If you haven’t seen this yet as it makes it rounds on the interwebs, I recommend that you check it out. A dear friend recommended the page to me and I’m so glad she did. She said she was going to read it daily for the excellent ab workout from the deep belly laughs the blog post produced. I second her idea to read it daily, however not just for the deep belly laughs.
I want to read this post daily to remind myself not to take myself and my life so damn seriously.
I’ve always been a Very Serious Person. I’m not so sure I was born serious, however silliness was never part of my home life and was often frowned upon in those rare brave moments when I would dare to try to bring a touch of silliness in. While there was laughter in my childhood years, it was generally the polite kind, not the deep belly-laughs that cause you snort and sometimes stop breathing kind. Life is serious, you know, there is not time for silly shenanigans. There is time for work and thoughtfulness and art appreciation and a love of animals, a little time for rest (generally in the form of sleep at night) however silliness? No, no time for that.
So I grew into a rather serious person. A person who loves books and Deep Discussions about Important Things. A person who dives into Self Improvement and Personal Growth and the serious exploration of all things that hold us back from reaching our True Human Potential. A person intent on changing the status quo and breaking rules and changing the world for the better, but in a serious way.
No time for silliness, don’t you know. Silliness doesn’t accomplish anything. Silliness is a Waste of Time.
Or so the myth in my head would repeat over and over.
Lucky for me I married a man who understands Silly and together we had a girl who loves silliness. The two of them have taught me over the years about silliness and I have had my moments of silliness or goofiness. I have experienced deep belly laughs where I can’t breath. Multiple times a week even. But not every day. No, not every day because really, I am a Serious Person who does not have time for such shenanigans when there are so many Serious Matters to attend to.
I say that with every serious bone in my body. FUCK THAT.
When we laugh deeply, so deeply that our whole body trembles, that we literally find ourselves gasping for air, our muscles actually loosen and we release those things our body has so desperately been holding on to. Laughter is the best medicine, They say. This time, They are right.
Laughter can literally cure our bodies of illness, and it makes sense that it also can cure our minds and souls. Releasing tensions, letting joy into our cracks, helps to break us open. And there are times when things are so bad, when it seems the Universe is plotting against us with one heart-wrenching event after another that all we can do is laugh. Well, laugh or fall apart and never, ever get back up.
Anne Lamott wrote: Laughter is carbonated holiness. I love that image. Carbonated holiness. Yes. Laughter soothes and heals our souls, it brings us closer to the Divine, both the Divine within us and outside of us.
However even more than laughter, silliness, heals us. When we open ourselves to being silly, to doing things like buying fake bear heads or oogling prancing pony chandeliers or making funny faces or having pillow fights or running funny on purpose or skipping and singing at the top of our lungs or even starting small by wearing mismatched socks on purpose and not apologizing for it – THEN the real release starts to happen and we start to open ourselves to deep belly laughs, to the carbonated holiness. We truly start to open ourselves to the possibilities of life, we truly open ourselves to not simply seeing the joy, but truly, deeply, down in our bones feeling it.
So I’m challenging myself for the next 30 days. The thirty days leading up to my 42nd birthday. My challenge is to do one silly thing every single day. Preferably in public, but really, where ever I can get my silly on, I’m going to do it. I’m going to shed caring about what others may think in those moments (though really this isn’t an issue for me anymore, caring what others think). I’m going make space to not focus on All The Serious Things and open myself to daily deep belly laughs. It’s an experiment in healing and into seeing who will I be after 30 days of intentionally letting silliness into my life. It’s an exploration of a part of me that has been suppressed most of my life. It’s a journey into knowing me better, into experiencing each moment more, into deeper intentional living in the moment. It’s a serious undertaking of bringing more joy into my world, both inside my own soul and to the lives of those around me, both loved ones and strangers.