That’s me and my daughter being our true selves. It’s so freeing to not be hiding behind a mask of seriousness.
Today’s post is a small treat, short and sweet. Nothing heavy here. It’s more of an appetizer than an entree, easy to digest, and it goes down light. I am pairing it with a YouTube that is anything but dry, a sweet and silly song I recorded in 1989 called Life Is Not a Serious Business.
1989, as I am sure you connoisseurs are aware of, was a great year for ScottSongs.
Drink in the song. And now, if you are appropriately tipsy, you are ready to nibble on the article.
Life Is Not A Serious Business
By Scott Grace
“Why do dolphins leap joyful from the sea? Why do the morning birds sing? Why does the earth dance in trees and reach forests to the sun? Why do children play? This is a recreational universe. When you remember the play that lifted your heart as a child, you will know the heart of God.”
-Ken Carey, The Third Millennium
The first time my daughter played a practical joke on me she was six months old. I was sitting her up on the bed and asking her to hold her arms high so I could put a shirt on her. Just as I was about to get the shirt over her head she suddenly fell back on the bed and had a giggle-fest. She repeated this six times, and each time I pretended I was fooled again and joined her in the giggling.
Kids have a great sense of humor. They just sense… the humor. In the name of growing up, we might feel obliged to teach them some seriousness, but, for God’s sake, let’s let them teach us some lightness along the way.
Aysia and I used to play a game. She would wear a certain hat that she called the Name Change Hat. When she wore it, she wielded the power to change names. I would bring her stuffed animals and dolls to her feet as if she was royalty. And then I would pretend to be the stuffy, saying something like: “Oh, I am so excited to finally meet you. I heard you have the power to grant me the perfect new name. Might you? Folks call me Froggy, and I’m tired of it.”
The Name Change Girl would speak in a commanding tone of authority, as if all beings were under her rule: “You are no longer Froggy. Your new name is Groovy Green Thing!”
And I (as the frog) would happily hop away, profusely sputtering out thanks, insanely thrilled about my new name. Then the next animal approached her throne. And the next.
We forgot about that game for awhile and then one day early this year I remembered. We were at a hippie dippy health food restaurant in Santa Cruz, one in which people actually talked to strangers, and I took out the hat. “Remember this, Aysia? Remember the name change hat?” “Of course, Daddy.” Then I walked over to a lively couple sitting at a table near us and whispered, “Would you be willing to do something that would make my daughter’s day?” I explained what I had in mind, and they agreed.
About ten minutes went by, and then one of the women came over to us and said to Aysia, “Aren’t you the Name Change Girl? And isn’t that the Name Change Hat? Might you be willing to give me a new name? I’ve been looking all over for you. I’m so ready!”
Aysia put on the hat and did her magic. Then her partner got in on the action. Both women poured on the excitement and gratitude as if the new names were new cars. I had stumbled upon a couple that were naturally skilled at theatre improvisation. They played it beautifully. Aysia had a huge smile on her face, and asked me if we could do more.
So we did.
We traveled from table to table, inviting children and some adults to get a new name. Almost everyone played along and enjoyed themselves. We left the restaurant giddy with joy.
More recently Aysia has been, with her own free will and without my encouragement, approaching friendly looking people with my iPad in her hands as if it were a menu. She acts like a server and asks them what they would like to eat, sometimes even when we are not in a restaurant. She tells them about the specials, the You Tubes Over Easy, the Facebook Scramble, the Huffington Post Cereal. She reads my apps and riffs on them. All the world’s a stage. So precious.
I am of the opinion that seriousness is highly overrated, and that when we are in touch with our true nature, we just can’t help but become childlike, lighthearted beings with a great sense of humor. We may not be clever with words, or theatrical at restaurants. But each of us at our core is as fun-loving as a dolphin, as mischievous as a monkey. In moments when fear is absent, the Divine Comedy appears, and whether you are in the audience or on the stage, there is great joy and laughter to be had.
Scott Grace, also called the Spiritual Dr. Seuss, is a conscious comedian and transformational troubadour. Also a life coach by day, offering sessions via phone or Skype. Read more about his coaching practice at Intuitive Life Coaching Jump Starts & Tune Ups or schedule a session at 415 721 2954, or email at email@example.com