Why even in a crisis, laughter really is the best medicine.
You know what? It’s OK to laugh at yourself. It’s OK to be imperfect, to not to be coping all the time and to even mess up a bit.
It’s ok to say, ‘I’ve had enough, my Superhero cape is coming off, I’m parking up my Superheromobile for the day and taking a break from whizzing around my little world trying to save everyone.’
It’s ok to take a moment to laugh at yourself, to surrender to the present and then, only when you are ready, to move on.
I was reminded of this last week when one of my clients failed to turn up for a virtual Mastermind Group. This client, a very successful business owner (who like many is wondering what her business will look like post-Covid) gave the following explanation for missing the session…
“I’m sorry I missed you all this morning, I was happily (?) immersed in my cash flow forecast when I realised that I should have been with you all at 10am. I know what you are thinking – “this is a rebellious woman. She knows how to have a good time!”
After the excitement of a good spreadsheet I thought I would give you the latest from my household in home schooling. No need to worry it won’t take long.
Today my husband and I each received an email from the children’s school asking that we confirm our email addresses.
They do indeed have the correct addresses. We can only surmise that our silence in the cacophony of messages from other diligently concerned parents is somewhat startling. The thing is we aren’t responding. You see I am busy.
Between the excitement of spreadsheets, I am busy running a school avoidance program for my two youngest children. They are learning how to be bored, how to amuse themselves, how to create their own fun. They are learning that it is their own internal drive that will be with them forever. Math, English and Renaissance Art can come at another time.
In other news the new (17 year old) tenant in the granny flat hasn’t started partying yet.
Her old bedroom now smells like it’s new (13 year old male) occupant. (Reason enough to keep the door closed. I’ll tell you another time about the smell from a room setting off the fire alarms…yes seriously.)
A team of archaeologists is about to commence a dig in the space belonging to the 9 year old. I know, she’s only been alone for two weeks, yet the discoveries are expected to be amazing.
The 15 year old is only seen at feeding time. At least we know that he is alive.
All in all we are safe and well. I hope you all are too.”
Yep I laughed.
Given so many are navigating the complexities of this ever changing landscape, doing all we can to keep businesses afloat, people in jobs, pay bills all whilst leading, inspiring others, cooking, cleaning, home-schooling, attempting to keep fit and healthy and most of all sane I have no doubt many of you can equally resonate.
My client’s message reminded me about the gift of laughter and that we need to be able to laugh at ourselves no matter what may be happening around us.
I reckon laughter is the cheapest form of therapy that exists and there is nothing better than a good old belly laugh, or laughing so much that your face hurts. Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor said, “I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.”
We have limited control over what is happening in our lives right now. The questions continue to be many and the answers few. The uncertainty is real. The challenge is real. The changing demands on all of us are real. But how we lead ourselves through this and the consequent impact we have on others is where the true opportunity exists.
Where can you find humour this week? What can you laugh at yourself about? What moments can you share with others to lighten the mood, to inject an energy, to ultimately help others feel better about themselves too?
Whilst it may feel like one step forward and five back more often than not, a little bit of humour, a wry smile and a good old laugh at our own expense can often provide the glimmer of light needed to keep ourselves, and others, moving forward.
Go on – give it a try.
Until next week