Laughing with the guests

Laughing with the guests

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival;
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and attend them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house empty of furniture,
still, treat each guest honourable.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the same, the shame, the malice,
meet them all at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each guest has been sent as a guide from beyond”

Rumi, The Guest House

It can be particularly difficult to stand in our house and laugh at what befalls us. I see around me at the moment many who are struggling. Perhaps it is again that time of year where many are tired, coming out of a long winter and not yet past Christmas lunch. There isn’t much laughter at times.

When we have these happenings, often there is only resistance: No breath, stuck jaw, tight throat, tight heart. No flow, no movement. Only stagnation. Often I find that I get stuck. One way I have recently enjoyed getting out of some “stuck” is by negative practice. It works. Ok I am going to think about pink elephants. A lot. Suddenly, with permission to do so, it loses some of its power, and flow can arise again. Stuck, for me, is a sign that I am no longer in flow. That I am no longer truly connected, to myself, nor the world and not my breath. I have used this too with some clients who are dysfluent “Go on, make it the worst stutter that you have ever had!”. Sometimes it turns out with full permission that it is their most fluent. 

Laughing eases….

This picture is gorgeous isn’t it? It reminds me of the joy of laughter. The free expression we have when we laugh, even in the face of our misfortunes and especially in our joys. When we remain connected to ourselves and do not abandon ourselves. 

I often ask my clients to giggle or laugh to ascertain how we connect to our breath in a more “natural” way. They often look at me with a great deal of uncertainty, until usually we both laugh with the falseness of the situation and not wanting to laugh. Connection to the breath, and ourselves can then occur. For some who have been highly stressed, laughing is not a regular occurrence. And for some in “suits”, it is something not usually done at all in the midst of a serious work day (!).

So today, I am going to honour the guests, respect their sweeping, and wait, in hope, for new delights to appear. xx