We have all had dreadfully comedic days. Days that the car breaks down when we're late for an important event that we didn't want to attend in the first place. Or that we lock the keys in it. On one memorable occasion, I actually accidentally locked my keys in the car, with the car RUNNING, and my babies strapped into their car seats in the back seat. My son was 2 1/2 and my daughter was 4 months old. I was sleep deprived, emotional and forgetful. I'd forgotten my purse, and my reflex was to hit the automatic locks on the door as I got out of the car. My emergency set? In the car with the kids! Thankfully, my husband was only working ten minutes away at the time and reachable by phone. But, those ten minutes seemed to last forever. The only option was to break a window. The irony? This was our new car, not our old one, and to keep within our budget, we chose to eliminate the window coverage from our car insurance to save some money. While waiting for Jeff to arrive home, I was walking around the car, peering into see the baby sound asleep, and Josh waving at me, wearing his full firefighter regalia (a big stage for toddler boys). I was in a tearful panic by the time Jeff realized he couldn't shimmy open a window. When we were able to "rescue" the children, our son was giggling beyond measure, and our daughter was still sound asleep, lulled by the car engine. Josh told me, "Mama! You so funny! Let's do that again!". My horror was my toddler's amusement.
This episode proved to me that, at our worst times, we have to find ways to laugh. During those days that the washing machine floods the basement when you have weeks' worth of loads to do, or the dog throws up on the rug minutes before guests arrive, seeing the humor in life's comedy of errors can not only take the edge off of anxiety and stress, but can actually help you solve your problems more creatively. During my Yoga teacher training, I was required to take at least 3 classes in every Yoga discipline. This led to me to a great variety of styles, theories, stratagems and beliefs. From sweltering Bikrahm Yoga (practiced in a 100 degree, or more, studio) to Kundalini Yoga (which involved chanting words that made no sense, and made me uncomfortable), I tried my hand at gathering as much experience and knowledge as I could. Some of these classes broadened my knowledge by helping me to learn and grow as both teacher and student. Others simply taught me which styles of Yoga I did *not* want to practice. The most entertaining of these outside courses was "Laughing Yoga". The premise behind this discipline is " joy is your unconditional commitment to have fun from within, regardless of outside conditions." Initially, I had no idea how I would accomplish this! And yet, it was just like the popular You Tube video: once one person got going in nonsensical laughter, during a depressing, oppressive commute, the whole train joined in. The Yoga class was much the same way. I was worried that I wouldn't 'get' the class...that I would be dreadful, that I would make a fool out of myself and that I would manage to practice in the "wrong way". Yet, it changed my perspective, and I found the most extraordinary sense of joy and silliness inside of my anxieties.
If we look at our lives with a sense of humor, we can improve our health. That's an amazing thought, isn't it? Countless medical studies have shown that laughter, in the midst of trial, can bring us an improved immune system, boost our metabolism, help lower our blood pressure
and even reduce our need for medications. Therefore, when I'm under stress, when I'm late, when I'm worried about something, when a situation is far out of my control, I try to see beyond the silver lining; I try to see the comedic lining. In doing so, I not only improve my own health and my own perspective, but I'm sure the people around me are glad that I'm not being snarky over my troubles. Additionally, when you laugh, it's amazing how much the answers to these problems just seem to materialize in your brain. Once you get over "yourself" and take your situation out of the mix, it's exceptional how these issues seem to resolve.
At the very least, you will have a far better time looking at life as a "Comedy of Errors" rather than a tragedy of epic proportions.