Gratitude may not take away things that aren’t so great, but it may make you feel happier about those things that are great. When you share those feelings about things that are going well with others, you multiply everyone’s good feelings, whether you do that in person, on the phone, online or you shout it from the rooftops!
Almost seven years ago, there was a call out to a small group of women friends to share in what I, at the time, labeled a Celebrate Life Soiree. The charge was that I didn’t have a professional position, I didn’t have a life partner, I had some concerns about money, relationships and the future. Because I believe in God’s infinite goodness, I remembered I had and have wonderful friends and family, goodness in my life, and a multitude of blessings. So, I had my first “Celebrate Life Soiree!” to remember how truly good my life was and is and to remember to be joyful about it in my life.
A plethora of blessings rained down on my life and on the lives of many participants that first year and even in the lean or plentiful years since, we’ve kept meeting, virtually when necessary, to call out that what was going good and well and to reflect on it in an upbeat way.
The soirees I’ve done have included a short, inspirational speaker on these topics, sometimes live music and more. I’ve let participants know it would be most inspiring to others, if they were able to think of one or two recent, brief stories of some big blessing, an incident of what they thought was divine providence, or something they were recently very grateful for, that they’d feel comfortable sharing with either just one other participant in the group…if not the whole group.
I love writing thank you notes, yet a Celebrate Life Soiree is really your chance to “broadcast” to anyone you choose to invite how grateful you are for whatever is making you feel most grateful at that moment in time. Celebrate Life Soiree gatherings focus on blessings, gratitude, feeling good about what’s good, divine providence, and gathering together loved ones whom you know also want to try to focus more and more on the blessings (and hidden good) all around us. And to do this in a super fun party kind of way.
If you know the Elephant & Piggie Thank You Book, by Mo Willems, a CLS (Celebrate Life Soiree,) is one big “Thank O Rama” for the good things itsy bitsy to the good things big and tall! Any joyfestival can be as big or as small as you want to make it and they can all be adapted to fit any indoor, outdoor or virtual space. The Celebrate Life Soiree resonates in participant’s souls because gratitude, like optimism, can be contagious. People walk away from these with big smiles and a sense that they’re filling their own cup and others’ cups with faith and good feelings.
Once you have your idea and plan, your invites emailed or snail mailed, some good props and activities to do with your guests, you’re ready for you and your family and/or friends to meet up or zoom off. Call or email [email protected] for more ideas on personalizing your CLS. You could use the CLS Gathering Kit and Tutorial to help you with all the practical things and there are examples of fancy virtual or paper invitation wording, and great things to do with your guests. Keep uncovering the good and build upon it!