Dear Fear (AKA Doubt/Insecurity/Shame),
You have gone by many names over the years, and no matter what you chose to be called, I took you in. You were clever, promising me "security" and "safety" if I only listened to you. Well, I did listen, but I have finally realized the difference between "playing it safe" and and "preservation of self." While it's true that sometimes your whispers helped me out in dangerous situations, for the most part, you abused your powers and I realize now the extent of your lies. You have exerted your will over me for far too long and, clearly, this is not a reciprocal relationship...I gave you everything, with nothing in return. I'm at a point in my life where I am tired of trying to please you. It is is exhausting trying to figure out which part of you I am dealing with and also, I’m tired of stroking your ego, making you feel so important at my own expense. If there is one thing in this world that I have come to HATE, it is how I shrink in your presence. If you really loved me, wanted me to feel safe and secure, you would support my growth, my expansion, my light. And you have never acknowledged me, THE REAL ME, and because you have never believed in me all this time, despite the fact I have given you my undivided attention and support over the years--when it was me who all this time LISTENED to you!--Well, you need to know that I have packed your bags and you are not welcome here anymore. I am breaking up with you. FOREVER!
I was destined for laughter yoga! In fact, my nickname was Giggles when I was a little girl, because I would and could laugh at just about anything! As I got older and faced the responsibilities of adulthood, it seemed I found fewer and fewer reasons to laugh. I had more important things to worry about--mortgage, money, bills, lawn care...you know, life! I found myself repeating mistakes and life's lessons constantly presenting themselves to me. I denied my own inner truth, tried to run from my problems, found myself in toxic relationships, hating my job, dissatisfied with much in life...then I suffered a TIA, i.e. a mini stroke. It was not devastating or life threatening, but it was enough to stop me in my tracks and wake me up to the fact that in my pursuit of "living the dream," I was neglecting the most important thing of all--my health! (For without health, we have nothing!)
As we get older, we tend to lose our child-like wonder and playfulness. As children, we didn’t need permission to laugh. But what happens to us? What hardens our attitudes? Why do we find it so hard to find wonder and joy in the simple pleasures of life? As we get older, we take on responsibility like marriage, jobs, caring for a family, bill paying, mowing the yard, taking out the trash…all these things can add stress to our lives!
Isn’t it funny, though (no pun intended) that most of us maintain a sense of sarcasm in our everyday communication? To many (myself included!) sarcasm can be funny. But did you know sarcasm is rooted in anger?
I believe sarcasm is a mask we wear in order to protect the ego. When the ego is engaged, we care too much about how others perceive us. Sarcasm allows us to express pent up rage in a “safe” manner—we are not directly “attacking” anyone, we get to express ourselves and we elicit a laugh from others (albeit, most usually a nervous, timid laugh...) And this is okay, to an extent. But when it becomes so common that sarcasm is part of your personality, the use of sarcasm can be detrimental to your emotional wellbeing.
What we need to do is shed the mask, let go of ego and laugh for no reason! Not everyone is comfortable with laughing for no reason. Many of us need to watch a comedian or a funny movie or listen to a joke in order to make us laugh. To combat this hurdle, here’s a trick you can do…give yourself permission to laugh. And then, just do it! And remember, laughing for no reason is a skill that gets better with practice.
Fortunately for me, and through a strange cosmic synchronicity, I found laughter yoga shortly after my TIA experience. It was the answer to my hardened attitude and today, I laugh-- ALOT! With practice, laughing for no reason becomes natural (and the benefits to your health are amazing! But that is another topic for another blog post!)
If you would like to incorporate more laughter into your life, join me in January as I will be providing one-on-one laughter yoga coaching.
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