wholehearted living

21 Ways to Celebrate Who You Are Right Now

I shuffle in my seat, chatting a little with a friend next to me, and then glance up and realize Rachel is teaching today. A small smile begins to spread on my face. It’s Rachel’s turn to teach the women’s class at my church again, and I instantly feel glad to be there.

She stands at the front of the room in her cute box-pleated dress and shoulder-length, strawberry-blonde hair. You’d never know she is only 19 years old. Wise beyond her years—which is what makes me so fondly intrigued by her.

Rachel always has a good story to share, and today is no exception. With an innate love for animals, her story is not surprising, yet completely striking all at the same time.

She tells us of her chicken Una. Una was born missing one leg. I don’t know much about chickens, but I would assume that many people who raise chickens might not appreciate one lacking a limb. But not Rachel. She found beauty in this little chick from day one, and she loved and nurtured it to full health.

She said this of Una:

“Una is doing very well. Most chickens don’t use their wings, but Una has learned that her wings are there, and she’s learning to use them to get around. She uses her wings more than any chicken I have ever seen.”

This story hit me hard. I couldn’t help but think that maybe we’re all a little like Una.

We feel like we’re lacking in one way or another—that there’s something defective about us.

But what if we have strengths that we simply can’t see, but they are there and they carry us through? Maybe if we stop looking at our imperfections, our wings will show themselves. Maybe we’re a little more whole than we think.

Let’s begin with who we are right now—and forget the rest.

“Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and be who you are.” Brené Brown

21 Ways to Celebrate Who You Are Right Now

1. Spend time with those who uplift and inspire you.

2. Make a list of things you like about yourself. (I know this can be hard, but that’s the point. Learn to appreciate your good qualities.)

3. Ask your spouse or close friend to list things they appreciate about you. (Getting a trusted outside perspective of ourselves can be incredibly refreshing.)

4. Read that book or start that television series you’ve been thinking about.

5. Create something beautiful. (For example, try a new project or tidy up a room you enjoy.)

6. Write a journal.

7. Do something—outside of your norm—that makes you feel happy. (Do you usually catch up on housework when your child is at preschool? Try meeting up with a friend instead. Do you rarely treat yourself to a manicure even though you love them? Get one on the books!)

8. Get in more photos with your children. (Then admire them.)

9. Look through old photos/memories. (It can bring the perspective that amidst the stress of life, things really are good.)

10. Practice words of affirmation. (Right in the mirror if you need to, or mentally each morning.)

11. Take a nap. (Renew yourself.)

12. Practice better self-care.

13. Take a walk by yourself. (Time in nature alone is a great way to escape those nonessential thoughts.)

14. Question your inner critic. (Push those negative voices aside! They speak a lot of untruth.)

15. Listen to an uplifting podcast. {8 podcasts for purposeful women}

16. Help someone else. (Some of my best feelings for myself come when I step outside of me. Ironic, huh?)

17. Hug someone. (In her book, The Happiness Project, Gretchin Rubin states that a hug lasting at least six seconds releases the happiness hormone oxytocin. Hug someone and feel good about yourself.)

18. Day dream about traveling somewhere you long to go. (Instant mood booster for me!)

19. Listen to your heart. (What are the good voices telling you?)

20. Keep at your dreams. (Don’t quit.)

21. Smile more. 🙂

P.S. After drafting this post, I got a text from Rachel: “BTW Una turned out to be UnO—a rooster!”

Long live Una/Uno, or whoever you are. You have changed me.


  • Reply
    21 Ways to Celebrate Who You Are Right Now - Amy M. Brinton
    April 19, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    […] the rest of the story, and 21 Ways to Celebrate Who You Are Right Now over at The Life On Purpose Movement where I’m honored to be featured as a regular […]

    • Reply
      April 24, 2017 at 12:02 am

      I am here for that! After loosing my only sibling 15 months ago, one of the things that became very clear is that I needed to take time & celebrate my self & the people who love me daily. This is a great reminder, enkosi(thanks you)

      • Reply
        May 25, 2017 at 9:20 pm

        Nyami-I’m a little late in responding to your comment, but I’m so sorry to hear about your simbling. Those are hard earned words of wisdom you’ve shared there. <3

        • Reply
          May 25, 2017 at 9:27 pm

          Oh, and forgive my typo Nyami! *sibling <3

  • Reply
    Whitney McGruder
    April 20, 2017 at 8:17 am

    This piece made my morning. Thank you so much for sharing! <3

    • Reply
      Amy Brinton
      April 20, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Oh, I’m so glad Whitney! And you are very welcome! Hope the rest of your day is just as great. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 20, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for sharing these simple celebrations! This reminds me of those times when you look through photos and think, “I looked great back then!” when you clearly remember beating yourself up over your hair or something that wasn’t “perfect.” It’s good to remember that today will look great in the near future, so celebrate and love yourself now.

    • Reply
      Amy Brinton
      April 20, 2017 at 9:42 am

      You are welcome Christine! I know exactly what you mean by looking back at those old photos. <3 Thank you for reading!

  • Reply
    Laura Sue Shaw
    April 20, 2017 at 9:28 am

    This was so fitting to read to today as I just watched a video about recognizing your strengths. I agree that we tend to focus on where we want to be and forget about who we already are.

    I’m going to take your advice with #2 – I’ve never done that before and I think it will be refreshing and motivating

    Thank you for sharing! <3

    • Reply
      Amy Brinton
      April 20, 2017 at 9:45 am

      That sounds like an interesting video Laura Sue! And yes, so hard to see clearly just who we are right now. A good reminder for myself as well! Good luck with your list! Thanks for being here. <3

  • Reply
    April 20, 2017 at 11:41 am

    How about re arranging the furniture? Even calling in a designer to look at your place thru new eyes and show you all the great things about your own space sometimes overlooked? We do this all the time with clients, both on site and digitally. It’s so nice to use what you have in ways you have not considered.-Laurel Bledsoe

    • Reply
      Amy Brinton
      April 20, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      So smart Laurel! I love the idea of taking what you already have and helping it feel new! Celebrate what you have!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I appreciate this, Amy. The most powerful point of these for me is to question/talk back to my inner critic. Out loud if necessary:) I speak truth over myself like I might a sister or close friend. You know the truth is, after a life of seeing almost nothing but all my failure and struggle, these past few years I have finally come to a place of loving and liking myself. This does not mean that my mean inner critic doesn’t still show up for coffee but i am far quicker to put her in her place, lovingly but firmly. xo

    • Reply
      Amy M. Brinton
      April 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Beautifully put Krista! I love how you say you’ve been able to overcome it, but it still shows up. Probably always will, so that’s so wise! Thanks for being here friend.

  • Reply
    Kayla Brown
    April 20, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Amy, I absolutely love these suggestions for self-celebration! I have recently started practicing words of affirmation in the mornings and I have been blown away by the power of this simple action! Do you have a specific book or website you utilize for your daily affirmations? I also think the first item on your list, to spend time with those who uplift and inspire you, is so important! I have found that as I begin to spend time around individuals who possess a similar energy and mindset, that I feel more inspired and optimistic. However, I do struggle with questioning my inner critic. What are some suggestions you have for setting internal negative voices aside?

    • Reply
      Amy M. Brinton
      April 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Kayla,

      Thank you for your kind words!

      I feel that my writing has to do more with things I’m working on, rather than things I’ve mastered. (Do we ever master anything!) That being said, the most powerful thing I have watched was as a TED talk by Amy Cuddy, search her name and “power poses” on You Tube, if you haven’t seen it. It’s a good reminder of how our body language plays into all of those affirmations. And is something I’ve tried to teach my girls as well!

      As far as questioning my inner critic, again not an expert, but I really believe we have to push those feelings aside, and do whatever it is we want to do or be. I guessing doing, IS questioning that voice for me. That despite our doubt, we muster up the strength to do what we need to anyway.

      I hope that helps some. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    I love your style of writing! Keep up the good work, you’re doing awesome 😍

  • Reply
    Amy M. Brinton
    April 21, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you Kambi! I appreciate your encouragement! <3

  • Reply
    Myron Alvarez
    April 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

    A wonderful and inspiring read, well done. I mostly enjoy long walks by myself, sometimes you just need to find your inner self again. Thank you Amy!

    • Reply
      May 25, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      You are welcome Myron. <3 And you are so right!

  • Reply
    April 29th: Family. Adventure. Discipline. Home. - Mindful Daydreamer
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    […] Celebrate who you are right now. […]

  • Reply
    Allison Nayef
    July 15, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Simply beautiful, thank you. Especially, #20

  • Reply
    7 Ways to Keep Building the Life You Already Have - Amy M. Brinton
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    […] In a world that’s always in the pursuit of more, maybe we can simply BUILD.  Let go of the pressure of being more and add to the richness of who we already are. […]

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