Since you’re reading this sentence right now, you’ve made it to another hour, another day, another month, another year, another decade. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment for your body and mind.
Even if we only have a basic, rudimentary knowledge about human biology, we know there are a lot of organs and processes that encompass life. Much of the time, we take the act of living for granted. However, from time to time, it’s wise to do a mental body scan in order to contemplate this amazing process of life.
We can become aware of our head and think about how important the head is–what the features are like the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, brain, etc. Then we concentrate upon the neck and how necks serve us. We move to the shoulders and contemplate them. We continue the calm practice with our arms and the other portions of our bodies. As a variation from the top towards the lower body scan, it’s just as effective to scan from the lower extremities towards the top. Either way is fine.
This exercise can be done anywhere at any time. It’s usually done while seated in a meditative pose. I like to do a body scan while queued in line at the supermarket. Sometimes I remember to body scan when I’m upset or impatient about something because the scan brings me back to reality. A good place to body scan is in bed, just as I’m drifting off to sleep. In fact, paying attention to every detail of the body with an attitude of gratitude is one of the best ways to transition from wakefulness to restful sleep.
Our celebration of life continues when we contemplate the lives of other human beings. We extend our awareness to the presence of life the various creatures. Then think about the life processes of the varieties of plants. An effective meditation includes the realization about how everyone and everything are interdependent. We depend upon the Planet Earth and the life upon it to keep us alive.
If you really want to supercharge your celebration of life, you can expand your awareness to the Sun, the Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy, and into the other amazing features of the Universe. When this “outer scan” is done in a contemplative way, we can achieve a peaceful mental state that also includes feelings of awe.
“In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day-or to celebrate each special day.”–life coach, Rasheed Ogunlaru
Of course, we’re not restricted to doing body scans nor meditations upon the Universe in order to celebrate life. We can simply remind ourselves of the joy of living while we go about our daily routines and completing our chores. Certainly we can engage in recreational activities, or get together with family and friends–these are the usual ways we can have fun and enjoy life. We can also celebrate life by realizing our worth, realizing our dignity, experiencing deeper joy, and making the most out of what we have.
Celebration is more than seeking amusement and entertainment. Celebration of life is an on-going active state of being. It is an active state of appreciation and reverence. To celebrate life is to deeply confront life and pay attention to the transcendent, transformative results of our thoughts and actions. Celebration accepts the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.
We can be our own friends and love ourselves in non-narcissistic ways. Focus on yourself in constructive ways. At our very cores we can remember to be grateful to be alive. We have this one opportunity, at this very moment, with the bodies we have to be a celebrant. While we’re at it, we can look around to recognize everyone and everything is sharing the Earth around us. This is the way to throw a great party.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and author, Vandana Shiva. “I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.”