Welcome to the party called Life – it’s on 24×7!!!

Celebration is not an event. It is a state of being.
As another year flows past and as yet another flows in, you may quite be tempted to believe that it’s the event tonight – New Year’s Eve – that’s the celebration. The truth however is that your entire Life is – has been and will continue to be – a celebration. You don’t see your Life as a celebration because you are preoccupied with the small stuff. And as Richard Carlson has famously said, ‘it’s all small stuff’! 
Just consider this: what if you didn’t join a New Year party tonight? Won’t you physically be missing all the action? All the fun? All the dancing and the drinks? Indeed, how can you enjoy a party for which you never showed up? This is the problem with most of us – this big, magical, beautiful party called Life is happening 24×7, 365 days, for us but we are not “in” it, we are not present or although we are physically there, we are lost in the maze of our grief, guilt, worries, fears and anxieties.
If I have learnt anything from Life, it is this: Life is one helluva celebration. If we start valuing what we have, instead of pining for what we don’t have or worrying about what may happen to us, we will be soaked in happiness. Celebration, in the context of Life, is a state of being. It is eternal and present continuously!
Okay, here’s a little exercise you can do. Sit down quietly for a few minutes. And make a list of your most memorable moments from your Life so far. Wasn’t that birthday five years ago awesome? Wasn’t that office party where you met you partner unforgettable? Wasn’t the day you child was born your biggest celebration up until this time? So, make the list….but hey, you know what? There’s a catch here. The moment you start counting your memorable moments of your Life, you have lost this game. If you take your age and multiply it with 365 days – that’s how many days you have been around here on the planet. And yet you can count only a handful of days as being memorable among the thousands that you have ostensibly lived, well, isn’t that a tragedy?
Think about it – if you are not celebrating each moment, aren’t you squandering this once in a lifetime opportunity, this limited period offer, called Life? Begin by celebrating what is and what you have. Celebrate the air in your lungs. Celebrate the magic of a sunrise, a dew drop, a flower, the smile of a child or the warmth of a pet. Celebrate that you have access to internet and Facebook so you can pontificate on whether Free Basics is a rip-off or not! Even if someone you love has passed on or moved away – celebrate their Life or your time with them. Life is too precious – and you don’t need me to tell you this – so, go beyond the party you have planned to be at tonight! Make each day of your Life a celebration – and see how it is then filled with abundance and grace!  

Making Mondays Magnificent and every day a celebration

Why are Monday mornings manic? Because, we make them so!
How would you deal with a Monday if there was no concept of weekdays and weekends? If every day was just the same. Where you did what you love doing. And you worked, relaxed, chilled out, played, enjoyed, ate, slept – all of it, at complete ease with yourself! Well, this is possible, if only you dropped the labels that you have stuck on the days of the week. Manic Monday is a label. ‘Thank God It’s Friday!’ is not just brand, it’s a label. Weekend is a label. Drop all of them. Just treat each day as special, as a miracle, and see how you feel. And how your days and weeks feel.
People struggle with achieving a work-Life balance because they think of work as drudgery. They are forever lost in it. They think that they have to slog to earn-a-living and that “some day” their lives will become better. But when does that day come? At 60, when they retire, if they are lucky, that is? Which means for 40-odd years you have been working your butt off so you can finally “enjoy”. But what happens if you have a health condition at age 60? How active can you be as you walk into the evening of your Life? There’s no pointing reaching a dead-end, literally, and wishing that you had taken another road in Life. A work-Life balance is never achieved, it is taken – because the opportunity was, and is, always there.
The day you started your career and you made a choice to work in a particular industry, in a profession, you either chose to do what you love doing or you traded your passion for earning money. If it was the latter, either you had to love whatever you decided to do (if you can’t do what you love, that is) or you go back and change your career. There’s no point in wasting the years, the only available, irretrievable years of your Life, by thinking you can earn now and live another day. Even now, it’s not too late. Just take stock of your Life. Either quit what you are doing and go do what you would love or start loving whatever you are doing. Treat each day then as an opportunity to live drenched in that joy. See the miracle then. No more stress, no more deadline pressure, no more seeking a work-Life balance. Your “work” then becomes “living” the Life that you love living! And each day becomes a celebration!
When you reach this state, you will realize that you will have all the time in Life for doing everything. You will work more efficiently and effortlessly. And there will be a never-ending song playing in your heart. Then Mondays will cease to be Manic. They will be Magnificent!

If you are “awake”, everything, absolutely everything, is a celebration

[This Post is available as an Audio Recording too. To listen to it, please follow the Link: If you are “awake”, everything, absolutely everything, is a celebration]
Life is an ongoing, endless celebration. We, however, miss this celebration because, almost all the time, we are grieving over the past or we are worrying about the future. At times, given the cruel ironies of Life that we have to deal with, we even wonder if there’s anything worth “celebrating” about our Life.
Summer Fireworks at Navy Pier, Chicago
A few years ago, I was staying at a hotel overlooking Lake Michigan and the Navy Pier in Chicago. My room had a fantastic view. It was a full moon night in June and it was summer. I looked out the window but I did not feel like taking in the lake. My thoughts were elsewhere in India. A crisis we were dealing with had blown out of proportion. And in my air-conditioned hotel room, I was breaking into a sweat. I was texting and emailing my office back in Chennai and the updates I was getting were hardly encouraging. Things were going from bad to worse as the hour passed. I must have spent at least 90 minutes at the window – but noticed nothing. My mind was filled with anger over what had happened and with worry over what may follow. Then, suddenly, past 10 pm, fireworks lit up the sky – just above the Navy Pier. I had least been expecting it. To me, until the first firework burst in front of me, the lake was a dark expanse, as dark as my mood. The full moon was causing shiny ripples on the lake but I never appreciated them. Suddenly, something as spectacular as a 30-minute fireworks display happens, unannounced (at least to me – though I am told that all through summer there is a bi-weekly fireworks display at the Navy Pier) and I lost myself in it completely. For the entire duration of that display, I did not respond to my cell-phone which was beeping text message after message. Nor did not care to look at the email updates that were coming in. I did not brood. I was not angry. And my worries did not trouble me. There was a celebration happening in front of me, almost like a cosmic spectacle, and I was lost in it. When the fireworks display got over, I noticed that Lake Michigan was not just a dark, endless expanse in front of me. It was a beautiful, shimmering, wavy carpet of water, lit up by the warm glow of a full moon. It was, I discovered, another spectacle, another celebration, which was always there – even during those 90 minutes that I had spent agonizing and worrying at the window. I felt stupid – there was always a celebration around me, in front of me, and I had missed it completely?
That night I recalled what I had read somewhere. Osho, the Master, asked his followers once: “What isn’t there to celebrate about Life? The rainbow is there, the sunset is there, the ocean is there, the clouds are there – but you are asleep. Life passes by and you are not participating. You see a rose flower – but even though you have eyes, you see it and yet you don’t look at it. You have eyes, yet you don’t look, you have ears, yet you don’t listen, you have a heart, yet you don’t love. If you are asleep, there’s nothing to celebrate. But if you are awake, everything, absolutely everything is a celebration!”
Beautiful isn’t it? Osho’s wake-up call made a lot of sense to me that night. More than ever before. I realized that my urge to solve my problems and get rid of my worries was forcing me to miss the celebration of Life – which was happening right in front of me. I discovered that the only way to be part of this on-going celebration is to stop pining for the Life that I wanted and instead enjoy the one I had. Ever since, when a wave of guilt or grief, or worry or anxiety, rises in me, I let my awareness of the moment that I am in, drown that wave. You can never not have thoughts. And if you have thoughts, you will tend to brood or worry. But if you are aware, that Life’s celebration is on just now, for you, you will let go of those thoughts that worry you and instead choose to party!