I have been thinking about celebration a lot lately.
I was comfortable enough with my work-to-celebration ratio. I mean, celebration is the more-fun cousin of gratitude, and I talk about it all the time, and now it’s actually fuelling a pretty major thing that I’ve been working on. I am, of course, surrounded by couples in great relationships, and the more I speak with them, the more I want to celebrate that: RELATIONSHIPS.
I have a couple of great stories to share. First, I was with my hair stylist, Alisha, for a quick blowout a few weeks ago, and as I see her fairly often, we got through our catch-up on each other’s lives quite efficiently. As she adjusted the chair so I could have my hair washed, I asked about her grandparents’ anniversary party, which had happened since I was in last.
“It was so great!” she told me. “It wasn’t just our family, they invited their friends, and kids of their friends, and cousins…there were all sorts of people there and it was such a lovely celebration of their lives together.”
As I listened to her tell me about this sweet couple, who had been married for more than 65 years and was still going strong, I got a little misty. They’re role models to all who come after them, and celebrating all of it; learning to live with one another, year after year, continuing to love even when they may not have agreed or even liked one another. Choosing to stay and making it so. I read a great quote in this Modern Love piece in the NY Times: “The way to stay married is not to get divorced.”
So true, isn’t it? Even in the years that are mired in, well, shit, when you are barely holding on and daydream about being single again, if you just stay married, you are no less so than anyone else.
The second is of a couple I have been working with for the last eight months or so; we are coming to an end in our work together, and as I do with each client or pair of clients, I asked how they would like to complete and celebrate what we’ve done. What we settled on is a ceremony, of sorts, where we will (unofficially) speak about the growth they’ve each experienced, acknowledge each other in that work, commit to moving forward together and then go to dinner to seal it all with some wine and delicious food.
The very thought that all of this intentional celebrating of relationship going on makes me tingly all over.
When I was married, we kept our anniversary celebrations much to ourselves. “We’re the ones putting up with each other year after year,” I would say. “There’s no need for anyone else to make a fuss.”
But now I see it differently. I think it’s possible to change the world with our relationships. I think that when we’re living in high-functioning, super-star relationships, we’re creating a world that will be different than what we know. By living with consciousness and intention—and it doesn’t have to be all heavy and onerous—we model real, authentic, fearless, bulletproof relationship and if we celebrate it like crazy, it creates a ripple. We are always being watched and we are always modelling, so I say celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly and allow it all to inspire.
Whew. *Stepping off my soapbox.*
Right now, I am working on a heart-project of mine that was first conceived more than four years ago: the Super Couple Tune Up. It will be a day this coming November (Saturday the 19th, to be exact!) filled with learning and celebration of all things relationship. In it, I guide dozens of couples to bridge gaps in connection, understand more deeply where their collective “ship” is going, and create a strategy to make it happen. As I hear about the things we’re up against as families and people in relationship, I want to focus on what can be shifted—communication, respect, admiration, and affection—and create a movement where that is happening. It’s important to share that divorce rates in Canada are actually falling and that relationships, real relationships, matter.
I hope that you’ll consider your own upcoming milestones as cause for big celebration and a chance to pause and consider what you’re putting into the world with the way that you love. It’s important because it’s changing the world.