I went to yoga this morning and as I was laying on my shoulder blades, feet above my head, fat rolls in my face, I got inspired to re-post this oldie-but-goodie. Fo reals yo.
Blue Skies Magazine, September 2010
Life Coaching Column #6 (this month I just wrote #23 to give you time perspective, word)
Two out of the last three weekends I got paid to dance around in a dress made out of pull-up cords. Ok, so the paycheck was really for the daytime skydiving, but the fact still remains that pull-up cord outfits, life-size Mirage bug-heads, and futuristic silver space attire, in effect, have become part of my job. Why? Because it’s fun to be funny.
See, hilarity is my second favorite thing in life. (Second only to love.) As such, I love all things ridiculous. I’m talking, full-on. For example, I have four plain white text stickers on my helmet for a one-day-a-year team called Poop Chutes. Why? Annual team unity, yes, but primarily because I find it totally hilarious. Poop Chutes, Poop Chutes #2, Poop Chutes de Turd, and Poop Chutes Number 2 Number 2. Four consecutive years, people. I’m committed to the joke. Keep in mind, I am a professional skydiver, have been on multiple serious teams, proudly display my sponsors stickers as well, and always coach with deep intention of helping people learn and succeed. Even with that, I bet a sizeable majority of the people I get to jump with also leave wondering what the hell is up with Poop Chutes. Honestly, I find this quite hilarious as well.
There’s really not much point to that previous paragraph other than the selfish fact that I cracked up writing it, and thought you might too. I’m also hoping it confirms our agreement of the undeniable value in simple laughter. Yeah? Cool.
Great, so if laughter is so valuable, how do we get more of it in our lives? Hang out with funnier people? Read books on comedy? Watch Wedding Crashers 300 times memorizing every single line, then throw them out in seemingly unrelated conversation, wowing the crowd with our comedic timing? All possible solutions, yes, but my vote is simply… lighten up. More specifically, laugh at ourselves. Consciously. Deliberately.
There are a zillion things about each of us that in theory are not perfect. There are a zillion things that we can look at and fear we’ll be judged for. There are a zillion things that, if we let them, can hold us back from having a way more fun, funny, and accepting everyday existence.
For instance, I am self-conscious about my stomach—body issues. I’m sure none of you have those, but try to imagine it. (Yes, that was sarcasm, as I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess we all have these in some form.) As such, bikini jumps used to be an absolute NEVER for me. Even after getting to the point where I could say F-it and do it for fun/my job, I would battle internal embarrassment walking around all exposed feeling like my fat rolls were disgustingly squishing out of my tight harness. Shit, sometimes I feel that when I’m wearing clothes! Since then, I have come to terms with the reality that I am, in fact, pretty skinny, even though my body hasn’t really changed. I have accepted myself in this form, knowing my awesomeness is an overall package deal, washboard abs or not. So now, when I’m standing next to the stunning size-zero cutie going on her 100th jump bikini-way that I’m organizing, I fold my middle together on purpose, poke my finger in the fat, and ask her why she’s trying to make me look bad. At which point of course, we hug and hilarity ensues.
What I challenge, is that we all can do this… we all can transform what walls us up from having more fun, by simply realizing we’re human like everyone else… realizing the seemingly judgable things about all of us aren’t openings for shame, but opportunities for more LOL’s, hahaha’s, and a lighter life all around via something as simple as a few jokes.
So what other examples are there? Maybe it’s the theme party thing and instead of fearing your costume won’t be cool enough, you own that trash bag with leg-holes like it’s your job and insist it took you 7 hours to construct. Maybe it’s not a skydiving thing at all… maybe you always forget to take out the trash and historically have felt defensive every time your girlfriend mentions it, but this time you emphatically tell her the truth, that “taking out the trash” is CIA code for secret world-saving mission stuff, that that’s what you were doing, and that’s the real reason the bags are still sitting there. Then you take ‘em out. Maybe you botch a 4-way exit, and instead of beating yourself up, you pause the video where you’re irrefutably head down next to your teammates all perfectly belly-to-the-prop-blast? Trust me, if this last one hasn’t already been you, it will be you someday soon. Be ready. Embrace the pause button and your imperfection. Hilarity… will… ensue.
Laughing at ourselves and owning who we are, “flaws” and fears, ridiculousness and all, we are released from the rigid prison we build around our lives when we’re uptight. Remember, we’re skydivers, we like freedom. Have fun with your fat rolls. Melsinore, out.
Since then, I have come to terms with the reality that I am, in fact, pretty skinny, even though my body hasn’t really changed. I have accepted myself in this form, knowing my awesomeness is an overall package deal, washboard abs or not.