I. love. birthdays.
I love them so much, you guys.
I love everything they symbolize, I love spending time with my family & friends, and (of course!) I love the cake. 😉 but more than that, I love getting to use my birthday as a time to really set aside for the refreshment of my soul & a celebration of all the heart work that has taken place in me. because, friends, no matter how hard or frustrating or exhausting this year of your life has been… that is so worth celebrating.
I like to take the time to reflect on the year, release any burdens, and refresh my spirit going into the next year of my life.
so, here are a few of my own personal birthday traditions that I do every year, or have decided to do from here on out, and I think you might want to start them, too!
MY BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS
write a letter to my one-year-ago self
this year I posted it here on the blog (take a look here!), but I do this in my journal every year, and I love it. sometimes I have to force myself to just begin, but I always wind up really emotional as I start seeing what I’ve learned through the process of having to impart wisdom to my younger self. it’s seriously so healing & eye-opening to do this! you gotta dig deep and really think about how the year has impacted you, and then be able to reiterate it in a thoughtful and reflective and wise way.
read through my journals
I’ve been doing this every year for almost ten years now. I have several binders, full of individual notebook journals, that carry the most intimate, beautiful, terrible moments of my life. reflecting & remembering is actually a command from the Lord, and so on each birthday, I pull out my journals reaching all the way back into middle school and really remember the goodness in the trials & the incredible things that Divine Love has woven into my story. it’s really just so beautiful, and it’s such a special and personal time for me! this might be my absolute favorite birthday tradition ❤
praise the people who have impacted my life
I have done this really inconsistently, to be honest, but I want to really do it right this year and forward. I think it’s really important to recognize that I am who I am largely in part to the incredible people who have helped to shape me into the woman I am slowly becoming. it helps keep me humble & also it’s just plain good for the heart to recognize the worthiness of others. what better time to thank the people who have helped make you who you are, then on the day celebrating your birth?
the “remember that?” game
this is a new one I’m going to start, and one that I’ve adapted from a fairly common new year’s tradition. prepare a list of prompts (happiest day this year, biggest lesson learned, best tv show of the year, deepest conversation you had, most embarrassing moment, etc) or grab a printable set here! then gather family and close friends to answer the questions. the catch? everyone’s answer has to involve the birthday guy/gal somehow 😉 make sure the guest of honor answers, too! not only is this super fun, but there will be some tender moments too!
self care & soul care
I like to do something special just for my heart & soul that I normally wouldn’t do. whether it’s as simple as getting a massage and releasing some tension, or as big as attending a women’s conference I’ve been dying to go to… I make sure to tend to my heart and nurture it into the next year of my life. I try my best to enter it well.
make an attainable commitment to self-bettering
this, for me, is usually purchasing a new book to begin reading. it’s something simple that I can start right away, but that will simply carry on without me having to give much forethought. this year I think it will be You Are Free by rebekah lyons. (I’m currently working on ann voskamp’s The Broken Way!)
there you have it! my favorite birthday traditions for refreshing the soul! which ones are you going to start embracing? ❤