Are You Having Fun Yet? “Unless each day can be looked back upon by an individual as one in which she has had some fun, some joy, some real satisfaction, that day is a loss.” Anonymous “Fun is Good.” Dr. Seuss
Are you having enough fun in your life? Belly laughs that make your stomach hurt, laughing so hard that you are crying (one of my favorites), that light open feeling in your body of pure fun. You will probably know the answer to this quickly and if you are like many people today, the answer will be NO.
When I was traveling in Bali, one of the things that I learned that really stuck with me was that when the Balinese have a spiritual ceremony they will not begin the ceremony until they feel the presence of the God’s and Goddesses they have invited. One of the things that they believe draws these spiritual presences near is celebration and fun. So if they are not feeling the energy of the God’s and Goddesses, they know they are not having enough fun, so they need to step it up a notch and celebrate even more, open their hearts even more to raise the vibration to a higher level. They know when they are on track when they feel the energy shift with the presence of the Gods.
Now imagine in our culture if spiritual traditions would not begin unless everyone felt this shift happen. The Pastor or Priest saying to the crowd “I’m sorry folks but we can’t begin until you are having more fun out there—come on---have some fun.” Could you imagine the look of bewilderment on people’s faces getting this kind of instruction “What do they mean fun---right now?!” Yes, this would be shocking for a lot of people in our culture. We aren’t used to celebrating and having fun together—this is not something that comes easily and naturally for most people.
The capacity to have fun is something that we are born with, it is innate. Just looking at small children and you will see the natural capacity to play and have fun. What happens to this as we get older? Some people are able to retain this ability to have fun, play with others and laugh easily. For many people this capacity gets lost with increased responsibilities of a job, having children, caring for elderly parents ---feeling overwhelmed with the stress of everyday living. There can be an attitude that the fun will happen when the work is done---but you know the work is never really done. Fun tends to get put on the back burner---and for many people it is on the back burner for so long they forget even how to have it or what it is like. I have clients who say to me “I don’t even know how to have fun, I don’t even know where to start.”
This article will give you ideas on how to start having more fun, but first I want to share with you some compelling reasons why Fun needs to be a priority in YOUR life.
1. Having Fun is your Natural State-We were born to have fun. Look at little babies they are giggling and laughing---they are little fun machines---having fun is like breathing for them. This is who we are deep inside---we are little fun machines---wanting to have fun and play. That is why it feels so good to be around babies and children---they remind us of who we really are and we connect with that energy just by being around them.
2. Having Fun Helps Your Life Work Better
When we are more aligned with our natural state our lives work better, we are more in the flow. When our bodies are tense with being serious, worrying, being so busy-- life becomes hard and a struggle—we are out of alignment with our natural state. When we are relaxed, having fun—things flow easier---solutions to what we need to do in our life come easier to us in this state. When we are in alignment with our natural state are bodies can be healthier and stronger. Just like a car out of alignment doesn’t function optimally---we too function better when we are in alignment with our natural state---how we are designed to function. We are designed to function with having a lot of fun and ease in our life.
3. Having Fun Gives You More Energy- Having fun feeds your Spirit. Using
the car analogy again-just like a car needs certain things to give it energy to
operate. We need basic things for our body to function- like air, food, water and shelter. But we are much more than our bodies, we are Spirits housed in our bodies. We also need fuel for our Spirits to thrive and feel uplifted. You know what it is like to feel like your Spirit is sagging---life becomes dull and lifeless and you think---“what is the point?” That is when you know you need to feed your Spirit.
What feeds our Spirit is the intangible but crucial aspects of living---love, fun, pleasure, intimacy with others, and connection to Spirit. I have health conscious clients who are doing wonderful things to support their physical bodies, yet they are still feeling sick or have low energy. That is because they are not attending to the feeding of their Spirit. By starting to feed their Spirit with having fun they are amazed at how much energy this brings.
4. Having Fun Attracts Good Things to You- Years ago I was out to dinner with some good friends and we were having so much fun that other people in the restaurant would come up and talk with us. One woman came up and said that she couldn’t keep her eyes off of us, we were having so much fun that she wanted to join us. Everybody likes to have fun and when we are having a lot of fun---we are a like a magnet to others---they want to be around us and have fun too. We are like the Balinese Gods and Goddesses---wanting to come near when there is fun and celebration.
Fun attracts in another way as well.
Fun attracts in another way as well. Fun is a higher frequency. To explain what this means--think of a time when you walked into a room where people were getting along and having a lot of fun---didn't energy of the room feel "lighter". Now think of a time when you walked into a room where people were arguing and there was anger--didn't the energy feel "heavy" and dense? This is an example of the difference in energy frequencies that we can be in. Like frequencies tend to gravitate towards each other---light energy tends to draw light energy--dense energy tends to draw other dense energy. So when we are having more fun, our energy is lighter and will tend to attract other light energy things---whether it's other people who are having fun, or experiences that are more positive and "light".
5. Having Fun has a Positive Ripple Effect on Those Around You- Think about what it is like to be in a room with someone who is really happy and having fun---this energy is contagious and pretty soon you start to feel good too.
One of the most dramatic examples I have of this is a few years ago I was at the Boston airport catching a flight back to Wisconsin. When I walked into the airport I could feel the energy of tension and stress----I soon discovered that many of the flights had been cancelled because of the weather. Because of my interest in positive emotional states, I decided to do a research experiment. My experiment was to see what would happen if I would maintain a real happy, joyful emotional state in the midst of all of this stress and tension. I walked through the airport smiling at people—maintaining my state of joy and relaxation. When I went through security I was picked to go through the more in depth search line. The people in this line were even more frustrated and upset. I continued to maintain my positive state and started to joke around with the man ahead of me. Within 10 minutes the entire line was joking and laughing. Some really funny things started to happen too. One young man had to take his belt off his jeans that were so baggy that as soon as he took his belt off his jeans dropped exposing his boxer shorts. We all started laughing and he joined in at how funny this was.
What I believe is that we are easily influenced by the emotional states of those around us. Like my example above—holding a positive state of having fun and lightness can easily shift those around you into a lighter state as well. And isn’t this the kind of effect you want to have on those around you!
1. Make a List of What You Love to Do for Fun- Even if your list is short,
still write it down. It is like priming the pump to write these things down. Then what happens is your inner fun machine will start to come up with even more ideas. Give yourself permission to write down anything, even if it seems silly to you. Then begin to integrate these fun things into your day and see what happens.
2. Make Fun a Priority in Your Life-Begin your day with an intention to
have a lot of fun. People who have a lot of fun in their life---have made
fun a priority and routinely do things that create fun throughout their days.
It could be turning a boring meeting into one that is fun and productive. I have done this with meetings I have attended. One meeting where we were going to be working on a difficult situation—I suggested we start the meeting with telling jokes and goofing around. Everyone was game to do this and we had a lot of fun for about 10 minutes then we shifted into the issue we were trying to resolve. Much to everyone’s surprise we resolved the issue quickly and easily because we were in a more relaxed creative state because of the fun we had at the start of the meeting.
If you make fun a priority in your life you will be more productive with your time. One way to understand this is using the analogy of having a child inside of you. If you just work all of the time—the child inside of you begins to get frustrated because of the lack of fun—and begins to rebel. This rebellion shows up in your life as procrastination, low energy, lack of focus---it is like a drag on your energy. It is like the child says—“If you don’t listen to me, I’m not going to cooperate with the things your trying to get done.” Integrating fun into your days satisfies this child inside of you and then it cooperates with the other things you want to get done. Even though you are taking time to have fun---you actually don’t lose any time because the time you do work is very productive. I have seen this work over and over again with clients---the more fun they have, the more they get done. Try it and see for yourself!
3. Let Go of False Beliefs About Fun- What kind of beliefs do you have about about having fun? List these beliefs on a piece of paper. They could be “It’s irresponsible to have too much fun.” “Fun is just for kids, not for adults.” “I’ll look stupid if I’m having fun” “I don’t have enough time to have fun.” “Having fun is a waste of time, it’s frivolous.” Examine these messages and decide if you want to continue to hold these beliefs.
These false beliefs can be holding you back from a world of fun. Write new messages about fun that you want to embrace-i.e. “Having fun helps me to be more creative and productive in my whole life.” “Fun feels good and I deserve to feel good.” “Fun brings me closer to those around me.” “Fun leads to great things happening in my life.” Embracing these new beliefs will open the doorway for more Fun in your life.
4. Be a Fun Initiator in Your Life-Think of ways that you can bring more
fun to yourself and others throughout the day. When you are in conversation with people use humor and lightness to create fun rather than letting the conversation slip into negativity. Many people are in the habit of connecting with one another through discussing problems and gossiping. Just notice if you are in this habit by monitoring what you tend to focus on in your conversations with others. See if you can allow yourself to connect with others with fun and joy. When others ask you how you are doing say “I am having so much fun in my life, I am so happy!”
Think of fun activities that you can do with your friends and family---have a theme party that has a silly theme or designate a day to celebrate something fun. I heard from some friends that there was a day a few months ago that was “Talk like a Pirate Day” and they were having fun planning a party on that day. Be willing to take risks and try new things.
Re-connect with that fun-machine inside of you that is just waiting to have more fun than you have been having. Click into what you knew innately as a baby and a child---that having fun is a big part of what we are here for. So don’t waste another minute and ----go have some fun!
Copyright 2008Shelley Riutta MSE, LPC is a Holistic Psychotherapist in private practice specializing in Inner Bonding and Transformational individual counseling, presentations, groups and Workshops. To get her free workbook “What Do You Really Want: Finding Purpose and Passion in Your Life” visit her web-site www.RadiantLifeCounseling.com or call her at 920-265-2627.