Learning to Laugh
One of the reasons I married my husband is that he makes me laugh.
My father was a college professor and a very thoughtful man; somewhere I coded that it was best to be serious.
I thought funny people had some special gift or talent or way of looking at the world. I never could remember a joke and was always hesitant to tell one in case I messed up the punch line. I confess to owning every one of Gary Larson's Far Side books, and really mourned when he retired. I missed those daily calendars that gave me a laugh every morning.
Learning to laugh, especially at myself, has been a life long journey. My internal default for many years was to figure things out; I was always looking at how I'd be better next time.
Doing things well and becoming better and better is a great way of approaching the world, but ....after you laugh. And laugh at yourself.
I have some dear friends who remind me to laugh. Or at least chuckle at myself and the world. They do their personal work, so their laughter isn't a way to hide or make light of what needs to be looked at. And their humor is loving to others and to themselves. These are my role models (along with The Far Side of course).
Looking at the world through a younger set of eyes helps too. Driving recently with my 21-year-old daughter, I noticed a squirrel that had hit and was "sleeping" in the road and made a comment. She promptly reminded me that it could have gotten "pushed" into oncoming traffic.
Laughing also helps you physically. It allows you to breath, which gets oxygen to the brain. That allows you to hear, feel and think better.
Laughter also helps you to step back from what ever is happening and become the observer of the situation. Becoming the observer is part of every spiritual tradition because we stop identifying with the smaller story and have a doorway to connecting to the oneness of spirit.
Like the Q'ero shaman, put a twinkle in your eyes when you look at the world and yourself. Root your source in joy. Take your old story lightly, so you can fly easily.
Practice by looking at the world for one full day, with the core question: what is there that is joy? What is there about me to laugh about? How do I bring joy and laughter to the world today?
Maybe I need to ask those friends if those are the "best" questions... hahaha (just a little self-deprecating humor).
Do you have a favorite joke? Please do share... still practicing the laughing.