What Brings You Joy?

Couple laughingA woman recently asked me if it was necessary to still laugh at her husband’s corny jokes after 20 years.

I responded, “Only if you want to be happy.”

When we roll our eyes at our mate, whether it is literally or energetically, we create a divide between our mate and ourselves.  So what if your mate’s jokes are corny?  Are we not in need of more things to laugh at?  Adults can be so boringly serious.  When our mate is corny, we can take a cue from children and jump at the chance to laugh.  It can remind us of our innocence instead of stoically asserting our intellectual superiority.

When we take the opportunity to laugh at any innocent joke, we learn to take ourselves less seriously.  We can even cross over into laughing at ourselves.  When we can learn to do that, we will never be at a loss for opportunities to laugh.

Every time we increase our opportunities to laugh, we expand our bandwidth for joy.  Like attracts like—when we expand our capacity for joy, joy rushes in to fill this new hospitable place.

Learning to laugh, we learn to receive joy from others, from life situations, and from the divine.  This is a gift of itself, but it expands to a wonderfully infectious potential for others to experience it, too.  You may think of it as providing a community service.

Your Assignment:

What opportunities for laughter have you previously shirked or rejected?  Can you now open yourself up to more laughter and joy?  Can you find the humility to laugh at yourself more?  What silly things can you do to bring more sweetness into your life and, in turn, brighten your whole world?


2 Responses to “What Brings You Joy?”
  1. Nice post and powerful point.

    I plan to blog this in the next few days, as laughter is one of the things my partner and I indulge in almost daily — 11 years in. If you can’t laugh long and hard (and especially at yourself), you need to lighten up!

    I’m just finishing a challenging 8-day silent Buddhist retreat. Yesterday’s teaching was 90 minutes….but the lama was so hilarious we were falling off our chairs and cushions. It made me realize once more how powerful laughter is — if a spiritual leader can laugh that hard, surely we can too!

  2. Sarah says:

    I love this! My friend told me about going to the grand opening of a Tibetan Buddish monastery in S. India and the teacher laughed all through his dharma talk. There were thousands of monk surrounding her, all doubled over in big belly laughs. That is attractive and practical spirituality!
    Good job doing an 8 day silent retreat!

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