26

Birthdays are such funny events. Not funny “ha ha” of course, but funny as in fascinating. Interesting. Deeply mystical and intriguing. Birthdays are sacred, incredibly personal, milestones on a solo journey. Another year survived. Another year to anticipate.
I sit here writing now in the body of a 26 year old. My birthday was yesterday. July 1st. My birthday has forever been a momentous occasion in my life. I was blessed as a little girl with parents who celebrated me every single day, and my birthday was no different. It was a magical observation each year of the day I entered their lives, and there was a healthy balance of moderation whilst leaving me feeling like a complete princess. What I mean by that in simpler terms is that they spoiled me without turning me into a spoiled brat. Every small stroke was appreciated, felt fully, etched into the core of my being. Every fiber of my little birthday princess self was nourished so that I was not left wanting, but also so that I always sat in reverence of how blessed I was to have such a noteworthy recognition of my special day.
Something that has sparked my interest since becoming an adult is that one’s “birthday” is not really one’s own. It’s shared. It’s a day of unification, as well as individuality. Universal growth as well as internal growth.
It’s really quite spectacular that I, and all of us, share a birthday with millions of other human beings, billions of animals, and countless souls over the history of existence…and yet my birthday feels like the most special day of the year. There’s a magic to it. A phenomenal vibration that persists, so even when I get lost in thought or action, I come back to the reverberation of what day it is, and my heart leaps into my throat with excitement. Childish glee, to be frank.
The anniversary of life entry, the rebirth of my Awareness, the start of this sacred soul journey. I have ALWAYS adored my birthday and felt cradled by a warm light in the days preceding and following July 1st. I find that feeling, that experience, and the fact that I get to luxuriate in it every single year, to be a sincere gift. I can’t explain exactly why my birthday makes me feel this way, but it does, and for that I am grateful. Because to feel good, to feel alive, to be viscerally aware of the blessing of another year…is the best gift of all.
I have found myself in an auspicious space in the weeks preceding my birthday, and even now, the day after. My own mom has intuitively expressed numerous times how much of a “jumping off point” this birthday is. My closest family, my very best friend and even my horoscope and zen tarot reading have mirrored the same exact perception of this birthday; that it is less about a day than any before it has been, it is about the year to come. That may seem natural and obvious to some of you, which is a grand perspective to have. But so many of us focus on the day itself, rather than what it marks and the sacred next leg of the journey that ensues.
That being said, I was given another juicy message from the Divine via a deeply special soul in nutrition school with me. She, like me, is an Ayurvedic counselor and an inherent healer. She sent me a private email on my birthday with this auspicious message…
“A LONG time ago someone told me, on the Eve of my 26th birthday that, according to the ancient Tibetan calendar, your 26h birthday is your first year of life. The first 25 are just practice. That was super inspiring for me, and I put all my energy into what I wanted to do on that first year of life. I know you will do amazing things and I wish you the best!!!.”
Gasp! Does that not just cement EVERYTHING I’ve been receiving from the Uni up until now? My response was, quite evidently, to be deeply moved. It was as though a latch slid into place, something “clicked,” if you will. Of course this is to be my first year of life…it makes crystal clear sense. I can attest to that because the first 25 really (REALLY, really, really) feel as though they were practice. On deck…waiting to step up to the plate.
Another dear friend and fellow yoga teacher solidified that a bit further by telling me today that her own 26th was her “golden year.” How sacred. How special. I feel so delighted because, while I was looking forward to this new age (I have an inborn dislike for the number 5, for some odd reason, and 25 not only had a 5 but was also 5 multiplied by 5…I made peace with that in the last 6 months and found a soft spot for the number, but I was ready to hang it up for a 6), I really didn’t expect anything special out of 26. Little did I know…
Absolute magic surrounded my special day; loved ones, all of my most favorite activities (yoga, hiking, cycling, long walks, luxurious and restful sleep, hanging out with my family), pleasures of the flesh (massage, facial, pedicure, manicure, shopping, hot tubbing, presents) and the Divine gift of Awareness to appreciate it all. The Universe also gifted us all with the shift of Mercury from retrograde to direct yesterday, on my birthday of all days. I welcomed the shift with open arms, as did much of my sangha, and find it to be no accident…no accident at all.
So, as per usual, this essay is not really about me, in essence. I am the example, my life is the drawing on the chalkboard, but this is about you, us all, humanity in totality. This is permission to enjoy the CRAP out of your birthday, when it comes. Permission to enjoy the living daylight out of what it means to you to be alive every single day, what it means to celebrate (or not, if so you choose!) your sacred life anniversary each year. The beauty of what it means to share a special day with so many others, so many on this planet and so many who have come before us. It’s that delicious space of unification – a day that feels so very much our own but that, in Truth, is very much shared and One. Gratitude!
There is no separation. We are born and reborn and cycling through life and death again and again. We have the opportunity for rebirth every single day. Nothing is permanent, nothing is fixed. This is both terrifying and enlightening. It makes us want to cling and release simultaneously. It is Truth and it is liberation. So happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to the I don’t know how many other souls who share July as a birth month. Happy birthday day after day to Mother Earth, to our own sacred Awareness, to life and the sky and the sun each day when it rises. Happy happy. Because, truly, there isn’t time to be anything but.

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