New Mantra, Part 4

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Hello. Sorry for this last part being a week late. I promise it wasn’t a deliberate delay to heighten the tension (but it did, hey oh! Here’s the release).

The final part of my new mantra iiiiiiissss–

Have Fun

This mantra is fulfilled in a couple of different ways.

 

Actually have fun

This is a tough one for me. When it comes to taking a break from my work, I never really take a break. I’m Captain Serious when it comes to time off because I see it as another opportunity to create something new, get another project going, or review some older material. But Having Fun means taking a break from everything–writing, schedules, books, and literature–and just completely unplugging. This past week I’d had hopes of being absent from everything writing to celebrate the newest draft of my book (hence why Part 4 is coming out now instead of last week); however, all I did was worry about my book, about what I would be doing on this month-long break, and about not writing this post.

This is not fun.

Have Fun means having fun. Not feeling guilty about having fun while doing nothing. The saying ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ applies here. That means hanging with your friends and letting loose. It means going to a museum, getting a massage, having a YOU day. It means maybe binge watching that show everyone’s been telling you about for the last decade (Game of Thorns or something) but really probably binge watching more Dr. Who. Or it just means not-working. Crack open the door and peer out into the bright, sunny day (civilization!) and go for a walk. Because what is the point of your life if you don’t have a break from it every now and again?

Relax. Unwind. Don’t overthink things. Life’s not that bad. And this leads me to my second point:

 

Life is a comedy

Listen, life is absurd. Look around you. Look at all the suffering, all the hate, all the frustration. Every day, social media overwhelms us with bad news, worse news, and worst news. Every day, it seems logic and reason and even decency has left is never coming back. Tragedy is everywhere, and if you’re not careful, it can smother and defeat you.

In this world, in this life, we can do one of two things–we can proclaim our lives a tragedy or a comedy. So how do you want to go about your life? Depressed, angry, frustrated for the 99% of the things you can’t control in your life? Are you going to be that guy or girl that bitches about EVERYTHING bad that happened? Are you going to be overfed to death on the misery and darkness of this world?

Or are you going to burp in the face of misery? Are you going to fart in the face of evil and darkness? Are YOU going to stick a big middle finger up your nose and blow a raspberry in the face of ignorance, stupidity, and depression?!

Yes you are. And you’re going to do it laughing.

Don’t take life so seriously. But don’t go running around naked through the streets laughing either. It’s a comedy, not an insane asylum. Not yet anyway.

 

“Fuck it.”

This is a mantra of my good friend Eric’s, and he’s been saying it for decades. Through breakups and hardship, through tragedies and triumphs, he’s always said it. And at first, I just thought it was a dismissal. But the more I got to know him, the more I realized it was the opposite. He said it when he lost $200 at a roulette wheel in Vegas one time. He said it when we were about to climb a mountain in Arizona, with both of us absolutely out of shape. And he said it when he finally decided he would move to Phoenix, a place he’d always loved but where he didn’t know a single soul. That’s life-affirming. He doesn’t overthink things, and when he makes a decision, he sticks to it.

‘Fuck it’ is a vital form of Have Fun. It means not torturing yourself with the effects of your causes. It means trusting your gut, which is vital nowadays with so much information and fake news. ‘Fuck it’ means taking a chance, it means trusting yourself, but also trusting the process. ‘Fuck it’ means this is life and it’s your actions that make it positive or negative. Because when you take chances and prepare yourself to deal with the consequences, life is a comedy and not a tragedy.

So fuck it.

 

Smile, darn ya

I’m 40 years old but I don’t look it. I get comments all the time that I could pass for much younger. That’s just how I am or how my genes are I guess, or maybe it’s just a thing with my face. I certainly feel much older than 40 sometimes. But I have a theory that my baby face has to do with something I’ve done for most of my life: laugh. Not just laughing at myself (which is easy) but at life all around me. Laughing at the way we are as people, laughing at the ease and the struggle of life, laughing just to laugh. I can’t prove that laughing makes me look younger, but it makes sense. When we laugh, we are less stressful and tense. When we laugh, we’re sending happiness signals to our brain. I read an article that talked about how if you get in the habit of smiling, even if you feel like shit, you’ll force your brain to trigger those neurons which produce endorphins, making you feel better.

The point is taking it easy and looking at the funnier side of stuff while on this journey of your life will make it that much more livable and memorable.

~

Having Fun doesn’t mean partying all the time.  The YOLO stuff is good to a point when you’re young, but sooner or later you’ll have to do the work to be what you want to be. Having Fun never means being hurtful or stupid at the expense of others. And Having Fun is not ignoring all the bad stuff just to have an escape–whether that’s sex, drugs, music, or any other distraction.  Having Fun is about facing and accepting the bad stuff and enjoying the good stuff. YOU can’t change what’s out there, you can only change your MINDSET.

So it all ties in–

Be Loving to those around you since they are your fellow sufferers;

Be Humble of what you have since there are many that don’t have it;

Have Direction in your life to make it extraordinary;

and Have Fun to find joy in the the little things and moments and to realize that smiling in the face of adversity and suffering is one of the most courageous and life-affirming things you can do.

Go now and live the rest of this year with this mantra. And if you don’t like this mantra, invent your own, as I did. What you do, take stock of who you are and where you want to be.

 

And that’s all folks!

 

Please leave any comments below!

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