The oddity of birthdays

Birthdays are an odd thing. There are numerous expectations of how you choose to spend the day, as I had written about last week. I chose to share my birthday with others, instead of keeping it silenced. I wanted to claim and live it in my own way. But I noticed, as my birthday approached, people were asking what my plans were. The numerous plans I gave, I began to wonder if they were not enough. Do people care about the response, as they ask you the question?

And so I chose to live my birthday simply. I went to work, and taught yoga classes. In some ways, it is such a gift to share the process of yoga with others, especially those early on their paths. I was able to encourage a coworker up into her first headstand today. I led another bunch of newbies to flow into half moon. How amazing to be there and support them on “my day”, it turns into “our day.”

I shouldn’t be too surprised that this is how my day went. I began my morning with a loving kindness meditation by Pema Chodron, which focused on imagining people I am grateful for, then those I feel neutral towards, dislike, and then the world. I offered heart felt warmth to myself and all these people, wishing them happiness and the root of happiness. It was a beautiful way to start the morning.

I woke up excited about my birthday. I don’t know who gets excited about turning 39, but I am looking forward to what the next year holds. I completed my list of the 40 things I vow to conquer this next year and shared this with my friends. I believe why I am looking forward to the year is I know I am doing it with them. It’s the process of collectively sharing our goals, being accountable with each other via edits, updates, and other inspirational chatter.

There are small things that disappointed me about my birthday, but I am not going to let it ruin the day. My day was parallel to the weather, the morning started off with a pink sunrise, shifted to rain and dirty clouds, and ending with sunshine. I had finished my day with my favorite toffee nut latte (which this Starbucks still serves, even though it’s out of season), and headed to flamenco class. I will dance away my worries, frustrations, joys, excitement…the totality of my existence.

We have a choice on what we want to focus on and highlight in our day. Do we focus on the minute irritants or the overall warm experience we felt throughout the day?

As people tomorrow ask me how my birthday went, I know I have the option of how to respond. I will explore what to focus on and share. I am the author of my day and story.

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