One ordinary day last week, I decided to change my sneeze. Just like that. Now, I had never given my sneeze much thought. It’s an involuntary convulsive reaction and kind of gross. Not much to consider there. (Truth be told, the only sneeze I’ve ever really taken much note of belonged to a friend way back in high school…she had the most adorable way of sneezing…a series of up to 15 little “kyew kyew”s...entertaining as anything to witness...especially during Macro Economics). While no one could call MY sneeze adorable, I’d say it’s always been just this side of polite. Reserved, even.

Overcome with a sneezing fit last week, I decided to just have at ‘er. I was pissed off about something and decided to time a good belly roar with said sneeze. My “achoo” became an AAAAAAACHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I scared the bejesus out of my cats and nearly blew my brains out. It was the full expression of my very own sneeze. And it felt amazing. I committed right then and there to ever-more sneeze with my heart and soul. Why not? It’s easy and it’s free.

Got me thinking…where else am I holding back in the name of politesse? Among other things:

  • Opinions – I tend to shy away from conflict…except to resolve others’ (Libran peace-maker, don’t you know). This means I to keep my mouth shut when I really want to let you know that it’s NOT okay to be late for a meeting. It devalues my time and is simply not cool.
  • Advice – I wish oh wish oh wish I had have said to that pining young man on the subway “just give her your card before she gets off at the next stop…she doesn’t see the adoration in your eyes and the way that you’re envisioning a beautiful life together. Go now…NOW!” But I didn't.

I see so many others holding back too: affection, compliments, self-care, generosity, wisdom, gratitude, enthusiasm, energy, optimism, humour, kindness, leadership, originality, spirituality, honesty, forgiveness. As a society, we can be pretty stingy about spreading this honey around. At what cost?

So here’s my invitation to you. Just once, put aside all the boffo reasons that you SHOULDN’T gushingly express your gratitude and just do it…loud and proud like a wasabi-induced sneeze.

You just may like it...and I'm positive it's good for your health.