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A Good Laugh, a Good Cry, and Some Peace and Gratitude

Posted Jun 04 2009 10:01pm

Warning: you are about to receive a kick in the pants, so proceed with caution.

Have you ever had one of those days -- the ones where you feel icky, stuck, pissy, out of sorts, and indulging in a pity party with lots and lots of whining? Yep, I've been there. And then there are days like today -- when I'm reminded how amazing my life is and how ridiculously lucky I am to have the privilege of living it.

Sometimes I forget this as I deal with the ups and downs of life. Sometimes it takes hearing about others' problems -- I'm talking real problems here, not "they gave me whole milk instead of soy milk at Starbuck's this morning"  or "I'm stuck in traffic and won't make it to my yoga class on time" kind of problems. I'm thinking more along the lines of sickness, death of a loved one, broken marriage, etc.

It's days like today that I realize that I too often take myself and my life too seriously. I whine about silly, silly things that don't even matter (they only matter because they're happening to me). I complain when I should really be saying thank you.

Today I'm saying it -- THANK YOU! And I'm dragging you, my wonderful blog readers, along with me. I'd like you to -- just for today -- drop the whining, complaining, bitching, fretting, and generally making-a-big-deal-out-of-nothing nonsense that we all indulge in on a regular basis.

STOP! Do not pass go. Do not collect your $200 (or has Monopoly made concessions for inflation?). Ask yourself -- is it REALLY that bad? Will it matter 1 year from now? Can I just let it go?

My answers are no, no, and yes. Won't you join me?

Along with my little wake-up call today I did what I tend to do when confronted with the realization that I don't have any REAL problems -- I get all philosophical. I think about the meaning of life. I think about how I complicate what is really very simple -- it all comes down to this: a good laugh, a good cry, awareness and inner peace, and gratitude (with a lot of love thrown in for good measure). Today I dedicate this blog post to the realization that life is good, simple, and forever changing.

A Good Laugh
How many times during the day do you laugh? Last year I got myself an adorable little feathered sidekick (a cockatiel who I named Yogi [what else?!?!]) that makes me laugh at least once a day with his antics. Since then, I've realized that I could stand to laugh a little bit more -- especially when I find myself getting frustrated/angry/annoyed. I find that laughing is the better -- and more yogic -- alternative. So I bring you a few chuckles:

Overheard in NY -- you just can't make this stuff up! As someone who has spent a fair amount of time in NYC, I can say that I've seen and heard plenty of hysterical stuff just like this. Yes, Toto, you're not in Kansas anymore.

Rubber Duckies beyond Ernie and Bert -- ever since I started watching Sesame Street as a kid, rubber duckies became a symbol of fun and happiness to me. Perhaps that's why I have one perched on the tile shelf next to my tub. I'm happy to say that my friend Havi has brought the rubber duck to a new level of popularity. Click here to bring on the rubber duckies and discover what Bert and Ernie have known for years -- rubber duckies are fun!

Laughing with Yogi Ramesh -- we've all heard of laughter yoga, but Yogi Ramesh brings laughter to a whole new level. No matter what my mood, I always find myself chuckling when I hear the Ramesh cackle. You can also find more of the ridiculous, amusing and downright dirty in these funny yoga videos.

A Good Cry
Sometimes, of course, you can't laugh because you feel like crying. I suggest letting it out  and going to your mat for a little help:

Yoga Relief for Sadness -- if you've cried it out and are ready to get the lingering sadness out of your body, why not try Yoga Yak's 40 minute yoga practice to dispell the sadness and find relief?

Work on those hips -- I find that working on my hips releases a lot of emotion for me. I had always heard that the hips were the storehouse for emotion yet I didn't quite believe it until I experienced it myself. Now I believe. If you're feeling out of sorts and can't quite pinpoint what's going on or where it's coming from, try some deep hip stretches.

Swamping with Sally Kempton -- author and meditation teacher Sally Kempton offers some excellent advice for dealing with and moving through the swamp of sadness in this Yoga Journal article. How's this for wisdom -- "...there's another face to sadness, a sweet secret core that opens like a hidden doorway into a state that, yes, looks a lot like love. Just as anger can be a doorway into strength, and desire the force behind creativity, so sorrow can trigger soft-heartedness, humility, and other profound spiritual emotions."

A Little Peace
Although I work with clients of all shapes and sizes with a wide array of professions, incomes, and backgrounds they seem to all have one thing in common -- they complain that they're too stressed. Despite the fact that I practice yoga daily, sometimes I still feel stress creeping in and playing havoc with my well-being. My Peace Rescue tactics are simple -- meditation, getting out in nature, and pranayama. They never fail me. Get a taste right now:

Peaceful Pranayama -- the lovely yogis over at Yoga Today just recently posted a lovely 10-minute pranayama that's sure to restore peace to your life.

Meditation -- jumpstart your meditation practice with this resource. I also highly recommend Adam Kayce's Inner Peace Audio.

Meditation with a little nature thrown in for good measure -- the meditation rooms over at Lime offer soothing music, beautiful pictures, and a brief respite from the world without leaving your desk.

Keep things simple -- if you've ever been on a retreat, you know releasing the complications of daily life can lead to peace, serenity and well-being. If you're suffering from too much to do syndrome, use this wonderful little list to simplify your life.

Gratitude Rocks
I started this post with gratitude, so it's only right that I finish on a grateful note. It seems like it's human nature to focus on what's wrong instead of what's right. Just look at the nightly news -- the bad news stories absolutely, positively outnumber the good. For me, being grateful is a little like weight training -- you have to build the muscle up by working it. That's why I partake in my daily ritual of writing down what I'm grateful for. If you need a little kick in the pants in the gratitude department, look no further:

The mindfulness practice of gratitude
Clean the chakras and make room for gratitude

Thoughts on gratitude

This completes your wake-up call for the day. Stop whining and looking for the bad and acknowledge the good. You have a lot to be grateful for, even if it sometimes takes a little convincing to realize it. Sometimes the only words we can -- and should -- say are thank you.


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