The Power of Celebration

Celebration

This post “What is the Power of Celebration?” written by Certified Career and Life Coach, Michael Feeley was found in The Huffington Post and was read by yours truly after a meeting of celebrant colleagues had discussed how fabulous it was and how it embodied the true meaning of celebration.

I wanted to share it here with you without all the flashing adverts on the side.

 You’re welcome.

Celebration
Photo included in the article on huffingtonpost.com

What is the Power of Celebration?

How happy and excited are you when you celebrate something?

You celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays — all kinds of personal and special occasions. You give a card or gift, call the person, throw a party, go to lunch or dinner and surprise someone with your love. You think and feel so deeply for the person or people, and it gives you out-and-out, crashing joy.

Those emotions, ceremonies, giving and big feelings of love are all gratitude.

The other morning our phone rang around 7:30 a.m., and the person said, “I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to call right away to wish you — happy anniversary!” It was 100-percent lush, open gratitude.

The power of celebration is this — you are grateful and happy.
Celebration and gratitude are one and the same.

Let’s get more specific

When you celebrate someone’s birthday you’re saying — “I’m grateful you were born.”
An anniversary — “I love you. I’m grateful for our marriage.”
Holidays –Thanksgiving, the Forth of July and Bastille Day, all hail gratitude — “We’re independent. We celebrate living free of tyranny.”
All religions celebrate a higher being… something larger than us… a mighty force that created the world. Terms don’t matter. Call it God, reality or the universe.
Art is a celebration — Music like Mozart’s, “Alleluia,” is utter praise of the world in one word, sung in many different ways.
The musical group, Three Dog Night, sings — “Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music… “

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Modern dance icon Martha Graham expresses it this way,

Think of the magic of that foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It’s a miracle and the dance is a celebration of that miracle.

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Vincent Van Gogh painted “Starry Night” and “Sunflowers” out of love…

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.

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Poet, Walt Whitman said,
I celebrate myself, and sing myself.

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Parades, customs, prayer, shows, rites, biographies, commemorations, forgiveness, traditions, flower blossoms, friendship… are all an intricate part of gratitude and celebration.

Celebration is active, specific and abundant, as you can see from these examples. Gratitude is simply another word for it. Celebration is gratitude.

Look around you right now. There is something to celebrate; many things to celebrate. Pick one and start an active moment of celebration, an object of gratitude, a taste of celebration, a touch of gratitude, a smell of celebration or a sound of gratitude.

There’s the sun. It rises each day and celebrates with light, heat and growth. We depend on the sun for life. Its brilliance and warmth is a celebration. The power is amazing and gratifying all at once.

Doing the things you love is a way of celebrating and participating in the power and love of gratitude.

For me it’s meditation, gardening, writing, music, being in love and playing with my dog, Tulla. She wakes up every day and always has celebration in her spirit. She’s not moody or tired. She looks forward to breakfast, going outside, and then brings a toy to play… racing and fetching. She shares her happy self. That’s gratitude.

Also — don’t limit your love to just an intimate circle of friends and family. What about spreading celebration to other people, heading into universal love and appreciation? Just like Earth Day.

Where’s the celebration and gratitude in struggle and pain?

Things can be tragic and unbearable in life sometimes, but when you get through it there is tremendous relief. You’re changed. You learn and grow and become strong. The relief is celebration and gratitude for living through hell.

Even in death, we celebrate a person’s life and meaning. Pain and loss have celebration because you feel so much, no matter how bad it may seem. The agony and hurt comes from loving and missing. When we remember and honor the life of someone, their memory is a celebration. You have gratitude to them for being in your life and your loving memories are a personal celebration and tribute to them.

Wikipedia says, “A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, respecting, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died.”

What ruins and spoils celebration?

Ingratitude. Selfishness. Greed. Bitterness. Resentment. Anger. Anything negative that tightens you up, restricts and diminishes goodness, kindness and pleasure, kills gratitude and celebration.

You know people who prefer pain and unhappiness. They like to complain about everyone and everything. They choose misery over celebration. It’s destruction — the opposite of celebration.

How does this feel to you? “Let’s cheat and fool people. Let’s treasure our greed and celebrate that. Let’s overcharge people and not care at all.”

Scrooge did it in Charles Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol. Enron did it. Bernie Madoff did it. Brooke Astor’s son did it. They took advantage of people — they took more than they deserved.

Scrooge did change. That’s the beauty of Dickens’ story — he made a new and better choice to celebrate life and give back. Gratitude is way bigger than greed.

What stands for who you truly are and how you want to live — being dishonest or being grateful and good?

How can you be honest and kind all the time, not off and on, not a tiny bit of giving when you feel like it… but all the time?

We make choices and take action every second of our lives, to be a certain way… to either be negative or positive; grateful or resentful; happy or miserable; complaining, cold and mean or sincerely warm, kind and happy. Choices have consequences.

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People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state — it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle… Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions. — Abraham Joshua Heschel

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The energy of celebration is tremendous! Why not make it the predominant energy, choice and force that runs your life? Play at it. Commit. Have fun and see the results. Reap the bounty and benefits of “gratitudbration” or “celebratude.” They’re exactly the same no matter how you mix them up.

Don’t put celebration off for another moment or for a special occasion. Tap into it. Step in and live the joyous power of celebrating and being grateful for life.

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The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. — Oprah Winfrey

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A Beautiful Vintage Inspired Wedding

When my friends, Tanya and Nick got married at their vintage inspired wedding, everything was so gloriously beautiful that an article was written on the Love My Dress blog entitled:

PEACOCKS AND BUTTERFLIES – AN ELEGANT 1920S GATSBY AND 1930S DECO ELEGANCE INSPIRED WEDDING

By Annabel at www.lovemydress.net

Please enjoy…….

A Beautiful, Vintage Inspired Wedding

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer – Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

Not too long ago I was a guest at two of my favourite friends – Tanya and Nick’s wedding in the UK.

Tanya is a freelance creative art worker who is super clever and stylish and Nick is an IT wizz who loves Sci-fi and is quietly hilarious.  They have great love story.  It was suggested by mutual friends that they meet as they were sure the two would get along.  The first (blind) date was set and they were to meet under the state of Eros – The Greek God Of Love in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

Quite fortuitous, some might say…..

Eros, God of Love
Eros, God of Love

That date was the first of many.

Skipping ahead somewhat past the courting stage and the moving in stage to the proposal – in France, no less – this couple just screams ‘romance’!  Nick had procured Tanya’s Grandmother’s engagement ring from Tanya’s parents without her knowing and had it resized to fit her dainty fingers.

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com
Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

Their wedding theme began with the 1920’s ring and developed into a vintage, art deco – think Great Gatsby with peacock feathers extravaganza.

“Tanya’s dress was from the made to measure collection by vintage wedding dress specialists, Hope and Harlequin – created using an original 1930s dress pattern.” Annabel, www.lovemydress.net

“My bias-cut dress was created using a gorgeous 1930s chevron pattern, from lustrous heavy champagne silk satin. It featured a stunning back view with an elegantly plunging v and a beautiful floppy bow at the waist.  I tried on a range of original vintage dresses prior to the made-to-measure collection which were all gorgeous, but as soon as I slipped on the ‘Chevron’ dress it was the wow moment every bride is waiting for.” Tanya via lovemydress.net

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

Tanya’s “something old” was her Great Grandmother’s lace veil……

“When we held up my great grandmother’s delicate lace vintage veil (over 100 years old!) against the dress, I was thrilled that the style and colour was a perfect match. We decided to arrange it as a demure shrug for the Church service rather than a traditional veil, draping down my back to show off the scalloped edges and compliment the low V of the back.” Tanya via lovemydress.net  

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com
Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

Living in England, there was no shortage of beautiful flowers and luckily – relatives with very green thumbs and extraordinary flower arranging skills.

“We are fortunate to have a very green-fingered family, and subsequently all the stunning flower arrangements, including Dahlias and lace cap hydrangeas, in the church and reception were lovingly home grown by both our mums, and Nick’s Aunties Mavis and Doreen. We also foraged for Ivy in the local woods the day before!” Tanya via lovemydress.net

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

From the amazing bouquets to the gorgeous table centre pieces……..

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

……. to the Groom and Groomsmen’s button holes – these generous and creative ladies did an exquisite job.

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

The location for this elegant shindig was Firle Place – a little village off a country Road in the heart of Sussex Downs, about 100kms from London. In the centre of the village sits The Ram Inn – a traditional open-fire inn with exceptional locally-sourced and produced food. The village also has its own blacksmith, one of the oldest cricket clubs in the world (founded in 1758) and even a well-known bonfire society.

The beautiful 13th Century St Peter’s Church in Firle contains, amongst many other things, a large stained glass window by John Piper depicting Blake’s Tree of Life.

“We fell in love with Firle Place as soon as we set eyes on it! Nestled in the South Downs, it’s a stunning private residence steeped in history. Sir John Gage, a close friend of Henry VIII, built the manor house in the early 16th century, and we knew straight away the barn style riding school and beautiful grounds would be perfect for our day. We also loved that St.Peter’s Church was right next door for our ceremony, complete with quirky Vicar, rev. Peter Owen-Jones who has presented a number of BBC documentaries!” Tanya & Nick via lovemydress.net

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

This is my favourite time of the ceremony – when they see each other for the first time.

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

Followed by “You may kiss the bride.”

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

One of the attached buildings to the church was the old Riding School which was transformed into this amazing reception venue.

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

Now let’s talk about having talented relatives again for a moment……

Nick’s Mum, just happened to be a maker of wedding cakes in the past and I would say that her skills are still very much on par with the professionals.

Beautiful and Delicious!

“Nick’s super creative mum used to make cakes for a living, so the icing on the cake (excuse the pun!)was when she kindly agreed to make our wedding cake. After many delicious cake tasting sessions we chose a chocolate and orange sponge cake as it was also to be our dessert. Following the decadent theme, i mocked up my metallic vision in photoshop which she interpreted beautifully, enhancing it with exquisitely crafted sugar flowers to match the flower arrangements.” Tanya via lovemydress.net

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

Music can sometimes make or break a good party, so it’s always a wise move to do your homework.

As a guest at this wedding, I can’t remember a single dud song or a want to get off the dance floor – so job well done.  Still Moving DJ’s were fantastic and really fit into Tanya and Nick’s Vintage theme perfectly.

“I had my heart set on finding a DJ who could play gramophone records during the drinks reception, and was so pleased when we found the amazing and lovely chaps Tom and Martin who are Still Moving DJ’s. They also played an amazing evening set from vintage and electro swing to 60’s classics – the dance floor was heaving! Along with their incredible museum like set and live percussion drums, they even surprised us with a cake cutting song ‘if i knew you were coming i’d have baked a cake too!’  I’m also lucky to have a very funny father-in-law who did a fantastic job as MC for the day!” Tanya via lovemydress.net

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

The sun came out for the day, highlighting this picturesque location……. I’ll let Sara Reeve’s gorgeous photos speak for themselves.

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com
Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com
Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

Speaking of Sara Reeve, she is the fabulous photographer who perfectly and beautifully captured the events of the day. Check our her website or you can click here to go straight to Sara’s blog post of Tanya and Nick’s Wedding.

“When I first found our photographer Sara Reeve in the Love Sussex Wedding directory her fresh and quirky style really appealed to me, and i loved how she effortlessly told the story of the day through capturing all the important details. Her warm and bubbly personality also really shone through from her blog entries, and when i spoke to her i immediately warmed to her and was thrilled she was available to photograph our wedding.

Sara was truly fantastic from her exceptional organisational skills, her flexibility and patience on the day in capturing all of our requested shots, to her highly creativity approach which involved jumping around, mexican waves, and lots of kissing!  We were blown away by the superb photographs – Sara did a fantastic job of capturing all our happy highlights.” Tanya & Nick via lovemydress.net

Vintage Inspired Wedding
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

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Those pins there on the left belong to me – rockin’ the dance floor!  This was one of the most fun weddings I’ve even been to.  The setting was divine, the food was delicious, the music was jamming, I was surrounded by my favourite people and the speeches would have to be the best, most hilarious – I’m talking side splittingly so that I’ve heard in ever.

Photographer: Sara Reeve - www.sarareeve.com
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

So much time and effort went into making this a worthy celebration of such a special day and what made the day so special was watching my two friends make a commitment to each other, promising to always be by the other’s side.

Photographer: Sara Reeve - www.sarareeve.com
Photographer: Sara Reeve – www.sarareeve.com

2015 Update – In May this year, Tanya and Nick welcomed into their lives a beautiful son, Robin. 👪

Congratulations to you both.

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So there you have it lovely couples…… a beautiful vintage inspired wedding.

What will be your inspiration?

Give me a call on 0408 490 074 or email me through my Contact Page so we can share some ideas.

www.meantforyou-marriagecelebrant.com.au
meantforyou-marriagecelebrant.com.au

{Please note: Sara Reeve has given me permission to use her glorious photos on this blog post. Thank you Sara}

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