The other day I was waiting for an early morning flight at the airport, when I saw a man settle into his seat with a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. He was clearly eager to enjoy his moment of peace as he took a sip of coffee and began unwrapping his breakfast sandwich.
Not so fast! Out of nowhere, a small bird, trapped in the airport, swooped down and startled him. He jumped right out of his seat. His coffee and sandwich soared into the air and landed on the floor. Well… I suppose the bird got what it wanted.
This reminded me of the importance of levity. Sometimes in the obstacle course of life, every little stress and challenge feels like it means the world: our flight gets canceled, a charge shows up on our credit card, we’re put on hold forever, the boss puts yet another project on our desk. Or, as in this case, a bird startles you and your moment of peace vanishes.
Frustration simmers and you think, “Are you kidding me? Now this!” When something like this happens, everything feels like it’s life or death. I know firsthand. I’ve had more than my share of those moments. But as I reflect on those, I wonder if I missed out on opportunities to enjoy life because I took things so seriously.
Since making a commitment to my self-care, I’ve been able to step back and create some space between me and what’s happening as it happens. I am able to find some humor in many of these situations.
When our perspective shifts, there’s an opportunity to discover lightness in our hearts. It’s a chance to untie that knot in our Type-A foreheads and laugh at it all. Approaching life with a sense of lightheartedness is like wearing protective gear. When we don’t take ourselves too seriously, the turbulence of life, the ups and downs, don’t drag us down.
So, the next time you send your boss a text that you meant for your partner, full of lovey-dovey hearts and emojis, see if you can step back and see the humor in it all.
With light and love,