfect life. Describe it in rich detail, noting what you see, hear, touch, smell and even taste. Once you do, take a few moments to close your eyes and picture what you wrote. Then open them and write your intention to have this in six months.

5. You might also want to buy a bulletin or cork board and create a vision board. Place on it pictures (cut out or drawn) of what your life looks like six months from now. I love using the internet for this; where it once took hours flipping through magazines to find just the right image, now I can search for it and print it out in a matter of moments. I then put a sign at the top that says, “Whatever is on Jill’s Transformational Vision Board . . . is” and display it where I can see it often. My current one is on my bedroom dresser.

I’m going to go to church Christmas Eve with my girlfriend. Then we’re going to drive around and see the Christmas lights. Christmas Day I’m laying low and doing this. What a great way to celebrate one of the best times of the year! Next week, right before New Year’s, we’ll talk about gratitudes. Whatever you do, Happy Holidays!

Leave your comments about Celebrations and Gratitudes Part One Below

What did you learn about yourself when you did this process? What suggested tools did you use? Are you ready to make the next six months better than any you’ve ever experienced?