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Celebrate yourself

June is my birthday month and on that occasion I thought of some birthday rituals that you can do to make your birthday intentional.

Look at Mother nature. How she flourishes, unfolds her full glory, shows her best side. Nature is in a festive mood, don't you think? And while she's unpacking her most beautiful dress, we are allowed to sing our own praises, too. For all of which we already went through. For all the steps we already took. For all the dreams, big or small, we already realized. We should celebrate ourselves each and every day.

Silvana Candreia in the forest

June is my birthday month and birthdays are always a good occasion to be celebrated. But as my birthday at the end of June is coming closer I notice that I honor myself not enough. Yes, it's wonderful to be showered with love by other people, friends and family, but what about myself? For my own life I'm the most important person and what I gift myself most often with is self-criticism. And so I'm writing this post to remind myself - and also you- of what a great person I am, you are. Whether it's your birthday or not celebrate yourself, praise yourself for all that you already accomplished, even if it's not the end goal yet. Perhaps the following ideas may spark some inspiration for your festivities. They are rituals that I have been practicing for years for my birthday, because as you know I really like to consciously take time and to fill my day with intention. My birthday gives me the opportunity to participate in those rituals, but you can also do them at any other given day. For example on the summer solstice on June 21st. It marks the middle of the year and is therefore a good day for a little life-reflection. Happy birthday everyone! =)

Writing a letter

Writing a letter by the lake

For years I have been writing myself a letter for my birthday that I only open the next year. I congratulate myself, write down my hopes and dreams for my future version and I tell her how much I love her. Opening and reading this letter a year later is just wonderful, because it's a love letter from the most important person in my life. I look at the dreams of my past self and I write my current ones in a new letter that I will again only read in one year from now.

Reflecting upon the past year

Mostly I sit down on the evening before my birthday to go through the year that has passed. Underneath the stars I leaf through my diary and I'm in awe of all that has happened, of who I was a year ago, what has changed, what challenges I have overcome and what learnings have presented themselves to me. I think of all the highlights, of all the unforgettable moments, of all the things that I'm incredibly grateful for. And I also remember all that wasn't great, all that I want to change, that was difficult and that I want to let go of. As always I write all my reflections and thoughts in my journal, because writing brings me clarity and allows me to deal with a thought on a more profound level.

A few journaling prompts for this ritual might be:

A year ago I was still...

This year's highlights were:

This year's challenges were:

I celebrate myself for...

For next year I will leave... behind.

For this coming year I wish...

The steps I can already take to fulfill my wishes are:

A birthday crown

A flower crown for your birthday

As my birthday is a few days after the summer solstice I had the idea to craft a flower crown for myself as it is traditionally done in Scandinavia for midsummer. As a base I take some thin, bendable twigs and bind them into a wreath that fits around my head. I decorate the wreath with nature materials of the season. As I was born in early summer I'm lucky to be working with many beautiful flowers like cleaver, daisies, elder flower, wild sage, St. John's worth, and so forth. But you can adorn your crown with other gifts from nature at any time of the year. You might use twigs from evergreen conifers, nuts, dried flowers, rose hips, stones, fruit... When I'm finished with my crown I of course wear it for a while and afterwards I hang it at my door as a wreath, which is a beautiful way to repurpose my work.

A date with yourself

Picnic on the beach

When was the last time you invited yourself on a date? Have you ever done that before? Your birthday, or any other day really, is the perfect day to go out with yourself and gift yourself with time.

I imagine how a rendezvous with another person might look like and ask myself: what do I enjoy doing? What could make this day special? Mostly I land on a dip in the river and a picnic. I want to spend the day outside, eat well and connect to my element, water. That makes me happy. And although I experience a version of this day almost daily, because I'm often outside swimming in the river, it's different for my birthday. I consciously take the time to make an effort, I plan the day in advance which lets my anticipation grow, and I treat all activities as a date. On this day they aren't daily activities, but filled with the intention to gift myself with something that brings me joy.

And so I wish you a wonderful birthday, even if it's not technically your day of birth. It's so lovely that you are here!

Do you have a birthday ritual or tradition? Please feel free to share in the comments!

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crappa e plema, Steine und Federn
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I'm also a yoga teacher and I organize rituals and retreats in nature. See you on the mat?

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