Laugh And Know True Happiness

My husband Tom had a heart attack 14 years ago today, in the worst winter in memory. Ice storm after ice storm plummeted Pennsylvania, and particularly Lancaster County. Hours before the infarction, we used chains to get our van out of an icy ditch. Ice pelts were raining from the heavens.

Tom said to me: "Call Doctor Kevorkian." His mood was dark and matched the near night aura of that day. Fast forward to the anniversary of this event, 14 years later. The day is overcast and rainy, a tropical 50 degrees. I was in a sound sleep after my twelve hour shift at the hospital when Muki and Ule, my canine companions, began to bark.

Was it a fox or a dear? I got up to look. No, it was a humongous Fed Ex truck, backing up my driveway after delivering a package. He couldn't maneuver out of the driveway so came back down to the house. By this time, the driver was panicked.

He almost took out my van on a turn. As he rounded the bend, he went into the exact ditch my van was in 14 years before. As he revved up the engine, he went deeper and deeper into that fated ditch.

I helped him place a skid under each tire. The wilder the driver gunned the engine, one of the skids shot out from under the tire, narrowly missing my abdomen. This was the moment I stepped back and prayed to my guardian angel. Suddenly the truck spun backwards on stable ground. It miraculously was out of the ditch. The driver made the turn and got out after expressing deep apology.

My usual sleeping need of 5-7 hours was reduced to 3. Soon I would have to go back to the hospital for my third twelve hour night shift of the week, so I stayed up and attended the cleanup of my yard. At work that night, I told the Fed-EX story to an audience that appreciated all the ironies to such an extent that we laughed until we cried, literally. I told the story several times to different sets of people, all with the same reaction.

Every time I told the story I laughed so hard that tears streamed down my face. Naturally, not everyone thought the story was funny, reminding me of all the times in my life when I actually got in trouble for laughing and becoming child-like in my approach to life. The next morning, I did a session of "The Work" of Katie Byron over the phone with my "Round Robin" partner. "The Work" is a way to question thoughts and hold them up to the light by the process of Inquiry.

So my One-Liner was: Everyone is far too serious. Is this true? Yes, it is true. Everyone is far too serious. Can you absolutely know that this is true? Yes.

How do you react when you think the thought, Everyone is far too serious? I stop laughing. I focus on the separation, the me versus them mentality. Where do you feel it in your body when you think the thought: Everyone is far too serious? In my solar plexus, in the middle of my abdomen, in the form of anxiety, tenseness and fear. How do you treat other people when you think the thought: Everyone is far too serious? I feel unkindly and with judgment towards them, inwardly, which people pick up intuitively. When did the thought first occur to you: People are far too serious? During the 1960's and early 1970's when my generation was having far too much fun. The World War II generation, my parents, etc, were critical of us and the generation gap was created.

The Baby Boomers were at odds with their parents and their generation. Who would you be without the thought: People are far too serious? I would practice laughing every day. I would practice feeling mirth and spontaneous giggling!! I would live for the moment at hand and live by the motto: Planned Spontaneity (and laughter) guides my day!! Turn it around? People are far too serious? People are not far too serious.

I am far too serious (because I hadn't really really laughed in months)!! My thinking is far too serious!! In order to be happy, I don't have to do anything including laugh or be serious!! After the laughter, I had more energy (despite the lack of sleep), felt a lightness in my body, felt my psyche free up, and was able to Let Go/Let God/ess!! I am as free as the Heron skimming the surface of my river that flows by my house. I am as happy as I allow myself to be. The choice is always mine.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Kate Loving Shenk is a writer, healer, musician and the creator of the e-book called "Transform Your Nursing Career and Discover Your Calling and Destiny." Click here to find out how to order the e-book: Check Out Kate's Blog: -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-


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