I’ve been leading courses for 35 years. In that time I have discovered many ways that we can lighten up and let go when we get serious or heavy.
I have watched tasks from this list effortlessly tap into people’s sense of humor, levity and mirth. I’ve seen people snap from tears to laughter and back again in a few moments, feeling more alive and present.
Please don’t consider this to be an exhaustive list, make up tasks of you own, or share ones you already use in the comment section. Inspire a friend to try some tasks from the list too, and share your experiences. Here is the list, wishing you great fun!
Tiny task list
1. Eat a meal with the opposite hand.
2. Vigorously rub your kidneys with your hands, and send them warmth and wellness.
3. Lick your plate and your fingers.
4. Let your smile start small and claim more and more space on your face.
5. Think a little less and love a little more.
6. Pound your chest softly but convincingly while making the Tarzan sound and standing tall.
7. Invite a stranger to join you for lunch.
8. Notice that there is an ongoing, ever flowing world of emotions inside you.
9. Brush your teeth with the other hand.
10. Imagine you are an alien, seeing Earth for the first time.
11. Let your belly relax and your breath flow, focusing on inhale and exhale equally.
12. Come up with a new signature.
13. Let someone feed you a meal as you feed them.
14. Hold a plank several times per day, just to fire up your core.
15. Fake a laugh until you find a real laugh within it.
16. Tell someone, or two someone’s you love them every day.
17. Smile to your muscles, nerves, organs, skin and bones. Smile up your whole insides.
18. Laugh like you mean it, about nothing in particular.
19. Try counterforce breathing: flowing energy in while breathing out, energy out while breathing in. Stay with this for several minutes and notice what happens to your attention.
20. Eat spaghetti with your fingers.
21. Notice the sky, the clouds, stars and the tops of trees.
22. Don’t take the presence or absence of sex seriously.
23. Keep Mother Nature company.
24. Imagine you are a big, walking talking solar energy cell, and let the sun power you.
25. Watch some ants at work.
26. Learn three new words and use them.
27. Put on the other pant leg first.
28. Take a new route to work.
29. Speak before you think.
30. Dare to feel emotions nobody else wants: those emotions need love too.
31. Eat really fast or so slowly, regularly varying the rate at which you eat.
32. Have an outburst of anger while walking outdoors.
33. Try not talking about the past for an hour.
34. Try a little Iron Shirt Chi Kung: Stand still in place, balanced for five minutes.
35. Sing in the shower, and other times, out loud, when you are least expecting it.
36. Regularly eat foods you have never eaten before.
37. Dance for at least five minutes every day.
38. Remember, that if you ever have sex again what you are doing now is foreplay.
Medium task list
39. Ride a shift with a police person.
40. Reach out and make contact with a celebrity.
41. Visit a coffin shop and lie in a coffin as still as you can.
42. Get a little body paint and do a little body painting.
43. Make hummus from scratch, and replace one ingredient with another, noticing the nuances of taste and perhaps coming up with a new favorite flavor. Added peanut butter to mine, tasted great, until, by the end of the batch I hated it.
44. Take a vow of silence for a day.
45. Spend some time with a two-year-old, and a 92-year-old.
46. Test drive a top of the line Mercedes or a Tesla.
47. Learn different smiles by doing different things with your facial muscles. You could have a hundred different smiles. You could learn how to smile like your favorite movie star. Mimic smiles and create new ones.
48. Say “I love you” to yourself in the mirror three times each day, expand your definition of love to fit whatever mood you are in or thoughts you are thinking.
49. Hide behind the couch, scared as can be, and let that fear melt into a healthy, happy warmth and well being. In the process you build a path out of fear all the way to well being.
50. Try on a different walk today walk like some Movie Star you’ve seen, or walk like some relative or somebody from work. Adopt their walk as thoroughly as you can and notice if it influences your thoughts.
51. Stop trying to feel good all the time: welcome all feelings equally.
52. Crawl like you used to before you could walk.
Even bigger task list
53. Knock on someone’s door at dinner time and invite yourself to dinner. (This may sound like too much, but we have had many people do it, even ask for a place to spend the night. The results have always been deeply loving and moving.)
54. Set your alarm clock for the middle of the night, just for fun, let it wake you up, turn it off and rather than going back to sleep notice the middle of the night thoughts.
55. Practice whistling, whistle a tune thats never been whistled before, whistle with your friends, whistle lying on the floor or making love.
56. Give five new shiny one dollar coins to five strangers today. Or, you can use two dollar bills, you can get them at any bank.
57. Turn off your electricity for a weekend day, use candles and enjoy watching it get dark.
While you can read this list and think about doing the tasks, that won’t rock your world. Doing the tasks will.
Snap a picture of yourself, then pick a task, any task and do it.
Tomorrow pick another task.
At the end of 30 days, when you have done 30 tasks snap another picture of yourself. The differences are likely to be extremely wonderful.
I assure you that you will like the new you.
Author: Jerry Stocking
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Motoki Plasticboystudio, Featured Image: Sally Adelle Roberts