Simple Acts of Celebration Can Change Your LifeMar 18, 2023
The day I had to have cake, and you should too!
I had my birthday last week and below are my thoughts on such a monumental birthday! Buckle up because this is a long one, but I think it's worth it.
Here's the revelation:
It’s my birthday, and today I made myself this cake.
This isn’t just any cake.
It has magical qualities (not chemically induced!). People gather around the table in awe. Even those who don’t like coconut want a piece because it’s dreamy. It looks like a little taste of heaven, and it has the power to grant all your wishes for the coming year, whether it’s your birthday or not!
This is the White Chocolate Coconut Cake! (Yes, there's a recipe for you!)
And that’s what I wanted on this particular birthday. Reflecting back, it’s been a few years of navigating some challenging life experiences and renegotiating what I thought my life should be. At times I’ve felt unsatisfied, and disappointed in some areas. In others, I’ve never felt more alive… and at peace.
That was always my goal… to find peace. When people asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I’d always respond, “peace of heart.” And it hasn’t always been a peaceful life. If you know my history, really tough life events intercepted my very wonderful fairy tale life.
All those moments in time became the foundation of something my BFF and I call our “pearl necklace.” The pearls are the joys, births, celebrations, and life achievements… and the knots are the tough times, the heartbreaks, the physical challenges, and the losses. And darn if those knots don’t hold it all together and show you who’s in your royal court of supportive and loving relationships.
Birthdays spark the nudge to self-reflect, at least, they always do for me. I can think of people who avoid it because it can feel disappointing. I like to think of all the good things I’ve done. It’s the only way I can survive those nagging thoughts of “if only I had,” or “I regret doing…”
Never mind any of those thoughts! Not on my birthday! This is a day to celebrate miracles!
Think about this:
“Scientists say the odds of you being born are at least 1 in 400 trillion. Maybe even 1 in 400 quadrillions. That is incredibly unlikely to the point of impossible. Are you wasting your miracle?” ~ The Healthy Journal
I realized I’d only made the cake of all cakes, for others. I love making a big deal of my friends’ birthdays, and baking is one gift I can truly give of myself. It became known as my “big event” cake.
On my walk the day before my birthday it occurred to me… why not make the cake for myself!
I’m an event, too!
AND SO, I DID!
The origin of this majestic cake began years ago with my BFF Melissa Gilbert on her 30th birthday.
I created the recipe for her because she’s not a big chocolate lover, but white chocolate is a whole different experience.
We had a “big event” party… as these things sometimes turn out with her, it ended up as a story in In Style Magazine… the cake and the event! That was a long time ago, but I still have the magazine tucked away in my trunk of memorabilia, and she’s still my BFF (forever and ever).
I love baking almost as much as writing. I bake when I need a spiritual moment… it’s an active meditation. For me, it’s like walking through nature, except it’s the kitchen.
I gather the ingredients and treat them with reverence so the cake is infused with magnificence. I think of the person I’m making it for, and it fills me with such joy. I can see their reaction… their awe. If you're not a coconut lover, I also make an incredible Triple Chocolate Cake, and sometimes I combine the two with a layer of each.
You deserve “awe”!
My dear friends, this past year, I realized now, more than ever, that being good to yourself is the ingredient that keeps you young at heart and your spirit alive!
Simple acts of celebration
Create a wonderful celebration for yourself, whether it’s your birthday or not. Too often, we save those celebrations for a time we deem as celebration-worthy.
At this stage of life, I’ve finally discovered that every day is new and remarkable.
Can you find even the smallest window to celebrate the majesty of being alive and making a difference in this world?
Every time I close a contract in my business, I buy myself a small gift. I start dreaming about what I want as the close date approaches. Sometimes it’s a new handbag, others, a trip to the spa. It makes me feel good about myself!
And then there are the everyday events. Beginning decades ago, each afternoon I pay tribute to myself as the cappuccino hour approaches.
Author’s photo, “Moi” means “me, myself” in French!
In Italy, they consider it a big no-no to have cappuccinos past the morning, but I make it smack dab in the middle of my day because it’s the transition hour.
The late afternoon is my time for self-reflection and journaling, then writing an article. I attach the ritual of writing to the joy of savoring a fragrant coffee and almond biscotti.
Try attaching a ritual!
Attaching something pleasant to something that so easily gets shifted to the back burner encourages you to stay committed. We tend to put ourselves second. I did this most of my life because I was a mother and I thought that was what a mother did. I didn’t know then that taking care of myself was a way of providing a better mothering experience for my children.
When you choose your daily ritual of celebration, whether it’s journaling, a walk in nature, taking a soothing bath, or reading a book that has sat in a corner way too long… give it a ritual.
- Set a time in your day as important as your commitments to other people.
- Gather the things that make you feel good like a candle, music, and flowers from your garden. It sets the stage.
This is YOUR time to honor yourself. Just these tiny adjustments in your life can be the difference that lifts you to a place of confidence, happiness, and peace.
I’ve been doing my cappuccino and writing ritual for years. I know with certainty, intentional rituals keep you on track with fulfilling your commitments that serve your internal purpose and joy.
Just taste it!
I hope you can imagine tasting my birthday cake! I‘m imagining sharing it with you right now!
And remember, if you make yourself a magnificent cake, it doesn’t have to end with the last crumb. The same with a painting you’ve created, or a poem you’ve written. Take a picture of it! Write about it! Share the joy with others… that’s exactly why I’m writing this now.
I leave you with one thought… can you make your day celebration-worthy? Even the smallest honor will do…. but then again… why not go for the Big Event! You deserve it!
Would you like to make this cake? Here's your chance. Download the recipe here!
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