I was in the work kitchen recently pouring some water when the receptionist, preparing her morning coffee, questioned me about my well-being. I told her I was great with the usual apparently convincing tone and sincerity. She replied, almost saddened it seemed, telling me “oh, you’re always like that, I’m so jealous”. She then forced a laugh as if to lighten the seriousness of her statement and make it a joke of sorts. The conversation ended there but had she questioned me further I might have attempted to explain that
what you put in is what you get out
I may have asked her to not go home and switch on the news, to not gossip all day with her colleagues, not to drink eight cups of instant coffee, and to spend some time when she wakes tomorrow focused on the possibilities not the liabilities. Of course, it is not my place to interfere with others’ journeys and I did nothing of the sort. Her responses may however, of been equally amusing.
If ‘what goes up must come down’ then it is at least as true, that what goes in must come out – one way or another. When I hold humour workshops I make particular mention of the why, the how, and the what, concerning all aspects of humour in our lives. In other words, in order to encourage people to understand the value of humour as a strategy in self-care and life, I need to also show how this is possible. Especially given that many people believe you either have humour or you don’t. But humour, like anything, comes out only, if its in there to begin with. So, you immerse yourself in funny stories, associate with humorous people, aim to see the funny side where possible, and read lots of comic strips retelling jokes and gags whenever the opportunity presents. All of a sudden there you are remembering a funny and appropriate line when the perfect moment comes and:
people are telling you, how funny you are.
In a Psychology Today article, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201012/why-we-love-bad-news, Ray Williams states the profound imbalance of negative versus positive news stories. There’s a reason behind it but most importantly here, we must ask whats the effect on us and our families? In the same article Ray adds:
“Many studies have shown that we care more about the threat of bad things than we do about the prospect of good things. Our negative braintripwires are far more sensitive than our positive triggers. We tend to get more fearful than happy. And each time we experience fear we turn on our stress hormones”.
Most of us know we are in a perpetual state of high stress including an overabundance of cortisol and adrenalin in our blood. This adds to tension, heart strain, blood pressure elevation, acidity, and predisposition to disease among practically every other negative effect on our wellbeing one can imagine.
What goes in doesn’t just relate to watching the news. It can mean who we associate with, what we hear from others, what we read, what we think about, how we manage our task-based workload, and importantly, what we say – silently, and out loud, and through our actions.
The options are to live determined to raise awareness. Simply chunking large and unrealistic changes doesn’t work and is usually stressful itself. But raising our awareness, however gradually, begets slow methodical and sustainable changes filtering across the long-term. If you must watch the news, investigate some of the internet independent stations working through non-biased and ethical means (supposedly outside of the corruption and politics), consider who you spend most of your time around (they influence your life and what happens next for you more profoundly than you probably realise), guard your words with respect and discipline (both Don Miguel Ruiz, http://www.miguelruiz.com/ and Florence Scovell-Shinn http://www.florence-scovel-shinn.com/spent half their lives talking about the power of the spoken word). Above all, instill a sense of CALM within you and your life, allowing time to listen to the ‘silence’. This is where you will hear your truths and harmonic direction, where negatives can never exist, and where you too, will find yourself naturally saying
thank you, I’m great!.
While it may seem we are working towards a particular state, it is in fact working back toward a state we once embraced. It is as Stuart Wilde, http://www.stuartwilde.com/ gave us, a challenge to evolve to the point of living in this world but never of it. Becoming part of the social construct is dangerously easy and hardens our spirit without warning or alarm. But raising our awareness provides its own momentum – a natural flow that will unfold inside you and therefore, express outside you. It may not be easy to accomplish but it’s dead set simple to understand. And at the end of the day it will be worth the small daily investment, because this unique journey is not only yours for the taking, it’s yours for the making too!