DAY 21: Spontaneous Laughter and Kindness

The holidays can be a slippery slope. As we honor Winter Solstice today, the darkest day of the year, we are aware that it also marks crossing over the threshold to a very gradual return to more light each day.

Starting the day with candles lit watching the sunrise over the mountains I was suddenly awash with emotions. Feeling the separation from family clear across the country, the birthday of my youngest son today that I would not be in person for, the lack of a devoted life partner, and many other feelings that are shared across the world right now, all colliding together.

A long time friend happened to call to talk about Christmas Day food and all of a sudden I was awash with tears. The dam had sprung a leak. What comfort friends can be when we allow ourselves to simply be transparent and vulnerable in the moment. Being there for each other in compassion, kindness and love is a gift that is precious beyond words.

The antidote for me in losing one’s balance on the slippery holiday slope often is spontaneous sharing of kindness and humor. It is birthed from a completely improvisational and attentive space.

If I made up a story for the head-stand snow person at the top of the page I would say that she/he was bored silly with the usual snow persons standing around with a perpetual smile, long orange nose, dark eyes (oh why couldn’t they be blue?!) with no eyebrows or lashes, and a too tight scarf wrapped around the neck with only buttons down the front and no jacket in view, and worst of all some flimsy no muscle arms!.

In one of those moments in time this snow person spontaneously decided to do a little improve activity and broke out of the snow person identity with great joy and most probably that very unusual snow person’s laugh – you know what it sounds like don’t you?! Sledding and snowball fights were next on the agenda.

I say if you go out in the world today, even on perhaps “boring and potentially stressful” errands, be aware of unlimited opportunities for spontaneous acts of kindness and sharing of laughter. They simply emerge when you are least expecting it.

However, one must be open and trusting that the moment may serve up an opportunity….and willingness to connect with curiosity and spontaneity.

Every day is a new opportunity to begin again. Every day is your birth-day.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu & His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I will leave you with one of the several opportunities that emerged for me today while out on errands. Now mind you words often fly out of my mouth, perhaps birthed from that spontaneous improvisational place that resides somewhere in the galaxy.

A rather benign purchase of gluten free frozen pie crusts to make a couple of holiday pumpkin pies turned into moments of complete joy and laughter for both myself and the male cashier. I always inquire how the day is going for the person handling the checking out.

In this instance it was an older man with white hair and when I asked how his day was going he simply said “I’m really tired!” When I asked when he arrived at work he said 6am and it was 1pm when I went through his line. This is when words simply flew out of my mouth without forethought as I said, “So when are you getting off?” quickly followed by “Gosh it sounds like I am asking you out!”

Complete silence on his part…..and then he said, “You are making me blush” and my saying “I don’t know where that came from” with a laugh which he joyously shared with me. As I am about to walk out the door he looked at me and said, “thank you, you made my day!”

Well, we made it together in our willingness to play and place our attention on connecting and being in the moment. HAPPY SOLSTICE!

About 31 Days of Joy & Laughter Project:

As elders with a long life behind us and not as much embodied life before us, and as humans on the planet Earth at this time, we are being faced with incredible challenges that compete to take our attention.

A couple of days ago I realized I no longer choose to have my attention taken by the fear, doom and gloom broadcast daily, whether on our smart phones news feed or while talking to others. I am weary of it all and need a higher vibration energy bath!.

It is not that I don’t want to know what is happening in the world, but instead the question I am posing to myself, and to you, every day is – where do we want to place our attention? We most always have a choice.

For the month of December I am placing attention on joy, laughter, creativity and acts of kindness as a experiment to see what unfolds. Seeking out and being aware of moments of joy sometimes hidden in the deep pockets and lining of each and every day that seem to get passed over without even looking back. They are always there.

Each day in December you will find a small nugget of joy, humor, creativity or small act of kindness that found me and pulled my attention which will be posted here. I invite you to join me and share your experiences and what you noticed so that we may spread it around! (Please use the “Comment” section below).

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You can also find all of the posts in the archives here:

Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 12/21/21. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder

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