Taking myself seriously…time to lighten up!


On a recent trip, I saw this little house with a clock built into the peak! I have never seen such a thing (outside of Disney World houses, which I also love!). It made me smile. The Spirit of God is alive in this world, manifesting through us all of the time, in countless ways, including laughter, play, fun and happiness. I tend to take myself and “my work” too seriously.

There is a prevalent belief in our society, that to be spiritual you must be “subdued”, quiet, almost in a meditative state 24/7….so you will be taken seriously as a minister, healer, or spiritual person. Where did we get this idea? Look at nature. It is bright, fragrant, bursting with life!

Time for me to lighten up!

The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both“.


21 thoughts on “Taking myself seriously…time to lighten up!”

  1. So I’m reading this while I’m at work at a hospital and feeling a little overwhelmed by conflicting tasks, expectations etc. HOW TIMELY! Hospitals are intense,
    serious places and it’s pretty easy to get caught up in that, but I’m taking a few breaths and then I’m going to resume with a lighter, more playful attitude and see what happens.

    1. Just wanted to tell you that as soon as I began to consciously enjoy myself everyone around me lightened up also. People began smiling and and saying “hi” in the hall, the chaplain stopped me to give good news about a mutual patient, and I someone I don’t know very well invited me to have lunch with them. Interesting!

  2. What a delightful little house! Have fun today, everyone! Thanks for the morning smile, Mary.

  3. I love the Buddha quote. My son, Robin, and his bride, Emily chose a secular officiant to marry them. This man was round like Friar Tuck and wore a tall funny hat with a feather in it. But he did his official job seriously. And Rob & Em are married legally – and nobody at the wedding commented on the officiant’s hat (which maybe means to him what a Roman collar means to a Catholic Priest, or a Yamukka means to a Rabbi, or an Indian Headress means to a Medicine Man). Have a happy day, friends. M. Rita.

  4. I think musicians have it right, because they say, “I PLAY the piano” or cello, or violin! Yes, it’s hard work practicing, but in the moment of performing, it’s all about joy, and play! My yoga teacher helps to keep us light hearted in our practice. She always reminds us that we are just playing. Have a wonderful playful weekend everyone!

  5. Spirituality comes in lots of flavors! Love the picture, sweet house.Thank you
    for bringing it to our attention. Be well…..

  6. Mary,

    I haven’t commented in awhile because we went through the death of our beloved 14 yr old dog. It occurred around the time you suggested we write something using the word “wonder,” and I just didn’t have it in me.

    But since then I would talk about the wonder of living with the presence of unconditional love in the house, 24/7, and the void that leaves when they have to leave. I would also talk about the wonder of the grief process, which seemed to be an exact replicate of when my dad died 5 years ago, even though it may seem disrespectful to some to compare to the two. How the feelings come in waves, leaving you in tears when you least expect it, from simply hearing a word or seeing a toy left around. How at times your mind refuses to believe the reality of it and gets very confused, asking, “where IS he???” over and over.

    In an email to my grown son I wrote: “The house is really empty, and we are expecting to see him everywhere, in all the usual places. Dad said the hardest part for him is coming home after work and not being able to greet him and be greeted. I think we are in both grief and shock, because at times it seems so unreal, other times just sad. But there has been laughter, too, and life does go on as normal, even though it is a new normal, and not necessarily one you welcome.”

    And why am I sending these thoughts to you? Is it the allusion, once you comment on a blog and get a response, that you are a friend of the author and you are seen? Perhaps. It feels good to reach out, and I will leave it at that.

    Thanks for listening.

    1. Dear Betsy, Thanks so much for sharing about your dog’s passing and all of the feelings that you are going through. We are all friends here…connected by our love of life, hopes and at time grief….it is a powerful circle and I am so glad that you feel you can share your heart here….I feel privileged to be a part of this as well. Love, Mary

    2. Betsy, I am sorry for your loss. Many of us pet lovers “of a certain age” can relate to your story… it is never easy. Your dog sounds like a well-loved treasure, no wonder you miss him so. Wishing you peace of mind and heart.

  7. And by the way, I TOTALLY agree with staying light and playful, and have saved the quote. What I am experiencing now is what SARK calls “the messy middle.” Staying present, experiencing the highs and the lows, and letting it all flow through you.

  8. Hi Mary
    New reader here.
    Just wanted to say the photo header of your cat and dog looking out the window ‘lightens’ me up each time I click on your blog.
    Thanks for the smile.

  9. Betsy Ellis, I feel your sad pain. We lost our little dog last year and I can’t tell you how much I miss him! They do put such a great joy in our lives and leave such a great void when they are gone. I like “staying in the present, experiencing the highs and lows and letting it all flow through you”.
    AND, I love the little ginger bread house and keeping things light and fun . . . when we can!
    Love you all, thanks for sharing.

  10. Betsy, I am so glad you shared your feelings and thoughts on your sweet dog’s passing. It does feel like a circle of friends here, where we can share our stories and know others care. I love thinking of all of you, spread all over this country and beyond – we don’t even know what each other looks like, but something really special is growing here, and I am so grateful. My friend lost her beloved little miniature English bulldog last week, – they are winter visitors here in AZ, but live in the summer in Minnesota. Her little dog was also my big dog’s best friend, even though there is a sixty pound weight difference. Even from afar, I already felt his absence and felt such sorrow knowing little Winston would not be returning with them in the fall. I found a lovely card to send to her. The sentiment is simple, and I hope it gives you some comfort. On the front of the card is a sailboat way in the distance on a beautiful blue ocean, countless gentle waves. Inside the card it simply says, “Every ripple, a memory. Every memory, a blessing”. May your dog’s sweet memory always be your special blessing. Love to you – Susan

  11. Thank you JoAnne, for knowing what it is like, and thank you Susan for that wonderful image and quote. Going through lots and lots of pictures, and even a few videos (thank you new technology), has been wonderful.

  12. dear betsy,
    when you first give your heart to your dog or cat, you know intellectually that someday you will be parted. when it actually happens, your heart breaks. i share your pain and am so very sorry. take care of yourself and give yourself lots of time to remember all the sweet times you had. i have found that it helps me to write a remembrance note when it happens.

  13. To everything there is a season, a time to laugh and a time to cry… Thank you, Mary and thank you Betsy for sharing your feelings.

  14. To Barbara’s change in her day once she “lightened up”……yes, yes, yes! I love joking around with my co-workers while we all get the “work” work done. And I love helping people not take themselves too seriously. In my family, humor was highly valued and got us through some tough situations, and it continues to this day. Life is hard enough sometimes, and laughter releases all kinds of feel-good chemicals in the brain, so why not always look for the humor and wonder in everything!

  15. I so relate to this! I write poetry & recently it has been about my cats. Let us celebrate all of life! Celebrate the mundane, which is not.

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