Surrender your seriousness

fitness for life
Last Updated 30 November 2012, 14:10 IST

If you want a lush, loving life that crackles with robustness and goes pop with happiness, laugh loud and laugh often. E E Cummings got it right when he said, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

” Ah yes, when you’re all hot and bothered with angry little red inflammations erupting inside your body, try this foolproof technique: stare…stare…stare in the mirror. Stare into those bloodshot eyes, stare at the face hanging dolefully like a jowly boxer’s and then… Feel that beautiful bellow of laughter spark, rumble and roll from deep within your belly and fill every cell with the rich, rollicking merriment of a Santa Claus.

It’s such laughter that makes a Christmas out of every day. The sunburst of laughter drives melancholy out, re-frames a more proportionate perspective and helps roll up our sleeves and return to work with a new heart. Even those inner inflammations subside and  good health reigns supreme once again.

The folk lore goes: Humans were created happy and uncomplicated. But the egoistic ignoramuses abused happiness with their self-important strut and sabotaged their health. So, God in His infinite mischief decided to hide the happiness essence in a safe house for the discerning to discover it. Hide where? The heavenly councillors suggested, “Bury happiness deep in the earth.” God vetoed, “Too easy.

Humans will excavate it instantly.”  The councillors recommended, “The deepest ocean.” God nixed that too: “When they dive into the ocean depths, they’ll recover it in a snap of a finger.” After much discussion, God came up with a brilliant strategy, “We’ll lock happiness in the humans’ heart. They’ll never think of looking for it there.”  The councillors asked, “But if they do, how will they unlock it?” And God replied impishly, “With the key of laughter!”Not the caustic wit that wounds but the sweet, steady, funny, eye-crinkling kind that says, “We’re all in this together.” Laughter is a spiritual vibration that makes one of two or one of thousand. Imagine a thousand people in an auditorium laughing together at a comedian’s antics onstage.

There’s no evaluation, no judgment, only listening, loving, and laughing together. It’s oneness in action. What could be more spiritual, more healing, more heartening than a thousand united by laughter?It’s like a fun rehab, a wonderful vacation. For laughter dissipates stress, unknots muscle tension, lowers blood pressure. For a few divine mirthful moments, the self transforms into an elf.

Its chuckles pull the wilting self-esteem out of its corner and bathes it in the glorious radiance of self-acceptance. It releases repressed emotions and builds up mental resilience. A deep belly laugh even conditions stomach muscles though I still absolutely insist on abdominal crunches for best results. And no, laughter doesn’t make you fat, it makes you feel good, as pain and discomfort disappears in its endorphinic surge.
That’s why, this season, please surrender your seriousness to Santa and be all loose and limber for the New Year. Laugh every day and clear your eyes and heart of toxic tears. Surround yourself with humorous people and relax deeply in their jocular gentleness.

Watch children’s TV cartoons instead of adult news every morning. During breaks, glue your eyes on Charlie Chaplin or Mr Bean on You tube.  Read jokes, repeat them, read more…  As the Zen Master said, “If you have time to gossip, laugh instead. If you have time to brood, climb mountains and laugh instead. If you have time to smoke, sing and dance and laugh instead. And at night, if you can’t sleep, why you crazy, lucky awakened one, laugh instead!” Not to mention Bosky the Boxer’s brief: “Wag more, bark less.”

(Published 30 November 2012, 14:10 IST)

Follow us on