"To laugh deeply is to know God." - Alan Cohen
I have two dear friends, one I have known since middle school, and one I have known since college. Even now, after all these years, I am blessed to STILL have them in my life because they live here in Charleston. Can you imagine that? How lucky I am.
Both very different personalities and energies, Leigh and Jackie do share one attribute in common... the ability to laugh and find joy in any situation. In our younger days, Leigh and Jackie were the "go to" girls if you wanted to have a great time.
They knew how to party and entertain a crowd. Each of them had magnanimous energy. I would sit back and watch as they worked a crowded room, leaving trails of laughter as they sauntered off to their next fun-filled moment. All I had to do to find them was follow the laughter, and sure enough at the end of the path, I'd find Leigh or Jackie surrounded by a hysterical crowd of purely joyously entertained people. And this love of life and laughter wasn't a surface characteristic... it came deep from their souls.
Two better friends I could not have in those "Splendor in the Grass" days. My days and nights were filled with wig-wearing, song-filled, toilet-humored silliness and pure comedic delight....an unabashed, infectious, expressive love for life... and oh so much laughter.... laughter that comes from so deep inside you that once you start, you just can't stop. A laughter that fills you with so much good stuff that when it's over, you feel like you've run a marathon. "No more - gasp - I can't breath... please no more."
As we grew older, married, and started families, there was still laughter, but along side the good times came some heavy hearts and tough circumstances. And even today, just having talked with them recently, I am amazed by their resilient comedic nature... their ability to joke and laugh at pretty much ANY situation... and believe me, they've had some tough times. Their gift is to gleam even the tiniest spec of joy from any situation and magnify the energy of that tiny spec into a funny story, a joke, a good laugh... transforming the experience into a lighter and laughter-filled incident. To them, nothing is beyond making fun of, especially themselves.
One of Jackie and my favorite quotes in college was, "God has a sense of humor too!" I really believe that laughter is a gift from our Source, and that it is meant to be used as a tool to maneuver through life's challenges. We are given the gift of laughter to heal pain... it's the perfect antidote!
I wonder why we forget to laugh as we age... I mean laugh hard. Yes, we laugh now... chuckle here and there, but when was the last time you really belly laughed? Tears coming down your face laughter? Muscle aching laughter? Pee your pants laughter? Maybe we forget that we don't have to have a reason to laugh! We don't have to have a reason to experience joy!!!
When we find ourselves becoming too serious about life, it's a true gift for someone with a light heart to remind us that we don't need to be afraid. Fear and love cannot share the same room. If only for a few moments, laughter allows us a space to re-align ourselves with Source. It creates a space for peace to come through and perhaps take hold and grow.
Alan Cohen, the author of Dare to Be Yourself, has a very interesting theory. He believes there is one criterion by which we can ascertain if we are looking at a situation with a clear mind: Can we laugh about it?
If we cannot, he says, the fear has gotten foothold on our consciousness and clouded our ability to see the bigger picture. This is a difficult one for me... you mean, sickness, financial loss, betrayal, death??????? Wow... I'll need some time to wrap my head around this, but I believe he is on to something... there is nothing in this world that is beyond laughter. He believes that the heavier the situation is, the more we need to laugh about it. If we are unable to see the humor in a situation, then we are stuck and need to zoom out and look at it from a higher perspective.
Perhaps if we create a space of lightness and laughter for our somber challenges to rest for a time, they would disappear more quickly. And isn't it true that when we look back on times in our lives and re-visit the experiences that were painful - the ones we thought we'd never recover from - we can usually look back and laugh on it now. If we can look back and laugh now, then maybe we are truly healed with a situation. It's quite a measurement for understanding if we actually and truly healed something in our lives... Can I laugh about it yet? Can I find joy in it?
"Gravity is the thing that keeps us bound to earth. Celebration is the energy that brings us true release. The lighter we are, the closer we rise to Heaven." - Alan Cohen
So, today, I am thankful for Leigh and Jackie, and the many other wonderful people in my life who just plain make me giggle and laugh and act stupid and silly and joyful and celebrate life. I open my heart to the possibility that laughter will heal my hurts. And I ask that I attract more laughter and silliness and joy into my life so that I can flow it right back out and spread it around to others. Today I may have no reason at all to laugh out loud... uproariously, belly-achingly loud - but I will, and I can't wait!!!
Laugh a lot this week for no reason!
Thank you for visiting,
PAPER SEEDS Seeds of ART and THOUGHT
Come on in... relax, kick off your shoes, and get cozy for a few minutes. I intend this space to be a happy and encouraging spot in your day where perhaps you'll sign off feeling better than you did when you signed on.
I have so much in life that I want to create, experience, and wrap my head around, and I bet you do too. I dedicate this space as a safe place to "grow" our seeds... Seeds of movement to increase our joy, inspiration, and insight - Seeds of change and evolution of our souls - Seeds of of celebration and creativity - a place where we thrive to live lives we're proud of.
How cool is it that we are given the opportunity to create a future that doesn't exist yet. That we have the choice in creating our lives and planting seeds that will grow into our dreams. I want to learn more everyday about how to do this in my life, and I would love for you to join me.