No Laughing On Tuesdays

Sep 4, 2021 | blog

One time I was doing breathwork with my coach and during the practice, you’re supposed to laugh. Even if it’s a fake laugh, it just gets you going and then in some weird way, you can start really laughing. 
 
But I couldn’t even start laughing or smiling. I said, “I can’t laugh, it’s a Tuesday. I have stuff to do.” 
 
Here I was in the middle of sacred quiet time, thinking about all the stuff I must do. 
 
“I can’t laugh. It’s a Tuesday.” 
 
Laughing was only for the weekends. Or when chores were done. Or everything was checked off the list. And it has been my journey to call BS on that.  
 
Because the list is never done. The list is like weeds — wily, sometimes beautiful, and constantly regenerating. There is this ingrained (but acquired) need to keep it “manageable,” which is basically impossible in the firehose of modern society and work culture. 
 
Somewhere along the way, we LEARN that we must earn our joy. It is an absorbed teaching that doing something that feeds our souls is only permissible when we’ve been productive enough. So tell me, when is “enough” actually enough?
 
When DO we get to laugh? 
 
You’re not alone.   
 
We eat to bring calm. 
 
We drink to make it easier to laugh. 
 
We keep our phones near us, like a brain security blanket (if I scroll, I don’t have to think or feel). 
 
We put on the cloak of busyness and overwhelm, like we would be nothing without it. 
 
We choose anxiety or ridicule or fear or judgment of others as a way of being, so we don’t have to face our own shadows.
 
We think there’s something wrong with us, instead of questioning the outside world.   
 
Commonplace doesn’t mean OK.
 
I was having a deep convo with a couple of friends who are nurses who have crazy-ass schedules, and one was saying how hard it is to find time to work out. She was blaming herself. She was feeling guilty because after a 12-hour shift (that was supposed to be 10 hours), she just wanted to spend time with her kids instead of going to the gym. Then she apologized for complaining too much. Grrrrrr. This pisses me off to no end!
 
I think the system is broken – not her. Not you. Not me. I told her: Just because something is commonplace, doesn’t make it easy or normal or ok. 
 
It used to be commonplace that people smoked in the operating room or on airplanes. It used to be commonplace that nobody wore seatbelts. It used to be commonplace that I, as a female, couldn’t vote!!! (yeah I know, not me personally but that’s only by the luck of when I was born.) 
 
Now, it’s commonplace to have junk food at every store you go into or soda and energy drinks in school cafeterias or Netflix shows that autofeed you into bingeland – this doesn’t make it normal or best of your wellbeing.
 
Is it really you?
 
Maybe you’re thinking, Netflix streaming isn’t nearly as big of a deal as not having the right to vote. I think that it is another form of suppression, but insidious because it feels like we have a choice. The market tells us we have a choice to “just stop watching” or “just stop eating” or “just stop buying stuff.” 
 
However, there are giant forces at play behind the scenes creating the environment we live in – from food, to screens, to work life, to spending. Guess how much money Coca-Cola spent on advertising each year the last six years – about $4 billion. Just imagine if that same amount of money was spent on brussel sprouts, lol!! 💚
 
Many people I know are on anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants. I have nothing against medication at all, but at some point, isn’t it worth looking around and questioning the way things are? 
 
Is it really all these individuals or is something messed up? 
 
I take full responsibility if I overeat or overdrink or procrastinate. I’m not talking about blame. I’m talking about acknowledging that there are outside forces that influence our decisions; probably more than most of us realize. 
 
There is a common thread in our modern day lives that I see – we think we make decisions about our health based on personal discipline, but it takes a lot of effort and energy to overcome outside forces. Like fast food on every corner. Jobs that force us to be sedentary every single day all day. Phones that never leave our side. Processed food that is engineered to create addiction. Family traditions centered around overeating.    
 
Choosing a Joyful Life
 
I laugh on Tuesdays now. I’m still bombarded just like you are with something every single minute – thoughts, text messages, emails to respond to, social posts, kids wanting something, clients’ needs. That firehose metaphor again. 
 
I used to turn to food to help manage that. Recently, when my sons went back to school after a year and half of virtual, I found myself going down my old path of using eating to cope with the change. 
 
But I’m wiser now, and a health coach (isn’t life funny!), so I have tools and knowledge. And lots of awareness. Discipline is sort of last on the list… All the things I’ve learned, created and helped people with are rooted in my own struggle. 
 
I’m in charge of my wellness. I don’t give up my power to my stress or negative thoughts. You don’t have to either. 
 
I saw this notebook by Em & Friends at Target and loved the message because why we do things is often deeper than just a decision in the moment. Choosing a joyful life means that you know how to get back to simple and easy during modern-day life. It means you know how to look beyond the forces at work and be true to yourself.
 
I’ve got something coming that will help you learn how to menu plan in 15 mins or less, how to cook simple and nourishing meals, and show you exercises that will help get rid of the stress. Who doesn’t want to feel stronger and centered??? My purpose in life is to be a part of inspiring you to move your body, feed it well and seek joy. 

I can’t wait to share it with you!!! Be on the lookout for what’s next… 👀
May you laugh today! And on Tuesday!!!
Many hugs,
Laura

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