Inside Out

Epiphanies and their transformative process

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It is inherent in human nature to believe in second chances. We are fundamentally more than just physical beings, for we are basically spiritual founded.

And this is the essence of who we all are: a composite of body, mind and spirit.

There is no actual dead-end to a situation. It never truly is hopeless. Take a long pause. And rethink your situation. Such is the case of Tessie, who jokingly calls herself a “desperate housewife.”

One morning on the day of her 59th birthday, she decided to turn over a new leaf. Her situation then:

  • Obese, over 50 lbs overweight

  • Chain smoker—smokes every 15 minutes

  • Detests vegetables and fruits

  • Addicted to steaks, ice cream and junk food

  • Borderline alcoholic—consumes five glasses of alcohol daily

  • Refuses to exercise

Her mental and emotional state consisted of anxiety attacks, fleeting thoughts about suicide because she was unhappily unattached (no boyfriend, estranged from her husband).

Each morning, Tessie would avoid gazing at herself in the mirror because she didn’t like what she saw. But that birthday morning after dragging herself out of the bed, she faced herself to do just that.

Tears streamed down her face. After a good, long cry, a dramatic thing happened. Something just clicked inside her head. “Stop it! The new Tessie begins today!” Suddenly and unintentionally, she broke down laughing. What was so funny, she thought?

According to Paolo Trinidad, founder of Pinoy Laughter Yoga (www.pinoylaughteryoga.com), at the end of all misery, it is laughter that will pull you out of depression and hopelessness. Laughter became, for Tessie, the twist on a seemingly dead-end road.

“Laughter Therapy” author Annette Goodheart, Ph.D., explains that laughter balances the spirit and anchors the heart.

One cannot have a hearty laugh until he/she has been through the worst situations in life. In short, Tessie reached rock bottom only to discover that there was no other way but up. And laughter became her lifeline. This was her very first, life-transforming laugh.

Kinds of laughter

Do you know that there isn’t just one kind of laugh?

  • Cathartic—experienced when release is needed most (just like Tessie’s laughter)

  • Normal—when your funny bone is tickled

  • Euphoric—exhilarated over a pleasant situation

  • Angry—extreme angst of rage within

  • Demonic—violent rage that surfaces from the deepest and darkest of thoughts

  • Angelic—higher-pitched, melodious laughter from a happy innocent heart

It is not the lows or highs in one’s moods that are important as the “evenness” of our emotional state. Getting a high means that it will lead to a plateau and maybe eventually a low. But if we are able to maintain an even, calm demeanor, then chances are, our physical state of health is just as good.

The first half of one’s life is generally devoted to building, working, struggling. In the second half, we are given the opportunity to give way to transformation—both personal and spiritual.

Once a woman reaches menopause, the whole process of rediscovering oneself begins. And women (like Tessie) who find the drive to strengthen the connection with their own selves succeed in this transformative process.

It is called the epiphany of one’s journey. Women, being natural nurturers, have given most if not all their energy to family, work, the community. But once a woman has accomplished all these, she reaches an enlightened stage where she states, “I must love myself more, now.”

Transcending the exhaustion, betrayals, disappointments and abuse, women can and will travel toward a higher place.

Epiphanies also happen to men. The life cycles for both men and women may have their differences, but the path toward reinventing oneself is available to both sexes.

While men tend to recapture their youth and diminishing libido by redirecting their careers or slowing down, the drive to regain one’s energy and passion remains the same even for women.

The joy of life is always founded on a positive attitude, one that welcomes all opportunities for growth and deeper wisdom. And the essence of joy is the openness to taking life a little less seriously.

By keeping it light, just around the corner is a laugh or two for us all.

Today’s affirmation:  “I laugh my cares away.”

Love and light!

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