Friday, October 18, 2013

Be A Prophet of Play

It takes courage to be a clown.

The greatest criticism of spiritual or religious people is that they take themselves too seriously.

Think Pharisees. What an uptight group of men. No sense of humor whatsoever.

Clowning around is a pathway to laughter. Look at all the spiritual traditions...they all have their jesters, their jokers, their holy fools.

These playful prophets encourage us not to take ourselves too seriously.

Without humor, life becomes oppressive and difficult. It is an essential element in spiritual health.

Did you know that children laugh as much as 100 to 200 times a day? Adults go from zero to only a few in a day. There's something wrong with that equation.  It's time we adults lighten up and get in touch with the playful child within.

Humor is holy. It is healing. And it is downright fun.

Check out some of the benefits:

  • lowers blood pressure
  • conditions the abdominal muscles
  • reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline
  • increases the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells
  • increases antibodies in saliva that combats upper respiratory infections
  • helps move nutrients and oxygen to body tissues
  • and much more!
With benefits like these, we can't go wrong.

When I was a kid, being asked to say the blessing in front of many others at special meals like Thanksgiving was terrifying. My dad, sensing my hesitancy and always the jokester, jumped in with, "Bless the meat. Bless the skin. Open your mouth, and cram it in!" His humor lit up the room and added the levity I needed. 

Thank God for humor.

Spiritwork:

Be a clown today. Make people laugh and bring out the child in them. You'll find that when you act like a clown, you'll meet and encourage the clown in others. 

Whenever I go out to eat, my server inevitably asks, "Can I get you anything else?," to which I respond, "A million dollars?" 

Heh, heh. Works like a charm. 

Or, here's another easy exercise. Take time to read the comics. Read them and laugh. You'll find that they contain great wisdom about the nature of life. I like to cut out cartoons that make me laugh. They hold a special place on my refrigerator as "Laugh of the Week." 

Blessings!

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6 comments:

  1. I love humour. There's nothing like a good belly laugh to lighten the mood. I think we came here to have fun, laugh and play. I regularly watch cartoons and laugh every day. I love the lighter side to life. We could all do with more play and less seriousness. Thanks for the reminder to have more fun! Really interesting and informative post, thank you.

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    1. Andrea,

      We are definitely here to have fun, laugh and play. I have to laugh when people take the bible so seriously. When I studied theology, I had to translate the NT from the ancient Greek, and when read in its original language, you see a totally different Jesus, one who is witty and sarcastic and funny...all of that is lost in translation. When I traveled to Israel, all the Jesus art showed him in agony on the cross or with a serious countenance. I asked the artist why he didn't sculpt or paint Jesus smiling? He was dumbfounded. I told him when he creates a Jesus who smiles and laughs then I would buy his art. I wonder if he ever took my advice. Ha Ha.

      I'm all for clowning around and having a good time!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing! Much appreciated.
      Blessings.
      Penny

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  2. One of the best gift my parents gave me was the gift of laugh..I never actually took a lot seriously....everyone that I work for always hear me laughing...some of them say what a great laugh or some say you better be careful THEY don't like people being happy at work..I always scratch my head n think why not...I'm to loud ..laughing.....why did laughing turn into something bad? I love laughing...having a good time....n I can show the students it's ok to laugh...it's ok not to take yourself seriously ....I think sometimes society makes one act a certain way....
    I laugh at people who are way to serious...BC its not needed....life is supposed to be enjoy not to wake up feeling ugh another day....which some do....

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    1. Laughter is certainly a wonderful gift. It lightens the mood. It elevates the spirit. It helps us to vibrate at a higher frequency. That's why it is a holy gift to us.

      Keep laughing!!!
      Blessings.
      Penny

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  3. I Penny,
    Love it!!
    Laughter is one of my favorite workouts because it exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and works the shoulders which also leaves your muscles feeling relaxed afterward! It's also good 4 the heart muscle.

    I agree with you that we all need to develop a good sense of humor!!

    Healthy blessings,
    Gena :D

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    Replies
    1. Gena,

      Laughing certainly is a good workout! There have been times that I've laughed so hard that my stomach muscles and cheek muscles were actually sore the next day! Who doesn't enjoy a good laugh!

      Keep laughing!
      Blessings.
      Penny

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