Today is my birthday and I turned 53 years old.

The day of our birth is so sacred and so beautiful, but for many years I didn’t see it that way.

Of course when I was a kid, I loved celebrating birthdays and opening presents but even as young as my teenage years, it made me uncomfortable to celebrate. What if no one comes to my party? What if no one remembers?

As I got older, I didn’t want to celebrate because I didn’t want to admit my age or that my outward success didn’t match what I thought it should be by that age.

But as I dove into deeper spiritual practices, I began to realize how not celebrating birthdays was really the most ungrateful thing I could do. Was I so caught up in the story that as I get older I am no longer valuable, worthy or good enough? How could I be teaching about loving life but not celebrating the true gift each day is? What if instead I greet every day with a deep inner feeling of reverence that I am alive?

I meet people every day who don’t want to say their age, who don’t celebrate their birthdays and don’t want to even acknowledge they are in fact another year older. There is only one other option, you are either getting older or you are dead.

I honestly believe that hiding your age or not taking the time to acknowledge the gift of life causes aging. The constant inner mantra of “Oh, I am so old” or “Ugh, I am getting older” is in fact what is making you age. The way we age is a program, a belief system that we as a collective consciousness buy into. But here’s the good news: you don’t have to buy into that.

The greatest elixir for youthfulness is gratitude and reverence for life itself.

So now on my birthday, I am truly celebrating that I indeed have at least this day to be with my loved ones. I am savoring all the beautiful notes of love and appreciation I am receiving. I am enjoying all the emails and social media love fully and completely.

I invite you too to celebrate that you are in fact another day older today. Whether it is your actual birthday or not, learn to begin each day with the mantra:

“Thank God I am alive. Thank you for my life, thank you for my life, thank you for my life. It is with love and gratitude that I live my life.”

Happy Birthday!