“Hey, just lighten up!” Has anyone ever said that to you? Maybe you were taking yourself or something around you way too seriously? Perhaps you needed to take a break and see the humor or silliness in your response? Or perhaps you needed to step back and get a proper perspective. It happens to all of us. Sometimes we think life is just so serious.
I think the best spiritual teachers have a great sense of humor. They can laugh at themselves and the world around them. Someone made this observation about the Dalai Lama: He said that one of the things he most liked about the Dalai Lama was the way he could “crack himself up,” laughing in an infectious way that made everyone laugh around him. I once viewed a video of a famous guru. The entire video showed him laughing at one situation and another. As we watched, we could not help but be uplifted by the laughter.
The world could use some lightening up! Don’t you think there is an emphasis on doom and gloom? And on petty disputes? The spiritual world could use some lightening too. Many of us get trapped in the idea that the spiritual path must be a serious endeavor. In fact, in some circles, there seems to be an epidemic of spiritual arrogance. We get it, we may say. Pity those not on the path. Those poor beings who don’ meditate or eat the right foods or read the right books or do the right kind of yoga. To this, I say, “Lighten up! Give us all a break!” After all, aren’t we one? Aren’t we all reflections of one another?
There is a song called “Put on A Happy Face.” I love the lyric that reminds us to “spread sunshine all over the place.” Not a bad idea! Want to give it a try?
You will be happier, more joyous, and have a lot more fun, if you just lighten up and spread sunshine! Try this:
- Think, in advance, of something you know you will be doing today. Imagine a way to make it a happy occasion, a bright spot, even if it is no more than greeting someone in a brief moment. Then make it happen.
- Think of something or some time that was really funny to you. Imagine looking at yourself at that time. Can you feel yourself growing lighter?
- Maybe you can remember a joke you heard. Could it still make you laugh? Then go ahead, laugh.
Laughter helps to release negative energy in your body, increase healing and positive hormones and, the result is, you will be healthier and happier. It’s an easy form of “health insurance.”
So, as the old cliché goes: IS EVERYBODY HAPPY? I am, just writing about it. How about you?
Next week, we return to a main theme of this course — LOVE.
With love and namaste, Deanne
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