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Life Is Much Too Important To Be Taken Seriously 

One of my husband's favorite quotes is "Life is much too important to be taken seriously." I used to think he made it up, until one of my students told me that Oscar Wilde said it originally. Regardless of its source, when I first heard it, a light bulb went on inside my head. I found "enlightenment." I felt like a Buddhist monk who finally understood the term, "what is the sound of one hand clapping?"

The statement, "Life is much too important to be taken seriously," raised a slew of questions for me: What is Life? What does the word serious mean? How can I make my life important? These questions have generated some new answers that have changed my life.

china1.jpg Serious thoughts are generally what we call negative thoughts. In order to lighten up, be less serious, I decided to share only inspiration with others -- meaning life, joy, caring, happiness, and fun. When my "soap opera" weighs me down, I remember, "life is much too important to be taken seriously." I realized that thinking negatively and sharing negative thoughts hard wires my brain to always seek the negative. We all have our soap operas, fears, sorrows, aches and pains, expectations and disappointments. So what? To live, I have to let go and smile. I'll eat ice cream, go shopping, listen to music, think of someone I love, meditate, take a laxative, or even pray.

I used to think that the important part of my life were the decisions I made. Now I know that how I make my decisions is more important than what I decide. Am I making my decisions based on love and peace or fear and anger? The decisions I make that are guided by Love will lead to growth. From a space of anger, my decisions will lead to imprisonment and sacrifice.

It doesn't matter that some of my decisions may be mistakes. I want to live a creative life, to stop being a victim of the world, to experience joy and harmony wherever I go. A creative person looks beyond the borders of traditional answers from the past. She is more interested in mapping out uncharted territory that none have trod before.

Traditional attitudes take life very seriously. To a creative person, the preservation of tradition pales in importance to the thrill of the journey into the unknown. The creative person knows that "life is much too important to be taken seriously." She becomes a "master in the art of living," as an anonymous saying goes, drawing no distinction between work and play, but seriously enjoying both.

Reflection - Lightening Up
Are you taking life too seriously? If you are its time to lighten up. Years ago I read that worrying was really about maintaining a sense of control. And, of course, the truth is, there aren't that many things in life we can control. In the meantime, worry acts like a chain weighing us down. Mark Twain is quoted as saying that 90% of the things he worried about never occurred. You can let go of worry by using the following meditation.

Sit in a comfortable chair allowing the chairs arms to support your forearms and hands. Close your eyes. Imagine that there is a chain around your right wrist attached to a basket that floats off the floor. Feel the weight of the basket pulling at your wrist. Allow all your worries to come to mind. See your worries as stones that fill the basket feel the weight of the stones pulling at your wrist. Feel how light your left arm feels. It is weightless by comparison. As you fell the basket with more worry stones, the basket becomes heavier and heavier until it falls to the ground pulling your arm with it. Let your left arm raise itself higher and higher until it floats in the air. Allow the chain around your right hand to slip off and fall to the floor. You have unchained yourself from your basket of worry stones. See how much lighter your right hand and arm feel. See how much lighter you feel.