This year I had a very unique birthday. I fasted through it. Although I have fasted many times before, this was the first year that I actually observed Ramadan. Fasting is something I do periodically for the clarity and consciousness it provides. I do it more out of spiritual attunement than religious obligation. I consider fasting to be spring cleaning for the soul, and soul cleansing in my eyes is very much a necessity. I tend to be somewhat of a scatterbrained individual with hectic daily routines and fasting forces me into introspection. If your intent is to revitalize yourself then introspection is inevitable. In many ways, observing Ramadan this year was something I did for my late father. He was a devout Muslim and took Ramadan seriously and this year my birthday fell within the holy month-long celebration and restoration of faith. My birthdays usually consist of a grand celebration, excess, and debauchery, so naturally I was a little conflicted. I made my decision, however, and was steadfast in my decision to fast during my birthday and not bother having any sort of celebration or make a big deal out of it.
I invited a few close friends over, mainly because I was urged not to spend it home alone doing absolutely nothing. The theme of the night was African food and good conversation. I didn’t go out of my way, I just made sure my house was clean and I had a good assortment of food for them. Before they arrived, I prayed and lit a candle that a friend of mine gifted me. She runs a successful e-commerce business and her company, ‘My Little Magic Shop’ provides spiritual affirmation sets that include candles. She has different sets to accommodate a wide variety of customers. She gave me a boxed set for my birthday that came with a booklet of meaningful questions for personal assessment, along with the candle and other supplies. It was really helpful because people often forget true introspection involves asking the right questions. The booklet really helped me reflect on my past year, my life, what I wanted to let go of, and what I wanted for myself in the future. Since then, I’ve made it a point to focus on questions and solutions when I’m engaging in spiritual solitude. I’ve always believed that anything I want in life starts first, and foremost, within myself. We are limitless. It’s as simple as that. Being willing to do the internal work, as well as the work it takes to achieve your goal makes all the difference.
It was, by far, the most introspective birthday I have ever had. Believe it or not, I discovered when I subtracted the element and pressure of feeling compelled to plan something everything fell easily into place. I now believe birthdays should be recognition of your birth and an examination of your purpose. Traditionally, we blindly fall into celebration mode and, more often than not, that excludes introspection. It’s not until milestones or tragic events take place that we are then forced to look deeply and search within ourselves. I decided to take my birthday into my own hands this year and actually ended up having one of the best birthdays ever.
I recommend everyone trying it.