Birthdays

Greetings World

What does Birthdays mean to us –

BIG deal
Love it
Hate it
Avoid it
Ignore it
Overdo it
Dream about it
Pretend it’s not happening
Want the gifts
Wishes come true
Secretly loving the attention
Hope the world forgets
Don’t need a reminder
Boring
Bad memories
Painfull
Uncomfortable
Disturbing
Irritating
Waste of time
Waste of money
Nonsense stuff
Airy fairy
Celebrate in style
Fireworks and fluff
Day off work
Exotic location
Major plotting and planning
Licence to go crazy
Loads of alcohol
Permission to Indulge
Got to have a big Party
Make it all about the food
Spend all day pampering
Feel Blessed
Feel Appreciation
Feel JOY
Feel same as any other day
No big deal

WHY do some of us want more and more for our Birthday?
WHY is the more never enough so we go in search for even more?

WHY do we look for way out and whacky birthday themes?
WHY do we want to be known for doing something different?
WHY do we think our birthdays are a licence to go crazy?
WHY do we lose rational thinking when it comes to a birthday?
WHY do we forget our common sense hat when it is birthday time?
WHY do we want so much for just that one day called birthday?
WHY do we spend so much time and effort on our birthday?
WHY do we feel it is important to do this whole birthday stuff?
WHY do we get left with a sense of guilt if we don’t do birthdays?
WHY do we look the odd one out if we are not into big birthdays?

WHY are we investing so much into our children’s birthday parties?

WHY do we want our children to have the birthday we never had?
WHY do we over spend when it comes to our kids’ birthday?

WHY is the birthday industry so huge?

So how do we spend our Birth Day and what does it mean to us?

Birthdays are big business – especially for our children.

UK

2015

£564,000,000 birthday card sales.
Greatest growth by percentage – (10%). (1)

48% of parents spend up to £500 on their child’s birthday each year.
£20,000 average spent from age 1 to 21 per family on children’s birthdays. (2)

£100,000 has been spent on children’s birthday parties. (3)

£1,000 cost of 3D cakes. (2)

1st, 13th and 18th birthday parties are most expensive with more than £750 spent. (2)

33% of parents spend more than they can afford to compete with celebrities and fellow school mothers. (2)

USA

26% of parents spend more than $500 for the first birthday party. (4)

So here we have it – a tiny snapshot of what we are spending on our children’s birthdays.
It would be true to say that there is very little research, so we cannot get real figures that reflect the truth of what is going on.

What if we were living our dreams through our children’s birthday parties?
What if we were buying gifts for our kids that we really wanted?
What if we are filling a void inside us when it comes to celebrating birthdays?
What if we want our babies’ birthday party as an excuse to have a big bash to suit our needs?
What if we just want to be seen to be doing what others do for birthdays?
What if we just have to have what others bang on about – a birthday to remember?
What if we are going with champagne but the budget we have is for lemonade only?
What if we dread these birthday bashes as the cost stings us later?
What if we just want our kids to think we are great so we spend loads of money on them?
What if we have never bothered to check in with our kids how they are truly feeling?
What if we think we can erase all the ugly stuff with a big fat birthday bonanza?
What if we just want a spectacular event for our kids’ birthday so others know where we stand?
What if we just do the birthday thing every year to fit in with the world and its brothers?
What if we love the thought of going crazy for one day with all the people we know?
What if the alcohol we consume helps us to numb the stuff we want to forget?
What if daily life makes our body feel dense and planning our birthday takes that away?

We each have a choice – always a choice.

What we do, what we think, what we say and how we do what we do and who with.

How does our birthday make us feel?
What does it bring up for us inside?

How do we go about this birthday stuff?
How do we celebrate our Day of Birth?

Do we feel one thing and say something else?

Do we secretly want the recognition but pretend we don’t?

Do we make out we do not care about our birthday but we do really?

Do we wish the whole birthday stuff would just go away?

Do we look forward to it because it brings us something?

Do we subscribe to the birthday stuff that’s out there?

Do we fall for the ‘let’s make it bigger and better than last year’?

Do we play nicey-nice when we get a gift we really don’t like?

Do we have an expectation of what we want our birthday to look like?

Do we have an image, a picture of how it should all turn out on the day?

Do we feel sad if our nearest and dearest forget our big day?

Do we dread certain bits of our birthday, like inviting family members?

Do we end up having a birthday pleasing other people?

Do we feel something is missing in our life, so we have a birthday bash?

Do we make a big deal and feel disappointed at the end but don’t know why?

Do we think our wish list is way off and we don’t like that feeling?

Do we know how to celebrate who we truly are?

Do we have a deep sense of appreciation for who we are in essence?

Do we live in a way that feels like it is our Birthday every day?

Now a brief summary of real life stuff from my own birthday memories:

18th – teenage marriage, deeply unhappy inside. No memory of a celebration.
21st – big party, hired venue – invited everyone, so others think I knew lots of people.
30th – close friends, paid for fancy restaurant and copious amounts of alcohol.
40th – close family only, indulging dinner and paying the bill felt good.
50th – with mr husband, shopping spree and dinner in expensive restaurant.

Up until my mid-forties, I had an expectation of how my birthday should be and of course it left me hurt and disappointed. Nothing was ever enough and the truth was I never felt enough inside me.

How on earth can a date in the calendar just magically change how we feel?

The misery, agony, exhaustion and struggle of life greeted me every morning and that meant the same on my birthday.

No commitment to any area of life ALL year but somehow expected the birth day to deliver what I wanted, on my terms and think it was all going to be just great.

Zero effort to take care of myself or listen to what my body needed, which was not in good shape, but demanded that the birthday erase all that and just deliver the magic with champagne and a big fat cake for starters.

Alcohol was a must and the bubbly stuff done the job to numb everything nicely for many years.

Counting how many cards I got had an effect on my moods.
Most gifts ended up in goodwill charity shops or given away to someone else.
Demanding presents from my husband and never using them.
Cupboard full of unused gifts, hoarded for that ‘one day’ when the big house comes.
Finding ways to ‘out-do’ others with next idea for a birthday bash.

The TRUTH – all very boring and feeling the void once the day was over.
Fake and phoney life needs to be knocked out and time for a true foundation in life.
No more subscribing to an illusion that guaranteed feeling empty inside every day.

2005 – In comes the much needed wake up call, which came with a big dose of common sense.

Serge Benhayon – Universal Medicine to present the real Truth about life on earth.
This feelings business and taking deep care of myself was simply not my thing.
However, every single thing this man said made simple sense, so I gave it a go.

Time to get Real and get Honest.
How was I choosing to live every day?

So there is Another way to Live.

The BIG BIRTHDAY REALISATION was how invested I was in the ‘outside world’ giving me something.
Attention, Recognition, Identification and Emotional love to make me feel special and remembering my day with cards, cash and gifts.

Roll on today – 55th Birthday

No big deal
No expectations
No desires
No dreams
No wish list
No alcohol
No fancy cake
No party
No gifts needed
No indulging with my best friend
No hot date with my man
No feel sorry for me
No looking on the outside
No wanting anything
No craving this and that
No plotting and planning
No pleasing anyone
No trying hard to be someone
No more lying
No thing missing

The above list has come from a strong Commitment to Life and that means every area of our life and not just the bits we like or are less challenging.

Words that are now lived to the best of my ability without any need for perfection are:

TRUTH
RESPONSIBILITY
CONSISTENCY
CONNECTION
TRUE EXPRESSION
INTEGRITY
ACCEPTANCE
BROTHERHOOD
EQUALNESS
APPRECIATION
GIVING BACK

So just in case anyone is wondering how today is going – same same here, business as usual – GETTING ON WITH IT.

There is no gift out there that can buy ‘knowing and living who we truly are’ and celebrating that quality which unites and holds us ALL equally. It comes with a deeper form of stillness that allows for more awareness and a quality that can be described as a solid confidence in daily life.

Something you cannot learn or buy and you can’t wing it.

Might sound a bit way off and whacky words, but is this what is missing?
In other words, when we know who we truly are, it is only then we feel connected with everyone else and feel the Equalness and this is what brings us more awareness – something we all need for our evolution.

Written by Bina Pattel
Posted – 27 March 2017

References

(1) (2016). Facts and Figures. Greeting Card Association. Retrieved March 23, 2017 from
http://www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk/resources/for-publishers/the-market/facts-and-figures

(2) (2015, May 25). Parents Spend £19k on Children’s Birthday Parties Over Lifetime. The Telegraph. Retrieved March 23, 2017 from
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/shopping-and-consumer-news/11627237/Parents-spend-19k-on-childrens-birthday-parties-over-lifetime.html

(3) Hope, K. (2015, April 6). How Much? The Crazy Cost of Children’s Parties. BBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2017 from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32116506

(4) Taylor, C. (2016, January 20). How Parents Can Fight the Birthday-Industrial Complex. Reuters. Retrieved March 23, 2017 from
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-money-parents-birthdayparties-idUSKCN0UY27D

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Comments 27

  1. Hello World

    I am the author of this blog.
    I am 55 years old today.
    I KNOW there is something in this number stuff and it makes sense.
    I KNOW the numbers of my age also tell me more.

    So today is 27 and it adds up to 9.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/let-go-letting-go/

    This Letting Go business makes a lot of sense, so today as on any 9, 18 or 27th of the month, there is extra focus, attention and detail to let go of anything and everything that is not needed or no longer supports me in life.
    Generally it starts with emails, texts and paper stuff.
    Then it gets extended to house stuff – like reviewing and dealing with a drawer.
    Closing cycles – usually on a ‘to do list’.
    No big deal and no drive or push or goal setting.
    If there is a busy work day ahead then less action on the 9 gets done but there would be some time and space for letting go of old patterns that need to end as it simply no longer works.

    Bit by bit, there is so much fun in looking at the calendar and saying
    Day 9 – time for more action and GET ON WITH IT.

    Those who know me would confirm that my middle name is GETTING ON WITH IT and that means True Actions speak louder than words.
    Stop the chit chat nonsense and walk the walk and talk the talk.
    No perfection and mind your own business. That means don’t get involved.

    Next –
    WHY has there been zero planning for this Birth Day?
    WHY does the age thing no longer bother me?
    WHY is it same same today as every other day?
    WHY has my mood not changed today?
    WHY am I not up and down emotionally today?
    WHY do I feel my life is not boring whatsoever?
    WHY is cake, party and posh restaurant no longer on the agenda?
    WHY do I feel ok just going for a walk locally, same as any other day?
    WHY do I feel deeply content with all areas of my life?
    WHY am I not bothered who remembers this day or who doesn’t?
    WHY am I not fussed if I don’t get flowers delivered?
    WHY do I feel so solid and steady today?
    WHY do I feel ok with working hard – same as everyday?
    WHY do I know what my true purpose is in life?
    WHY do I have true meaning in my life now?
    WHY do I have so much JOY consistently everyday?

    Interested, curious or just plain old nosey –
    please READ the blogs on this website and there you have it –

    A WISE WOMAN who does not mince her words.
    Does not know how to hold back when it comes to TRUTH.
    LOVES PEOPLE and that means HUMANITY.
    Dedicated to bringing more awareness to the world.

    1. I have chills and my eyes prick with tears… because as I read your words, Bina Pattel, I know that what you share everyday is truth and that what you describe about where you are at now is exactly what most of us have been missing… AND what we can ALSO choose for ourselves.

      You say:
      “There is no gift out there that can buy ‘knowing and living who we truly are’ and celebrating that quality which unites and holds us ALL equally.”

      The pure truth of this statement can not be underestimated,
      and the power of it may not be understood until it is lived…

      With your support, I have been making changes in how I live and I am more and more ‘knowing and living who I truly am’ and it is night and day from how I used to live and feel.

      I know that all people experience the same painful illness of not knowing themselves and I now know that we can all remember how to live who we truly are and that there is no greater gift anywhere…

      Dear Bina,
      With sincere and ever widening appreciation to you for choosing to ‘get on with it’ and be all that you are, I ‘celebrate that quality which unites and holds us ALL equally’.

    2. I like your commitment to life Bina and letting go of things that no longer serves you.

      This birthday thing is overrated but so much to ponder on what you have shared and how it no longer affects you is refreshing to read – a lot of truth in this blog.

  2. Well said Bina Pattel.

    What you say here resonates with me in so many ways at different times in my life – e.g. no memory of early birthdays, didnt like the fuss of others at my birthdays and wasnt really interested, have had times when I planned a big do only to feel flat after it, or flat and depressed the next day. Have splashed out e.g. gone to New York for a birthday – still felt flat and lonely despite being with others. Some years ago I asked my friends/relatives not to send cards/do presents on my birthday – but some still do.

    I love that we can celebrate ourselves and others anytime of the year, every day – and it doesnt have to be on a certain day, or one day a year – and that that celebration doesn’t need any material aspects to it e.g. alcohol, or party, or presents etc, there is much to enjoy in life – the sun rise, the butterflies, a bird singing.

    Birthdays and other times of year like Christmas have become so materialistic and something businesses and shops cash in on. And we go with that flow rather than discerning for ourselves.

    I saw in social media that (in 2014):
    “Brits spend an average of £158 on gifts for their friends throughout a year
    Around £62 is spent on Christmas presents and £47 on birthday gifts
    Over a lifetime spend adds up to £6,800, according to a Post Office study
    Half of people worry about financial impact of buying friends’ presents
    It showed a sixth of adults use their overdraft to buy a friend a present, while a quarter have lied about being busy to avoid the expense of celebrating with friends.
    Meanwhile, half have had concerns about the impact buying a friend’s present will have on their finances.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2838691/6-800-cost-lifelong-pal-Britons-spend-average-158-past-year-gifts-closest-friend.html#ixzz4cWyxGBnR

    Why aren’t we more honest with each other about birthdays? why do we have so much expectation about them? Why are we trying to please one another?

    Thank you for shining a light on a much needed conversation.

  3. What a beautiful post and it’s equally wonderful to have your comment here posted on your Birthday.

    It’s really refreshing to be greeted by another with so much Joy, which is evident in your writing.

    With Birthdays we usually think about what can I get, or what will it bring me, but this WISE WOMAN named Bina Pattel is GETTTING ON WITH IT and is showing all of us how we can all live for humanity and not just for ourselves, even on our Birthday.

    Thank you Bina.

  4. Thanks for sharing this Bina. As one gets older, celebrating birthdays are not much of a priority. Just thanking God is enough celebration…. I certainly feel that way.

  5. Do we know how to celebrate who we truly are?

    Do we have a deep sense of appreciation for who we are in essence?

    Do we live in a way that feels like it is our Birthday every day?

    What amazing questions.

    I have often felt a sense of disappointment about my birthday. Like I’m supposed to be doing something different and more exciting than what I’m actually doing on that day. Or that people around me should be acting a certain way (aka making a fuss).

    These questions give the answer to where that feeling comes from, and the antidote.

  6. What a great blog. Thank you Bina for sharing your turn around experience of partying and celebrating big time to being the wise woman living truth.. getting on with it.. serving humanity… that you are today.

    There are so many expectations around Birthdays, can they really be truly enjoyed with these? as you have shared and in my experience too the answer has been no.

    ‘There is no gift out there that can buy ‘knowing and living who we truly are’ and celebrating that quality which unites and holds us ALL equally’… Superb.

  7. Reading this blog and all the comments I see a common understanding that all the fuss over birthdays is a huge attempt to use material things and outer extravagance to make up for:
    not feeling or claiming how truly precious we are every day
    not living by the way we truly feel to live
    not being just who we are every day
    having neglected the many ways we can honour ourselves every day
    having forgotten how to celebrate who we are on a daily basis
    not remembering how to truly do this on the day
    marked as the one day we can celebrate coming into this life as who we are…

    …But there is another way to be, another way to live and to feel about birthdays and it is already being lived and shared by Bina Pattel and by more and more people who have gotten fed up with icing over the deep empty feeling we have been trying to avoid for way too long.

    Isn’t it simply about getting on with living life as who we are every day without compromising what, deep down, feels important to us?

    Challenging to start getting real, honest, truth-full in this world but worth the work and commitment a million fold to the efforts of avoiding being who we are in full.

  8. I can so relate to this blog. From a young age I had no interest in birthdays and neither did my family to be honest and it is still the same present day. This blog asks many questions.
    -What is it we are searching for?
    – Are we using birthdays as a way of distracting ourselves so we dont have to deal with our own stuff?
    – Why would a birthday be different to the rest of the year?
    – Are we not enough that we need a day to make us feel special?
    – Are we seeking the outer to make us feel better, rather than connecting to who we Truly are?
    And the list goes on. If we put that same effort into our birthdays, why not do the same for humanity instead who are in dire need of help.
    This is a great blog and makes so much sense on all levels.

  9. Your child gets invited to a few first parties. Your time comes and you don’t question it, you just follow the model. Before you know it you have told everyone the date, figured out food and found yourself thinking about party bags. We did joint parties with other families to share the load, but even keeping it simple, it’s madness.

    The big point is we didn’t question. We didn’t really pause to reflect with our kids on what a true celebration would feel like. We went with the crowd.

    How many people do the same?

  10. I have never been big into my birthday as I never liked being the centre of attention. As a youngster I felt uncomfortable when someone would say happy birthday to me and I usually replied happy birthday back as I didn’t know how to respond.

    Thankfully I have grown up now and know to simply say ‘Thank you’.

    It’s not to say birthdays shouldn’t be celebrated, of course they should, but when we spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds on the celebration or gift, do we need to look at the reasons why?

    Why is it that we feel we need to celebrate our birthdays with a ‘big bash’ or a big fancy gift?

    I was born on the 26th April so I have just had my birthday and the simplicity of it actually made it the best birthday ever.

    The 26th was a Wednesday. I woke up to a beautiful card from my wife. I started work at 3am and finished at 11am. I came home, went shopping, wrote a comment on a blog and then had a nap for about an hour.

    I woke up to an amazing dinner cooked by my wife and the icing on the proverbial cake was that she also done all the washing up – simple!!

    The ironic thing here though, is that this is how I spend every day (minus my wife washing up of course).

  11. I can really relate to what the author of this blog is saying.

    Today is my birthday and it is a very normal day for me.
    I feel content and have no desire to do anything special, buy myself anything special, treat myself or celebrate the day in any way.

    My life as it is, due to the choices that I have made and the incredible support that I receive from those around me, have allowed me to see that the actual ‘birth-day’ is not anything special and does not have to be different to the other 364 days of the year, if we live in a way that is enriching throughout the year.

    I was prompted to place this comment on after reading that in Vietnam everyone celebrates their birthday on New Year’s Day which is called ‘Tet’. Its tradition that the actual day of birth is not acknowledged. (Balance magazine, April 2017, p.24)

    One very important and enriching part of my daily life is the Simple Living Global website. Over the past 17 months it has been a rock solid support for me especially in difficult times and having websites like this in our world today are crucial. Life is not just about our little pocket and creatures comforts, but caring where everyone else is at. This website does this impeccably and has set the standard for websites of the future and the responsible way that we are to use the Internet.

  12. Great questions. Birthdays don’t have to be and aren’t really different to any other day in the year, but can be an opportunity for quiet reflection and connection: how have we been over the last year, what have we contributed and reflected back to the world, our work, our families and friends? Have we committed to life more, or withdrawn in protection; loved more deeply or been invested in our own stuff? What do we appreciate about what we bring to the world, how we live our qualities every day, and how can we deepen this in the year ahead?

    What if birthdays became about less about the stuff and more about reflection, review, appreciation and connection? Our bodies love and thrive on simplicity, and it’s no different on our birthday.

  13. Thank you for this absolutely ace blog.

    I very much appreciate the author raising the questions she does on the subject of birthdays because I feel that many people find birthdays to be extremely difficult. Too many people suffer unnecessarily on birthdays because of unmet hopes and expectations.

    And so much of what the author describes of her experiences of birthdays parallel my own experiences.

    As a young man, I enjoyed many big birthday celebrations that were fuelled by alcohol. I enjoyed them at the time but regretted them the next day because of the horrendous hangovers I endured. Now, I look back and wonder if there was any real connection with the friends I celebrated with because everything was perceived through the thick fog and disorientation that alcohol creates.

    Then, in my late thirties and early forties, I spent a few birthdays feeling bereft, unloved and forgotten because there was no birthday party and I received far too few cards and gifts to give me the feeling of recognition I craved. I wanted people to make me feel special and they didn’t do it.

    In recent years, as I have grown to appreciate myself more, I have realised that no one can make me feel special. I feel as special as I choose to through how much I appreciate myself, how connected I feel to the real Me inside and how much I nurture and appreciate that connection to the real Me inside.

    So, my last couple of birthdays have been great – they’ve been much like regular days with a few celebratory additions: cards, a few gifts and a meal out. The great thing has been that the birthday elements of the day did not determine how I felt on the day.

    So, what would I like for my upcoming and future birthdays? More of the real Me inside and a greater appreciation of Me.

    No outward celebration of any kind can match the truly joyful feeling of being connected to the real Me inside and me appreciating this connection to the real Me.

  14. Hello World

    This blog is a year old today and I am the author.
    The first comment was on my Birthday.

    Today I am 56 and feeling younger, looking amazing and full of vitality.
    That means I am living with JOY every single day.
    Gone are the ugly days of bad moods and buried hurts and crazy emotions.

    So what has changed and what has happened in the past year.

    Well it would be true to say that I have upped my focus and Commitment to Life.

    I am on track with the mind your own business thing and GET ON WITH IT.

    I have a strong connection to purpose and that to me is worth gold.

    I have a deeper quality of stillness inside me which means I have a deeper understanding of others and what earth life is all about.

    I am not caught up in the nonsense that goes on in our world because I know by my own choices, my every movement, I can make a difference.

    I cannot change the world but I can stop adding to the mess by the way I live my life everyday and that is enough.

    I know I am a true role model for humanity and that means a greater and grander Responsibility.

    Above ALL – I know who I am and that in itself is worth celebrating.

    Holding this website for humanity and having the opportunity to write and comment like this, is a blessing beyond words.

    So what more could I want on this amazing day – my Birthday.
    Nothing because it is all inside me and no one or any thing outside of me is needed.

    1. I loved reading this post and feeling how claimed you are Bina – what a great way to celebrate your birthday.

      I can vouch for how youthful you look and the joy with which you walk. How purposeful you are in all that you do. And your care for and understanding of people – you really do ‘get’ people.

      The world is short on true role models and in this you are leading the way.

  15. At a 7 year old party this weekend, from our son’s old private school. I was struck by the effort of it all.

    It was at a swimming pool and the entire class plus more were there. Lots of kids. The staff made sure every single moment was accounted for in an activity.

    The kids were shepherded from one thing to the next, with little space to chat and connect with each other.

    The parents were encouraged to leave their kids and have a few hours to themselves.

    It must have cost a fortune.

    It was in stark contrast to an invite we got last week to a birthday gathering where the family doesn’t have money to spend and we are meeting in the local park. The kids will just hang out and play. Parents will stay and help as needed.

    When our neighbours’ kids come over, the group of children end up in the garden working on some shared endeavour, like making a pond or farming. The space and freedom they have to choose that and work together feels great and you can see how they build their relationships and figure things out and work naturally as a team (with parental course-correction as needed).

    It seems to me more and more that the over-organised party is in stark contrast to this natural way of being for kids. They learn that someone else decides for them. They learn to stand in lines and take the fun where it is presented.

    So I’m wondering what all this over-engineering is like for the kids, the impact it has and how much scope there is for another way.

  16. My brother went to a party on the weekend.

    When we came back to get him it was just crazy.

    Almost every body was in their pants except for him and they were running round screaming fighting in a bouncy castle hitting each other and pretending to shoot each other. Crazy.

    But why was this happening?

    Is it because there is loads of kids trapped in a small place with nothing sensible to do?

    Or is it because someone starts something, everybody copies and then they are all doing it?

  17. Thank you for this superb blog.

    I turned 50 recently. A few of my friends were encouraging me to celebrate this big birthday with a party.

    So, for a while I considered having a party, but the whole thing was complicated by the fact that I would be away on my birthday attending a family wedding.

    I spent some time contemplating having a party but there were many questions to answer. What date should the celebration be? Who should I invite? Would they be free that night? What would be a good venue? What kind of alcohol-free celebration would some of my friends who like to drink accept?

    As my birthday approached, there was more and more encouragement from friends and family to have a shindig of some sort. My mother even offered to give me £2000 towards the cost of a venue and catering.

    But, all the questions I had about what to do, where and who to invite only created tension in my body. None of the options I had considered felt right to me. So, I decided to not celebrate my birthday.

    Then, came a surprise. Two of my best friends came up with a great plan on how to celebrate my birthday a few days before I left town for the wedding.

    We had a fantastic lunch and then a walk together on Hampstead Heath. It was a wonderful afternoon that I’ll always remember fondly.

  18. With my birthday just passed, I realise I have finally taken ownership of my birthday and what it means to me.

    I felt I had already turned a year older a while before the actual day, so I was already embracing and enjoying the number.

    What I realised was it is an opportunity to celebrate all that I am.

    The activity of the day is peripheral to that.

    Nonetheless, I had put a request in with my family:

    We would aim for ‘top line’ (aka loving) behaviour the entire day
    I would go for a swim first thing
    We would have a walk in the park
    They would prepare me a beautiful meal

    And it was a great day.

    The simple focus on loving behaviour together and in our home brought up the gaps clearly for us all to see and we had a big reset conversation in the morning that enabled many learnings and in fact a new cycle of behaviour started between us.

    I cared for myself and was cared for, deeply.

    It was amazing to feel and to know I brought and deserve that. And it all flowed from such simplicity.

  19. Today is my mum’s birthday. She would have been 79 years old.
    She died last week and so here I am asking myself – how do I feel?

    She was cremated in India within hours of her death so there is no burial site here in UK for me to visit.

    I did find a beautifull photo I had taken last year when she was herself and looking forward to a wedding I said I would take her to.

    I also took a photo of the most amazing bouquet of fresh while lillies I received last week that are in full bloom and remind me of the grace and open-ness of my mum.

    I spent most of last week in a dark place which was to do with not only losing my mum but how I reacted to those around me and their behaviours.

    This has all now passed and I feel no ill feeling or even sadness right now.

    I just know that I was on the front foot because I read the signs and was very close to my mum. In other words, I knew she was on her way to the other side, so to speak, so my grieving started way before the world and its brothers knew she had brain cancer and had a short time to live.

    If she was alive, I would do the usual and that is phone her taking into account time zones. That is never going to happen again and my understanding of death and dying has helped me with this whole process. In addition, I have been able to support others with this topic, that most of us avoid at all costs.

    I do not feel an ounce of regret right now because when mum was alive, I did my best and took great care of her in the past decade and even more so when I moved closer to her home.

    As Birthdays go – it is just another day but this day for me is a reminder to celebrate a woman who had a huge heart and felt people.

    On that note, I had a call from someone I grew up with who said that my mum was just there for her to hug on the day her mother died a few years ago. She said she would never forget the support she received from my mum on that day and it will stay with her.

    This alone is a reminder of how to celebrate the stuff that did matter and how she touched others.

    Most of us carry deep buried hurts and have issues – I was no exception but I found a way – thanks to the work of Serge Benhayon, I dealt with the ugly stuff.
    This meant the blame game was over, there was no bitterness or resentment – just an understanding of how, what and why.

    Bingo – I could then BE with my mum and see her for who she truly was. I then made the commitment to support her and I most certainly did in every area and doing my best to not react or judge. This I know helped her and what really did it was my CONSISTENCY. I never failed to turn up every week or get on with whatever task I was asked. This made a huge difference as commitment and consistency speak volumes – way beyond anything one could expect or imagine.

    I was just there – in all weathers and up for anything that was asked.
    I have every reason to celebrate my dear mummy today on her Birthday for who she was and in the knowing that what she received through me to the very end did make a difference. I just know that to be true.

  20. I was in the long line at our new post office and noticed all we had to look at right across this very long wall were Birthday cards.

    Have to say I am a bit out of it now as I stopped sending cards for the sake of it to be nice, sound good – like I remembered their birthday but have nothing to do with them all year.

    What got me was how many there were and I am sure whatever our tastes be it humour, fluffy, gushy, wordy, arty or lovey dovey – it was in this shop. Hundreds and hundreds lining the wall from the start to the end of this very long post office.

    What was interesting was what was being offered to us and of course there has to be a demand or the suppliers would stop creating them.

    I read some awefull stuff and derogatory humour which we accept and give to others in the name of humour.

    There were plenty endorsing alcohol and ill behaviour and it got me thinking – what is the real message we give out when we send such a birthday card to another?

    Is it really funny or is there more at play beneath these love-less words which many would consider offensive?

    Call me old school but my standards of decency and respect have always been around since day dot. Good old fashion cards are the minority and the masses seem to want jokes at the expense of others and the endorsement of poison in the name of alcohol, are the popular choices.

    Marketing target audiences and getting it right when it comes to greeting cards is mega big business and how they continue to thrive is because we the customers demand this type of message when we send a birthday card to another.

    Once upon a time cards were not huge business but these days there are shops solely dedicated to cards and other bits that we give on special days of the year.

    I used to think “Gosh what a waste of all that paper that ends up in trash or recycle”.

    It was at that time, I stopped sending over 250 Christmas cards to the world and its brothers, as I could feel there was no purpose to such a boring task of writing and posting. That was well over 12 years ago.

    1. Thank you for writing this comment Bina and sharing your observations. What you have said about the supply and demand really makes sense and it also made me question – what about those of us who are receiving birthday cards, is there a demand from us also that we want to receive these derogatory kind of messages in the form of jokes?

      Is it possible that we have lowered our standards so much in relationships that we have opened the door to this type of seeming banter which has an undertone, but we just keep laughing it off in the form of jokes?

      Are we also responsible for the popularity of these types of birthday cards?

      Birthdays for me are an additional time that we can celebrate another’s presence in our lives – a time to express our appreciation of why they are here and the enrichment that they bring.

      Is it possible that if we do not value those that we have in our lives and we do not value ourselves, then we are willing to put up with put downs at all times throughout the year and so what we receive on our birthday is just a mirror of that?

      This might seem far fetched for some of us, but what if there is truth in what is said above?

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