During the process of putting together my breakfast smoothie for tomorrow morning this evening, I suddenly noticed that I had the face of a cat in my face, paws of more than one cat all over the kitchen counters. I’m pretty strict about cats not being involved directly in my food preparation, but the person who stays with them when I’m out of town clearly has different rules than I do.
What struck me this evening was the depth of humor I inevitably touch into when the cats (I live with three of them) show up when I don’t expect them. The minute I realized that I had a cat’s head and paws in my immediate awareness, I noticed that I was spontaneously laughing and snuggling fur.
This got me to thinking about the benefits of cultivating a sense of humor over life’s inevitable glitches and moments of non-traumatic surprise. So many moments in any given day don’t go how we expect or want them to go. That doesn’t mean, though, that they can’t be moments of delight or fun.
For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to track moments of delight or surprise that elicit humor. Since living with three cats, I find myself smiling much of the time and that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges along the way. So, for your practice, find those challenges that translate to moments that generate humor or smiles, even when someone else might not find themselves being amused by what you experience.
Laughter is good medicine, so if you can’t find moments of humor at home, take some time to look at YouTube or other Internet resources to offer yourself input that supports smiling, laughter, chuckling, and humor. I spend a ridiculous amount of time at home laughing and smiling, and I find that I’ve taken that quality of life out into my everyday activities and routines. Notice how this is for you…
And, importantly, having a sense of humor doesn’t mean that you don’t’ notice what’s wrong with life, or that you don’t honor the things that are wrong in the world and that need deep and fundamental change. Cultivating a sense of humor doesn’t in any way mean being blind to situations and circumstances that need your attention and action. Instead, it’s one aspect of wholeness and there’s room in wholeness for everything.
As you explore this practice, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion. And, also remember to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to register and then move on through. Also, please allow yourself the gift of mixed feelings so that you can find moments of delight in a world that you also acknowledge is suffering.