A Story About Finding More Joy & Laughter

This came to me while I was running yesterday: I AM JOYFUL & LAUGH OFTEN.

In the moment, while sweating and breathing hard on the Orange Theory treadmill, surrounded by other serious runners, I was not necessarily feeling joy and definitely was not laughing. I can’t know what others were feeling, but I do know that I was taking myself and the experience very seriously (I mean, we were being pushed by our coach to go faster and work through the pain!). 

Once I noticed that this serious energy was not helping me with the run, I asked myself “how do I want to feel right now?”. The answer was joy – at being able to break away from work for an exercise, at the sensation of working hard and breaking a sweat, at the acknowledgment for how I’d feel afterwards. 

Then I remembered the times that I completely let go and felt utter joy over the past few weeks, I found myself laughing – often hysterically with tears running down my face. This is a sign that my spirit has been craving more laughter. 

So I began repeating in my head and then whispering out loud: “I am joyful and laugh often”. 

Then I looked back up at myself in the mirror and noticed that my messy bun was flopping up and down on top of my head. There were little hairs hanging off the side, making it look like a bird flying it’s wings behind my head. This silly thing made me laugh right there on the spot. While all this was happening, I was still running at the same pace, but no longer felt uncomfortable. So I amped up my speed and flew through the rest of the exercise!

Sidenote: This may all sound ridiculous, the idea of whispering to myself and giggling while on the treadmill. But it wasn’t so dramatic and no one was paying attention because they were so focused on their own performance, which is how it usually is – people are watching us much less than we often assume in our self-conscious mindset. And secondly, if it’s joy one is feeling inside then it shouldn’t matter if someone else thinks it’s odd – I’d rather the positive benefits of joy/peace/etc. than the social norm of stress/seriousness/tension/etc. any day!

It happens like this sometimes (for myself at least). When I take things so seriously, I tighten up and get in the “just get it over with mindset”. And then, habitually, so many other experiences follow this energy and life passes right on by without actually soaking in all the wonderful things happening in front and within me (funny social moments, delicious food, the smell of things that flood in positive memories, a much needed hug, or the warmth of a hot shower being some).

And the obvious truth is, I don’t consciously want to live my days, weeks, life this way. I bet you don’t either!

So in the recognition that I haven’t been as full-bodied joyful as I’d like to be or laughing as much as is my nature, I decide to make the change – starting the mantra back up the moment I realize I’m going back to “so serious”. 

Often times, when we get in these stuck head spaces (which determines our energy, words, actions, relationships, whole life), we don’t necessarily need TO DO anything differently. It might even mean that we DON’T DO FOR A MOMENT, pausing long enough to notice where the stuck-ness is coming from and then change the perspective from which we are seeing the experience at hand.

The Dalai Lama of course said it best: “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions”. So if there are aspects of your life that are not making your happy, check in as to where it is stemming from, and you may very well find that it’s based on something that you yourself can change – whether the trigger is from your own mind or something else outside of you that can be removed.

If you’re not sure what’s missing, the message could arise in the most unexpected situation (like in an exercise class!), so always stay open to hearing and seeing the signs that are there to guide you forward.

Practice Finding More Joy with Dancer Pose

To do this, find MOUNTAIN POST with feet hip distance apart. Focus your attention on the right foot, lifting the toes then spreading them on the ground. Wrap your left hand around the inside of your left foot. If you feel enough stretch in your hip flexor and quad, then stop here and lift your right arm up. If you’re ready for more, press your left foot into your hand and begin to lean forward, reaching the right arm alongside your ear.

Trust your own sense of stability to hold you up, steady your gaze on one point, breathe in and out.

Notice the opening throughout the front of your body. Along with the physical stretch sensations, you are opening your capacity to tap into more creativity, sensuality, passion, and heart-felt connections. 

Then switch sides, notice the difference in body, mind, and spirit, and LET YOURSELF FEEL JOY.

Check Out the Fun Happening with FIY

RETREATS: 

1. Goddess Retreat to St. Croix from September 19-24. 3 spots left!
2. Retreat Into Nature – Fox Pen, Hortense, GA – October 5-8 – 8 spots filled so far. 1 private room and 7 bunk beds left. It’s not online, but reach out for details! Exciting recent news is that my friend Nora will be joining to teach us about plant medicine! Check out her reel about it here.

CHARLESTON THINGS:

1. Yoga Tea Party (invitation below) – this Saturday, August 12, 3:00-4:30 – this one is for the kiddos!  If you know of any children who would be into this, please reach out to me!
2. Mom & Kids Yoga! We get together regularly, (days/times change) at one home in Mount Pleasant. All are welcome to join us for just $20/pair or you can schedule an event at your own home for $130. See more details here. 
3. Looking for more clients in the private or corporate realms. See my offerings here and let me know if you or anyone else could use my services!

RECENT POSTS:

1. This too is YOGA
2. How do I want this to feel?

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This came to me while I was running yesterday: I AM JOYFUL & LAUGH OFTEN.

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