In a neurological sense, laughing is the shortest distance between two people because it instantly interlocks limbic systems. - Primal Leadership
I recently traveled to Colombia with a group girlfriends as part of our annual Thanksgiving trip abroad. One afternoon, swimming off a private dock jutting into the Caribbean Sea, one of my girlfriends asked each of us:
“Assuming we have friends for a reason, in what capacity do you leverage each of us in your lives?”
One by one, each of them identified me as their friend who brings depth to a conversation.
Depth is my strength and my weakness. Depth is my default. It is not a place I am scared to go and so I frequently find myself there. It is easy because it is familiar.
And yet, depth can carry a tremendous amount of weight. Even where it doesn’t feel heavy for me, it can feel like a bag full of bricks for the people in my life. It is not their default.
Even for the friends swimming beside me in the Caribbean Sea, depth carries a weight. It is the weight of the unknown. When we go to depth with my guidance, you might not be ready. And you may not realize you are not ready until we are already there.
Thankfully, I’ve also been able to find a balance to the weight of my depth. Laughter. My coach likes to remind me that you can’t move something that is heavy. I have my own permission to explore the depth, but I must be equally willing to emerge into lightness. Laughter is the conduit for lightness.
Laughter instantly releases people from clinging to their prefrontal cortex (thinking brain). Laughter infused into a moment that craves light creates movement. In a moment as quick as a snap of a finger, laughter plunges people into their limbic (feeling brain). When two people land in their feeling brain together, it creates a connection. Laughter is the easiest way to build connection between people, when used appropriately. Laughter created in service of another person or in service of a relationship is a breath of fresh air.
This week, identify an area of your life that needs movement. Ask yourself if there is an opportunity to infuse laughter.