Two weeks ago a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video from a short French movie in which a gentleman boards a subway where everyone is silently absorbed in their own world. Suddenly the gentleman begins laughing uncontrollably. This causes the lady next to him to begin laughing and within a few short minutes the whole train is filled with people laughing. Not one word was uttered--all you hear are the sounds of people laughing. I even found myself giggling and grinning from ear to ear as I viewed the video. At end of the movie, the gentleman departs the train and once silence fills the air as the passengers return to their pre-laughter state. At this point I realized how contagious our emotions are on others.
Growing up I never wanted attention drawn to me. I did everything I could to avoid situations that would make me feel silly or embarrassed or worse make me look like I had no clue what in the world I was doing. I'm not too sure if this was caused by my type A personality, but I know it was far easier for me to sit on the side-lines than to put myself out there for others to see the imperfections--imperfections that many times I focused on all too frequently.However, thankfully with age and a tad of wisdom, I am learning to let go of what others think of me. That still doesn't mean I don't get embarrassed or as we say in the south, flustered when I can't quite master a new activity.
A few weeks ago in my Pilates class, the instructor had us get on the reformer in order to work on some balance exercises. As I was kneeling on the reformer with one of my legs extended on the leg bar, I reached a little too far and as luck would have it, I kept going, and going, and going. And as you probably can guess, I fell right off the reformer. Thankfully no injuries, unless you count my pride. I was laughing so hard that I was almost crying. Soon everyone in the class was laughing. I am not too sure if I was laughing out of embarrassment or because it was funny. I decided to take the latter and laugh in the face of adversity.
So enjoy a little laughter along the way. Life is too short to take it too seriously all the time. My challenge for you is, if you come across someone who is not in a great mood, I ask that you put on an extra smile and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised what an impact your emotions have on others.
Do you believe your emotions impact others around you? Have you found yourself in a good mood only to pulled into someone else's bad mood? Are you willing to laugh in the face of adversity?
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