Birthday parties are great – cake, savoury finger-food treats, bowls of crisps and other party delights. We’re used to celebrating someone’s significant age, or life-milestones and achievements. Yet we are less vocal about our personal rites of passage – our first and last times.
I was privileged to be part of a dear friends ‘crone celebration’, marking the end of one part of her female journey and stepping into the elder version of herself and body, with a world of unknown ahead. Yes, there was cake, crisps and other party-type food, and, there was dedicated time to acknowledge not only my friends ending and beginning as a woman, but also ours – those other women sharing the celebratory space with her.
It made me realise how few of us, myself included, rarely consciously or with a real intention mark these real, personal moments in our life. I’m talking about more than births, deaths and marriages. Instead, our first loves, first hearts broken, a first brave act, the end of putting ourselves last, or being an empty-nester.
Creating a ceremony to ‘let go’ and ‘let in’ is a powerful process of self-development and self-awareness.
As we took time to craft something of significance that reflected where we were in our journey as an ageing woman, I was surprised by the feelings of loss I felt for who I had been and how often I can feel an outsider in a busy room. Once the tears dried, I realised that the core of me was still there – like a hidden pearl – and that by taking time to consider me and my life, I was acknowledging the obstacles, the moments of joy, and with a clearer sense of identity of who I am becoming.
Not your normal party then. When we really celebrate life’s milestones and messes, we learn more about ourselves and forge connections with complete strangers, bound by a common desire to give and to be given back to. Coaching in many ways offers an opportunity to celebrate, giving a pause for reflection and the chance to grieve and yearn. The letting go to let in.
Just remember to bring your own cake.
If you’re looking for someone who can offer a safe and confidential space to celebrate whatever your life-milestone it is – then get in touch with us – and let us help you mark the occasion.