There are times when I can be far too serious. I started writing a post this morning about Silent reflection. Half way through it, I re read it and thought it was very sombre and to be honest didn’t reflect how I feel at the moment. I want to laugh, I want to smile.
How infectious a laugh is. Yesterday I was driving down the road and a car was trying to park on the kerb opposite. It was double yellow lines and they were obstructing the oncoming traffic. I stopped and waved through the oncoming car, the driver looked quite cross and did a hands up gesture as if to say “what the hell are they doing”. In that split second we made eye contact, I laughed and shook my head, as she drove past me I saw her grimace turn into a smile. A small snapshot moment, but it is powerful.
I haven’t always been able to smile and laugh. I mean, a smile that is from the heart, one of those smiles you can see in the eyes and beams out. Its getting easier. Until I started meditating and doing the body scan, I didn’t even realise my brow was in a permanent frown haha!
A happy (or not) holiday
I remember as a kid going on a boating holiday on the Thames with my family. It was supposed to be a happy time but I was far from happy for some reason. My anxiety was raging and the holiday was fraught, the boat (or more likely the steerer!) had a tendency to veer towards the wrong channel in the river and we seemed to be forever fending off and avoiding going over the weirs. I was certain that there was going to be an impending doom for us all. I didn’t enjoy it one bit, which is odd that some years later, I ended up living and working on a narrow boat. I can laugh now when I think back to that holiday but at the time it was a nightmare. When I picture it now, it’s quite comical. A seemingly happy, picturesque holiday on the river, scenes of the gently flowing water and tree-lined banks. That vision then smashed by a revving boat engine and screams of reverse,reverse for gods sake before we go over the weir!
Anyway, I digress but just a little snapshot of my early life and how I took life far too seriously from a young age.
Meditation and dropping the seriousness
I also looked at meditation with this seriousness I always knew. I went about it as if I was doing an expedition up Everest, but a few years down the line, I’ve learnt to hold it lightly, to smile with it and to laugh. It really doesn’t have to be so serious. My meditation teacher mentioned Donald Trump in a meditation the other day, I can’t remember the context but it made me blurt out a little laugh mid meditation.
When I come to meditate without the seriousness, strangely I seem to get more out of it. As if by letting go a little, allows the meditation to do its work. Letting the dust settle, allowing myself to just be me, with a little smile on my face.
I can only say I feel lighter just lately (in the spiritual sense, I have put on a few pounds in the last few weeks) which has allowed me to drop the rigid seriousness and smile a bit more.
Of course there are times when life has to be serious, the world we live in can be a serious place (too much so sometimes), but I think it is useful to be able to drop the serious every now and again.
So until next time (might be back to serious then, but maybe not) I wish you well, have fun, have a laugh and most of all, may you be happy.