Ciao Amica Mia,
Greetings to you on this Sacred Sunday! I hope you’re well and taking good care.
Recently I began the monumental job of de-cluttering and sorting through old photo albums. While it feels spectacular when the task is completed, the process often sucks. As you can imagine, a lot of emotion tends to surface. Like, “wow, I used to have rosy round cheeks! Dark full eyebrows. And thicker hair.”
Let me tell you, you need to be having a good solid self-worth day when you’re undertaking a trip down memory lane. Life seemed simple, uncomplicated and wrinkle-free.
Here’s the thing though, if you allow the feelings to arise and learn to ride the waves, you’re better able to receive the gifts that also show up. If you give yourself permission and you’re patient, trust me, the gems will appear.
Dusty and mixed in with old tattered imitation leather photo albums, I discovered my high school yearbooks. Now that was a trip!
I paused, took a deep breath, and began to flip through and read what friends had written. Lo and behold, almost every single entry mentioned how funny I was. What? Me? Funny? Well fancy that!
And that’s the rub, right. Life happens. And with it the “vicissitudes” of living, as my Dad used to say. You wake up one day and you don’t recognize yourself. And I’m not only referring to the face that stares back at you in the mirror.
Reading those sometimes silly but sweet notes from my past triggered a memory of when my son was a little boy. I don’t remember exactly what play he was asking me to join him in, but I do remember he was insistent and miffed that I wasn’t complying. Out of frustration he blurted, “mom, don’t be such a grown-up.”
Ah! It hit me then and it came back to smack me again. He didn’t think I was any fun!
Life is a flow, at times as smooth as a clear running stream; at other times it feels like a raging river. But you and I always have the choice to find joy. Humor. To stop and play. We always have the choice to express our inner funny.
In this year of navigating one wild rapid after another, it’s often difficult to find the levity. I’m here to remind you though, that allowing yourself to be light-hearted is not a luxury. It’s a necessity for your mental health. Inviting in cheerfulness is the anecdote we all need.
Below are three simple Breakaway strategies I’ve learned to help me tap into the boundless joy that is our birthright. Not just mine, but yours as well.
~Take a moment to remember a time when you experienced a child-like belly laugh where tears flowed and maybe even a little drool slid down your chin. Sit with the memory and allow the feeling of pure delight to surface. Let it seep into your bones. Re-awaken and soothe your aching heart.
~Everyone I know has that one family member or friend that could be a stand-up comedian. Give them a call. Be honest and tell them truthfully, I really need a good laugh. Please tell me something funny. Chances are they’ll be riffing the moment you say hello.
~Read a humorist. I happen to love David Sedaris. While his humor at times is a little dark, his writing style suits my personality. Once, while waiting in the airport for my flight to take off, I was trying my darndest to stifle one snort after another reading the hilarious Laurie Notaro. Apparently unsuccessful from holding in the glee, a woman approached to share how she was enjoying watching me and what the heck was so funny anyway?
These are simple suggestions, yes. But simple right now is best and doable. The world needs more laughter, light and love right now. Breakaway from the 24-hour negativity and join me in making playfulness a practice.
Hop on over to my Private Facebook group and let’s lighten the load by lifting one another’s spirits. It’s a safe place to ask a Breakaway sister for a little good cheer and inspiration if that’s what you’re needing.
With love and joy and appreciation, xoxo Paulette