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Shambhala Life Skills: Self-Celebration

Originally the word "health" meant "whole" or "undivided." However, today the word "health" has come to mean something quite different. Today, it is more likely to mean free from illness or able to pursue your daily activities.

Shambhala Black Belt Life-Skills bring us back to the original meaning of the word "health" by recognizing the interconnectedness of the mind, the body and the spirit. Shambhala Black Belt Life-Skills unify and strengthen the bond between the mind and the body, resulting in a powerful spirit that becomes your guiding Life-force.

Shambhala Black Belt Life-Skill Number Twelve Self-Celebration

The Shambhala Life-Skill of SELF-CELEBRATION grows out of and fosters all the other Shambhala Life-Skills. SELF-CELEBRATION is the ability to honor yourself. It is the cornerstone to spontaneity and personal authenticity. It gives you permission to live your life joyfully. It is achieved through the conscious use of:

  • Self-Study
  • Self-Communication
  • Self-Responsibility
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Balancing
  • Self-Validation
  • Self-Authorization
  • Self-Trust
  • Self-Loyalty
  • Self-Direction
  • Self-Release

Shambhala Black Belts know that the value of their lives is vested in its quality rather than its quantity. They know that the difference between animals and us is that animals are focused on survival rather than the quality and meaning of Life. Shambhala Black Belts use all these Life-Skills to stay close to their Integrity, to create a quiet inner joy and to constantly infuse their own Life-Energy.


Shambhala Black Belts however, do not confuse Self-Celebrative living with the hyperactivity of keeping busy or with high energy people who wear themselves out with their constant chatter and spurious activity. Energy is a popular, but overused word. It is difficult to know what is meant by it. It is used to explain processes we do not fully understand. We use it to describe the following types of energy:

  • Heat
  • Kinetic
  • Light
  • Vibrational
  • Atomic
  • Electromagnetic
  • Biological
  • Mental
  • Food
  • Nuclear
  • Radioactive
  • Chemical
  • Potential
  • Mechanical

As Shambhala Black Belts know, Life-Energy is directly related to your personal priorities. Your personal priorities are all the things you would choose to do if you did not have so many responsibilities needing your constant attention. Personal priorities are those things you would do "if you only had the …

  • courage
  • money
  • talent
  • backing
  • know-how
  • energy
  • time

Personal priorities are those activities, experiences and endeavors that, in and of themselves, are pure joy for you. Because they are intrinsically joyful they do not drain you of your Life-Energy, they infuse you. They exhilarate, enliven and catalyze you. Shambhala Black Belts use their Life-Skills to give themselves permission to pursue their unique personal priorities in spite of their cultural and social responsibilities, in spite of their rationalizations of "if I only had the time, courage, money …"

Shambhala Black Belts know that their Life-Energy and their personal priorities feed one another. And because Shambhala Black Belts loyally pursue their personal priorities they continually infuse themselves with Life-Energy while others are constantly depleting themselves by over-attending to that which they think they “should” or “ought” to do.

Life-Energy and personal priorities combine to direct Shambhala Black Belts toward Self-maximization. As a result, Shambhala Black Belts are vital and enlivened no matter how old they are. On the other hand, constantly attending to social priorities, including the cultural “shoulds” and “oughts,” at the expense of one's personal priorities, drains an individual of their vital Life-Energy.

To repeatedly place social priorities before personal priorities is to continually require yourself to focus on the extrinsic rather than the intrinsic. It is not the occasional attending to social responsibilities which irrevocably drains you. Rather it is the continual focus on what you think you “should” or “ought” to do which results in a steady drain of your Life-Energy.

You have to continually muster up energy for extrinsic behavior and continually exhaust that precious resource during this type of activity. That spent energy is the price you pay to make yourself do what you have been told you “should” or “ought” to do. There is nothing inherently wrong with spending some of your Life-Energy to accomplish what you think you need to do like pay your taxes or go to the dentist. The loss of Life-Energy only becomes dangerous if you continually place the extrinsic before your intrinsic priorities. To do so condemns you to premature aging, emotional apathy, illness and a lifeless spirit.

Energy Conservation

Intrinsic behavior is Self-Motivated. It is Self-Energized, and it is Self-Energizing. When your behavior is intrinsically directed your Life-Energy is not spent; it is invested; it is channeled back into your own self-systems. This is energy conservation and regeneration at its finest! By attending to your intrinsic priorities you promote your Integrity and enliven yourself at the same time.

Self-celebrative living is often quiet and self-reflective. It is seldom loud with bold displays. But Self-celebration enables Shambhala Black Belts to use every minute of their time and Energy in ways that will creatively reunite them with their Integrity and enrich their quality of Life.

Maintaining Balance

This is not to say, however, that you can solely attend to your personal priorities. For, once again, SELF-CELEBRATION encompasses all the other Shambhala Life-Skills, especially the Life-Skill of SELF-BALANCING. It is vitally important for you to hold the paradoxical tension between your social priorities and your personal priorities. This Shambhala Life-Skill enables you to keep a constant focus on the balance of your intrinsic and extrinsic priorities, and to monitor any resulting drain of your Life-Energy.

At times it will take courage to make sure that your personal priorities do not suffer in light of your social priorities. Shambhala Black Belts are always aware of how much Life-Energy they may be tempted to forfeit in the name of financial survival, family and/or social responsibility. They realize the magnificent capacity all humans have developed to rationalize everything from popularity to material possessions as being intricately paramount to their own and their loved ones' well-being. Shambhala Black Belts know they must rigorously monitor their tendencies to lie to themselves and over focus on what they have been taught to believe is more important than their own Integrity.

Shambhala Black Belts know how to honor themselves, and, at the same time, remain cognizant of their familial/cultural/social/financial responsibilities. They also know that their own conservation of Life-Energy will benefit their loved ones and their external environment as much as it benefits themselves.

This ability to celebrate the value of themselves, and at the same time hold in perspective the importance of others and the world around them, is how Shambhala Black Belts know that maintaining their own Life-Energy also contributes to the people in their lives and to the world about them.

Shambhala Life-Skills Summary

Shambhala Life-Skills enable you to create a quality of Life that few people can even imagine possible. They allow you to create a Life which enhances not only yourself, but also the people in your life and the environment. Shambhala Life-Skills allow you to take joy in living and give back to Life and to others as much or more than you receive.

Music and Lyrics Copyright © 2011 Forerunner Publications