NEXT122 Finding Something to Laugh About

Posted on : 19-02-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Humor, Uncategorized

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Years ago, I remember hearing an interview with the comedian Steve Martin (who was, then, hitting the bright lights of fame from Saturday Night Live) and how he said that actually comedians are usually the most serious people he knew.   It was one of those Soooby Doo ruh roh moments for me because I knew I loved to laugh but I also knew that I could be equally as serious about life.

I’ve always been fascinated by what makes people laugh and what brings up that surging giggle wave inside of me.  We explored the thinking behind it in Philosophy class (absurdity of information, how info is received, etc.) but that still didn’t satisfy me.  Where I’ve ended up landing about laughing is that I have to just enjoy the results of whatever it is that makes us laugh because trying to dissect it out takes all the fun out of it.

For example, a good friend and I have often joked that because my humor can sometimes be so off the wall that if I ever took my act on the road, she would be my one psychic fan because she knows what I am conveying with very few moves and words.  I’m pretty sure my mom and I have that kind of connection too, in fact, I think I learned this particular brand of humor from her with its is very subtle movements and lots of history.  So, when said good friend and I were waiting for yoga class to begin and had gathered around us the accouterments of class such as the Tami mat, blanket and a chair, when I looked at the chair behind me and made a very simple gesture with my hands in a circle above my head, my friend understood that I meant to convey a scene of  Chinese acrobats  doing amazing gymnastics with chairs and each other.  Perhaps with some honing and practice, I could convey this kind of humor to more than one audience member.  I think that’s probably what the really good comedians do such as Ellen DeGeneres and Jim Gaffigan.

And then there’s just the physicality and emotionality of laughing itself.  Like at the end of every yoga class when our teacher would have us laying on the floor and ask us to just laugh as heartily as we could.  Some people would start out with that hesitant laughter, heh-heh-heh, and then sometimes there’d be someone who’d go way over the top almost to the edge of making you want to rise out of your yoga bliss and go bop them on the head!  Whenever the aforementioned friend and I would start laughing together we would end up cracking each other up and really laughing getting the whole class into an uproar.  Such fun.  It’s all the gasoline my inner-kid needs to find ways to keep the laughter going.  No wonder I used to get U’s on my conduct reports in Sixth Grade.  Who doesn’t want to laugh? Evidently my teacher that’s who!

There are all kinds of ways we can find humor out there in life.  In fact, I have seen the very quirky off the wall humor that I love caught in photos. Like the one my friend Kat found right after the very slight Earthquake that Washington D.C. experienced last year of  garden table on a rolling lawn with one chair askew. 

So if you’re ever feeling just a little blue or perhaps taking life just a little bit too seriously…find something to laugh about…your soul will be glad you did!

Photo that my friend P posted this week on FaceBook with a very sparse explanation saying, “this is how I feel today”….

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NEXT105 Having An Attitude of Gratitude

Posted on : 17-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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Having an “attitude of gratitude” puts us in the frame of mind to be looking for people, circumstances and places that we can feel grateful about.  I used to hate it when the people I was hanging out with or being mentored by would suggest such a thing to me.  It just sounded like another one of those platitudes that everyone says but don’t really mean.

And it might be a platitude but when I have an attitude of gratitude it works.  Imagine that.  A platitude that actually works, who knew?!

The best time to come up with things to feel grateful about are especially when it seems like there is absolutely NOTHING to be grateful about.  Your head hurts, you lost your job, you’re broke, you are divorced, your loved one walked out on you, your car broke down, you don’t have a car….the list goes on and on.  One thing we’re really good at doing is coming up with a list of what is wrong, especially if you’re recovering from any number of addictions (alcohol, drugs, nicotine, food, sex, money, insert-your-drug-of-choice-here).  For the past couple of years, I’ve been making it a point to focus on those things that make me grateful and just like “they” tell you—-the more you focus on something, the more you’ll see it.   Why, today I have so many things to really feel grateful about.  Like my husband, and my friends and family and my health and the Pistachio  Tree in our backyard whose leaves look like glinting gold in the sunlight.

Something I’ve been doing lately during my commutes back and forth to school is listening to one of the radio channels here in Austin which is playing 24/7 comedy.  I have a feeling that this great comedy will only be around until  someone purchases the air time and creates a new station (not being negative, just realistic) but for now it sure is making a difference in my attitude.  They happen to play some of my favorite comedians over and over like Jim Gaffigan. Here’s his skit about “Hot Pockets“.   Obscure comedy, my favorite. Before listening to this comedy show I was listening to ranting talk shows, some music and lots of news.  Talk about a way to get yourself as far away from grateful as possible! I mean, I’m all for you knowing what is going on in the world around you; however, we surely don’t need to be watching/listening/tweeting/absorbing everything news all the time unless we’re the President and even then we’d probably have someone whose job it was to just give us the cliff notes.

What we think about, what we talk about, what we focus on is what our lives end up becoming.  Still haven’t figured out how to manifest a Mazda RX-8 for myself (because I think about them all the time), but I sure do see them driving up behind me, to the side of me, pulling out of parking lots, backing into spaces in front of me so I suspect its just a matter of time before I will be driving my own!

I like to play this game with gratitude sometimes where I’ll sit outside and look into my house when the lights are on (except not for in the winter because it’s cold) kind of like I’m stalking myself but it puts me in a place where I feel like I’m looking at my life through the eyes of somebody else.  And I really like what I see.  Or I notice that I mostly like what I see but I really need to take the slip cover off of the sofa and wash it.  I’m still grateful though,  I mean I have a sofa so there’s that.

As we head into the season where many of us focus on what we have or don’t have, decide to capture an attitude of gratitude.  For two weeks before you go to sleep, list 5 things/people/places/ideas/etc. that you’re grateful for and each of those days for that two weeks the list has to include at least 5 different things.   I kind of got panicky when I first did this and thought ahead because I was just sure I wouldn’t be able to list that many things but when I realized I could even get as simple as being grateful for breathing and my heart beating, then I realized that I had this gratitude game covered. Try it.

What’s on your gratitude list today?

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