Spirit and the Silly Side of Life
“To laugh is divine.” Dr. C. Bliss
Maybe not, but laughter sure feels good, especially when you’re in need of a little lightness. When life is rough and you feel all tweaked out by some hideous, recurrent, unbearable heaviness, try a little silliness. This can be a godsend. There are many examples of humor and its healing power – think Patch Adams, Norman Cousins, hospital clowns, balloon hats, and laughing Yoga.
When you feel downhearted, believing that there is no way out, and imagining that whatever the awful thing is that’s troubling your spirit will never, ever, ever end, try a little silliness. Laughing releases stress, allowing your powerful and still-healthy mind to be receptive to a new idea, reminding you that somewhere, joy lives. Happiness still exists. Doctors and other left-brain scientific types have discovered that even a tiny speck of laughter can have huge benefits for your nervous system, as well as cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular relaxation.
For some reason (inflated mortgage, heart-wrenching divorce, hideous job) adults laugh far less than kids. According to un-sourced Internet statistics, adults are down to fifteen laughs a day compared to a high of 400 for kids. No kidding. So for your health and well being, for the opening that laughter creates, for a few brief moments of joy, try a little silliness.
Silliness can tap into your spirit, causing you to remember that somewhere in the world, there are lighter realities and maybe, just maybe you can somehow get there too. Paraphrasing a favorite quote by Ernest Holmes, an enlightened spiritual teacher, “the real you has never been hurt, harmed, or endangered,” referring to your spirit, the core of your being. Finding that place of wholeness again takes work but why not add a little lightness? Do something unusual. Try a cartwheel, a somersault, a little friendly prank. Get a squirt gun, a bubble blower. Watch Lucy and Ethel pulling the wool over Ricky again. Act out a scene. Try a Yoga movement called ‘Happy Baby.’ Try one little laugh even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing.
To laugh, to act silly, is to remember that joy still exists. Moment by moment, there is a chance that you too can be happy again.