Friday, May 01, 2009
When do we truly need a little distraction?
I can be one of the most serious people I know. There are times when my tendency to be serious is quite valuable. When something is important to me and I’m being fully present with someone or a situation, I can pay undivided, thoughtful attention to the matter at hand. When I set a worthy goal, I take it seriously and am dedicated to meeting it. When there is a crisis, my mind is sharp and astute in addressing the challenge. Seriousness is a gift—most of the time.
Then there are times when I’m taking life too seriously. I’m so busy in my focused, dedication to something that I become tense. I neglect to notice the humor in any given moment that might be right there on the surface, waiting to be acknowledged too. My seriousness can sometimes actually pull me out of the natural flow of creation rather than deeper into it, because when I’m overly serious I’m often trying to control everything.
I used to be so serious that if I was sharing information and someone interrupted me to point out a humorous view regarding my topic, I ignored them and went right on as if they hadn’t said anything. Ohhhh, I was stiff. I eventually figured it out and learned to at least allow others the space to enjoy the moment, and in time I discovered that sometimes there was greater wisdom in the humorous observation than there was in my serious diatribe.
When I was learning to do certain Native ceremonies, my elder taught me to create an opportunity for everyone to laugh at the very beginning. She explained that laughter breaks the tension and helps us relax into what we were about to experience together. Because I wanted people to have a positive experience, I learned to loosen up and in doing so I discovered I had a more enjoyable experience as well.
Now, one of the regulars to my ceremonies is a man whose spiritual name is Divine Interference. I don’t think he has ever participated in a ceremony without catching a pun or a funny innuendo and sharing it during ceremony. His interference, or distraction, has showed me to allow room for Divine flow rather than control in ceremony. Best of all, I have learned to laugh with him, and his presence teaches me a great deal about how to engage and enjoy greater trust in the natural rhythms of ceremony and life.
The wisdom he brings through his humor is usually priceless. His timing is impeccable. He never interrupts someone’s profound, serious moment with Spirit including mine, but he does break group tension, help us all feel at ease, enjoy the day and the moment, and create an environment for joyful acceptance of ourselves as we are—experiences that come through the Divine distraction of laughter.
He brings balance to my life and to the ceremonies. Because of him I’m even learning to create moments of Divine Interference with my own humorous quips during ceremonies and throughout my days. It is good to be serious, focused and dedicated. It is also good to recognize the gift of healthy distractions, and time for humor is one of the best.
For a little prayerful inspiration about laughter visit: Laughter