Friday, June 4, 2010

Inappropriate Laughter

There have been plenty of times in my life when I’ve become embarrassed from laughing during a seemingly inappropriate time. I think this can happen to many of us. We find something funny and attempt to hold in the laughter in the hopes that it will subside. Instead, it usually fights its way through our calming mantras and copacetic reasoning only to explode and release out of our body. For instance, it might come when you meet someone new who looks like your Aunt Martha’s dog, Sparkles; or maybe when a friend is talking to you about a difficult situation at work, but all you can focus on is the boogers poking out of their nose. I remember when I was a kid I thought it was hilarious that when you really stare at a person’s face for a while it starts to change and look oddly goofy and completely different than what you’re used to. This is especially weird when it’s a family member or close friend. Whatever the case may be, often times we feel an uncontrollable urge to laugh at an inopportune or “unsafe” time.

However, laughter cannot be predicted or contained. We all have varying senses of humor and can get a feel for what might make us laugh, but do we truly know for sure what we’ll find funny? Laughter at its core is uncontrollable and reactionary, and that is what makes it so much fun. It’s a break from the calculated, organized, and survival of the fittest mindset that pulls us through the day to day.

So, what would happen if we didn’t try holding in our laughter during one of these instances? I suppose the people around us could get angry and upset, frustrated or confused. But if we’re open and remind ourselves that we’re just human, maybe these outbursts don’t have to be considered such a faux pas. Maybe we can talk it out as it happens, explain, and mutually understand that it’s just the nature of laughter. After all, laughter is one of the best forms of releasing energy and to prohibit yourself from this pleasure just doesn’t seem right. Laugh away I say!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Success, Security, and Prosperity:

Throughout our lives we are encouraged to succeed in a world that judges itself by measuring accomplishments based on conventional standards and goals. I think most of us primarily focus on career, money, family, and achievement. In your circle of family and friends, who would you consider to be successful? Do they seem to fit these typical traits of success or do you view them as successful in a different way? It seems like an awful lot of pressure to achieve these ideals; and sometimes they appear to be stacked on booming high pedestals, reaching up towards the sky with no ladder or Jetson’s car in sight! The truth is that every one of us is faced with some sort of adversity in our lives, and success is really only defined by the individual. However, whether a person accepts the societal pressures of achieving “greatness” or if he or she has a different perspective of success depends on one’s view of life. For some of us, success might be to become a world leader, rock star, or millionaire. However, for others it could mean creating a close family, helping others in need, or having the courage to try something new. There are so many different ways to define success, and I think it’s important to be mindful of what it means to you.

Another piece of success is security. I think comfort can come from having success because the more we believe we have accomplished something, the more secure we feel in society. However, at the same time it’s possible to be the other way around, and I think feeling safe is a form of success in its own right. This type of safety is different than feeling secure economically or interpersonally, and instead comes from within you. This safety empowers us to be in tune with ourselves and helps us branch out and succeed in the life we desire. When we stay true to ourselves and harness the innate power of the love of self, we radiate our uniqueness. At this point, success comes naturally from simply being who you are.

This power can be unleashed only if we limit the internal and external criticisms that we face throughout our daily lives. When we notice these judgments and realize that they don’t serve us, the chains of resistance are broken and we become free to prosper. This enables us to reach a new plateau of safety as we grow and flourish.At different times throughout our lives, we are challenged to move beyond our current state of being in order to change and better ourselves. The profound power of feeling this security guides us through adversity and helps us to succeed and prosper toward a new level of consciousness. We are the sum of our experiences, thoughts, and feelings; and by advancing, we expand our awareness and develop new senses of purpose. In this perpetual reorganization of ourselves, we continue to change based on what we feel we need from moment to moment. During this evolutionary journey we may move “forward” or “backward” but it is in these movements that we prosper through dynamic change and new experience.  However, in order to reach this level, I think we need to be secure in our own skin before we can move ahead toward the next stage. Then again, navigating our life’s path, succeeding in our own way, and reaching this point of safety is prosperous in and of itself.

-- This is an article I wrote as a guest writer for The Golden Age Tribune. It can be viewed on their website by clicking the link below.
My Article