Happiness is being uninhibited
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. ~ Denis Waitley
Tonight as the beginning of my grand adventure is a week away I have been reflecting on the changes I’m already seeing in myself. I’ll address the sense of minimalism in my next post, but tonight wanted to reflect on inhibition. In our lives we spend far too much time worrying about what others think of us, what we do, how we look, who we spend time with. I’m not an idiot of course I realize other’s perceptions of these things have implications, typically in the workplace and in our social circles. But in my time on this planet I have found the cost of be inhibition to be much higher than the price you pay for being uninhibited, more plainly put the price for being yourself.
I learned this lesson in the summer of 1987 while working with an Upward Bound Program at SUNY Plattsburgh. Since about the age of 9 I have been overweight, I’m actually in better shape now at 50 than I had been for most of my life. As such I’ve always been fairly self-conscious about my body particularly my gut. When I was younger I would swim with a shirt on, and the idea of shirts and skins basketball games was a nightmare. I remember clearly when I was first in college playing basketball and we were skins, after taking my shirt off a friend remarked, wow, didn’t realize how fat you were. Remarks like that don’t help your mindset or level of comfort even if they are innocent observations.
However it was with the band of misfits that were our Upward Bound students that I began to literally become more comfortable in my skin. As staff we did a great job of making them feel comfortable, of helping them be themselves and in return they relaxed and let their freak flags fly. One particular afternoon after swimming, walking back shirtless from the pool someone had some heavy metal playing on their boom box outside the dorm. It was that afternoon that I got my first introduction to full-on head banging. As I stood there, shirtless, with a group students whipping our heads around to the music in what I could only conceive as an attempt to create whiplash, I felt completely at ease and comfortable in my skin.
Shoot ahead 25 years and I’m a very uninhibited person, I rarely fear making an ass of myself, of being looked upon as being different, I certainly dance to my own beat and the world be damned if it doesn’t approve. But I often think back to that moment in the summer sun and remember one of the first times I ever truly felt uninhibited and comfortable. I often reflect on how much I learned from students I was paid to teach and I smile.
So my friends tonight, tomorrow, as soon as possible, go let your freak flag fly even if it’s just a little bit, for a short amount of time. The more you do it, the more comfortable you become, the happier you will be, I promise! Have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane