There’s a saying in the community I lived in, “Fun is the goal, Love is the Way”. Fun could also be called joy or happiness. While there are things that might reliably be fun in the moment, happiness and joy are not dependent upon what’s happening in the external. When they are, we predictably swing in and out of joy. And hey, that’s okay too, if you let yourself enjoy the ride!
Lately I’ve noticed myself getting a little too serious. Like, “I’ve got a mission to fulfill and things to do, and I don’t see joy and fun in this equation.” This can be especially true in “spiritual practices”, starting from the traditional seriousness I experienced during Sunday Mass in my Catholic upbringing.
That’s just mistaking sacred experience with dogma. Recently, we were at the Grand Canyon for sunrise. At a lookout point, everyone was quiet and kind to each other. As someone moved out of my way so I could take a photo, I noticed we whispered to each other. I wondered aloud, “Why are we all whispering?” and we laughed. We whispered because this was a sacred moment. It was also fun, especially with our doggie with us who just loves to be pet by strangers. I thought about how serious we can get when it comes to spirituality, be it church, meditation, yoga or other sacred rituals. Honoring the sacred doesn’t have to be serious business. It can be sweet, fun, and filled with smiles and laughter.
When spiritual practices, self-awareness and growth become a serious task, maybe it’s time to switch gears. Even “fun” creative endeavors like making art or music can become a “should”. As a fitness instructor, I found people wanted to know the best types of exercises for their goals. The answer: the one you’ll actually do, AKA, actually enjoy.
Going toward fun isn’t really the norm in our society unless it’s a reward for working hard. If you’re not suffering in order to earn that fun “time off”, it’s irresponsible to just spend your time having fun. You have more important things to do.
Luckily, the universe is always on our side, and if we notice that, we’ll see all the resources and support around us to go for fun and happiness if that’s something we want more of.
What do you want more of?
You get to say, and your form of happiness, fun, joy or whatever you are wanting, is unique to you. If you see someone else with something you’d like more of, you can celebrate that you are seeing that in your reality and say, as Rev Ike would, “That’s for me!”
As I noticed my own seriousness, and the broken record pushing me to do “more, better, different”, I followed little nudges from the Universe in a different direction.
Two main things showed up for me: to say, “Today, I choose to be happy,” and then to focus my attention on the good that day, and all the things I am grateful for.
Here’s the cool thing: in focusing on the good, the challenges also become good. They become guides, teachers, reminders and growth opportunities. Pretty cool!
I got to see that doing anything because I think I should isn’t reason enough to do it, or at least not reason enough to enjoy it. Instead, I looked for things that I could say yes to, like putting on Holiday music. I love Christmas! I love Christmas because it is a time that is magical, adorable, sweet, fun, love and joy filled. Sure, we have our reasons for choosing this time of year for this, be it Christian, Jewish, Pagan, etc., but really, for those of us that love this time of year, we just say, “Yes! I choose fun and love and joy!”
Saying yes to MY style of fun, to what uplifts ME, is most important. AND, this is subject to change!
You might have something you do habitually as your form of upliftment. Maybe it’s journaling, a gratitude practice, a service or volunteer work, yoga, drawing, watching comedies, or meditation. These are all truly awesome, AND, are they uplifting you RIGHT NOW? It’s okay to change! It’s okay to try something different! Today you might thrive with something different or new, even if it’s uncomfortable at first to drop the habit you’ve built for now and go for the new and unknown.
I love to dance, walk the dog and connect with nature, journal, and do a lot of various spiritual practices. Sometimes, I’ll force myself to dance, or think I should always love walking the dog. What I’ve notice is that I don’t have to force anything! Sure, I walk the dog regardless, even if it’s a shorter walk. AND, it’s okay to move my body in other ways and throw the ball for the dog to get his exercise in.
I know that there are plenty of sayings out there like, “Do what you love,” or “Follow your heart.” I also know that going in the direction of fun and joy can look like the most irresponsible and even dangerous thing you could choose to do.
Here’s the thing: this is a consciousness game, not dependent on outer circumstances. It’s the awakening to the fact that you are a spirit in this physical body and have complete choice in how you experience and interpret your reality.
Again I ask you, “What do you want more of?”
This begins by letting yourself be totally honest about what you want, your dreams and visions. Just because you have a dream and look around and see “I’m not there, and can’t see how to get there,” doesn’t mean you stop dreaming. You start where you are.
If it is a physical external thing, get to the root of the actual quality of that item or experience. This could be something like: freedom, trust, love, joy, fun, connection, intimacy, community, love, abundance, prosperity, peace, magic, clarity, happiness or flow.
Then say, “Yes!” to it by declaring when you wake up, “Today I choose to be….!” No matter what occurs, no matter what you need to do that day, look for the good. Look for that quality and bask in the gratitude of seeing it! Because you ARE those qualities, those states of being. YOU are the creator. AND, are the co-creator, this entire reality and universe conspiring with you to put into physical form ANYTHING you choose to believe is possible.
It’s time to put into practice what you WANT and look for it all around you and inside you.
This includes EVERYTHING that you choose to do. You might have a list of the things you “have” to do. The question is, “Why are you doing this?” What is motivating you to do this, be it washing the dishes, paying the bills, or driving in traffic to work. There IS something you are getting out of your choices that is important to you, and you can choose to look for that positive quality. Even in the “bad” choices, like eating something you know isn’t healthiest for your body, there IS something you are seeking and getting from that experience. If you can say YES to what you are wanting from that experience (such as comfort, peace, relaxation, pleasure), then you are now focusing on having more of that experience instead of making yourself wrong for the way in which you were choosing to experience it (like through food). What a sweeter, nicer way to treat yourself and what you need and want, yes?
What you focus on you truly get more of, so as you focus on seeing what you really want or need in the moment, instead of judging yourself or your actions, the universe will provide you the inspiration, clarity, little actions steps, resources, and opportunities for more of what you are focusing on and looking for.
You already are an expert at seeing all the things that are bad and wrong about yourself and reality. We’ve got that one down, check. Time to get out of the comfort and predictability of the habit of the pain and go for saying YES to delicious, light-filled true Divine YOU and your heart’s desire, exactly as you are and are not RIGHT NOW!
It's not just you, my beloved. The world is transforming and we're all in this together. You are a master and expert in your unique experiences and contribution to the world. Together we'll navigate through these challenging yet oh so juicy and magical times.