Laughter

One of my goals on a recent spiritual retreat was to laugh. While at first glance that might not sound like much of a spiritual goal for a spiritual retreat, I want to assure you it was.

As an enneagram eight, I need to play, I need to laugh, I need to enjoy. As an enneagram eight, that play, laughter, and enjoyment don’t always happen spontaneously. The toy box warns, “Some assembly required.” The eight should come with a similar warning pertaining to play, “Some cultivation required.”

So I left for my retreat ready to cultivate some play time, some laughter. My laughter cultivation had one simple tool: Netflix.

My retreat was a complete success in that I laughed until my sides hurt. I watched one episode of a show I had never before seen, the episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee that featured Jim Carrey.

Laughter is good medicine. It’s about time for me to pull out the Netflix machine and watch another episode.

Circuit Breaker

I’m not exactly sure what went wrong, but I completely lost control of my calendar over the last three weeks and nearly drowned.

There were a couple of emergencies, some unexpecteds, and some scheduling difficulties that created a perfect storm.

For the past three years I have scheduled a day-long silent retreat for the first Monday of each month (moved to Tuesdays when a holiday falls on that Monday).

The silence is a good discipline for me since I am regularly in situations where I have to talk. The silence recenters me on God. It reminds me that the world goes on when I am not talking.

And this month, my silent retreat came at just the right time to help me reset. It served as a circuit breaker to shut down my activity before fire broke out.

While I have renewed my commitment to the healthy rhythms of my rule of life, I will probably experience another perfect storm. And when I do, I may need this circuit breaker again.

Lord, have mercy.