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Lighten Up by Apollo Pampallis

note from Cyndi: I was talking (well skyping) with our friend Apollo last week about the topic that turned into the post Life is Short So Make Fun of it and he asked if he could contribute a short piece.  Well – it turned out that he had more to say on the subject then  first realized – so here it is in full.

And before I leave you with Apollo’s words I wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who already contributed their funny stories and video clips and to ask that they keep coming.  Once we top 100 or more we will create that promised ebook and make it available to everyone – because we can all use more laughter in our lives….

Hey, you know what? Life is tough. We are all at various times afflicted by health issues, relationship issues, finance issues and a whole lot of other issues, so you’ve got good company. And who knows what the morrow brings?

We have been taught to be serious, that ‘soberness (as opposed to sobriety=not drunk), worrying about self and others are marks of a mature, adult and responsible person. For most of us even our God is a miserable old sod. And each one of us is on the lookout, ready to judge any person who is ‘happy without reason’, and in turn avoiding being ‘happy without reason’ at any cost, (let alone being CAUGHT) That would be a disgrace to our family, our business, the mark of someone who has ‘lost it’, and not quite right in the head.

The truth is however, just the opposite!

Wherever did the totally insane notion first arise of needing a rational justification for being happy, or, for heaven’s sake, laughing?  Why should we need a reason to be happy? Why should we need a reason to laugh? Did you know that while the smell of food makes any mammal salivate, an attractive complementary sex makes every mammal’s eyes (amongst other tissues) dilate, but there is no standard stimulus for making us laugh.

How often have you been in a group where some people will find a joke hilarious, others silly, others in poor taste, others bland? My father grew up in a village where what was considered hilarious by most would not even raise an eyebrow in a village a short walk away! English humour is subtle and often lost to others. I have the experience of being very funny and raising a laugh a minute in English company, while in Greece my attempts at cracking jokes are more often than not at best not noticed, and at worst (unfortunately quite often) earning me weird sideways glances.

That is because all of us westerners have been raised to consider laughter such an inappropriate response, that each society made very specific rules as to what would constitute a legitimate justification for us to laugh. When I was little in Apartheid South Africa, our harshly oppressed black compatriots, despite their hardships were always quick to laugh, ‘justifying’ their thin lipped Calvinistic oppressors at judging them to be simpletons and savages.

You may say that one would need to be schizophrenic to suffer directly or indirectly, even being aware of such a lot of pain and suffering starting within our hearts, amongst family, friends, and millions that we don’t know, and not to compassionately feel pain.

I agree. Pain is unavoidable. But suffering isn’t. Pain is what makes us withdraw our hand from the flame. Without it it would burn away and we would not even know about it, in fact even salivate at the thought of a nice steak being cooked. Pain is what motivates us to help our fellow human, whether it is an old lady who has fallen down, a mugging victim or anybody else to whom we can offer help.

But when we cannot respond to the message of pain, then that pain becomes suffering. And suffering serves no function but to swell the ego and create further painful reality, as the physical universe is but a reflection of our mind state. We attract everything we focus on, and love, hate and suffering/worry/anxiety are exceptionally strong attractive energies. We are constantly creating by what we focus on. When we are unconscious in our creation we tend to follow our unconscious programming and predominantly focus on and create dysfunctional energies and the physical circumstances , from ill health, bad relationships, poverty and other such uncomfortable circumstances which result.

When we are conscious, or aware, we choose what we want to think, to feel, to be. If we chose to be ‘enlightened’ there is only one way to be, and that is to ‘lighten up’

If you are with a ‘terminally ill’ child, do you think your worry, pity or concern will make her feel any better? If you really love somebody who is suffering, you cannot also pity them. Pitying yourself or another is confirming the lie that the pitied one is a helpless victim, rather than a creator of circumstance, able to create hardship when unconscious and joy when aware.

Are you seeking enlightenment? Then there is no option but to lighten up.

Just like anything else. Where there is pain, feel it and notice what its message is.

If you are out of touch with your body and don’t know what the meaning of a stiff neck, diabetes, a heart condition etc is, consult a body/mind therapist. And do something about it. Remember, things that ‘happen’ to you are the result of your own past unconscious creation, so you choose. Believe that the ‘big bad world’ is out to get you, choose to be a victim, reinforce and recreate your victimhood, or change it through a conscious decision to Lighten up!

Again I hear you say. How can I be happy when faced with my health, financial, relationship or other issue? O.K, I concede your point. Having cancer, losing your house, having a divorce, are not happy events, and only a fool or a schizophrenic would say otherwise. But happiness and sadness are externally focused feelings, responses, reactions to circumstance, but by definition ‘circum-stance’ is what ‘stands around’ you. It is not you. It may be your wife, your money, your body. Whatever ‘You’ may be, Was, before you took up your present form and Will BE after you leave your body. You can feel happy or sad, due to circumstance around you, but within you, you can choose to feel Joy. When? Right Now! Whether you choose Joy is entirely your decision. No-body and no-thing can change that.

And you can choose to laugh. Whatever the circumstances. When? You got it, right Now! Are you in a public place? O.k. then, you may still have too much invested in your ego as to your social position. In that case commit to laughing as soon as you get home? Do you stay with your family? Get them involved? Do you have a flat/roommate? Rope them in. Not timidly and hesitantly, expecting ridicule and rejection, but with conviction. Whether they join you in your laughing has at least as much to do with your conviction and convincing as it has to do with them.

And laugh. As hard as you can. Laughing has been known to cure people of terminal cancer. It is by far the single most effective medicine for any physical or mental condition. It stimulates and engorges the thymus gland, the Master gland which also is in charge of the immune system. It massages the internal organs in the way no masseur (let alone machine) can. It tightens the stomach and is the best single exercise to develop those abs. (abdominal muscles). It increases your circulation, deepens your breathing, that essential Life Force and burns calories, and is more beneficial than sex. In fact it is the best thing you can ever do for yourself. Laugh. Laugh at yourself. Make fun of yourself before anybody else starts laughing (it paradoxically also takes the wind out of their sails if they were thinking of laughing at you ;-) . Laugh easily. I’m not suggesting you burst out laughing when a friend tells you that dear Aunty Emily just got run over by a bus, but allow your laughter to express more often and more freely. When on your own, or with a group of intimate friends, just laugh for no reason at all. That is true laughter. Laughter without any excuse, reason, rationalization or ‘justification.

The famous American comedian George Burns smoked like a coal fired power plant, drank bottles of ‘plonk’ daily and ate the junkiest of food which statistically ‘should’ have seen him dead at a very young age. Instead he laughed his way to a hundred, dating girls which could have been his grandchildren almost to his dying day!

Happy people don’t laugh. Laughing people express Joy, and become happy!

So, its your choice. On the one hand, be a genius world famous psychologist capable of analyzing and diagnosing every psychological ailment, including your own, and end up dying young and unhappy, like  Freud and Nietchze, or laugh your way to a hundred…

Hi – it’s Cyndi again – with another request to make us laugh.  Leave your stories – links to images, videos, or (???) here – or leave them in last week’s featured post : Life is Short – So Make Fun of It I will be gifting commentors from both places.

Apollo Pampallis is a Life Mentor and can be contacted on Apollo@discoveringthenow.com. He is establishing new web pages in an exciting new alliance. For ongoing information, upcoming webinars, consultations, ebooks and other news please contact him on the above email

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4 Responses to “Lighten Up by Apollo Pampallis”

  1. Caroline says:

    Apollo, thank you for another wonderful article. I always enjoy your writing, there is great value in your words and thoughts. So many people don’t understand the difference between pain and suffering, nor do they see their suffering is a choice. I am generally a happy person and whenever someone asks how I am, I respond with, “Great!” It is such a shame that most people don’t know how to respond and even feel a little uncomfortable with my enthusiasm but I try to lead by example.

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  2. vic says:

    Thankyou, a timely reminder. There is a lovely English expression that the worst sort of person is the one who, when asked how they are, tells you in detail……
    We all have a choice to live a joyful life, no matter what our circumstances.

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  3. Rosie says:

    WOW! Thank you for a wonderful article.. and a great clip of George Burns.. it sure made me laugh! We so often get “caught up” in our daily tasks so this is a lovely reminder that we can make a choice about “staying light”. You are an inspiration!

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  4. Summer says:

    Hi there,
    Beautifully and very wisely written Apollo. I’m an Aussie and I am certainly one of those people who gets “looks” from those with little sense of humor. I have had a very challenging life right from a difficult childhood and have an inherited mobility disabling disease plus other health issues that very adversely affect what I can do but all of those things have helped me in helping other people and have taught me just how laughter really is the best medicine.

    When I meet people and going through the “getting to know them” phase I am always delighted when I discover their sense of fun.

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