If mindfulness is defined by being in the present and fully aware of what is going on around you, then humor is a wonderful side note. Nothing speaks more to being in the present than appreciating the small absurdities of life. Which is why I am boldly putting this wee bit of writing under the category of play!
Perhaps you have heard the phrase – laughter is the best medicine? Tell me then, when is the last time that you found yourself giggling at something? Giggling, chuckling, laughing? It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday tasks of our lives, but I would like to challenge you to begin looking for and enjoying the lighter moments. Why? Because it’s good for you and because you might discover an underused muscle. You know, the laughter muscle! Okay, it’s not a thing, but it should be.
Nourishing our sense of humor, allowing ourselves to notice and be amused is a practical and fun way to be in the moment. It is also a spectacular method of reducing our stress levels. It can even help you re-discover some sides of yourself that you have tucked away.
Turkey vs man
Over the course of the last year, I am finding once again my appreciation of the silly, lighthearted and absurd. The types of things that are largely random and unexpected. Consider my recent witnessing of turkey vs man at a set of traffic lights.
Picture if you will a set of traffic lights, four lanes of traffic, a kindhearted person and a wandering turkey. I only wish I wasn’t alone and had some type of webcam.
Nevertheless, etched in my mind is a turkey and a man moving around the man’s car in a game of what looked like “keep away”. Man comes around the back of his vehicle and turkey goes around the front. The gentleman was clearly trying to herd the turkey off the road and out of traffic to safety. The turkey was having none of it. It lasted several minutes and it was, quite frankly, very amusing.
McWiney? Humor Me
Or, if that doesn’t do it for you, perhaps unusual signage pairings. Like a huge billboard in the southern US that said McDonald’s Winery. Initially I thought, aha! A new experience for the McDonald’s customer. “Go ahead kids, you go on to the play room and I’ll just sit here for a spell and enjoy my McWiney!”
It isn’t just about what you see, but allowing yourself the lightheartedness to enjoy it. Stretch out the moment, imagine telling a friend about it, find a way to keep it fresh. Doing so keeps the feeling alive, ready to blossom again because you have allowed it residency within you.
This kind of silly seeking, is a way to bring yourself more into the present. Get out of your head and be right where you are. Think of it as a gift to yourself. Re-imagine your daily commute by redirecting your attention. Instead of planning your work day, or contemplating dinner options or the bills awaiting you, put yourself into the now. Awake to the world around you, be ready to enjoy the moment and allow absurdities to find you. Flex your laughter muscle and make humor an active part of your life.
The next best thing to your own chuckle, is sharing it with others. Please share a story if you have one. We’re ready to be amused.