Someone paid me a very nice compliment last week about the weekly inspiration delivered in the Monday Morning Stretch, and, while much appreciated, he said something embedded within the compliment which I found very interesting. He commented that I must see powerful meaning in everything I do and observe, and he intimated that I must live a very deep, serious, and introspective life. In this respect, he couldn’t be further from the truth.
I do receive great inspiration from mundane occurrences and regular daily experiences, for sure, but I don’t find them very often by being tremendously serious. In fact, quite the opposite. I find the ideas and concepts which turn out to be the most helpful and enlightening in my life come to me most often when I’ve “lightened things up” and showed up in my space playful and joyful.
To me, being “in the flow” requires that I feel good. That’s how I know I’m there. In the flow, I laugh a lot—at myself, at life, at my pets, at others. I feel very close to being divinely connected almost immediately following a solid, gut-splitting, gasping-for-air, tear-streaming belly laugh. I smile a lot, too, especially when I frequently recognize myself getting popped out of the flow and then finding the quickest way to get back in. It has become a really fun personal game for me.
A few years back, I started taking Barre exercise classes. I was struggling through my third class when I glanced at myself in the mirror on the classroom wall, and after an initial recoil from seeing my belly rolling over the edge of my yoga pants, I lightly laughed at the sweaty, reddened face of my exertion and those of the others in the class while we held the most contorted position, in a deep squat, high up on our tip-toes with our thighs on fire as if we ought to be relieving ourselves in the bathroom. And then someone passed gas. And I lost it! As the laughter rolled from one to all of us, our “Zen-like” instructor said, “Get used to it girls. It will happen to all of us at one point or another in Barre class!” The memory of that communal laugh made the pain of rolling out of my bed onto those same thighs the next morning almost joyful.
Have you ever had an argument with your partner or loved one and as you began to work your way through it and get to the initial make-up phase, one of you tentatively cracked a little joke, and the ice was magically broken and your full feeling of love returns with a mutual laugh? That’s how it is with inspiration and deep knowing. It comes most often on the heels of laughter, joy, delight, satisfaction, satiety, contentment, and gratitude.
So this week, lighten things up a bit. Don’t take yourself or others quite so seriously. You know, “those” others who cut you off on the freeway, who snarl at you grumpily at work for no reason, or who can’t muster a smile as they hand you your dry cleaning under the sign for their shop that says, “Happy Hangers” (true story!). Go ahead and chuckle out loud as you feel delight in the taste of your favorite Starbucks coffee order and step out into the sweet Fall weather and the bright beginning of your day.
In order to be in the best and most likely alignment with those perfect hunches, deepest understanding, powerful connections, and greatest insights about your life, your choices, and where your biggest joy resides, smile, laugh, skip, throw your arms out wide, giggle, tell a joke, crack yourself up. Ignore the people who think you’re nuts, and enjoy the natural inspiration which will softly find you in that flow.
Seriously, it’s not all that serious.
“I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.”
~ Ellen Degeneres