Intention Series – Laughter

Something that surprised me in the past month was how grateful I was for Laughter. I didn’t realize how often I would suppress it when out with others, perhaps because there was this undercurrent of judgment as to how my laughter sounded. Seems silly, but I think many of us have stories around how we sound when we’re amused. My laugh consists of a cackle mixed with various levels of snorting when I find something completely funny. If it’s even funnier than that? No sound. No sound appears, but I turn red, internally laughing until tears are ready to flood over, empty hand motions, fanning myself for air… those are great laughs. Why suppress them then?

That is the question I’m prepared to fully explore this month in June’s Intention series of LAUGHTER. The whole notion of this Intention series is a clear and concise acknowledgment of what I would like to manifest in my life. Last year I danced through layers of life’s challenges, with the complete understanding that they may not meet you where you necessarily (consciously) wish to be met, yet your reinforced nature of presence is what allows you to rise to the surface and continue on.

Through Joy I rediscovered a new layer of Gratitude for me, opening the way to exploring what my practice looked like. I had Gratitude for the Joy I was experiencing — and even the aspects that didn’t feel joyous. As I rode with Gratitude as my constant companion, what occurred to me was how seemingly ‘little’ things produced immense gratitude. The one thing in particular was Laughter.

I love to laugh. I love to dorkishly laugh. I laugh at everything — good jokes, bad jokes (that somehow translate to humorous for me), old memories, knock knock jokes (only if I actually get them), and sometimes nothing at all — I truly believe that Laughter can be such potent medicine for what ails us, when utilized in healthy ways.

Are there unhealthy dimensions to laughter? I think sometimes there can be, yes. Particularly when it becomes a mask to hide behind. I want to unveil my own mask and hold the intention of Laughter to be shared sacredly, lovingly, and humorously with others. I intend to open the way to receive Laughter in return, and to share in the contagious energy of belly’s hurting, faces reddening, and eyes watering through the currents of fun. I think we need more of that in our lives… more fun, right?

laughter1

Let’s be amused this month, and maybe just a little bit more amusing than we sometimes feel comfortable sharing. Laugh, and laugh it loudly.

Joy Week 5: Completion

This week completes this month’s intention of working with JOY. My experience in this month has brought much clarity to a single month than I think I’ve intently focused on before, which is essentially the purpose of this Intention series: to be able to carry out a clear plan each month to attune to our highest selves.

I’ve documented each week where Joy has led me — letting myself be more vulnerable by genuinely smiling at people and not withholding a friendly gesture; to the choice to be in Joy despite those moments that feel like they may take me away from it; to the commitment of being an explorer of Joy.

The post-its in my journal reflect not only my intention in this series, but has also been a trigger to return to my intention when I need it. I flip to the pages of my post-its, read them, breathe them in, and remind myself why I chose to work with Joy this month: I wanted to actively cultivate the kind of life I want to live — one with happiness, on all levels.

As this month comes to completion, what will happen with those post-its? Take them and write on the back of your intention painting/art all of the things you’ve written down on your post-its. Whether they were just one a week, or more, have them on the back of your intention art.

Let this begin an art journal of your experience with your intentions —

  • How did you navigate Joy?
  • What brought you most Joy in this month?
  • What things felt like they took you away from Joy, and how did you find your way back?
  • What is one thing that you learned about yourself in this month?
  • How will you commit to continuing to cultivate Joy in your life?

While this series focuses on one month at a time, the intention is to carry this forward for the year, and being able to, in one year from now, look back on your journey to cultivating your best life through this Intention art series.

As I type this with the cloudiness and fog permeating my environment, this is what ties together my journey through this month’s intention:

joy shadow

The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it.
It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows. — Brené Brown

Let’s embrace the dark with beauty and embrace our Joy instead of casting it out.

Next week will begin May’s intention series… where will Joy lead us to?

Joy Week 4: Commitment

Yesterday was the Boston Marathon, and no matter where you were in the world a year ago, we can all remember the stories of what occurred, how we felt, and the overall sadness for our world, both near and far.

As a born and bred Bostonian, I mourned with and for my city. I still mourn in many ways, I think we all do, because the unthinkable pain and loss simply goes against our human nature. While I wasn’t able to view the Marathon, I heard the stories of triumph and success. These amazing people who trained long and challenging hours to be present and to fulfill a commitment to themselves and to others was inspiring.

I think about Wayne Dyer’s comment about “looking for reasons to be offended”, and how easily any one of these people affected and hurt by last year’s events could have held onto that energy instead of fostering the growth of joy and happiness.

Continuing from last week’s post around choosing Joy, this week’s post-it note that went into my journal centers around the commitment of Joy:

joyjourney

Find joy in the journey. — Thomas S. Monson

To me this is twofold:

  1. Instead of “looking for reasons to be offended”, look for reasons to be in Joy. Find it and discover it like this miraculous hidden treasure that is all for you.
  2. In those moments when we feel overwhelmed or stressed, take a moment to stop and look around you… can you find Joy?

I can completely relate to #2 as I’ve had several stressful moments in the last week that has felt quite overwhelming. What I chose to do was stop, take a breath, and look around me. Could I find Joy in my journey? I opened my journal and flipped to where my “Joy” post-its were and reread each intention and breathed that in.

Sometimes Joy will appear so vividly and instantaneously, other times we’re digging our hands in the dirt and uncovering the buried treasure that in part encapsulates our quest, yet is the quest itself.

There’s one more week left in this month’s Intention series… continue cultivating your essence of JOY, and this week work on your commitment to finding Joy in your journey.