Giggle breaks and resilience



I’m working most weekends this summer on completing the 200 hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) training. My classmates are a group of fascinating and impressive women. Its quite a journey; exhausting, invigorating, enlightening, humbling and soul stirring. 

Sitting in a guided meditation Saturday morning I was asked to take my thoughts to a place where I had been uncomfortable. I immediately pictured myself just half an hour earlier – floundering around on my yoga mat sweating, confused, off-balance and unable to make sense of anything. The instructor’s voice fell on me like she was speaking a foreign language. I was overtired and overwhelmed.  I was struggling and nothing was making sense. I did the only thing I could do.

I collapsed onto my mat laughing.

Laughing at myself, laughing at the situation, laughing because I knew I was gonna hop back up – I just had to take a giggle break. And then I got back up. And that’s SO what I do. I get back up.

The problem is I don’t always control when I take a break in the rest of my life off of my mat.

That place of floundering around on my yoga mat sweating, confused, off-balance and unable to make sense of anything is not that far from what life feels like sometimes. When work is piling up and there aren’t enough hours in the day and my house is a mess and my homework isn’t done and the laundry is piling up and my boyfriend is looking for my attention and I haven’t taken the dogs on a hike in weeks and I can’t remember for sure the last time I saw Alex and my mom is asking me for something and my friends are saying they haven’t seen me enough and and and…..

That’s the time I need to take a giggle break.

But I don’t. I wait…actually its not waiting because waiting is an active choice and there’s nothing about this that’s active. It’s entirely reactive. When my whole life is on overload, then I burst into tears. I cry and cry and cry it out. Then I get back up and keep trying.

Why do I do that? Why do I wait until life has become completely overwhelming and then cry as a reaction rather than making the active choice to take a giggle break way before that point?

I knew I could take a giggle break in the middle of yoga class then get back up and try again because I trust my teacher. I know she accepts me as I am for who I am (as she does everyone) .  I trust that I’m safe. Because of that trust, I can take a giggle break and catch back up with the class. I know that even if I screw up its all part of the learning curve.

So why don’t I feel safe enough off of my mat to just bust out with a giggle break and cut myself some slack on the whole learning curve of life?

Why do I think I’ve always got to be strong?

How does it serve me to think I’ve got to be strong all the time? Does it let me be a little bit of a martyr? Probably. Does it let me hide behind a Mac Cosmetic varnished game face? For sure.

How would my life be different if I thought of myself as resilient instead?

My whole adult life is a treasure trove of both blessings and opportunities to prove I’m resilient; leukemia, single parenting, divorce, brain surgery, grief and then a 3 year peiod of darkness.

Yeah, I’m resilient.

So why do I not live out of that place and take more giggle breaks?

Maybe resilience is about heart, not about will. Maybe resilience is facing the world every day with shoulders back not in strength, but in accommodation for the way my heart has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger with every opportunity for resilience.

This means I’ll have to give up my security blanket of strength and my mask of “I’m fine”. I’ll have to put down some of the resentments I carry around with me as a matter of habit. I’ll have to actually live out of resilience.  Ahhhh….I think I like this….

…and I’m pretty sure resilient women take more giggle breaks.


One thought on “Giggle breaks and resilience

  1. Nice job unmasking the mask. Thank you for posting such a candid and revealing insight! I love the idea of giggling and I don’t do it enough, but it is happening more lately. I’d like to share this, is that ok? ❤


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