Birthday celebration has been an important and joyful event in modern human living. For parents, the birthday of a child brings much happiness to know their child has experienced another year of emotional, mental and physical growth. However, in holding parties and giving presents to the birthday person, many usually don’t give much serious thought on “What are we celebrating?”, nor for the birthday person to think “What entitles me to expect and receive presents in simply getting one year older?”
In old time China, children celebrate birthdays for their parents and elders to express their gratitude for the love and support they have received from them. Rarely did parents celebrate birthdays for their babies and children as in the West. However, nowadays, all are westernized.
There is nothing wrong to find opportunity or an excuse to have a joyful gathering, to enjoy a good time together. On the other hand, the deeper meaning of birthday celebration may have been lost. In China, it used to be thought that ideally birthdays should be a day for reflection. This is a day for people to reflect and appreciate the love and support they have received in the past year from family, friends, society, Heaven and Earth. This is a day for people to reflect on their inner growth and outer progress in the year just past and to see if it matched or exceeded what they have received from outside in return. This is a day to meditate on making adjustment and setting a new goal for the coming year.
For the birthday person to show their appreciation for the love and support they have received, this is an occasion to give instead of to receive. In many cultures, such as the traditional American Indian culture, instead of the birthday person receiving gifts, they would give gifts to those who come for the celebration.
I always tend to shy away from celebrating birthdays in the “normal” way. This year, in taking advantage of the rare occasion that I am able to stay home for more than a month without traveling abroad, I decided to celebrate my birthday with a “21-day Lemon Juice Fast” to cleanse my body. Feng Shui is about designing a good living environment. Our Body is the living environment for our spirit and soul. Regular detoxification practice is a good way to ensure good feng shui for our spirit and soul.
I have now entered the 6th day of fasting and feel much better already. I will give a final report at the end of this fast.