This morning I decided to slow down. My brain said “go to the gym” and my body was say “woo Nelly….sit down, lay down, chillllllllll.” And so I did just that. In doing so, I decided to pick up my trusty IPad and look at TED talks. Something I used to do all the time. Somewhere along the line I lost it. I lost, as Shonda Rhimes calls it in this talk, “the hum.” My hum has consisted of many a creative project over the past three years. There are times when I’ll be humming along in the Flow with a capital F and then other times when I become so bogged down with what ails me that I can’t see through the thick fog.
But this morning I returned to that place. The place of wonder and wander. The place where time and space doesn’t matter. One would think with my current open schedule why would I need to be surprised with open time and space? Well if you have ever been in transition you know that while you may have lots of time, you often find yourself pressed for time due to the amount of time the brain takes up with obsessing about what the next step will be or what might happen if the next step is into a deep dark hole. That is until I watched this talk.
Rhimes is a hugely accomplished woman and little did I know she is also the single mom of three children. But with all that responsibility and the pressures that daily life bring, she admittedly needed to consciously try to bring play into her life. She also admitted that it doesn’t come easy for her and that her work life comes to her like a breeze but being present and playful takes work. I am sure she is not alone in this. These days it seems very few adults have time for play. This is the state our country is in these days. Why is it so hard to bring play into our lives? We all know that the meaning of life is love….something that Rimes stated is what “the hum” really is. It’s love that makes our soul hum. It’s love that makes this whole life worth living. So why is it so hard to see that? To feel that?
Lately I have begun to start to get back to where I began three years ago. What caused me to make the initial career shift stepping away from full time work? The answer is simple….I wanted a different life for myself. I wanted a life that was filled with more creativity, with more joy and with softer lines drawn rather than the rigid structures around me. Well I found some of that and some of the rigidity stayed until it finally broke. There are many reasons why it broke but mostly I believe it all broke down because it was not connected to my heart. I have yearned for a life where I help others feel joy while equally feeling joy as well. I have wanted to be in a place where I was helping others without having to drown in a sea of intensity. I am still figuring it out but feel like I am getting closer than I have ever been before. Watching this video helped me to get clear about some things….for one
My hum is laughter
If I am not laughing, I am not humming.
That may seem fairly trite and dismissive for a therapist to say but it’s the truth. When I am able to find the sweet space where I can authentically laugh with my clients and students about life, love, and ourselves, I hum like I did as a child when I ate. (true story…bad habit needed to be broken…thank god as dating would have been a disaster:) Bringing humor into healing is what makes me hum. It is why I gravitated towards positive psychology three years ago. It confirmed my feeling….that laughter IS healing. Tears and grief are needed to process and let go but more important than anything is finding that sweet spot where you can be grateful, where you can honor what is positive about your life and where you can LAUGH!
We are not going to be on this planet in this body forever. We may have our struggles, our pain, our sorrows but we also have this amazing opportunity to live. It is an opportunity to be on this planet breathing with a beating heart and life around us. Rhimes’ points out her process of coming to terms with her struggles around workaholism. She shifted her priorities and found that her hum that had died slowly came back to life. By tapping into the gleam in her kids’ eyes, she saw the beating of her own heart. How precious that she got there. So many of us don’t until it’s too late.
What makes you hum? What makes life worth while for you? Are you able to keep the buzz of the hum close to your heart or has it slowly died over time? It has taken me time to get back to center. I am not fully there but am closer than I have been in a long time. Today chatting with you I can hear the buzzing of the hum below the noise in the cafe. It is quiet but it is there and it is whispering that it wants to become louder. How about you?
Cheers to letting the sun come out letting out it’s glorious hum!
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