By Madhuri Phillips
Maybe I’m enlightened or perhaps we’ve just had more then two consecutive days of sunshine in a row, (not a small miracle here in Vancouver) or could it be that I’m changing my perspective to see things through a different lens? Riding my bike through the city, along the seawall, looking out to the ocean, stopping to eat sushi and tapioca pudding whilst soaking up the sun and vibe of summer, I am overflowing with gratitude. I can’t help it. I’m bubbling over, bursting forth, sprouting new buds of enthusiasm and excitement not only for what lies ahead but also for right now. Right friggin now! Seeing obstacles as miracles in disguise, as gifts, as protection from the Universe who knows better then me what will help me to grow and evolve in this crazy life.
I have always been quite disciplined, growing up training in dance and various other sports and art forms. I excelled in school and always wanted to do my best. However as I got older a shadow of heaviness came over me, it was called responsibility and I didn’t know how to dance with it. My life became lopsided. I was running a yoga studio, trying to recover from a seven-year illness and struggling to pay the rent. Life felt hard and I wasn’t having any of the ‘f’ word. Fun that is!
Fun, play and joy are integral aspects of healing and living. Without them enthusiasm wanes, struggle sets in and the weight of the world weighs heavy on our shoulders. Can you relate? Fun is light, enthusiastic, creative. In Ayurveda these are characteristics that describe vata dosha, comprised mainly of the elements air and ether. When too much heaviness takes over our mind or body a kapha imbalance may manifest. Kapha is made up of the elements earth and water, which are very good for sustainability, consistency and resilience yet in excess can show up as dullness, lethargy or depression. Pitta dosha consists of the fire and water elements and can be the spark that seeks out fun and play or out of balance can be the taskmaster and no-fun-Netty because everything is goal oriented and result based. Fun for the sake of fun, that’s what I’m talking about. No agenda or need to check it off the to-do list (although if you’re very goal oriented I would suggest putting this at the top of your to-do list and checking it off everyday).
Enthusiasm comes from the Greek word “entheos” which means to “have the God within”. When we can’t connect to our inner spark, when we’ve become flat, bored with life, overwhelmed or depressed we’ve lost our connection to Spirit. When we lose this connection this is fertile ground for dis-ease and illness to set in. In Ayurveda it is said that the primordial cause of disease is forgetting our true nature as Spirit. I have always found this a profound statement and basis for looking at dysfunction within the mind-body-spirit paradigm. We cannot separate what’s going on in the body from what the mind and emotional bodies are feeding it. Our prana, our life force loves joy and happiness, it thrives in an environment of flow and ease and becomes depleted or stuck in a stressed out, angry or depressed state.
So don’t let the f word be a dirty word anymore. Make a list of the things that make you feel alive, lift your spirits and make your heart sing. What does fun look like to you? Are you having enough genuine fun in your life? Does your idea of fun revolve around drugs and alcohol, devices to avoid or are there aspects of your life and experiences that are spontaneous and childlike?
Here’s my list of fun things that I love to do:
~Ride my bike
~Blast Adele and sing at the top of my lungs
~Dance around my living room
~Take a book and read at the beach
~Have pot-luck dinners with friends
~Go to new places/ travel
Inviting more fun in your life increases the feel good hormones in your body, makes you smile more and is contagious. The world needs more joyful people. Your life needs you and desperately wants you to be happy.
Since I’ve consciously been bringing more fun into my life and seeing Spirit infused in everything I have felt my energy rise, my shoulders relax and wouldn’t you know it, the sunshine has come out. I keep reminding myself that life is now. Maybe I’ve brainwashed myself to the point of delusion but hey, if it’s a good delusion then why not? If this apparition of seeing Spirit everywhere in everything will one day come crashing down and squish me like a little toad on the evolutionary sidewalk, then so be it. This life, this breath, this very day is worth marvelling. Don’t you agree?