Wisdom Workout: Right Use of Humor

By Susan McNeal Velasquez.

As August ends and September begins, my head is spinning with all that is clamoring for my attention. As a small example, my mother is turning 90 on Sept. 7 and is in a nursing home in Houston. She has a sketchy grasp of where she is or whether I am her daughter, her sister, or one of her other children. No matter how many times we connect, the memory only occupies a seat in her mind for a few minutes and then she feels abandoned once again. I am a witness to her angst with no ability to impact her experience.

My youngest daughter, Sara, is newly pregnant with her first child and my 10th grandchild. I am delighted…but. The but is that she and her partner are currently in Islamabad, Pakistan, instead of being close enough so that I can wrap my arms around her. The baby will be born in New Zealand in March.

If someone would invent a way to time travel, that would go a long way to happily giving me instantaneous hands on access to both my mother and my daughter.

On the homefront, my business is turning 20 on Sept. 8. We are celebrating the occasion with a full house of all my favorite clients who are coming together to reconnect with each other and share in the memories we have created over the years.

In any given moment, the carousel of life spins round and round, as the horses of experience move up and down bringing endless opportunities to feel the range of emotions from excitement to frustration or disappointment.

It seems to me that the business of living authentically rather than perfectly requires the cultivation of a sense of humor. Living unrehearsed is a participation sport. It is energetically costly to be awake, aware, responsive and engaged in our lives.

It is risky to our ego. A run-in with reality can bruise our idealized version of who we think we are. Enough ego bruises and it becomes tempting to lock ourselves into the predictability and consistency of a made up, idealized image and then wearing it like a suit of armor. The bad news is armor is cold, hard and heavy.

When protection is our motivation, we can get caught up in trying to endlessly prove that we are good, right, perfect, capable, fill in the blank, from the perfection side of the street.

When we approach our lives as serious business, we must stay focused, clear, intentional, strong, productive, proactive and driven, to secure as much evidence that we are winning and we are right..

Here is where humor comes in. When our idealized image of ourselves collides with reality, we are presented with the real opportunity to laugh at ourselves. We are handed a glimpse of the gaping chasm between who we pretend to be and who we are.

We are complex. Our emotions are multiple choice, all clamoring for top dog position rather than simply one, lone, purebred feeling at a time. We are multifaceted. We have roles and we are more than our roles. We have thoughts and we are more than our thoughts. We have feelings and we are more than our feelings.

There is nothing wrong with staying focused. The problem lies in the motivation that drives our actions. Hypervigilence is simply fear dressed up in honorable clothing. Sometimes being proactive and productive isn’t what is called for.

When we allow ourselves a moment to breathe in, let down, let go, stabilize and turn our attention within, we can partner with our deeper intuitive urgings to create a life that can be infused with more lightness, ease and joy.

When we pry open the lid of seriousness that surrounds our striving after perfection, we can begin to hold the hand of humor and our intuition lets us know when to take action and when to let go with lightness, grace and ease.


Susan is the author of Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind. Learn more about her at: susanvelasquez.com or reach her at: (949) 494-7773.

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