Yesterday, I listened in while two grandmothers discussed the joy of being with the grandkids. They were watching the kids with delight, noticing that each new experience was met with curiosity and wonder and laughter. “Yes,” they said, “Chasing a 2-year-old for any length of time can be exhausting, and yet, the joy of being present in each moment watching them grow and change is worth all of it!”
As children, we laugh hundreds of times each day, delighted by the newness of living. The grandmother’s conversation reminded me how much I want to “live” happy. When we reach adulthood, however, we tend to not allow ourselves to let go in a good belly laugh; life can become too serious which makes every situation more difficult.
This afternoon, I made a call to a phone company to set up new internet and phone service in our office. We have had service through the landlord in the past who is now retiring and sold the building.
I am being proactive to get everything set up prior to their final day so I do not have any surprises, and am very pleased with myself. I went into the process grounded-centered and calm, this is not my first go around with setting up phone service; I know better than to attempt a service call when I am stressed or tired. I started out with a pleasant woman, Renee, “How lovely,” I think, “That is my middle name! This is going to go well.” After 30 minutes, not too long really, she says hold for a moment while I complete the final step, and then I heard the dreaded dial tone. I am still calm, after all, she had asked for my number in case we were disconnected, so I waited. I even danced a bit in the living room keeping “my happy” up! After 10 minutes, it was clear I was not getting a call and time to re-enter the queue, deep breath I can do this.
The next person comes on line I explained the situation in full and that I did not get a call back. Drum roll please: he says, “If we have high call volume, we don’t call you back since there are others that are waiting and we go there first.” It took every ounce of my kindness not to vent on this person and let him know how ridiculous that sounded, knowing he could not do anything about it anyway, although he did offer to connect me to the complaint department which I declined, I was not getting lost in the shuffle again.
The order had been set up improperly, at least he could retrieve it, so off to person number three. I kept reminding myself that what I wanted was phone and internet service and I was going to succeed. Jason, number three, was able to take me from start to finish and complete the task in a reasonable amount of time although 75-minutes had passed since I began.
I wasn’t feeling light and buoyant at this point, in fact, just the opposite. Three different people gave me three different prices, phone numbers and install dates – yikes, not a confidence building scenario!
I needed to feel lighter again and brought laughter in. Inviting laughter back into our lives is simply a matter of making the conscious decision to laugh. Though most of us are incited to laugh only when exposed to humor, or the unexpected, each of us is capable of laughing at will. A laugh that comes from the belly carries with it the same positive effects whether prompted by a funny joke or consciously willed into existence. When our laughter comes from the core of our being, it permeates every cell in our physical selves, beginning in the center and radiating outward. I stood in my living room and reflected on the experience, especially the, “We don’t call you back comment,” and chose to laugh my way out of the tension that had built up in my body.
An energetic and enthusiastic bout of whole-body laughter exercises the muscles, the lungs, and the mind in equal measure, leaving us feeling relaxed and content. When we laugh heartily at life’s ridiculousness instead of responding irritably, our focus shifts. Anger, stress, guilt, and sadness no longer wield any influence over us, and we are empowered to make light of what we originally experienced. Laughter also opens our hearts, letting love and light in, changing our perspective, and enabling us to fix our attention on what is positive in our lives.
It is easy to laugh when we feel good, but it is when the world appears dim that we most need laughter in our lives. Then, our laughter resonates through our hearts, filling the empty spaces with pure, unadulterated joy. We regain our footing in the moment and remember that no sorrow or perceived problem is powerful enough to rob us of our inborn happiness. When we understand that uninhibited laughter is the food of the soul, nourishing us from within, we know instinctively that life is worthwhile.
I invite you to choose laughter to upgrade your energy at any moment. When you are happier you make a positive impact no matter what you are doing. What the world needs now is more laughter and lightness of being and it begins with you.
Love and blessings,