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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • December 2017
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The importance of celebrating

Every December the students at my studio put on a huge show for family and friends. And every year leading up to the show I swear I’m not going to do it next year. It is a silly amount of work for me to put it on and a massive expense since it has grown into this monster of an event with a production company and all kinds of awesomeness. Leading up to the show I’m stressed out planning, organizing and worrying, and I swear this is the last year. But then show day happens. And I see my student’s faces. And I reserve the date for the next one.

Why? Because life doesn’t give adult women enough time to celebrate our accomplishments. Most of the adult women I know don’t take enough time for themselves to do simple everyday things like eating healthy, working out, sleeping, relaxing, etc., and they surely don’t give themselves the chance to be proud of their journey. It’s almost like we are taught not to celebrate for fear of being arrogant. Instead we say, “I’ll celebrate when (insert totally massive over the moon end goal here).” But life is hard. And if we don’t take a second to say, “Hey, I worked really hard on this, lookie!” We miss out on a really important opportunity to decrease stress and increase our self-worth.

Every journey has a bunch of little successes that you need to celebrate. Our culture encourages keeping your nose down until you are completely done with something. For example, “I’ll celebrate when I’m down 30 pounds” and then not making it to 30 and feeling like a failure. When in reality had you celebrated at 5 pounds, then 10 pounds and then 15 pounds you likely would have stuck with your weight loss goal because you took that moment to be proud of yourself and recognize your work on the journey. These moments of rest and reflection are critical to recharging your resilience so you can continue on the journey.

The size of the celebration should reflect the size of the goal/success. If your end goal is to be 30 pounds down, you may wait to take your around the world trip until that is reached rather than after your first 5 pounds. But you most definitely should celebrate. Maybe a day trip or a weekend trip if that is in line with your desires. For my students, that is the show every year. They work hard for months getting new bruises while learning new tricks. The show isn’t the Olympics or America’s Got Talent, but it is amazing to see them on stage and watch them grow from year to year on their journey. That is why the show is so important. I love that we have students who have been with us for as little as 6 weeks and also 6 years performing! It’s so exciting to bring the community together every year and to cherish all that we have accomplished. Life is a journey, not an end goal so taking the time to celebrate along the journey is critical.

Watching my students perform also reminds me of the importance of sharing our journey. The fact that their family and friends are in the audience cheering them on makes the show special. If we did the show at the studio and only had other students attend it wouldn’t be as meaningful. Humans are a social species and we need that interaction. As our culture turns more and more to social media for validation we become more starved for connections. What’s great about a celebration is if someone cares about you and they see your journey milestone being celebrated they will likely get excited about pursuing their own goals. Success is contagious. So not only are you helping yourself by celebrating, you are actually helping those you love by allowing them to be part of it.

A celebration doesn’t have to be a huge event that took months of preparation. A celebration can be taking 30 minutes to read a book just for fun, going to bed early, eating cake, going to your favorite restaurant, calling a friend and just talking, or anything else that makes you feel grounded and supported. Every day you have successes. How will you choose to celebrate them? 

Paula Brusky, PhD

Dr. Paula Brusky is the owner of Aerial Dance Pole Exercise, LLC in Appleton. With a PhD in injury prevention, a group fitness certification from the American Center on Exercise and numerous fitness, aerial and pole instruction certifications she is a leading aerial arts educator. For more information or to sign-up for your first Pole, Hammock, Hoop or Silks class, call 920-750-1441 or visit

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