Thursday, September 08, 2011

Laughter is the best medicine

I've written a few times now of the changes that are shaping my life right now. Add that to the normal stressers of life and, admittedly, life feels somewhat over full. Not the "I've eaten well and am breathing a satisfied sigh of contentment" (although there are definite moments of that) but the "I'm handling all that I can, my hands are full, please don't ask me to juggle any more kind of full." I've been making a conscious effort to find fun, to stop, to laugh because in those things, in the good things, there is renewal and strength to handle the fullness of life. It made me smile to read this in my morning's reading today:

From Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Wisdom Through the Ages

"A Time to Laugh"
1. Laugh when people tell a joke. Otherwise you might make them feel bad.
2. Laugh when you look into a mirror. Otherwise you might feel bad.
3. Laugh when you make a mistake. If you don't, you're liable to forget how ultimately unimportant the whole thing really is, whatever it is.
4. Laugh with small children… They laugh at mashed bananas on their faces, mud in their hair, a dog nuzzling their ears, the sight of their bottoms as bare as silk. It renews your perspective. Clearly nothing is as bad as it could be.
5. Laugh at situations that are out of your control. When the best man comes to the altar without the wedding ring, laugh. When the dog jumps through the window screen at the dinner guests on your doorstep, sit down and laugh a while.
6. When you find yourself in public in mismatched shoes, laugh -- as loudly as you can. Why collapse in mortal agony? There's nothing you can do to change things right now. Besides, it is funny. Ask me; I've done it.
7. Laugh at anything pompous. At anything that needs to puff its way through life in robes and titles… Will Rogers laughed at all the public institutions of life. For instance, "You can't say civilization isn't advancing," he wrote. "In every war they kill you in a new way."
8. Finally, laugh when all your carefully laid plans get changed; when the plane is late and the restaurant is closed and the last day's screening of the movie of the year was yesterday. You're free now to do something else, to be spontaneous… to take a piece of life and treat it with outrageous abandon.

-- Sister Joan Chittister, originally published in her book, There is a Season

Now to put them into practice. 

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