The Gap of Grace and a Birthday Special

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I intended to write a message about birthday rituals and practices, to share here in this space, on the life-changing day I am choosing to celebrate my calendar birthday, but I wrote The Gap of Grace instead.

(I have learned to follow my heart whispers, so I no longer question,  I simply live the nudges.)

It is a life-changing day because for years I did not celebrate my calendar birthday.

I would tell you that I was raised in a space where presents where often conditional and also typically followed by huge drama. Eventually, the joy of receiving presents was shadowed by the drama; I decided I would rather celebrate each day fully and share energetically than receive into my life the chaos that came with tangible gifts.

This childhood conditioning followed me well into adulthood.

The Surprise Party

I remember that one year, the children’s dad planned a surprise party for me.  He kept telling me we were going out for my birthday and I kept asking if we might stay home and order takeout food instead, so I could celebrate with the children and have a refreshing sleep.

I spent the entire week telling all of my friends I wish I wasn’t going out on my birthday (the very friends who would be at this party I didn’t know was happening).

On the day of my birthday, he had to work over-time, which meant I was feeling a bit harried and I definitely knew I didn’t want to go anywhere.  But he was insistent.  I literally spent the kid’s afternoon nap crying on the phone to my friends.

Imagine my surprise when he came home, picked me up, and we walked into a room full of the people whom I had been crying to.  Yep, Happy Birthday.

(And, yes, this is the same man bringing us to mediation on Friday then court on Monday to contest the custody schedule we have had for seven years; against the children’s wishes and will.)

Releasing Conditioning

Here is the thing. 

I share that story with you as perspective.  I continued to draw to me the energy that was familiar from my childhood–until the moment I chose to practice in ways that shifted my internal energy. External wasn’t feeling very good; instead of attempting to manipulate it, I chose to learn and center into practices of presence and energy movement – naturally removing barriers as  I fully embraced the joy of life.

So, when I hear myself say something such as “I don’t celebrate my calendar birthday” and my reason is because presents had come with conditions and drama; I clearly see that thought no longer fits my reality.

And I clearly see the deeper reason is that I was so mad at/disappointed in/less than delighted with myself that I chose to be born into the experiences  I was born into that I would celebrate every other day but my birth day (I bet now you see it clearly, too).

This is not a judgment, simply an observation to understand so I may swoop in and apply love and gratitude to it all.

I have the choice to release that thought just *like this* – creating an affirmation such as “I am open to receiving abundance in ways that delight my entire being, enhance my connections, and enrich my life”, then choosing to live this new experience.


And, I know this ability has something to do with the energy of grace – the desire to keep heart-space open to connect and create with Love, regardless of external.

And I know living grace moved me into this new space, where magic is once again *real* and each day is overflowing with synchronicity and abundance and joy.

So, yes, today I am choosing to celebrate my birthday.

And, I am hosting a birthday special on personal *manifesting and moving* sessions – 50 % off through July 21, 2013 9p (PDT), because I enjoy sharing my gifts. 

What I would love to know is when you find yourself thinking “it has always been this way” do you have a practice to examine that thought, and perhaps shift it? Or do you simply allow it to stand and keep creating and connecting the same way? 

Tanya Levy shares some wonderful insights and tips in this article I Allow Grace – An Affirmation for our Today SelfTanya is a friend and Facets community member; I love her energy, photos, message and style and the wondrous synchronicity that she chose to explore grace in the same moments I am exploring grace delights me!  It is an honor to share her work here.

Much peace and abundant love,


PS.  You can make a birthday wish, too.  Each day truly is a *birth* day…so please remember to make your wishes and allow them to return your reality.  No wish is too small, no wish is too big…and each wish is absolutely possible, when you allow it to be. Would you like to share?

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Comments on: "The Gap of Grace and a Birthday Special" (10)

  1. Hi Joy! Sorry I missed your Birthday but I love that every day, for each of us, is a “birth” day. It’s strange how childhood Birthdays can have such an impact on how we see that day in adulthood.And it’s interesting how we experience the extreme strokes of the pendulum as we reject, accept, find balance.
    I hope it was a wonderful day for you!
    BTW, I’m not a fan of Surprise parties for the very reasons you illustrate. They are too-often preceded by disappointment. :o

    • Thank you, Lori!

      You didn’t miss my birthday, you were right on time!

      Every day truly is a *birth* day; when we allow it to be so, we center into possibility, simply be “being”. My actual birthday was spent setting intentions and centering into full presence; to me that *is* celebrating, although when I share it and I tend to do “birthday kind of things” such as gather friends and exchange gifts and eat delicious food, or vest in activities that delight me…year-round.

      I am learning to love the idea of *surprise*…and I open to it by affirming the surprises in my life will be delight-filled and in resonance with love…so they are.

      May I ask, how do you feel about surprise, in general, and do you use affirmations or have a practice that opens you to the element of surprise?

  2. Megan Bord said:

    Happy Birthday, Beautiful Girl! What an amazing story you shared – full of insight and learning for all of us. Where have we conditioned ourselves to remain stuck? What barriers have we placed – unconsciously or otherwise – against our truest joys flowing our way?

    This is a keeper and a “to be shared” post, like so much of your wisdom.

    Loving you and celebrating the day you chose to grace this world with your incredibly loving energy!!! xoxo

    • Thank you, Megan, for teaching me the joys of celebration and receiving physical gifts!

      My challenge is using the story to inspire me (and others) to create with affirmation and intention, instead of allowing past to bind us to non-resonance.

      I *did* choose to grace the world; my journey has been celebrating the placement of my self and all of the opportunities that followed, instead of being upset with self for the limitations and constrictions I have experienced due to that original placement.

      Thank *you* and all whom vest presence in this space…for choosing to *grace* World with your presence! I learn so much from others examples and experiences!

  3. Happy Birthday delight-filled joy. Thank for this article. You have me thinking about how my conditioning keeps me stuck. I am so thankful that you shared my post. May we align with flow and grace xoxo

    • Thank you, Tanya!

      What a powerful affirmation: *may we align with flow and grace*!. Yes, may it be so, with joy and ease, love and gratitude.

  4. jean sampson said:

    Happy Birthday, Joy! I hope every minute is filled with joy and light and love. Well, I know it is because that is who YOU are! I am SO GLAD you were born!
    Love, Jean

    • Thank you, Jean, for the lovely affirmation!

      I am *so glad you* were born, for you inspire me and your energy lights my heart smile!

  5. Happy birthday Joy! May your new year be filled with love and light and happiness:-)

    As for your question, I feel my whole spiritual path is about surfacing and inquiring into thoughts, emotions and patterns that have stood for a long time. But that is very Buddhist, and although I don’t call myself a Buddhist anymore, it is still my main proclivity. To be ‘groundless’ as Pema Chodron puts it, holding to nothing, so we are free and clear, is part of my practice. So I am always trying to find the things I am unconsciously holding, or beliefs that I be gripping, or perceptual walls I have put up. It’s sometimes scary to practice in this way, and sometimes exhilerating. What it does create over time is exactly what you are talking about – this wonderful sense of freedom and space and co-creation.

    • Thank you, Lisa, for the beautiful affirmation and intention!

      I love how you choose to walk your spiritual path; we practice in similar ways. I learn so much from all that you share–as you have here in this reflection, you share wisdom in practical ways.

      It is sometimes scary and for me, I recognize that no one really said it would be, so I love the open-ness in which you share. It can also be exhilarating which is an unfamiliar feeling to many, and can become a barrier if one choose to simply react, instead of create. I love learning to cultivate with joy, so when new spaces are opened, I can celebrate instead of run *grin*.

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