Issue #029 | October 11, 2020  


This week: laughter, how to keep writing when you want to quit, how to tame a wondering mind, time diaries of crazy busy people, how to pick your next book + more.


Did I ever tell you about that time I went to a laughter meditation event? 

Hands down the weirdest, yet most eye-opening experience.

Let me start by saying I have no inhibitions when it comes to laughing. 

I laugh at myself, mostly. But I also laugh at others (I know, I'm naughty). And with others. Even if I don't know what they're laughing about (blame that on my highly sensitive mirror neurons). 

Standard jokes or comedy don't do it for me, but do or say something slapstick or off the cuff, and you'll have me rolling.

The best kind of laughs are the public ones.

The ones where you're in cahoots with a random stranger on a packed train or bus.

Where you've both spotted something funny, and you're trying your hardest not to laugh. But you can't contain it. You melt into the kind of laughter that has you wiping away tears.

What makes the giggling even more intense are the disapproving looks you get. From straight-faced people who aren't privy to what's tickling you.

I've had many moments like that. 

Needless to say, I do love a good laugh.

And I love it when I'm around people who love to laugh too.

heres to the crazy ones quote - not fitting in

But this laughter meditation thing...

Well, I must have gotten the wrong memo that day. 

Turns out I was the only group member partaking in genuine belly laughter.

So, I'm in the middle of this session and I don't know what's funnier. The host with his ridiculous over-the-top fake laughter, rolling on the floor antics. 

(Yes, he actually rolled his whole body on the floor. Several times). 

Or, the fact that people were looking at me as if I was crazy because I couldn't stop cry-laughing. 

One guy looked seriously concerned for my health as he handed me a box of Kleenex.

I kept thinking 'what am I doing here?' 'Why aren't these people finding this funny?'

And then the penny dropped. Some people don't find it as easy to laugh. 

Not at themselves. Not at others.

That realisation floored me.

Because, how do you do life without being able to laugh at it's messiness? 

Through laughter we build social bonds, diffuse tension, and let go of shit that doesn't serve. 

As creators, or wannabe creators, we probably need to laugh more than anyone else. Especially when it comes to laughing at ourselves.

Dealing with fear, resistance, uncertainty. Putting your work into the world and expecting people to like, share and buy it. 

It's all crazy making.

We beat ourselves up over a series of little mistakes that feel so big in the moment. You know, like hitting send on an important email before you've had a chance proofread it (been there).

Those mishaps remind us that we're not perfect. And it's OK not to be. 

We can fret over our mistakes. But when the dust settles on the embarrassment of it all, we have two choices. 1) continue to stress over what's done, or 2) laugh about it. 

In my mind laughter is this wicked-cool tool we need to use more often. 

It's like the band-aid that keeps on healing.

Granted, some things aren't so easy to laugh about. And you do your best to deal with the sensitivity they deserve.

But for the rest of the stuff... laugh it off my friend.

Mena x

P.S. What do you generally find funny? Jokes, tomfoolery, toilet humour... something else? Hit reply, let me know.

Quick Tips & Cool Tools

✨ The time diaries of crazy busy people

Three women decided to keep a time diary to gain better control over their crazy lives. If you think your life is hectic, take a look at their schedules. Might inspire you to keep a time diary of your own.

→ Real Simple

✨ How to keep writing when you want to quit

  • Remember one skipped session can led to another, then another, then another. Try not to skip. 
  • Set a timer and write for just 5 minutes even though you really don't want to. 
  • If there's still a part of a project that genuinely interests you, that's a sign not to quit.
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve, what you control and what it is you have to offer. 
  • Surround yourself with people who have similar ambitions to you.

→ Goins Writer

✨ How to decide your first task of the day

It comes down to deciding on these three things: knowing what's important, what's urgent, and how motivated you are to do it. 

Ask yourself:

  • What's going to produce the biggest results now, and in the future?
  • Which tasks do I absolutely have to do today?
  • Do I have the energy or motivation to tackle this now?
  • If you're energised in the mornings, prioritise the task that excites you the least (even if it isn't high impact). And visa versa.

→ The Morning Effect

✨ Tame your wandering mind to improve your focus

Sounds counter intuitive, but research shows if you give your mind more to do, it'll leave less room for those wandering thoughts and distractions to creep in.

  • Make time for daydreaming, but do it during your break time.
  • Get. Better. Sleep! Naps are good too.
  • Try intentional doodling. But this only works if the doodles are related to the task at hand.

→ New Scientist

✨ How to pick your next book to read

This tool should make choosing your next read easier. It spits out suggestions based on whatever your book preference is.

→ What Should I Read Next

Caught on Twitter

Just for Fun!