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My mother-in-law was turning 88 in January, and her six children and partners were all coming to help celebrate her birthday. I was put in charge of what to do to make this time special - always a bit of a challenge to come up with something unique and meaningful. I put the Mark the Moment recipe to use and here is what I came up with...
Intention: Of course, to celebrate the birthday
- Grandma's husband had died this summer
- Grandma sold her big house and moved into a small retirement apartment, so was downsizing everything
- Grandma suffers from non essential tremors, which means she can hardly get a fork to her mouth because it sways. The doctors say she can take a medication for it or she can have a glass of wine before dinner, and that will temporarily stabilize the tremors so she can eat.
Plans:I thought that everyone could bring a bottle of wine for her birthday party. Since she is not a wine connoisseur, she drinks only for utilitarian purposes, we could exploit the labels and have fun with them. I put out the word to bring an appropriate bottle. Each person would present their bottle and explain why they had picked it.
I was delighted with the dedication with which the family took on the project. There were funny stories about visits to the wine shops and liquor stores looking for appropriate labels. One son-in-law was determined to find a Silver Fox label. He looked and looked, but had no luck. He settled on Old Goat. Then he tried one more time and found a huge bottle called Silver Fox and gave them both to her. The illustration with the question mark on the bottle indicated "senior moments." We have a boat called "Sophia" and my husband found a bottle with that name on it. People used their creativity and humor to come up with bottles for grandma, who had been never been a wine drinker and we laughed as each offering was added to the box.By looking at grandma's situation at this moment in time, I was able to capitalize on what was happening in her life, and package that into a practical form for the party. You too can create special occasions by using the Mark the Moment formula found on the web page http://www.mark-the-moment.com/. I encourage you to practice the concept with fun times like birthdays. You will then have the tools in place to honor more serious transitions when they come up in your life. My new book Celebrating Beginnings and Endings is getting close to publication and will help you with the process the designing your meaningful moments. I'll keep you posted as we get closer to actual publication.
The last part of the formula is to sit back and enjoy the unfolding of the idea. It is way too easy to judge and second guess what might be, how people will really like it, will it work and think what you might do differently. I find that my projects take on a life of their own when they fall into place. I try to sit back and laugh or cry or just enjoy what comes forth in the enactment of the evening. This sounds like a small and insignificant piece, yet when you can allow yourself to let go of the judgement and be with the unfolding, your work will take on a different unveiling into the world
Look for opportunities in your life to seize a moment for celebration and learn how to offer special gatherings for your family and friends. I am available for consultation and encouragement via email or phone. See the website for more information. Be courageous and bold and begin new traditions for your loved ones.