Practice Random Acts of Fun
Are you a secret dancer? You know what I mean, occasionally, if something really good happens, or a particularly happy tune plays, you might dance if you’re home alone. Or maybe you’re a chair or car dancer – you’ll sway to music but won’t stand up (not a good idea when driving anyway).
Today I want to invite you to look for ways that you can initiate Random Acts of Fun. Chances are good you are familiar with the Random Acts of Kindness movement in which you randomly, and perhaps secretly, do something for someone else – pay for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop, or leave a new pair of slippers outside the door of your elderly neighbor that you see get their mail barefoot even when it’s cold.
Random Acts of Fun would be when you choose to let the music move you in public.
Here is an example. I was at a workshop and one of the women mentioned she liked to dance. During the break someone else was playing music and I asked how she might dance to the song that was playing. Without standing up she just said this wasn’t a place she would dance. So, I stood up and said, “Show me how you would dance to this.” She hesitated at first. After all, we were in the lobby of a hotel, so we were visible to more than just the folks in the workshop with us. Never-the-less, she stood up and started teaching me a dance she would do to that music. Almost right away, other workshop members joined in, some trying to do her dance, others just dancing for the joy of moving around after hours of sitting. Soon we were all laughing and dancing, and just having a really good time being a bit silly between sessions.
If you were totally honest with yourself, haven’t there been times when someone was doing something wild and silly and you found yourself thinking, “I wish I was brave enough to do that.” Or perhaps someone was asking for volunteers and, though you didn’t even raise your hand, you found yourself thinking, “Oh! I hope they pick me, that looks like fun but I feel silly asking. Still, I would do it if they just came and picked me.” I know I have thought that way many times.
What we’re really looking for is permission. What would happen if you started choosing to go first, gave yourself permission; by doing so you would be giving everyone else permission to join you in the fun.
We need more silliness today. We’ve forgotten how to laugh at ourselves and with each other. We live in such a fast-paced, serious world. Kids today only play virtually – on game consoles and computers.
When I was little, we played outside, we made up our own games. We explored field mice and bugs, streams, fish and crawdads, rocks, dirt and mud, and whatever was growing. Dandelions when they are white and ready to be blown all over the place were special favorites. We also enjoyed releasing the feathery seeds in milkweed.
We danced in the sunlight, made mud pies, and salads of grass and other greens we found in the yard which we then fed to our imaginary guests or ate them ourselves by pretending to eat but actually tossing them over our shoulders. What was that leaf anyway? Are these even edible? It didn’t matter, we weren’t really eating them.
My point is, much of our fun was random, based on anything that struck our fancy.
I believe many people are like me and just want permission to release their inner child - who would have no problem dancing when moved by the music, whether at home or in the check-out line of the grocery.
I love the scene in the Disney movie “Tangled” when Rapunzel first gets to town and invites everyone to dance. People held back until she grabbed their hand and pulled them to the middle. Then they danced and grabbed the hands of others. Soon everyone in the town square was smiling, laughing and dancing, participating in her Random Act of Fun.
What would stop you from dancing to the music the next time it made you happy, no matter where you were? Would you object? What reason would you use? That you don’t know how to dance? That the office or grocery store are not the place to dance? That you don’t want to be the only one dancing?
I am going to challenge you right now to stand up and just move to the music – whatever music you have playing or even the song that is stuck in your head.
Now tell me if you get any joy at all simply from the movement. Do you feel silly? If so, can you laugh about that? Can the laughter add more you joy in this movement?
Imagine how your mood would be different if, any time you were out and about, and you heard some catchy music, you just started dancing. Maybe even sang along, if there are lyrics. Don’t we love to watch the videos online of people dancing in public?
Just do it. Starting today, give yourself permission to practice Random Acts of FUN!