Brighten the Darker Days Ahead- with Mindfulness & Laughter
It is fitting that I write about celebrating the light in the face of darkness because tonight people in India and Indians and their friends around the world are celebrating -Diwali (Dipavali in Sanskrit, meaning “row of lamps”; also spelled Divali or Deepavali) . This is a Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere). One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” Wikipedia
Tonight, we in the USA will be watching out televisions to find out the results of our mid term election. No doubt, there will be celebrating for the victorious and there will be great disappointment for the other side. Where there is separation and divisiveness, there is anger and outrage. If only we could find a way to come together, to see the bigger picture and to work for the common good. Respectfully, with open hearts and minds.
Politics will always be around to stress us. Let’s move on. Don’t get sick over this. Focus on staying strong and vibrant.
As our sunlit days are shortening and as we traverse from autumn to winter, many of us will be spending more time indoors and also become more reflective. It’s the time of the year when traditionally, families gather and celebrate. This time of the year, with all it’s revelry, can also lead to loneliness and sadness as family and friends may be far away, or no longer with us.
We may be longing for something, which we are not able to clearly identify.
We can all benefit from the definite need for more lightness…..So let’s keep our inner flames alive and bright.
It is good to be reminded of things that we can do to stay resilient and joyful, even with the challenges that we face.
Thanksgiving is an opportunity to practice mindful gratitude, to take joy in the little things which we often overlook or may take for granted. Slowing down, connecting with our breath, taking a closer look and expressing appreciation for the tiny things can help us rediscover the wonders around us.
Make a (mental or written) list of all the things that are meaningful and important to you. Write in your journal.
Then take a moment to see what else you may not have listed because you just expect those things to be there. A roof over our head, heat, electricity, running water, a working stove, a car, our health, no pain, or being mindful of the pain and the acknowledging the origin of it. Having enough. Being. Feeling like we are enough. Maybe realizing that we’ve had enough! It may seem like a simplistic approach but the more you practice it, the more powerful it becomes.
Reach out to someone you love and tell them how much they mean to you. Check in on someone you haven’t been in contact with for a while. Put away your devices and have a deeper conversation with someone. Practice your listening skills. Give them your undivided attention.
Join us at laughter club, where you are free to let out the inner child and express yourself, reconnecting you to when you were carefree. We combine many practices- smiling, which leads to giggles, slowly building up through gentle laughter to belly laughs. We laugh unconditionally, in a group and connect with each other in an uplifting and respectful way. Stress be gone, no worrying about the past or the future. We are in the moment!
Laughter clubs are safe places where we not only laugh but play, listen, respond, hold a space for others, foster our compassion and empathy, sing, dance, speak gibberish, become childlike (not childish) and practice meditation.
If you haven’t yet visited a laughter club, seek one out in your area. It may be just what you need to thrive through the seasons.
Sending you much Gratitude Laughter and Light,