(If you're viewing this in an email, please click here to see all links. XO) In my coaching session today (yes, of course coaches have coaches…we need our own stuff out of the way so we can keep our focus on our glorious clients), my coach and I were discussing all of the projects that I had on the go (or on the brain) and the panic that I was feeling to GET. IT. ALL. DONE. AND. THEN. SOME.
I was going around and around and around and then…she told me to turn my brain off. Not for the session. Not for the day. But for a couple of days. Letting go of the thinking, thinking , thinking will make space for the new, she posited. And that it was critical to my business strategy.
That got my attention.
I literally stopped walking in circles and sank into my armchair and sat with this thought. Then I got really quiet.
It was in this stillness that I realized just how cooked I’d been feeling. Not like burnt toast mind you, more like an egg fried on hot pavement. Splattered, tough and gritty and not at all tasty.
I needed a brain-cation.
So I agreed to turn my brain off of the projects and products that keep my eyes fluttering and to give in to the slower pace in summer. Simple as that, right?
Not so much.
Turning the brain off, turns out, is not as easy as turning off a light switch or unclenching your butt cheeks. (Who knew?)
It wants a signal. Some sort of release that kick-starts another way of being.
So given that my natural way of being IS thinking, I thought and thought and thought and thought about how I could stop thinking. (This reminds me of the phenomenon of frantically racing across town to get to a yoga practice to get your zen on.)
And the absurdity of all this thinking about not thinking made me laugh at myself. Lo and behold, I started to feel lighter. Released endorphins will do that for ya.
So I’m thinking a really good, authentic, ab-scorching belly laugh with snorts should do the trick.
Maybe you could use the same.
In case you need some laughter-inspiration, here are some things that always make me laugh:
- The word “fart”. And whoopee cushions (my nephews think I’m the best).
- Pretty much anything Colleen Wainwright pens.
- Liz Lemon.
- Reading the list of quotes we’ve been amassing from our daughter’s –isms over the year (“hold the big phone!” is a recent addition).
- Seeing someone getting beaned by a ball. In a word: Dodgeball.
Recognizing that what appeals to my funny bone may not appeal to yours, I checked in with some people who make me laugh to see what makes them laugh.
Kelly likes “random, writerly, miniscule detail”. Like:
- Russell Brand (about Katy Perry): "And she hit me on the crown of my human head! Where I do all of my thinking!"
- Anne Lamott, on why wannabe writers don't make time to write: "They start to explain that they have two kids at home, or five, a stable of horses or a hive of bees, and 40-hour workweeks."
- Annie Binns, on writing funny: "For example, a story about squirrels would be funnier if it were about nine beady-eyed squirrels that stuck to the side of my deck in formation, reminding me of the time my little brother glued his G.I. Joe’s to the kitchen wall and declared war against all things legume."
- quirky miniature details - my "human head"; "hive of bees" "all things legume" - make her giggle and guffaw.
Victoria cannot get quite enough of Man Cold.
Will swears this Bon Jovi chant gets his students in a playful and laughing place before his yoga classes.
Dyana's go-to for laughs include:
- Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert
- Goofy YouTube videos of babies playing with dogs
- Her faux pas (“regular and hilarious”, she says)
- Her improv videos
And if NONE of that made you laugh (seriously?) then spend some time with the person in your life that makes you laugh so hard your lemonade comes out of your nose.
- For Lisa, it’s her brother and sister. Asthma-attack inducing laughter.
- For Tia, it’s her fave uncle in India.
- For me, that’s my sister. When we really start to get going, our laugh starts to sync up and takes on a HE-HE-HE-HE frequency of its own. Much to the chagrin of the cats.
Am feeling a lot looser, a lot lighter and a lot more spacious. Will now give myself the next couple of days to enjoy a brain-cation. To notice unusual things, read some delicious fluff, listen to summer and see what shows up in the new space created.
And if it doesn't? Meh. The calorie burn of laughter was good too.
In the comments, please share YOUR fail-safe, always-makes-you-laugh go-to.