Origin of my Birthday Ceremony…..

People often ask when and how I began what some find, an unusual way to celebrate my birthdays.  It began back in 1979 while I was in California on business.  I managed to enter a rather exclusive beach community when a lady’s dog ran past me.  I stooped to pet it and she may have had another small dog also.  She commented, “She likes you, that’s rare…for men I mean.”

I looked up at a very lovely lady, delayed reaction as I realized it was Shirley MacLaine. Now in recent years some close to me have experienced her as quite challenging, but on that day, for the hour or so we chatted, she was quite soft, gentle, kind, loving.  And what she shared, forever changed how I celebrate and now honor my own birthdays.

Ms. MacLaine shared that, it was her belief that our birth hour was the strongest point in our lives each year.  The peak of one’s bio-rhythm  She had begun being incredibly conscious of the few hours prior and following her birth hour. In advance she would put forth a list of her intentions for the coming year.  Used as an example, that she longed to win the upcoming Academy Award…and did so.  She shared other goals achieved.  She also explained that she learned that where her initial lists were lengthy, now they were brief.  Just a few items as she found that in many cases if she achieved one particular goal, it would cover several others.  Such as listing Winning the Academy Award and Wanting Better Movie Roles.  If she got the first, the better scripts were a give in.  So…I began that birthday.

What happened that first birthday, all that came forth to attempt to block me from merely spending my birth hour as I chose, my desire for sleeping atop the butte known as Hole in the Rock with my dog, Ooso so that I was there at 6:50 AM.  I look back and the mere act of making it happen – having had a drunk dislocate my knee two hours before I was to set out on my hike and climb.  The sweat that poured off my body as I climbed the granite in a full leg splint.  Refusing pain pills so I’d be clear headed once atop the butte.

So after three years atop Hole in the Rock, I felt I needed/wanted a bigger mountain.  And of course, I often do not do things easily.  So the next three years a helicopter dropped me off atop the highest point of the McDowell Mountains, and then picked me – and Ooso – back up 24 hours later.

Then I moved on to various points and mountains in Sedona, land of wind chimes, fruit loops, and vortexes.  Magic times as I expanded to 48 hours..  Then six years ago, I expanded my 24 hour sojourn to one full week.  And for those of you that follow my writings on occasion, you already know how I un-plug for my birthweek making it my own Personal New Year.