Sponge Bob Square Pants, “great philosopher” of Nickelodeon cartoons, is actually quit funny for adults. I realize that a classically trained yoga teacher should probably consider Sponge Bob “beneath her”, but in all honesty, I like Sponge Bob. He makes me laugh. And, since TV largely consists of bad news that I can do very little to change, now and then it just fun to be silly. With Sponge Bob. Great theatrical imagery it’s not. But, sometimes, silliness overrides quality. In one of my favorite Sponge Bob episodes, the characters celebrate Opposite Day. If you normally say “Good morning !”, you would instead say “Have a crappy day !” If you have a cat that normally meows, it will bark instead. If you usually walk on your feet to work, you might try walking on your hands. It’s pure silliness, and obviously, these examples are cartoon inspired.
But, what would you do if you could create a real Opposite Day in your own life ? Imagine the possibilities ! If you are normally a shy person, you could make a point to be very outgoing…knowing that you’re putting on a “character”. If you’re overwhelmed and frustrated by your daily grind, you could cut out every single thing that makes you grumpy, and turn yourself into the picture of Serenity personified. It’s Opposite Day, so you would have permission to simply unload those commitments that overwork you. What about an exceptionally peppy person….like myself ? I’ve often thought about just making myself take a day to simply slow down and listen, as opposed to barreling over (and through) my day. If you normally dress very conservatively, perhaps you could spice your look up a bit. I’m not advocating going from Amish Schoolmarm to Lady of the Evening. But, look at some current magazines, think about getting a new haircut, or wearing an outfit that says “Hello !”, rather than fading into the background. By the same token, if you have a full force sense of style that is up on every trend, think about toning it down for just one day…dressing a bit more conservatively and reining in that overabundant look. You may be surprised by the reaction you receive to these changes. When George Constanza, a 90’s character on “Seinfeld”, made every single decision to the opposite of his normal choices, all of his dreams came true: he moved out of his parents’ house, found a girl to fall in love with and was hired by the New York Yankees for his dream job !
Opposite day actually has the potential to bring you great freedom. Because you are only making these choices for *one* day, you have a world of opposite possibilities open to you. I have long thought about offering my Yoga class in an Opposite Day format. I discussed this with my students today, and they loved the idea. We’re going to try it next week….we’ll be doing our usually Ashtanga based routine, but we’ll begin in Savasana, and end with Sun Salutations. I’m sure Yoga purists would be horrified. But, the fact is, everyone needs a little silliness in their life. The world can get awfully serious, especially during the times we live in. If something like Opposite Day helps break the monotony, I say “carry on !” The truth is, like George Constanza, we may actually learn to make some good decisions this way. By going in an opposite direction, we may end up in a wonderful new place. We may find that “shaking things up” is exactly what we needed to get a kick start in a new direction…even if it’s an opposite one. Ruts happen to the best of us, but Opposite Day may just be one way to shake us out of that rut. If nothing else, Opposite Day can be a lot of fun.
So, eat spaghetti for breakfast, serve French toast for dinner, and think about saying a hearty “Good morning !” to the person at work who is snarky to you. It’ll bring a smile to your face. And, you can wear pajamas to the market, just this once. After all, it’s Opposite Day !