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Energy Vampires, Angels, and a Stand Up Comedy Fail

Uncategorized Oct 03, 2023

I just returned from a fantastic long weekend in Chicago with Nick. We became enamored with this city! The architecture was amazing, we took in three museums, and enjoyed three shows. Well, two of them anyway. 


Because we’re both comedy fans, each night was a different comedic showcase. First, Second City sketch comedy was brilliant. Our third night was Drunk Shakespeare, which if you don’t mind booze, is hilarious! The one in the middle was stand up comedy at The Comedy Bar. This was not-so-great, but it didn’t have to be that way! 


I have a feeling the headliner we saw was usually funny. This was just not his night. He watched his emcee open to mediocre applause, and his first two acts didn't do much better. We didn’t feel like we were part of a particularly hostile crowd, but we started to wonder as each act went up and, well, bombed. I can admit that our crowd wasn’t on their best behavior (unlike Nick and me, sitting up front, grinning ear-to-ear, paying attention, and basically ready to laugh). They were a chatty bunch, with a couple people who thought they were pretty funny (which they weren’t). But here’s the thing: the seasoned pro should have been able to handle it. And he just couldn’t get his act started. He kept addressing, and teasing, the crowd, but not in that crowd work is fun and funny kind of way. More like, this crowd is distracting me, making me mad, and I can’t take it anymore kind of way. 


Ya’ll, this stand up comedian needed some yoga! 


If you’ve ever taught from the front of the room, spoken to a crowd, or led a toast at a party, you know the energy suckers out there can easily get the best of us. They’re the dark cloud of gloom in the room with either a scowl or a resting angry face. For some reason they can suck the professionalism, humor, and focus right out of you, and I don’t even think they know they’re doing it. The hecklers know, though, and they know how to get to us. They might show up less in person, but they’re all the rage on some online platforms.


But yoga practice gives us a chance to let that stuff go; to turn away from the energy vampires and towards the angels in the room. Why? Because we have our very own distractors and hecklers in our mind! Sometimes they’re even worse than the version outside ourselves. But every time we come back to the breath, to our intention, and to the posture at hand, we flex that focus muscle and get back on track. We turn inward towards the light instead of outward in the chaos. 


I can’t tell you how many times this comedian said, “OK, let’s get started. I’m 39 and unmarried…” (which actually became the funniest punchline of his set). But I will at least agree with him there: keep coming back to your intention, breath, or mantra. Eventually, the hecklers will die down and your distractions decrease. Focus on what’s working, get through your set, and don’t let the haters get you down. OWN YOUR PLACE ON STAGE! 


This is the essence of freedom. Regardless of outer circumstances, you maintain equanimity and grace. 

It takes years of practice, and perfection is rarely reached, but the whole performance of life will be better because you tried. 


A similar practice is needed in more intimate relationships. This week on Jess on the Mountain, podcast episode 26, we are back with part 2 of our Chakra Four conversation with Emily J. Hooks and her deep wisdom around the topic of forgiveness.

As the discussion continues, we explore how there is a time and a place for forgiveness, that we have to dismantle what forgiveness even means, and how forgiveness doesn't have to include reconciliation (or even the other person's participation or knowledge of your forgiveness!). Emily shares with us how the toxic dynamic with her mother completely dissolved when she forgave her, even though her mom knew nothing about it.

"I forgave everyone in my life and no one knew about it until I wrote my book." ~ Emily J. Hooks

Forgiveness is YOUR process and YOUR healing. What an empowering concept!


May you ignore the hecklers, turn to the light, and practice relentless forgiveness today and everyday.

Much love

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