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The Power of Laughing About Spirituality

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A while back someone close to me nicknamed me the Hummer. Even though I’m not one to hum, the Hummer still sticks. It’s honestely not that unusual for my friends and family to react with headshakes or chuckles when they learn about, or even observe, one of my spiritual endeavors. Many friends agree: they too encounter the same sort of reaction when they reveal their spiritual undertakings to their private circle. And I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a lot to laugh about when it comes to the pursuits and activities I’ve undertaken in the name of discovering and communicating with my soul.

It wasn’t always so. Way back, I had my eyes set on a life to-be-lived in tents, on rivers, up mountains, with physical outdoor activity a strong component for how I expected my life to unfold after college. Why would I ever, for the slightest moment, consider the world of soul when my body carried me so well?

That changed. Severe illness, triggered by the stressful choices and circumstances of life, prompted me to learn about and embrace my higher self and the non-physical realm. It rescued me when nothing else could. Spirituality has stayed with me and is a choice and a path I cannot turn away from. Nor do I want to. Yet, I get why soul seekers and believers receive headshakes from the crowd. I get why some people call me the Hummer. If you are an outsider looking in, soul work often appears outright absurd.

Just ask my daughter. She had to live through a month when mirrors and reflective surfaces were covered inside our house, as required by the Tree of Life challenge I was on, and while I, her mother, experienced living without physical self-reflection, she performed daily dirt checks on my face. She has been asked to blow her anger into rocks, the kind that were difficult to come by given our suburban Long Island address, and also cohabit with chants and scents that didn’t fill any other home in the vicinity. When I, sitting grounded on the bedroom floor, trained to journey into the upper world to meet my power animal, she was a quiet observer, waiting for dinner. On a trip to Asheville, when we stumbled on a drum circle in a city square with a medley of odd people and animals, and I enthusiastically wanted to join in, she did put her foot down and we went sight-seeing as planned. And now she calls me the Hummer.

To a non-seeker, certainly my past—and present— is lined with a number of silly-looking soul work pursuits. In our physical world, they can appear preposterous, and I often pretend I’m a stranger looking at myself engaged in the current spiritual moment, perhaps outfitted with silky scarves, crystals, vision board, dark purple candles, hand mudras, flower petals, a seat at sunrise by a river, or other accoutrements befitting an enlightened endeavor. And it makes me laugh. Because, gee, it is funny. I see why others don’t get this spiritual stuff. Some times I don’t get it myself. Spiritual people doing spiritual stuff do appear off on a rainbow somewhere. And I love to laugh about it, with it, while simultaneously accepting and appreciating the great inner payoff to doing soul work.

There’s a wonderful power in laughing about spirituality. Good-hearted laughing makes me feel stronger, lighter, better, even if it’s my own self and soul work I’m laughing about. More than that, laughing about spirituality can be an icebreaker, a way to indicate to the non-spiritual crowd that it is not us against them. By authentically sharing people’s incomprehension and headshakes about what is done in the name of accessing something intangible, something that doen’t even exist in our physical world, it brings us closer. When others perceive that I’m not apart or above a purely physical perspective, we move closer. Because any time we allow seeing ourselves the way others see us, even if sitting on glittering rainbow somewhere, it unites. That’s the real power of laughing about spirituality. It unites.

Of course, there are subtler, silent, more un-noticable ways that don’t involve rainbows, a power direction, or orgone pyramids to embrace your soul. I bet I can find a way to laugh about those too.

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