April 5, 2015

Step 5—Humor

Happy Easter! A time to celebrate and to be with those you love!

Bring laughter and humor into your communication. Steer the interaction to a place of lightness and notice how that relaxes your communication and actually promotes more dynamic and sustainable outcomes.

Today I’m going to talk about the importance of humor in building better relationships. So often we view relationships as problems that need to be fixed. But as soon as we frame anything as a “problem”— whether a person, a relationship, or a situation— a sense of heaviness follows. A problem implies something is wrong, something needs to be repaired, and someone needs to change. Often people tell me, “We need to work on our relationship.” Maybe. However, at least some of the time, people would be happier if they worked a little less on their relationship and played a little more. If, instead of trying to fix others, they relaxed, enjoyed, and appreciated the people they love.

In my book In the Lotus of the Heart, I discuss my experience studying with Swami Akhandanadaji, a spiritual teacher who ranked playfulness as one of the three essential qualities of love. In explaining this quality I wrote, “In any kind of relationship playfulness affirms the bonds between people and creates a mood of lightness…. Playfulness shakes up our identification with the ego, serves as an antidote for our common tendency to take things too seriously, and enables us to clearly express the joy and creativity inherent in our relationships.” In other words we don’t need to make love into a heavy project: into one more thing to manage, into one more item on our to-do list.

Bringing humor into your communication doesn’t mean becoming a stand-up comedian, and it definitely doesn’t mean making jokes at other people’s expense. Humor describes a shift in perspective —taking a bigger view of the world where we can see and enjoy the absurd aspects of human relationships. We put on our costume and take part in the theater of everyday life, but whenever possible, we try not to get too identified with the story line so we can enjoy the play. When we disentangle ourselves from the drama, we create some space for kindness and love to flourish.

Read my new book: ‘In The Lotus of The Hear; The Essence of Relationships’.


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“A deep, wise, and wonderful exploration of the Vedanta path for relationships both with yourself and with others. Shubhraji provides everything you need to create healthy, fulfilling relationships…”

— Arielle Ford. Author of Wabi Sabi Love and The Soulmate Secret
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