What's Here to Celebrate?

by Lauri Gwilt
August 17, 2017
What's Here to Celebrate?
What's Here to Celebrate?

“Come on Dewitt, what’s here to celebrate?”

It’s a simple question Dewitt asks in his film, Celebrate What’s Right with the World. When I began asking the question for myself, I discovered that it may indeed be simple, but it’s impact is game changing.

It’s an encouraging question that nudges me to go beyond just looking at what’s around me. It coaches me to see with new eyes, opening the moment for me to see with my heart and mind as well. My favourite example of this happened in San Francisco.

Ready with a good pair of walking shoes and a firm grip on my camera, we had just one day to enjoy the beautiful city. My photographic skills were amateur at best, but I was hungry to capture some of the culture and charm the Bay area was famous for.  We hit the streets and I spent the first hour or two filling my SD card with hundreds of images. Average, lackluster images. Not a keeper in the bunch.

Our time in SF was ticking away, and remembering Dewitt’s question, I mentally grabbed myself by the scruff of the neck and asked, “Come on Lauri, what’s here to celebrate? In that moment, I had a mental shift. It was as if a pair of underwater goggles were removed from my face – my pace slowed, I felt open and present. I began to notice architectural lines, colors, shadows, and faces. One face in particular, to this day, is one of my favourite photographs I’ve been given to date.

He was standing on a street corner playing the drums, and had a distant, uninspired look on his face. Something about him though was drawing me in. I watched him for a moment or two, and then we locked eyes. I gestured with my camera as a way of asking for permission to take some photos of him.  He graciously nodded.

With each shutter click, the light in his eyes shone brighter. His posture changed, his shoulders straightened, his face softened, and his drumming became more vibrant. Through my lens I watched his energy light up that street corner, prompting more and more people to pause and watch him perform.

I'm not sure who was having a better time though, him or me. Within a few moments I lowered my camera to my waist and the two of us started laughing together. I mean LAUGHING… that 'bending-forward, mouth-wide-open, eyes-all-squinty’ kind of laughter.  We weren’t laughing about anything in particular, we were both just fully immersed in the joy of our shared experience.

We didn’t know each other’s stories, and our obvious physical differences; different genders, different hair, different colouring, different dental history, maybe even different nationalities, had NOTHING to do with the joy we were each feeling about our connection. The source of our laughter came from what we shared in common – being human, exploring our respective creativity on the same corner in San Francisco at the same time, while encountering a pure, joyful connection with a total stranger, and not a word spoken.

It’s not just a question. For me it has become a practice that allows me to slip on a celebratory lens, giving me sights, experiences, and connections I may very well have missed otherwise.

There’s a whole-lot-a-right in the world to be celebrated if we’re seeing with our mind, heart and eyes.

Mine are peeled, who’s with me?

 

Back to the blog

His sweet spirit radiates and his story reminds us that even in difficulties there is always something to smile about. I will not forget his story or his smile. This world needs more people like him.Thank you for sharing him with me, Dewitt.

Yikes, I'm just seeing your comment now Ginny! Thank you so much for taking a moment to offer such lovely words. He did indeed have a sweet spirit, and he was radiating all over that sidewalk that day. As a community of Celebrators, you and I, along with thousands of others have got our radars programmed to find this kind of spirit out there...interestingly, the more we look for it, the more we find!

A great story and reminder to listen, open your eyes, and heart. A great opportunity not missed because you made the effort to find out "what's here to celebrate?". Thank you.

YES, Louie! It does take effort. It's a conscious choice to find what's right. The more you use a muscle the stronger it gets. The more you use your senses to find what there is to celebrate, the stronger your ability to find it. Thanks for taking the time to offer your comment - it's helped to expand the conversation!

You certainly did capture the beautiful soul of this wonderful man who in essence has dedicated his life to stand on that corner and bring joy to those who pass his way - not only through his music, but even more so through his love and appreciation of life. We so often get caught up in life with "what we don't have" and don't stop and give thanks for "what we do have"! This lovely man has charm, charisma, talent and an amazing attitude. Oh yes, and a very cool hat!! Yes, Lauri, I am ready to start seeing more with my heart, mind and eyes! Find a way to make those you meet smile - that is the first step! Thanks again for an awesome blog!!

Yes! I love his hat too! Do you find that when you see with your heart and mind as well as your eyes, that gratitude for what we have seems to naturally follow? I know this is true for me. And it's when I'm in this state of mind that I see more of what's right around me. One leads to the other, and back again...see with my heart, experience gratitude, see more of what's right in the world.

What a wonderful post. It makes me wonder just how many of us have shifted our "focus" because of the great Celebrate site. I know I see more with my heart than I used to. I can find something to celebrate no matter where I am; a smile, a child with a toy, a couple holding hands, a beautiful sky, ripples on the water, a bird in a tree, the opportunities for celebration are endless.

What a WONDERFUL comment! Thank you for offering it, and I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly! Dewitt had given us all a gift in reminding us to see with our hearts - to find and celebrate what's right, big and small. It not only makes a difference to a day, it makes a difference to a life.

Lauri,

What a beautiful blog! This little space of reading and reflection is something I celebrate right here right now!!

Thank you so much for taking a moment to offer such lovely words Laura! "Right here, right now"... ❤️

Several years ago I read a beautiful book by Jim Warda. The title is forever etched in my memory, and on my heart: "Where are we going so fast? Finding the Sacred in every day moments."

Sacred moments are every where. All we need to do is to slow down, listen, and watch for them.

Thank you for sharing your Sacred Moment, Lauri.

Oh my goodness James...YES! Where ARE we going so fast? Thank you for offering the idea of celebrating everyday scared moments! That's a keeper!!

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