SBTM Jul 2015 - Page 36

EDITORIAL FEATURE Recognizing the Value of Celebration - Part 3 By Kim Sawyer I n the first two parts of Recognizing the Value of Celebration, we explored the meaning of value as the basic guide to and result of successful living and then we tied this to our sense of life.  We also explored how without a conscious and usually challenging effort, our sense of self and sense of the world skew to the dark side.  So how do we counter this?  In this context, “celebration” can be seen as deliberate conscious efforts to break the hold that negative things have on our awareness and viewpoint and refocus our attention on good things.  One manifestation of that survival mechanism of ours is that it instantly forces our attention into a sort of tunnel vision on the threat.  This is a good thing for a survival response but as I explained in part 2, wreaks havoc on our attitude and outlook. The immediate antidote to that tunnel vision is to force ourselves into a process of celebration.  This literally and almost mechanically cracks the lens that constrains our view and expands our awareness back to the entirety of ourselves, our lives, and our world as a whole.  We suddenly realize that our problems are only a very small part of the whole picture.  With our survival mode tunnel vision, the problem is all we see; it becomes our whole world and our world becomes no more than the problem.  The celebration process may seem forced and fake, as we probably don’t feel the emotional response to it especially when we need it the most.  But it serves its purpose and soon the emotions respond to the reclamation of our formerly hijacked consciousness. The paradox in celebration is that the more we need it, the harder it is to do.  However it’s the only method I have discovered to master our sense of life and thus our state of readiness to live well. Now to take a further look at the phenomenon of celebration, we see that there are basically two forms, each one corresponds to one of the two aspects of sense of life – our sense of ourselves and our sense of the world.  The form of celebration that addresses our world view is celebrating gratitude and the form that relates to self view is celebrating wins. Celebrating gratitude as a form of ritual is the thought process, activity, and conversation whose purpose is to acknowledge, grasp, appreciate, and experience the impact and meaning of the people and valuable things that exist in our world which we have not directly made to be there.  Gratitude is an effort – a deliberate process.  Because a feeling may follow from the act, most of us mistake the feeling for gratitude and overlook the action altogether.   Of course, this totally disempowers us and leaves us at the mercy of our sense of life and our feelings, neither of which can we directly control.  This attention to all these countless gifts in our lives counters the instinctual obsession we have with that relatively small set of unfavorable situations that we have not created.  The Technology of Celebration: Celebrating wins, as a form of ritual, is the thought process, activity, and conversation whose purpose is to acknowledge, grasp, appreciate, and experience the impact and meaning of the valuable things we do.  Celebrating wins is an effort B