The Birthday Mindset

Photo by  Clay Banks

Photo by Clay Banks

We can live every day like it’s our birthday. 

If you were fortunate enough, like I consider myself to have been, you’ll fondly recall a birthday (likely from childhood) where you felt absolutely invincible.

That day was yours. Shared with loved ones, there was no stopping you from having the best day ever. 

These days were ones that I remember well and often. They were celebrations of me, sure, but it was more than that. I was celebrating the day, the joy of being alive and loved, instead of purely lauding myself. 

I didn’t want those days to end. I had an overwhelming sense of special-ness, irrespective of whether I was acknowledged by others.

On the nights preceding my birthday, I often get those Christmas-morning-type feelings. I awaken with a vigor and excitement for the day that makes me feel like I simply can’t be derailed. 

I love being celebrated, I love celebrating others, and these days are ones that carry a particular devotion towards celebrating the wonder of being alive. 

Because I anticipate being celebrated on these days, I in turn celebrate myself and the people around me…so most of my birthdays have been pretty damn awesome.

This is what the power of a birthday mindset can do. And, if you’ve had birthdays like the ones I described, that is evidence enough that you are capable of attaining this headspace. 

When I get into the birthday headspace, I walk with a skip to my step, a smile on my face, and a love of being where I’m at in that moment and, with perspective, on that day.

By celebrating my aliveness, my joy comes through to others. By celebrating myself, I’m celebrating everything by extension. 

Birthday Armor 

On many birthdays, I’ve noticed I wear a suit of what I’d call ‘birthday armor’. 

It’s as if nothing can touch me. 

I have that “it’s my birthday!” swagger that I normally don on those auspicious mornings. 

The self-created armor helps me feel safe in my body, irrespective of my surroundings or the company I keep. It helps me take things in stride, supporting an empowering refusal to let anything detract from my enjoyment of the moment. I can see even troubling events in a more rational, yet equally compassionate, way and this is a place from which I wish to operate more consistently. 

So it follows that it’s worth asking: what if we could always wear this birthday armor? If we can have this mindset once a year, why not twice? Hell, why not every day? 

I’m a realist. Not every moment is going to feel like it’s my birthday. 

I can, however, allow for the possibility that the mindset I’m able to cultivate on my birthday is available to me every day. 

No one is going to wish you a happy birthday, and sing songs, and bake cakes 365 days a year. Even if they did, that would probably detract from the beauty of the irregularity. But that’s besides the point.

Expectation begets reality.

If we choose to celebrate ourselves each day, as we’ve demonstrated we’re able to do on our birthdays, there’s no reason that we can’t. Even, at least, if it’s just a little bit more than we already do. And that, my friends, is improvement! 

If we choose to put on that birthday armor and be resilient no matter what comes our way, then we will be more equipped to do so. 

A day isn’t dictated by a single moment. So even if we don’t wake up ready to conquer the world, we allow it become our birthday with time. 

I’m committed to embody this birthday mindset. To live the days as though I don’t want them to end, with no attachment to the actual ending.

I endeavor to go to sleep excited about the opportunity to celebrate myself and those around me again the next day, in new and increasingly beautiful ways.

Each night, I have the opportunity to blow out the metaphorical candles on what was the new best day ever.

Every day is a literally birthday. We are reborn with each morning that we wake with breathe in this body. Might as well make the most of it!