I’m not a big fan of the grocery store. I like to go in, get what is on the list, and be done with it! My husband, on the other hand, is enamored. He loves to go there, spend some quality time, smell the melons, squeeze the tomatoes, carefully check the color on the bananas, sort through the fresh corn, look over the muffin choices, check out the desserts, ponder over the ice cream flavors, check out the nut choices, and finish in the candy aisle. As you can see, he has a predilection for lots of bad stuff he shouldn’t be eating, but that’s another story. Me, I grab the list, get my stuff, and I dance in the aisles while I wait for him to check out. It’s not that I especially like grocery store music, but if I am standing, and music is playing, my body simply begins to move with it. I can’t help it! Sometimes I can be caught doing the yoga tree pose or even yoga airplane if I have a wide aisle. Hey, it helps my balance, and I have nothing else to do while I am waiting. I especially practice this while in the checkout line. It really helps not to get irritated with waiting! This true confession may leave you thinking I might be a little crazy. What’s wrong with that, I ask? Can you consider adding a little bit of craziness to your life? The organic crazy, not the drug induced kind.
So, let’s go with I may be a little crazy. If you really think this is a bit crazy, you may be way too inhibited! If you are constantly worrying about what other people are thinking of you, this also suggests you are probably too inhibited! If you think people are staring at you or judging you, again, you are perhaps too inhibited. And even worse, you are undoubtedly not having much fun throughout your day. Instead you are too busy worrying rather than being able to focus on the moment and enjoy the “now.” And strangely enough, those people you are worrying about judging you are actually way too busy worrying about themselves to really even notice you! Eckhart Tolle, who wrote The Power of Now, advises, “Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.” We need to unshackle ourselves, and stop taking ourselves so seriously.
Have you ever seriously considered why alcohol and other recreational drugs are so popular? The reason is that they give us the high that frees us up to be ourselves and enjoy ourselves. Did you realize that you can actually achieve this state without ingesting one mood altering substance? I want you to ask yourself why it is ok to be uninhibited if you are ingesting a drug, but not if you are sober? What is the difference? We must wonder about the message that our culture given us about spontaneity that makes us fear it. Can you only set yourself free if you are high? Many years ago, I used to sing Paul Simon’s famous tune, “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover,” to encourage myself to end a relationship. These lyrics can be useful to encourage us to slip out of our protective gear and get our SELVES free! It is wonderfully relieving to remove that defensive protective armor. It is so much more fun than sitting in a bar, drinking alcohol. Instead, as Paul Simon suggests, “Just get yourself free!”
There are actually many positive reasons for becoming less inhibited. As we allow ourselves to be more spontaneous, we become more creative. Our brains become more flexible and our neural connections are enhanced in new ways. Because we are less blocked, we can become more aware, more sensorily awakened. Because we are not so blocked, we may see and hear things in an entirely different way. We may also feel more energetic because the freedom will allow us to be less stifled by our natural defensive armoring. We will also feel happier, because a little dose of disinhibition will create a natural high through the release of our own endorphins and enkephalins. This happiness can be contagious and may infect those around you, compounding the spontaneous feelings of well-being. This sense of well-being will also include the benefit of stress reduction, and stress reduction is the very best preventive medicine from illness. For those interested in the effects of stress on overall health, I highly recommend The Stress of Life and Stress and Distress by Hans Selye.
I recommend that you practice a little “naughtiness” every day. Stretch your boundaries of impropriety, dare to be different, practice being authentic within your own skin. Famous Humanistic Psychologist Carl Rogers said, “What is most personal is most general.” We don’t have to fear being human in all of its expressions, as deep inside, we all know the same uncertainties. Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind stated, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing! If Helen Keller could experience life in this way then anyone can. Throw off your shoes, be a little improper, find a way to enjoy every moment, and seek your adventure! And the next time you go to the grocery store, if you see me dancing in the aisles, will you dance with me? I was just wondering……..