A Clean Mind

Blogging about a less stressful way to live…

Let Go And Laugh At Yourself

An essential thing for being able to let go and flow downstream with life is to be willing and able to laugh at yourself. Like most of what we talk about here at A Clean Mind, all it takes is practice. I certainly still have room for improvement in this area, but who cares? It doesn’t take much for a huge shift, and it’s getting better and better all the time.

The first time I remember really laughing at myself occurred two grad schools ago during “the math years.” I was driving home from Gainesville to Pensacola, and I had recently discontinued the intense energetic/yogic path I had been on called Arhatic Yoga. For the past 12-18 months, I had been working so hard at “evolving,” with a spiritual practice that took about 60-90 minutes a day. I was pretty tight about this spiritual evolution thing, as you might guess. A little voice kept telling me that I didn’t have to do all of this work, that it wasn’t truly necessary. Finally, I listened to this voice and stopped. And it felt great.

Let me say at this point that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with yoga. What’s more, I’m not talking about Hatha Yoga here, which is what most of us think about when we think of yoga. The word yoga means “to yoke” or to unite or join, to merge. Most people think of it as merging with our “higher soul.” Merging self with Self. Hatha yoga is basically the physical part, the physical poses that are done in the typical yoga class. Arhatic yoga was comprised mainly of very heavy duty meditations of different flavors. The energetic aspect of it was pretty intense and was definitely not subtle. Very powerful stuff. Back to the story…

It seems like whenever I’ve moved on from something, the next thing has appeared right away. In this case, I had what I needed to answer my questions in the form of the teachings of two spiritual teachers named Eckhart Tolle and Gangaji. I had a 4-CD set of Eckhart Tolle’s called Eckhart Tolle’s Findhorn Retreat (live from Findhorn, Scotland). Then there were two 1-CD audio programs from Gangaji called Beyond Practice and Spiritual Traps. This stuff was exactly what I needed! It was pretty uncanny…

So I’m driving down I-10 West, headed home to lovely Pensacola. I was listening to Tolle from Findhorn, and he started describing how most humans are, always freaking out about things and living in their heads, and he was laughing. And I realized that he was clearly laughing at me. And right away, I started laughing at me! It was a big, hearty belly laugh, and it was awesome. It was freeing, and it was a huge release. In that laugh, he had helped me snap out of taking myself so seriously. Life is way easier that way. I mean, we really don’t know much about what’s going on in the big picture. We really aren’t in control of our lives as much as we think. This can be disorienting at first, but when you get used to it life is much easier. Now you don’t have to know everything, you don’t have to control everything. Life is simpler. It might look the same on the outside, but it’s much more relaxed on the inside.

So when you’re feeling tight and life might not be going so smoothly, let go and laugh at yourself. Laugh at all of your efforts. You’ve tried! This is not a mean laugh but a very gentle laugh. A healing laugh. Life is much easier when you do this, and it’s much more fun, too. And if I can do it, anybody can. All it takes is practice. And I have plenty of practicing to do…


All anybody really wants is peace. The good news is that peace can be learned. I’m serious. This should be taught in middle school, but it’s not. So I’m teaching it now.

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