May 4, 2016 Blog No Comments

buddha quote canvaWe’ve just had an amazing weekend of joyous celebration. It started with out-of -town guests arriving last week, Lee playing a concert Friday night and then hosting our annual Age of Aquarius party on Saturday. As numerous people commented – it was epic. So much joy was shared.

Creating reasons for celebration has been one of the catalysts of our relationship. We met when I hosted a party– Lee’s band was playing. We instantly recognized our mutual love of hospitality and the pleasure it generates for everyone involved. Since then, we have been hosting events regularly.

This quote from Buddha says it all: “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases from being shared”.

That is the point. Sharing happiness only expands your own experience of it. In looking at this more closely, I see that celebrations actually serve our greater good.

Let me explore some of the reasons why bringing more gatherings into your life may be something you’ll want to consider.


Giving and receiving with your friends and neighbors creates community. Like in the old days, with barn raisings and quilting circles, doing things together bonds and enriches our relationships.

Now that we are no longer dependent on our neighbors and are more isolated with our work, we have to find other reasons to gather. It means taking initiative and finding a motive to bring friends and family together. The need for building a community of mutual support and sharing is just as important now as it ever was.

Over time, I’ve seen that hosting dinners and parties has gathered our friends and neighbors into a wider circle of love. The once small circle has now expanded exponentially as others are being brought into the fold. We know each other better; we enjoy each other in new ways and we care about each other. Now we can call on them for help, just like in the old days.

Would you benefit from creating or joining celebrations that develop and expand your supportive community?


We all long to be recognized and valued. Making a ceremony that says you’re special is a way to enhance the relationship and one another’s self-esteem.

We actually do this well in our culture. Most everyone celebrates their birthday. If that isn’t happening for you, it’s cause for concern. We also gather to celebrate our loved one’s graduations, promotions, achievements, victories, engagements, weddings, babies, anniversaries and retirements. Special days honor mothers, fathers, teachers, veterans, workers and on and on.

How wonderful to use these reasons to honor the people we love. We lift ourselves and those we love up in the process. Everyone benefits. It makes us feel good about ourselves and expands our loving feelings towards our friends. Maybe we can do it more – just because?

How involved are you in creating and participating in the celebrations of your loved ones?


One of the primary reasons to celebrate is to amp up the quotient of joy in our life. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about difficult things – dealing with hard news, feeling grateful when things aren’t as bad as expected and then the death of Prince. A year ago at this time, two dear friends died and I wrote about how we use rituals to celebrate their rites of passage.

Life can be tough. We need the levity of joyous celebration to keep our frame of reference intact. Without the contrast that celebration offers, we tend to take ourselves and our difficulties too seriously. Finding reasons to celebrate give us balance.

A celebration keeps you in the moment, fully present. We need all the opportunity we can find to stay in the now. It helps us get out of our worried mind, reduces our stress level and improves our health and mood. There’s a lot of value to a simple party.

Do you need more joy and happiness in your life – try hosting or attending a party!


In India, celebrations used to be held every day of the year, for many different reasons. The belief was that it created “exuberance and enthusiasm” and helped lift up and define their culture. When the country became poorer, most of that fell away to fear, worry and work. Now festivals are being reinstated around cycles of the seasons and moons to remind people of the importance of being joyous, in the moment and connected to something greater than themselves. See this blog by Sadhguru for more details:…/lifesty…/importance-of-festivals/

Likewise, the reasons I listed to celebrate generates life changing ripple effects. This is especially true if we approach celebration as a regular, integral part of our life. See what you think:

• When we have a strong community of friends and neighbors, it is easier to be more generous and compassionate to those around us.
• When we honor the people we love, we will be honored in return. The cycle of being lifted up keeps expanding out to others.
• When we create and experience joy, it generates those feelings in others. Life becomes a little bit easier, more relaxed, less stressful and more balanced.
• When we are feeling and giving love, we are in an expanded state of consciousness. Our relationships have greater depth and meaning. Life’s purpose can be more fully understood and realized.

The Law of Correspondence and the Law of Vibration are in effect – what we do influences, effects and alters everything around us. When we initiate things for positive good, we all benefit.

The world needs this lift in consciousness that celebration provides. It can help negate the fear, the competition and the hatred that exists. It provides more profound meaning in our lives as we recognize the value we have to one another. It helps us be more conscientious, not just in our immediate surroundings, but to other cultures and to our planet. It broadens our perspectives. It helps us to be more enlightened.

Would you benefit from the expanded consciousness that will come to you through the easy give and take of regular celebration?

Do these questions strike a cord with you or make you think? Do you have experience as the “single candle that can light a thousand”? I’d love to read about it in the comments. You have valuable insights that will benefit others.

If you’d like to explore ways to bring more celebration into your life, my Transformational Life Coaching will help. It encourages you to discover what wants to happen that will enhance your life’s meaning and purpose. Send me a message here or at my I’d be delighted to talk with you and offer free consultation.

Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com