How I Gave Myself Permission To Play Again

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by Melody Fletcher on September 11, 2012

 

A few years ago, I was taking my little nephew for a walk in his stroller while on a visit to Germany. I started running down the street, making race car noises and he was giggling and laughing loudly. Then this couple stepped out in front of us and blocked the path. I tried to play with them and made revving noises while I waited for them to move. But they wouldn’t. They just stood there, frozen and annoyed and wouldn’t let me pass or get out of the way. It sort of killed the momentum and I remember getting quite annoyed with them. Why did they have to be so grumpy? Why couldn’t they just play along?

It wasn’t until a couple of days later (I was slower at this back then) that I started to ponder why I had allowed their behavior to bother me at all. I could’ve easily continued to play, pretending they were stop signs or statues or something. But they were being staunch, serious adults (they were my age, BTW, not old biddies) and that made me self-conscious of what a kid I was being. Suddenly, I felt the need to be more grown up, and it was THIS thought that annoyed me. The idea that it wasn’t ok to be silly and giddy and playful. What an awful feeling thought.

We are here to play

Whoever decided that we had to grow up and be serious as we got older got it wrong. Never mind all the studies that show that we are more productive when we’re in a state of play, that our creativity and problem solving abilities soar or that we’re much better able to handle stress.  All of those are great reasons to play. But really, I only need one: It feels really, really good. Who We Really Are loves to play. When we are silly, when we play like children, when we use our imaginations and turn our everyday environments into what we want them to be, when we actively defy our training to “face reality”, we are actually much closer to our natural state than at any other time. Playing is who we are, which is why it feels to damn good.

Why we don’t play more

So, why don’t we play more? Because we’re taught not to. We’re taught that it’s not appropriate, that it’s not professional, not grown up. We’re told that there’s no time for that (playing is a waste of time, apparently), that we have to be serious, knuckle down, plow through the unpleasant business of what we have to do to get where we want to go, even if it makes us terribly unhappy to do so.

I’ve always had a tendency to play, to be silly, to make jokes (why are the most inappropriate jokes the funniest?). But for many years, I did my best to suppress it. When it did leak out, as it inevitably had to, I’d spend a few minutes being silly, making people laugh, only to have some grumpy robot tell me to “grow up”. And that would stop me in my tracks. I’d see myself through their eyes and imagine how silly I looked. I’d remember that if I wanted to be taken seriously, I had to conform. I had to let all my colors drain out of me and become gray, faded, washed out, boring, tired, sad, stoic, emotionless, humorless, passionless, lifeless. I’d feel ashamed of my silly side, like one of those dreams where you’re at school or work and you suddenly realize that you’re totally naked. I’d slipped and lost myself in the moment, like an unruly child who had to be tamed and controlled. And that’s precisely what I tried to do – I tried to control my happy nature. And boy did it cost me dearly.

A self imposed prison

But, while I felt like I was in prison, like I wasn’t allowed to be who I really was, it was really me who was placing that restriction on myself. I was trying to conform to other people’s rules, to other people’s beliefs that I could not get ahead and make money, make a contribution to society, or be accepted by others, while being silly. Sure, there were exceptions, like being a comedian, but that was show business. I couldn’t have a normal job and make a decent living while being silly. I couldn’t meet my boyfriend’s parents, get a car loan, go to dinner at a nice restaurant, or stand in line at the bank and be a person who also loved to play. It just wasn’t done. Now, just to be clear, I’m not talking about coming to my corporate job wearing a tutu or making fart noises during a business meeting (although, seriously, that would’ve improved many of the meetings I had to attend). I’m talking about allowing myself to be playful when I should’ve felt safe to do so.

I worked in a corporate culture that didn’t allow playfulness. Fair enough. The problem was twofold:

  1. I had the belief that this is how it was – that other companies were the same and that I’d better learn to suppress this side of myself if I wanted to be successful anywhere.
  2. I took on the corporate persona, and didn’t drop it when I left the office. It impacted my playfulness even when I wasn’t at work (which wasn’t all that often, to be fair).

The main limiting belief running underneath all of this was that it mattered what others thought. I needed them to approve of me so that I could be successful. Me getting what I wanted was dependent on their opinion of me. And since they didn’t like silliness, that part of me had to stay hidden.

The small but growing rebellion

So, that’s how I rolled. For years. I did my best to conform, ignoring how awful it made me feel. My silliness would squish out from time to time, though, in small but rebellious ways.

  • I had an amazing, sexy, colorful, very expensive shoe collection. Oh my GAWD they were fabulous. Unfortunately, most of these shoes went to better homes after I lost weight. I actually went down a shoe size and my gorgeous heels no longer fit. I didn’t feel the need to replace them, though.
  • I had a bald friend and whenever I saw him, I pretended to wax and buff his head, complete with squeaka-sweaka noises. It made me giggle until I nearly peed. I couldn’t not do it. Thankfully, he tolerated me.
  • Whenever I came across stuffed animals, I’d make them have inappropriate conversations (I’d do the voices), then dance and then do dirty, dirty things to each other, complete with porno noises. Ok, I still do that. I just can’t help it. Don’t judge me. (And no, I don’t do this in front of kids.)
  • I’d sometimes start giggling for no apparent reason (I’d have an absurd thought of some kind) and then wouldn’t be able to stop, or even breathe long enough to explain what the hell was so funny. Mind you, this didn’t happen at work, but on the rare occasion that I’d relax a bit. It was as though all the laughter got stored up when I didn’t let it out and then just burst forth all at once. I’d laugh so long and hard that others would start laughing just because they saw me. They caught the laughter. It was as though it had to come out.

None of these little ways of rebellion were enough to undo the damage that suppressing my real personality was doing, but they did at least relieve the pressure here and there.

And then I realized something…

All those grumpy robot people who loved to criticize the “immature” and silly, were just incredibly unhappy. And when an unhappy person is faced with someone who is having a good time for no apparent reason, it makes them feel their unhappiness more acutely than ever. But, because they don’t have the self awareness to realize that how they feel is their own responsibility, they exercise the only option they think they have: they do their best to shame the happy person into being just as miserable as they are, so that they don’t have to feel their own depression as much.

Everyone wants to play. Most people just don’t think they’re allowed to. [Tweet This]

Deep down, the grumpy robots want to play too, but they believe that they have to conform. They’ve let themselves become grey. And they resent anyone who dares to flaunt their colors, who dares to be silly and playful and to feel free. The silly have what the grumpy want but think they can’t have. And if they can’t have it, then no one should, damn it.

This realization set me free, not all at once, mind you, but over the next few months. I relaxed more, found ways to let my personality out in ways that weren’t inappropriate (again, no fart noises in business meetings). I laughed more easily, didn’t take things so seriously, smiled a lot more, hugged more easily, threw away the grey suit and put on the colored-y one.

What good could come of all that playing?

And, as I played more, as I let Who I Really Am come out more and more, my life started to change. Sure, I made other changes as well, had other realizations, but this was a big one, linked directly to my willingness and ability to be truly authentic. I eventually left that corporate world. I now get paid to speak my mind, to be myself. My readers and clients actually appreciate my silly sense of humor. When I see a child and the opportunity is right (i.e. their parents won’t think I’m a kidnapper), I play as fiercely and with as much commitment as another kid would. I still do the dirty, dirty stuffed animal thing (I truly can’t help myself. It’s just too funny. Maybe someday I’ll make a video…), I play with my food (oh hell yes, I do), I dance while walking down the street (I don’t mean that I walk with a bop in my step. I mean I start to actually shake it if the song grips me), I crack jokes whenever they occur to me, I even use humor in my coaching to highlight the absurdity of a belief or to diffuse potentially tense moments. And because I do this, not to be noticed or to rebel, but rather just as a natural expression of Who I Really Am, I no longer get chastised for it. I’m not aware of those who disapprove (I wouldn’t care if I was). I’m no longer embarrassed. I no longer meet up with the grumpy robots. Now, I meet up with others who also like to play, others who are silly and colorful and unafraid to be who they really are. Now, I’m no longer in prison. I’m no longer grey.

I don’t care if others don’t let themselves play. I don’t care if they won’t allow themselves to walk barefoot, or roll down a hill, or make revving engine noises when they pretend that a small boy’s stoller is a race car, or allow themselves to share in the giggling delight of that child when they do so. Just because they live in a grey prison of their own making, doesn’t mean that I have to. Won’t you join me? Let go and play together! You know, if you think you can handle it… ;)

 


{ 50 comments }

Kat September 11, 2012 at 14:22

I have already joined you, Melody, so we are totally playing! Of course I can handle it, and I have always liked the name Nigel :-) This pretty much summarizes my life as well, so I can relate to this story. These prisons are definitely self-imposed and we do not need to play that way. Here’s to more good times!

Melody Fletcher September 11, 2012 at 15:39

Hey Kat!

No surprise there, ha, ha. You’ve been playing with me here for ages. Yay!

Huge happy shiny playful puppy hugs!

Melody
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Alanna September 11, 2012 at 14:23

Fabulous post as usual!
I couldn’t quite conceptualize the dirty stuffed animals thing while reading the post but that last little picture helped me figure it out and I burst out laughing. Your animal pictures with the quotes and captions are oh-so-wonderful and sometimes I want them as stickers or something so I can keep them and laugh at them when I’m not online.

Alanna September 11, 2012 at 14:31

Oh yes, thoughts on the post. I got so caught up with the pictures that I kinda forgot. Okay, here goes.
Yes, totally feel you on the playing issue around others. I’ve recently realized how incredibly silly and goofy I am so I do tend to let it out. I hit a wall with it at work sometimes when things are “stressful,” I feel like I’m being judged for it. Say at a meeting during said stressful period, when people are doing their “check-ins” about how they feel, I tend to gladly say that I feel happy and peaceful, etc. And I’ve gotten snarky comments like “oh it’s this or that, wait until the end of the day.” I can’t understand why people want me to be upset, as if that’s a sign that I take something more seriously. I realize I’m actually much less effective and productive when I’m upset so it’s kinda ironic that they want me to be upset. I also happen to be in a space where I am caring less and less about those opinions at this particular place as I back away from the situation step by step. But yea it can be a struggle when I feel like I have to please certain to people to get or maintain what I want. But play on, I shall!!

Melody Fletcher September 11, 2012 at 15:46

It doesn’t make sense, does it? And there have been studies (some by Harvard, so this info is totally out there) that prove that being positive and happy makes us more productive and creative. But in practice, most people still cling to the idea that you have to focus only on the problem and have the good sense to feel horrible about it, in order to show how serious you’re taking it. But as you said, you don’t have to buy into that. What you are doing – deliberately shifting into a different vibration in the face of a bunch of people who are focusing very differently, is not an easy thing to do. It takes time and practice and a bit of discipline. But it can be done and the payoff is HUGE! :) Keep up the great work!

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Melody Fletcher September 11, 2012 at 15:42

Hey Alanna,

It kind of has to be experienced to get the full effect. I do the accents and different voices and everything. I may have a problem… :P

One of my plans is to eventually find an artist who can help me create cartoons that we then own the rights to and can reproduce as cards or calendars or stickers or something. That’s a bit down the line, but it’s in creation. :)

So, you know, keep wanting that and it will happen.
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Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca September 11, 2012 at 15:05

Yeah, this is totally how I roll ;)

Play on, playa.
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Melody Fletcher September 11, 2012 at 15:47

I kind figured, Jason. :lol:

Huge hugs!
Melody
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H. September 11, 2012 at 16:00

I relate SO MUCH with all that you say. There are only some slight differences between your description and my way of being playful, but oh boy. The similarities. Even the corporate job I’m trying to get rid off.

I’m going to share a story: My first comment here was about my sister, and left some hints about some abuse our mother undertook. Slowly that was left behind, our mother learned by herself to be more aware and connect with her daughters. I learned to connect with her – differently from my sister, of course, I now realise we both have our own paths. When I was a child, I had a tendency to be really smoochy with everyone (it was a cry for help and attention, but also something in my mind as a child that I really enjoyed and thought that everyone should be fond of eachother and see the cuteness through my eyes). Also, I always could find anything cute and smoochy and fluffy in anyone (children or grown ups, specially grown ups, because their cuteness is more subtle and challenging).
It’s probably weird for most people the ideia of a daughter running after her mother to squeeze her cheeks because her face is so damn cute. I think this playfulness made my family relate better and be more authentic. For instance, my mother felt weird at first about that (she was very serious and worried in those bad years, and terribly insecure about others thought about her and her life), but now she is more playful than ever.

I’m beginning to find friends that accept that side of me. Specially the inapropriate jokes. Oh why are they so funny? Even those that can’t make anyone laugh but only an unconfortable silence and a band making a *ba dum tss*.

Kisses (I’m a kisser).

Melody Fletcher September 11, 2012 at 20:04

Hey H,

Thanks so much for sharing! My family is actually pretty playful, too, to a degree. We have always been affectionate and we laugh together easily. And loudly. We are a loud, talkative, silly, bunch. :)

Since I live in Spain, I’m used to kissing on both cheeks when saying hello or goodbye.

So, kiss, kiss,

Melody :)
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Tony September 11, 2012 at 16:36

You are already playing with other people my dear Melody. You just don’t like their rules. Like trying to play basketball in a stadium designed for football. You know it can happen, you know other people are able to understand it but you don’t see why they don’t want to understand it. Perhaps you don’t see the value of going to a work that seems to exhaust them instead of lying down on the green grass after the game using LOA to drink mojitos and have some more fun. Don’t they deserve it? Afterall, they fought hard during the game. Why do we have to feel real pain until we get hopeless when we can just pretend being in pain while actually having fun and then have so more? Perhaps you somehow feel they might have a point, they can’t do everything wrong. Perhaps you feel that if they leave, what’s the point of drinking mojitos alone? You are just too smart Melody which is not common in the world you were born even if you know that it doesn’t have to be so. Being too smart is sometimes a real pain and creates too many expectations that sometimes cease to be fun. Imagine for a moment you are the owner of a football team and you know in advance (through some not so legal activities) that your team is going to lose the next game in the league. You know you can go to a sportsbook undercover and cash big on the loss. You know you shouldn’t have doubts and cash is waiting. Are you willing to do so? That’s the spoon that doesn’t exist but it’s sometimes too hard for our skin, especially when we use it against us.

Melody Fletcher September 11, 2012 at 20:08

Ah my dear Tony, but now I simply play by my own rules and the law of attraction brings me those who want to play with me.

I do actually see the value of going to a job one hates. I didn’t when I was living it, but ultimately, I wouldn’t be where I am now, wouldn’t be WHO I am now without those experiences. I could’ve moved out of them faster had I known then what I know now, but it’s still all valuable and good.

And you’re right, seeing these structures when others don’t can be more of a burden sometimes. But ultimately, it’s freeing. Now, I don’t care if my football team wins or loses. I just want to get in there and play. Oh yeah. I’m on the football team. Maybe I could be the kicker.. ;)

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Carmelo September 11, 2012 at 19:45

Ugh! I mean, Yay! Ha! The ugh is for people who take themselves and life too seriously and the yay is for you!

Hey, you identified two of my patented “31 Walks That Can Change Your Life!” The “Dances with Wolves” walk and the “LOL – SOL Walk” (although you didn’t mention them by name, of course.)

Geez Louise, Melody you are a kick! I haven’t quite reached the “free-expression-without-any-embarrassment” you have but I’m getting there. Man, you made me laugh. Still laughing. I even think my toothache is gone! (lol, just teasing in remembrance of our last conversation, ;-) )

Huger Hug with a giggle on the side,
Carmelo
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Melody Fletcher September 11, 2012 at 20:12

Thanks so very much Carmelo! I’m glad you got a kick out of this one. I’m writing some lighter posts lately, after all the ones about death and stuff. There’s got to be balance, no? :)

I feel challenged. Ahem.

Happy shiny puppies doing CAN CAN kicks and jazz hands, then high-fiving each other, while doing the splits, then moving into a back flip and finally a smooshy hug. For you. HA!

Melody :P
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Rose September 11, 2012 at 21:45

HAHAHAAA, Melody, u phunny gal u.
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Melody Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 14:36

Thanks Rose. Glad I could make you laugh. :D

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Laura September 11, 2012 at 22:15

Quoting from the article: “I’ve always had a tendency to play, to be silly, to make jokes (why are the most inappropriate jokes the funniest?). But for many years, I did my best to suppress it. When it did leak out, as it inevitably had to, I’d spend a few minutes being silly, making people laugh, only to have some grumpy robot tell me to “grow up”.”

When I read this statement, it resonated with a couple thoughts I had just today.
1. It’s none of my business what others think of me.
2. I don’t care what others think. I care what I think. (Emphasis on I.)

Anyway, great article. It hit home at many angles.
Thanks.
Hugs.
L

Melody Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 14:37

Hey Laura,

Thanks so much and you’re very welcome. I’m glad this hit home. It’s a light article, but the insights are actually quite powerful, aren’t they? When we finally free ourselves from the opinions and approval of others, our lives change. :)

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Nay September 11, 2012 at 22:25

Melody the fun-ny one!

This post just gave me a very important flash back. I suddenly remembered one of my parents telling me that I laugh too much and smile too much, and it would make people think I’m too silly and not take me seriously. Wow! What a memory.

And yea, ‘now’ I can see how that affected so many of my choices. I had a true fear of being silly, or looking silly. I know I wanted to, but I was afraid to let go, for fear of the ‘consequenes.’ As I got older I did get past it to some degree, because we all grow as time goes by. But that little clench inside when I do something that others may consider silly…yep, still there. And when you’re in charge, talk about disapproval! But isn’t it amazing that the people who are the silliest are often the ones we would rather spend time with. Go figure!

Now I can see where that fear came from, and realize how I let someone else’s opinion decide how I should act or feel. It’s amazing how we let others have such control over the way we live.

So, onward and outward, to the silly side of life, ’cause I would much rather be there! Here’s to fart noises and stuffed toys doing dirty things to each other!!! ;)

Cheers!

Melody Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 14:40

Hey Nay,

Awww sweetie! Poor little Nay! But your parents thought they were doing you a favor. So do bosses when they tell you not to be so happy (happened to me. Twice). They think it will help you become more successful.

But those are their limiting beliefs and they don’t have to be ours. I’m buying more stuffed animals as we speak. :lol:

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Nay September 13, 2012 at 23:27

Melody,

No poor Nay here. Being told not to smile or laugh isn’t that big deal, in the long run. But what I just figured out is.

I grew up in a place where an excess of floride was put in the drinking water. This causes your permanent teeth to develope with enamal and floride. Well that’s not all bad, because floride is strong, but it is also yellow. Which of course means my permanent teeth came in with yellow on them.

To make things better, when I smile or laugh, I show ALL of my teeth. I mean, my smile is HUGE! And as time went on, I learned to hate that huge smile or when I laughed, cause it showed the yellow to perfection. And kids being kids, usually made sure to point this out. ‘Why do you have banana teeth?’ Don’t you brush your teeth?’ Etc, etc. It may not seem difficult, but changing how you smile or laugh is not easy. Really. I tired. ;)

Can you see where this is going? Of course you can, and NOW, I can see so much too. All that time hating my smile and my laugh, and BAM! Someone important to me tells me not to smile or laugh. Go figure. My exact thoughts and feelings reflected right back at me!

Epiphany are I! I love this stuff! I love how I can look back and see exactly how LOA worked in my life. Which just gives me such a huge and better perspective when I do catch something like this from my past.

Great big smushy hugs, because I’m just so damned amazed and happy!

Melody Fletcher September 14, 2012 at 13:49

Yay Nay! Isn’t it a great feeling when you can look back on your life and see how it all makes perfect sense? I find that so empowering. It’s like suddenly, you see the rules of the game. It’s not random, it’s not arbitrary, it’s essentially input = output. And when you really get that, you can shape your present and future deliberately. And then, life gets freaking fun! :)

Huge smooshy hugs with sprinkles on top!

Melody
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Josie September 11, 2012 at 22:37

Hahhahahahahahaha!

Love it!
Best thing to wake up too at 6am reading this post made me feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel gooood!
You’re a total hoot and I love it because it resonated deeply.
On Monday I had an experience as I was speaking with a young lady who whilst she was smiling and laughing sparked the thought in me that how great it feels being around someone that laughs so naturally with her whole body…..intoxicating and contagious.

Again, LOA … timing PERFECT
This is great!

Thanks Melody,
Xxx

Melody Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 14:43

You’re so welcome Josie. That is one of my goals in life: To have people wake up to me and fall over laughing. I always thought it would be because of my bedhead, and more like one person at a time, but I’ll take it. ;)

We love to be around happy people, don’t we? Well, those of us who are close to happiness do. For the miserable it’s just annoying. I love that feeling of laughing with the whole body. It’s like the body can barely contain all the joy. :)

Huge happy shiny puppy hugs!!

Melody

Evan Griffith September 12, 2012 at 03:13

Melodious–

Oy there’s so much strident banality out there. It IS your humor that draws us to you.

I too was once corporate. I worked at Solomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers (it wasn’t my fault, by the way, their demise) before calving off on my own. I have a different take on humor in the corporate culture now, and here’s the incident that confirmed to me corporate types crave well-timed silliness as much or more than anyone else.

Early on at my time at Lehman Brothers I was at a large meeting run by a high-up female executive known for going foul-mouthed ballistic. (If you continue on with this tale, you’ve been warned . . . .) She was massively pissed off about some project and was haranguing the group of us. At the end of her explosion she shouted: “Who the fuck do I have to blow around here to get this done right?”

Everyone, of course, was deadly silent. Finally, with time ticking slower and slower under her glare, I raised my hand mock-timidly and said: “Um . . . me?”

Fortunately for me, she laughed as hard as everyone else. And everything lightened up considerably from there –

Evan
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Melody Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 14:45

OMG Evan, this literally made me guffaw. Full on belly laugh. Thanks for that! I would’ve love to be in that meeting!

Humor is such a great way to break the ice, to break the tension. But people so rarely dare to use it in that environment. Good for you! And I’ll bet she never forgot you! :)

Huge hugs!

Melody

Random September 12, 2012 at 05:18

ahhhhhhh waaahahahs nooo oh god the sadness *crying* ahhhh I am sad!!!! ohhhhhhh ohhh ohhhhhhhhhhhh
Now my keyboard is wet from all the tears. awwwwwwwww hahaa ha ha arrrrrrrrrrrr
http://youtu.be/7pX8xz7MSi0

at 1.01 …. That’s exactly how I’m feeling. That funny, sad, stupid laugh/cry.

All the times I have walked barefoot. All the times I’ve made jokes only to have a tumble weed drift past. Having my sanity and intelligence questioned for laughing.
Laughing during a religious ceremony and being caught and then ostracized from the rest of the group.
Laughing during sad or tense moments due to having anxiety. Pissing everyone off for being happy when I should be sad.
Laughing at serious problems. Laughing at myself. Wanting to hug and kiss strangers.
Also making stuffed toys have sex. Making P.A. annoucements that co-workers didn’t like at work.
Laughing during an argument because angry faces look hilarious. Just doing all the wrong things.
Wearing colours. Being accused of taking drugs when laughing or being silly. Laughing right now. And crying and feeling sad and angry.
Why is this linked to intelligence and sanity? Why can’t I laugh like a maniac.

Bust into a wedding cake store and roll around in the cake in a sparkly g-string. Eat the cake. Laugh until you cry.

Melody Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 14:51

I give you permission to laugh and be silly. :)

Of course, as I pointed out, the more you still care what others think, the worse their reaction will be. So what if they think you’re on drugs? They can’t imagine anyone being happy (their problem) and so they have to explain it away by thinking you must be on something.

And laughing during tense situations or out of fear is very common.

People don’t have a problem with laughter, they have a problem with a display of emotions that they, in that moment, don’t understand. They don’t see why you’re laughing and so it makes them feel uncomfortable. And it’s this discomfort that they’re reacting to. But really, if you can make their reaction irrelevant and just focus on having fun int eh moment (or relieving your anxiety), the day will come when they will be laughing right along with you. They may have different faces, but the reactions you attract will be supportive and validating and not judgmental (those judgmental people still exist, you just won’t meet up with them).

Does the G-string have to be sparkly? Only, the sparkles might get in the cake… Just asking.

Hugs!
Melody

Random September 18, 2012 at 04:41

Hello fun lady,

Well you know sparkles are there for extra protein!
Thanks again for this blog. There should be billboards about this blog. I’d have a much more happier life in a world like that. :-)

I was also thinking about something you said in your sample coaching call about some garbage men really loving their job.
I was thinking the same thing about being a postie. I don’t understand where the disgruntled postman stereotype comes from.
Any idea?
Because for me when thinking for an ideal job “postie” was one of the things that seemed ideal (& realistic/believable) to me if you worked in a nice area.
I just imagine getting paid to walk or motorbike your way around town, talking to the people that come and check their mail and people in the street.
Just walking around happily delivering things and meeting new people. What’s wrong with that?

I guess you could get rained on or nobody waits for their mail…but still…not bad.

If people wore tutus in the office and laughed more even an office job MIGHT be more appealing…still lacks sunshine and exercise so a bit stagnate and boring for me…but they might one day invent fun offices and I’ll join them then. :-)

Oh I’d also join in if you drove at me.

A thing about playing is that people from both genders enjoy it but don’t find “silly” sexually attractive/respectable. So that’s also why people avoid it.
I know “immature” males are afvored for the more cool males that don’t smile and wear terminator sunglasses and they certainly don’t make car noises as they walk purposefully down the street with style. :-)

Can you play and retain that sexual mystery/dignity? hmmmm

Random September 18, 2012 at 04:43

I don’t even know what afovred is afvored?

Melody Fletcher September 18, 2012 at 15:22

It’s Swahili for “sold at the swap meet”.

Melody Fletcher September 18, 2012 at 15:21

I think you can, yes. That’s really a belief and one I’ve struggled with myself. Can you be silly and sexy? I’ve come to the conclusion that true, confident silliness (not the acting out that comes from being self conscious and needing validation) is sexy as hell. Playing is sexy. Laughing is sexy. And what’s more mysterious than someone who is happy for no apparent reason? I don’t think it’s sexy at all when someone can’t loosen up. Taking yourself too seriously is a sign of fear – fear of what others might think, fear or looking stupid, etc.
Fear is not sexy. Confidence is. And it takes confidence to be your silly ass self. :P

Boomshakalaka,

Melody
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Betsy/Zen Mama September 12, 2012 at 05:31

Melody,
This is a subject I truly believe in. I get to play for a living as a preschool teacher! However, I did find myself being serious in my other life. So for the past year I’ve tried to cultivate a life of play and humor, partly in order to get closer to my kids. It’s worked and I’ve had so much fun!! Especially with the laughter yoga classes.
Thanks for the reminders and suggestions!
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Melody Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 14:53

Hey Betsy,

Oooh, you get to work right with the source! Kids find laughter so easily. Play still comes so naturally to them (hasn’t been trained out of them yet), it makes it easy for us to play, too. Laughter yoga with preschool kids. I can only imagine! :)

Huge hugs!
Melody

Petectio September 12, 2012 at 12:09

Thanks for this reminder, Melody. I haven’t quite shuffled off all of my authentic self and just love to play silliness with my daughter and all her school friends, too. Time just flies and it just feels so good. It’s no wonder kids will play until they drop and even if they’re harbouring a so-called adult-called cold or flu they just plough through it if they can. Cold? What cold?

I often get reproachful looks and remembering that it’s their issue (they’d like to, too, if they just let themself) is a great reminder to just be more playful.

Melody Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 14:55

Hey Petecito!

Ah yes. Kids will put play and having fun above all else. Even when you tell them that they’re sick, they just refuse to go with it and will do their best to feel good. We can learn so much for these unrealistic, perfect little creators! :)

Huge hugs!
Melody

Jenapher September 12, 2012 at 18:29

Your sense of humor is a HUGE part of what I love about your blog. Spirituality is taken so SERIOUSLY, but I love how you make it fun, even when you write about heavy subjects. I think we all need that.
I’m in the process of letting my own colors come out, and OF COURSE I attracted this just when I needed it. No more gray for me! Let your freak flag fly, Melody! It gives us readers permission to do the same. No pressure :)

Melody Fletcher September 13, 2012 at 13:42

Ha, ha, ha, Jenapher! Thanks so much. I love that! My freak flag…

Thanks so much for your wonderful and kind words. We colorful freaks have to stick together! :D

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Laura September 12, 2012 at 21:10

Funny. I just read your reply to my comment and then my comment again and realized how I came across as sooo serious. I guess when I wrote it, it’s where I was at…sort of. I think that comes from caring too much about what others think and feel about me, so I’ve been imprisoned by that…afraid to move about the universe.

But your article had me cracking up as I read. My father was super silly and playful at times, so thankfully I developed a great sense of humor, always attracted to people who have a good one themselves, and I am right there with you on the most inappropriate jokes being the funniest. It can be fun to test new friends to see what they’re OK with.

Although a light article, it is rather chock full of powerful insights. It doesn’t even have to necessarily pertain to silliness, although it’s a perfect example. It’s about being authentic and true, even when discouraged by others you don’t think you “should” be the way your are, like the things you like and do the things you do. I’ve had my share of folks looking down their nose at me. Always makes me feel like a “sore thumb” so to speak, like I have a second head.

The article is encouraging. It also helps to know that I’m not the only one who’s been in positions of feeling looked down on. I of course know I’m not, but at times it can feel like it. It can have a tendency to disempower you if you allow it.

But if you take the attitude of “I don’t care what they think” and really feel that inside, then you can break out of that cage. (Now of course I’m talking within reason and on the level of the law, but I’m sure everyone here knows that.):)

Oh and one more thing…With your talents of bringing stuffed animals to life, you could have an adult stuffed animal theater.

Melody Fletcher September 13, 2012 at 13:50

Hey Laura,

I think everyone goes through this, many just aren’t conscious of how much they let the fear of other people’s opinions stop them. We’ve been taught to many ways to give our power away to others, it can be shocking when we realize that we do it.

You’re not the only one who feels judged by others. Everyone does. It’s the rare ones who find a way to break free from that. And it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s taken me years to get to this point, and I’m certainly not done. New situations where I feel less sure of myself still trigger a bit of that and then I have to soothe it. It’s much easier now because I’ve released so much of it, but even with all that work, some of the old conditioning remains. Don’t beat up on yourself for feeling judged. Just gently guide yourself out of it when you can, and those efforts will accumulate. :)

Ah yes! Adult stuffed animal theater. I’m pretty sure someone’s done that, but I’m not going to search through internet porn to prove it. But, you, know… if one of you readers already has the link… :lol:

Huge hugs!
Melody

Mimi September 12, 2012 at 23:46

Think you’ll appreciate this…talk about playing with stuffed animals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu8RLdKoYhg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

And not to make you lose another hour but this will make you happy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlPBjzYonCs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Melody Fletcher September 13, 2012 at 13:56

OMG Mimi, this is too funny. I swear I didn’t see your comment before I answered Laura above! I love it when shit comes together like this!

180.000 people experienced “Humpin”. Good lord there’s a lot of us out there…
Gives a whole new meaning to the term “Happy shiny puppy army”, eh? :lol:

Huge giggly hugs!

Melody

georgina September 13, 2012 at 09:23

hi melody its me again, hope you arewell and enjoying your day! i have just been reading your post on how to learn how to play again. My childhood was completely been taken away from me as a child. I was never ever allowed to play or mix with other children because my mum taught me to not trust anyone, children adult, anyone. she blurred everything and still does to this day!!! I have had social anxiety disorder as you know which turned into phobia and performance speaking. I took lots of drugs got clean aftr 40 years of abusing myself and in thye last 10 years i have been trying to get to grips with who i am and how safe is it to be myself around people. Just recently i decieded to put my playful side away just like yourself i was analizing every move i was making and condeming my self for it after and being judgmental on every asperct of myself only to feel trapped and more and alone and isolated than ever, just for the sake of people pleasing my anxiety and social phobial kepk going. THanks for helping me understand this more and that it is ok to be creative in adulthood and playful despite what the myseries think. I am not going to let them affect me anymore. love you much Georgina p.s hope you will still do post on public speaking xxxx

Melody Fletcher September 13, 2012 at 13:57

Hey Georgina,

Good for you! You can do this slowly, but as you become more comfortable being yourself and being authentic, the anxiety will lessen. Whoever came up with the rule that we couldn’t play and be silly anymore as grownups is just a big giant poophead. Ha!

Huge hugs!
Melody

Elena Anne September 17, 2012 at 04:25

“They’ve let themselves get grey.” Love that. This is so nicely written, but if you had repressed your natural silliness it wouldn’t have been nearly so fun to read! What a world it would be if we could all just lighten up a bit and have more fun with life..certainly one full of healthier, happier people!

Melody Fletcher September 17, 2012 at 17:36

Thanks Elena! Ah, a beautiful world! Actually, we can live in that world now. We don’t need everyone to be there to experience it! :)

Huge happy playful puppy hugs!
Melody
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Will November 4, 2012 at 22:27

Love it. The other day when I went to pay the mortgage (I’m always in arrears because I forget to concentrate on making money) the lady said “Great! You’re down to one month now!”, pleased for me, so we smiled and I left. Just as I got out of the door I realised I hadn’t done what I really felt like doing….hopping and skipping out of the bank with hoots of joy. Have to wait till next month.

Melody Fletcher November 5, 2012 at 16:59

Ha, ha, Will! You know, I’ve found that being really openly happy will give others permission to be happy too.

I was at the mall the other day, looking for a bathroom. I found a security guard and I know that they don’t always enjoy being used as information booths. So, I put on my biggest smile and went up to him and asked him as sweetly as I could for directions. His body language was all hunched and bored, and the second we made eye contact, he got this huge smile on his face and it was like someone had lifted him up by a string in his spine. He became animated and happy with much more energy. It was such a short exchange, but you could literally see him getting infected with joy. Part of it was that he didn’t have time to think about his reaction. I just beamed at him and surprised him with it. Happy begets happy. It really does. So, you do your thing next time Mr. Will and see if you don’t make the teller’s day. :)

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Will November 5, 2012 at 22:48

Yup. There ain’t nothing like being pleasant and sharing a bit of fun with people and make them smile!

Hugs likewise dear.

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