firework-21Most Americans look forward to the July 4th celebration of our country’s independence. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good excuse to overindulge in our favorite foods and play with fire? But there’s more to July than a good barbecue and fireworks! That’s why I’ve put together a list of five additional firework-worthy celebrations.

1. Celebrate You! Seriously think about what you’ve accomplished in the last six months. This is the half-way point of another year of your life and it’s the perfect time to reflect. Ask yourself questions like, What am I most pleased with about myself in the last six months? What have I accomplished recently that I would never have done a year ago? Remember, this isn’t about what you haven’t done, it’s about recognizing progress. One quick and easy trick I use to help me remember what I’ve done is to record major activities and accomplishments at the end of every month using my calendar to jog my memory. Go ahead, celebrate you!

2. Celebrate Family! When you think of your immediate and extended family, consider how they positively impact your life and the lives of others. Even if a particular relationship is strained, look for something positive about that family member and believe there is even more good that you don’t even know about. How well do you know your distant relatives? July is the perfect month for a family reunion but don’t let striving for an organized event keep you from visiting family you haven’t seen in a while. And, don’t wait for the funeral gathering either. Give your immediate family extra attention this month by creating activities you can all do together. Make a list of distant cousins you haven’t seen since childhood and find a way to reconnect. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoy their company!

3. Celebrate Friends! In the chaos of our lives, how often do you call your friends and make that conversation about them? Do you know their secret aspiration so you can encourage them to achieve it? Friends come and go, but what would it take to keep and remember them all? An intentional investment of our time and charity — the very best of who you are. What deserving friends can you reach out to and celebrate in July?

4. Celebrate Nature! One of the best vacations our family ever experienced was a two week trip out west to visit Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone, Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon. Spending time in such splendor is a great way to celebrate nature and with twenty-seven of our fifty states boasting national parks, your trip could be an easy day trip. Looking for an easier alternative? Visit a nearby botanical garden, lake or walking trail. All it really takes is getting out in the fresh air and admiring the nature around you. If you are unable to get outside, meditation can have similar joyful effects. Try this nine-minute nature meditation from my book, Stories from Spiritand experience nature through auditory and visual cues.

5. Celebrate Books! Speaking of books, what better time to read than summer when the days are longer and the beach awaits? Reading is a wonderful way to celebrate July and it doesn’t have to cost you anything but your time. If you don’t like library restrictions, look for books on the cheap at local thrift shops and yard sales. Not sure what books to read? Goodreads is an excellent place for readers to connect and recommend books depending on genre of choice. If you are on Goodreads already, let’s connect! And, if you are looking for a good book to read, don’t forget to check out my home page — you might like reading one of my books!

July is the perfect month to celebrate! It may start with July 4th but I think we can carry the festivities out all month long! What other firework-worthy celebrations can you add?

Image found here.

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