Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone 🌈💖

The subtle art of saying YES to the right things!

How many times in your day are you saying YES… to the right things? The right things bring you joy, fill your cup, allow space in your life, offer you smiles, grant you stillness when you need it, and even add belly laughs. Here are some examples: Saying yes to a quiet evening alone, saying yes to a brunch with friends you haven't seen in years, or taking yourself out to lunch and ordering your favorite meal. YES. YES. YES!

Or are you saying YES to all the wrong things that bring you to live in what I call Autopilot Aggravation? Aka. Complacency, or the comfort zone!

Examples: I'll make tacos for dinner because it's taco Tuesday; I'll go to the grocery store; I will not go to the gym—I'm too tired again; I will eat my boring salad/or breakfast or whatever meal; Sure, I'll watch that show with you, even though I have no interest in it… AUTOPILOT AGGRAVATION is settled in here!

Your life is the same hot mess day in and day out, with nothing changing… I've been there!

A Miserable Time at 20 Years

Twenty years into my recovery journey, I found myself at an unexpected crossroads. I stood between bored, lonely, and tired. The vibrant laughter that once echoed through my days had slowly faded into a silent void; it was sh*tty. I was miserable. It was a sobering realization—I somehow lost one of the most joyful parts of my essence: laughter! My sobriety sucked arse.

Then, as though the Universe (aka Ocean of Yum, G.O.D. Higher Power)had heeded my unspoken call for change, I met her—let's call her Joy. Joy was new to the recovery scene, a fresh spark of energy with eyes wide open and a bit of skepticism sprinkled all over to the top. Super Yummy! Her laughter was infectious, and her spirit, unbridled by the weight of long-term recovery, was magnetic. She asked me to coffee, and I said YES! We connected instantly, and it wasn't long before our friendship blossomed into days and nights of meals, movies, dog walks, and lots of recovery meetings. She slipped right into my family dynamics, and we were all super cozy; it was awesome.

Joy introduced me to a world I never expected to be a part of—multi—level Marketing (MLM)! This MLM promised adventure, prosperity, and, most importantly, a good time. I was not looking for this opportunity, but Joy's enthusiasm was convincing. So, I said, YES! I took a leap of faith and joined her. The MLM world was indeed CRAZY.

Taylor Swift Yes GIF by MSD Online Shop

This MLM scene was set with a cast of characters unknown to me, but everyone around us had their mouths wide open, nodding their heads yes as if they were listening to Taylor Swift's Eras tour or Matthew McConaughey coaching his GreenLights roadmap. It was trés bizarre, but I was in this for the adventure! This journey showed me the underbelly of the MLM industry; I had a front-row seat and was quickly introduced to the owner, who later became a dear friend. Full of travel, excitement, easy money in the bank, and laughter—a stark contrast to the life of predictability I had unwittingly settled into over the previous years, by not saying yes over and over again.

We journeyed to new cities together, met fascinating people, and shared countless stories. Life on the road with Joy was an endless series of comedic escapades. We became the dynamic duo of our MLM team, known for our lively storytelling sessions, where we'd recount the hilarious encounters we had with fellow travelers. It was FUN!

One particular memory stands out vividly. We were on a plane headed to Texas for some big rah-rah session with new products. We were sitting in economy plus, and mind you, she's tall, so her legs were right up against the seat in front of her; we were weaving yet another funny narrative about our fellow passengers. In particular, the one sitting in front of us who just slammed their seat back into her knees, laughter overwhelmed me. I laughed until tears streamed down my face, and somehow, amidst the belly laughs, I managed to wet my pants. (Not soaking them…but wet!) Embarrassing? Absolutely. But funny? One hundred and fifty percent! Thank goodness for being a mom who is always prepared. I had squished an extra pair of leggings into my carry-on, although I couldn't get to them until we exited the plane. Joy and I laughed about it for the rest of the trip, and it became one of our favorite stories to retell, much to the amusement of our team.

Through my friendship with Joy and our MLM adventures, I rediscovered the lightness of being. I remembered how important it is for me to say yes to new things, and reach for things that make me uncomfortable. I found my laughter that I thought was lost forever. It was a potent reminder that happiness can be reignited in the most unexpected ways and that it's never too late to find it again.

This experience taught me so many invaluable lessons here are a few:

  • Recovery is not just about maintaining sobriety—it's about finding and embracing the parts of life that bring us true happiness.

  • It's about allowing new relationships and experiences to weave into the fabric of our lives, rekindling the sparks we thought were extinguished.

  • The very act of being vulnerable is more important than the act of having it all together.

Have you ever felt like you've lost a piece of yourself in the recovery journey?

I want to say this: keep your heart open to new connections, new adventures, and the infectious joy of new friends. You never know when a chance encounter might lead you to the laughter you've been missing!

Oh, and by the way, I recently started taking applications for friends, and it seems to be working! This weekend I'm hosting my first backgammon tournament! I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Living in recovery doesn't have to be boring and saying YES to life doesn't have to feel complicated. Getting in the flow of life is easy when you trust and let go!

For anyone looking to bring more joy and laughter into their lives, I recommend "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World" by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, a profound exploration of joy by two of the most joyful people on the planet.

And Now Some Sciene. Scientific Smiles: Laughter in Sobriety

Laughter activates a cascade of positive physiological responses. It triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals, which can promote an overall sense of well-being. A good laugh can also reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. This mechanism is particularly beneficial for those in recovery, as managing stress is a key factor in avoiding relapse.

The act of laughing has been found to increase immune cell activity and infection-fighting antibodies, thereby boosting the immune system. This is essential for individuals in recovery, as alcohol use can suppress the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections.

Let's talk about mental health; laughter can improve mood, increase resilience, and provide a non-pharmacological way to manage pain. It can also improve social interactions and strengthen relationships, critical for building a solid support network in sobriety.

When cravings hit, laughter can serve as a healthy distraction, shifting your focus away from the desire to drink and breaking the cycle of craving. This pause can give you the time you need to use other coping strategies you may have learned in therapy or support groups.

Did you know? There are laughter yoga classes designed to initiate laughter as a form of therapy. Such classes use a combination of laughter exercises, yoga breathing techniques, and playful activities to encourage spontaneous laughter.

Remember, in pursuing a sober lifestyle, laughter can be a powerful ally, not just a momentary pleasure. It's a resource you can tap into anytime, anywhere, to lift your spirits and strengthen your resolve on the path to wellness.

Laughter therapy channels the natural benefits of laughing for psychological gain. When you're feeling stressed or cravings hit, a good chuckle can be your best defense. It's one of the cheapest, easiest, and most enjoyable therapies around. For more scientific insights, check out Laughter may be the best medicine.

Joyful Prompts: Writing Your Way to Laughter

  1. Write a letter to your future self highlighting all the funny misadventures you’re 'grateful' for.

  2. Pen the most outrageous and humorous bucket list items you can think of—nothing is too silly!

  3. Script your own comedy sketch where you're the superhero whose power is turning tense situations into laugh riots.

Comics to Watch Now

  1. John Mulaney - For a delightful mix of clever wit and relatable oddities. Watch on Netflix

  2. Ali Wong - For unabashedly bold and belly-laugh-inducing stories. Watch on Netflix

  3. Trevor Noah - For a global perspective with a side-splitting twist. Watch on YouTube

Conclusion: Keep Laughing, Keep Growing, Keep Saying Yes!

Did you know? The world's longest recorded laugh lasted for 3 hours and 6 minutes! 🕒😆

Remember that laughter is like internal jogging for the soul. It shakes out the cobwebs and brightens the darkest corners. So next time life throws you a curveball, just chuckle and swing—it makes for the best defense!

Until next time, giggle on and prosper,

Lane 💌

PS: WANNA SAY YES MORE OFTEN AND LIVE IN FREEDOM? Check out my mindfulness sessions.

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