Another Anti-dote to Complaining: Humor


After spending a week engaged in creative play, check back and see how this worked for you after your mindfulness training from the previous weeks. I found a great question this week: Which choice will bring more love into the world?

I changed it to ask which choice will bring more creativity into the world because I see them as intrinsically linked. More joy almost always follows from creativity as well. You probably have seen the potholder quote you see in stores like at Cracker Barrel: “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Well, there’s something to that (more for some of us than others…) and I know when I’m being creative, then this mama’s happy. And those around me are too.

Having a sense of humor about what’s hard in your life or what’s wrong in the world, and expressing it creatively (and by that I mean even just joking about it with friends and family) is a deeply important practice. When you are laughing about something, you are by the very nature of it stepping back from it. Humor requires perspective and un-attachment, in the Buddhist sense. If it’s not already, humor needs to become an important part of your spiritual daily practice. And I don’t mean you gotta tell knock knock jokes at the office (although my 8-year-old has some killer original ones…I’m so proud). What I mean is you need to cultivate the ability to see what’s funny.

Okay, quick comedy lesson. There are only 3 things that are funny: the familiar (like celebrity impressions or when a friend tells you about her 4-year-old putting underwear on over his pants – cuz we’ve all been there…),  irony – which is also called incongruity or the unexpected (like if Sarah Palin showed up at a peace rally), and finally, misfortune (Dick Cheney shooting his pal in the face). Or some combination of these, like Dick Cheney showing up at a peace rally with his underwear on over his pants. Okay, got it? So, no need to be mystified or intimidated by comedy. It’s pretty simple.

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