Why So Serious? On the special one year anniversary of Pretty Spiritual Podcast, we are talking about how to have fun in life. Yes, even when it feels like the end times. Even in times of global pandemic, presidential elections, and whatever other fun stuff might be happening in your personal life. Smile! But seriously, life is hard enough. How can we learn to let go of some of our seriousness? How can we be more exuberant with our lives and laughter? How can we relax and let ourselves play...even as adults? If you’ve ever tried to lighten up, you’ve probably discovered that fear and pride can keep us really invested in looking good and being right. In so many ways, fear gets in the way of our ability to play. So how do we notice when we’re taking ourselves really seriously and what can we do to let go of all that seriousness? Let’s get into it. Don't Take Life Too Seriously? Um, okay... How? There are some really good reasons we started taking life so seriously. Maybe we had to act like adults when we were children and learned to equate seriousness with safety. Perhaps we thought that seriousness and severity were good ways to protect ourselves and keep ourselves safe. And we want to honor the fact that those equations may have saved our lives when we were little. But now as adults, these attitudes and beliefs are actually getting in the way of our lives. So how do you wake up in the moment when you find that you’re taking yourself too seriously? We have some fun suggestions. Of course, we’ve all heard that one annoying suggestion at some point or another: don't take life too seriously. (And if you were offended and slightly irritated by this suggestion, join the team!) Okay fine, even if we want to learn how to do that, where do we begin? It has been our experience that the more tools and resources we have, the greater the chances we can wear the world like a loose garment. How to Have Fun in the Thick of It As Suzuki Roshi once said of the spiritual path: “What we are doing here is so important, we better not take it too seriously.” So let’s learn how to laugh kindly about ourselves and our lives even when we’re in the thick of it. Want to learn how to laugh more? Or how to have a sense of humor about yourself? That’s right, friendies. It’s time for spiritual tools. Let’s pick up some tools that help us be lighthearted when we're in transition or life feels stressful, heavy, serious and overwhelming. For the record, not taking ourselves too seriously doesn’t mean we dismiss or undermine our own experience. Before we can start to not take life so seriously, we usually need to learn how to soften into the experience of suffering we’re having. We often need to learn to be kind with the fear or tightness we’re feeling in order to love ourselves into healing. We can appreciate the gravity of circumstances or situations while still maintaining a cheerful attitude. And by the way, if you're struggling with mental health issues or trauma, we really want you to trust yourself and take your healing seriously. Please get your sweet, tender self all of the help you need. If you’re struggling with that first step, please get in touch with us so we can support you with encouragement, accountability, and love. Spiritual Tools to Have Fun with Life Let’s get those tools. First of all, attitude is a choice. OMG, how annoying is that! Sometimes the fastest way to have a shift in attitude is to watch our thinking. Having the container of awareness gives us the space to witness ourselves and our thinking. Because, just, wow. It’s nonstop comedy gold up here, people. Ready to take your one-person comedy act on the road? Chances are you can lighten up by sharing all that serious thinking with another person. Letting safe people into the obsessive or self-centered thinking helps us remember we’re not alone. Plus, sometimes just saying the thoughts thinking out loud can make so much room for our sense of humor. Another tool that helps us so much is curiosity. What changes when we can get curious about our experience? Being of service to others is also such a powerful way to get out of ourselves and feel good about the lives we’re living. And hey, just to be clear, we are always advocating for service with boundaries. And just a casual shout out to God or gawd or goddess or whatever name works for you. Can we surrender our controlling and managing to something greater than ourselves? Especially something that cares deeply for us and is taking care of us at all times? This kind of trust in the process can help us relax into the flow of the present moment. Say a prayer to whatever speaks to your heart. Play Is a Real Spiritual Tool Ready for the final tool? We want to suggest that you play! Wondering how to be playful? Ask yourself, where can you be silly and let loose without caring too much about getting it right or what other people think? In other words, do you have a puppy (or other fur baby) around? Please hold hands with it immediately. Get in there for some in-depth ear kisses. Aaaaaand repeat. For even more fun ideas, check out the spiritual resources on our tools page. Come on, y’all. Join the fun and discover for yourself why laughter is good for the soul. Find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Insight Timer, Google Play, Spotify, Soundcloud, Podbean, and Stitcher (or our Contact page) and share your feelings, thoughts, and anything else! Thanks for listening to our spiritual podcasts. We love ya!