Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 4 - The Eleventh Holy Night - The Need for Self-Parody

We often take ourselves too seriously. It doesn’t matter if we are working with our strengths or our weaknesses. We tend to get overly concerned with how we see ourselves. We become self-conscious. We get gripped by the image in the mirror. We obsess over our soul boxes. We spend hours in our balloon, drawing the most accurate maps of our feelings.

Inner Christmas honors the admonition: O Human Soul, Know Thyself!! But asks us to do it with innocence and wisdom, not self-criticism or self-obsession. I’ve used the word soft in these messages and need to use it again. Know Thyself Softly!

For those moments, hours, days when the self-seriousness overtakes your innocence and your wisdom, there is a remedy. It’s brilliant and it always works. I learned about it reading Rudolf Steiner, who spoke and wrote with breathtaking innocence and wisdom revealing the meaning of the great mysteries of the Cosmos and the human soul.

Steiner suggested the practice of self-parody. Whenever you take any aspect of your soul life too seriously, exaggerate it. Big time.

If you get filled with doubt or fear, arrogance or pride, exaggerate it. Be ridiculous. Yes, this takes the courage. You must make a fool of yourself. Once you have done this a couple of times, you will be surprised at how much freedom it provides.

Here is how I suggest you develop the wonderful spiritual practice of self-parody.

Find a time and a place where you will not be interrupted for 10 or 15 minutes. Get a clear picture of what you are overly concerned about - the grand talent or the devastating flaw, the horrific mistake or the brilliant achievement - then picture its opposite.

Step into the middle of the room. Stand tall. Breath deeply. Center your energy on your heart. Feel your spine. Relax your muscles. You are in perfect balance.

Now step to the right. The right is the place of overwhelming, prideful and wicked strength. Using your voice, your words, your body language to act out a larger than life expression of this strength. Go far beyond normal. If you feel shy about this, just give it a try. After a minute or two of this parody, go back to the center and repeat the centering, relaxing and balancing. Feel the energy of your heart and the straightness of your spine.

Now step to the left. The left is the place of fear, doubt, frailty, confusion and weakness. You don’t feel safe or likable in this place. Do a self-parody of this mood for a couple of minutes. Again, be ridiculous and exaggerated. Then, go back to center.

Repeat this process several times. You will find that the center experience increases and the two extremes weaken. From the center you will reconnect with your innocence and your wisdom. You will feel the essence of your self balanced elegantly between spirit and matter. Self-parody is a paradox - the further you exaggerate your imbalance, the more balanced you become.

If you do your Inner Christmas work right before falling asleep, wait until tomorrow to experience this exercise. Otherwise, give it a courageous effort. You may find yourself laughing.

If you have a trusted friend, plan a parody date. Nothing helps this exercise be successful, like an encouraging friend with a wild sense of humor and a great love for you. You may want to do this self-parody on a regular basis. Your soul will thrive.

All our Inner Christmas work during the Twelve Holy Nights is supported by our Angels. Self-parody is a very human capacity and the Spiritual World is amazed at this. When they experience us disappearing into the darkness of our extremes, and then see the light return as we center ourselves, they applaud with delight. They love when we laugh at ourselves with self-compassion. Make your angel happy, give self-parody a "serious" effort.


  1. Well, this looks different and fun. What a smorgesbord of spiritual practices you gift us with Lynn. I will be happy to donate to you.

  2. ooooooooooo
    I love this
    and all of your messages
    the boxes
    sailing with the balloons
    I will savor your wisdom
    throughout my days...

    xox - eb.

  3. this is the first post that has awakened my it is fear which dominates my psyche and the thought of exagerating the already terrifying creates more fear and yet a part of me delights in the I swing between maddening polarities...this gives me at least an imagination of peace....the idea of laughing as the fears grow gargantuan and cartoon like in their proposterousness! There is always room for laughter to lighten the deepest despair!

  4. wow!!! Such a healing exercise....
    Thank you for reminding me of my strength found in the clearing.

  5. In reaction to Abigail: exagerating the fear if it is based on impressions, ideas, old pain and not actual circumstances causing fear that requests immeadiate action like meeting a bear in the forest or a near taffic accident, I think this exercise is most likely not to increase fear in the end. In case of meeting a bear or a near accident, immeadiate action should be taken to prevent harm. In case fear is without actual danger, I think, the fear is likely to be reduced by an encounter in such an exercise because a lot of people seem to suffer from fearing fear and this is draining. If the fear has been challenged, not realistic ideas might be put in the liter bin by the sub/unconscious and so it is likely to stop taking loads of energy. This is also the reason why I think sedatives should be used delibertely and sparsely (however they can be extremely usefull under circumstances and their existence is with wise use a real blessing). I like Lynns' suggestion of exploring both poles and will certainly try it. I don't think it will be dangerous for reasonable healthy people and I suppose most people subscribed to the 12 holy nights belong to this category. Hope all of you trying this exercise will have fun too.

  6. Thanks, again, Lynn! This is fantastic. I and my friends do a lot of this---not the exact exercise you described, but the going into the exaggeration mode, both ways, and making fun of ourselves. Like when we get critical of others, we will usually enter a "skit" of how sad it is that the rest of the world isn't as thoughtful or as incredibly kind as we are. Why isn't everyone the brilliant, clever beings that we are? And so on. Until we are laughing at how stupid we really were criticizing someone for a trivial weakness that didn't do any harm. At how out of balance we were feeding energy into something so silly. We also have times when we exaggerate our "inferiority" complex. We laugh about how inept or insignificant we are. How unloved and how insufficient for the breath of life. And again, we end up feeling better, now that we recognized that energy that feeds into that....and you are right, I DO feel more balanced afterwards. Calmer. I can see how this practice can be liberating done regularly and deliberately.

    Your writings have been a great gift. I'm sharing this with my friends. They'll be happy to find there might be wisdom in our silliness...

  7. I love this exercise. First, I'm going to try it out in the morning. The, I'm going to share it with my subscribers and clients. Love it. Thanks.

  8. I get it now... TOO FAR RIGHT OR TOO FAR LEFT-----
    The scale is not balanced. When I am centered my SOUL lives
    in BALANCE!!!

    Thank you Lynn

  9. This is a wonderful exercise to create balance and become centered. I tried it on myself and ended up having a hilarious discussion with my power side and my weak side. It really cleared things for me. I too will use this with clients. I reminds me of exercises I learned in coaches training yet this is quicker and easier and lots of fun!

    Thanks Lynn for your Inner Christmas writings. They are so refreshing and have given me a stretch more than a couple of times. I am sorry to see it end tomorrow but I look forward to going deeper with many of the ideas that you have presented. SCS

  10. Self pardody, I need to work at this, thank you, this one really spoke to me!! Susan