Self-Facing Laughter — Lovingly Laugh in Your Own Face

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Self-Facing Laughter — Lovingly Laugh in Your Own Face

Self-Facing Laughter — Lovingly Laugh in Your Own Face

"If you can laugh in your own face, you can laugh in the face of anything."

-- Swami Beyondananda


Last month, I suggested you try the mantra, "It's a joke -- laugh" at the first signs of "irregular-hilarity".  Assuming you successfully did this, you took the first step in mastering self-facing laughter.  Rather than being a put-down, self-facing laughter is a “put up”; levity raises our perspective to see ourselves, and the conditions of our lives from a higher view. What would it be like to start each day looking in the mirror and literally laughing in your own face? The ability to laugh at oneself — the foundation of a true sense of humor — is a skill that facilitates and lubricates every human transaction. Self-facing laughter can help you become your own best friend, and magnetize allies and positive situations.


A friend of mine who became hugely successful in the real estate business told me a story about an early experience that was initially traumatizing.  He came to the office one morning to find that his partner had gone bankrupt, and my friend had lost $90,000.  (Note:  This happened nearly 40 years ago, back when that was real money!)


My friend was not amused.


He walked into the men's room to splash some water on his face, and when he caught a glimpse of his frowning countenance in the mirror, he got an idea.  He started laughing in his own face, at first mockingly -- ha-ha-ha ... ha-ha-ha ... ha-ha-ha.  He did this forced laughter until he actually burst out laughing.  It was like trying to start a car with a weak battery ... finally the ignition ignited some real laughter.  He stood there genuinely laughing in his own face, and then he cheerfully took his wife out for lunch.  He told me the experience changed his life.  "I got over it immediately, and never looked back."


Think about it.  How many people out there experienced a setback like this one, and turned into a lifelong orgy of regret?  In this case, my friend used the setback like a set-forward that allowed him to release the past and embrace a new future.




Is there a disappointment in your life that still "sticks in your craw", where you feel even the slightest bit of resentment, or even regret?  Even though this may have happened a while ago, do you have a sense that it might still be casting a shadow over your present day experience?

Assuming this did not involve the loss of a loved one or a body part, you may be able to liberate stored energy from this experience by lovingly laughing in your own face.


So this week, try this at home:


  1. Replay the situation in your mind, and notice how you are feeling. If you are feeling cheerful equanimity then you have already successfully metabolized the incident.


  1. If you can feel a twinge of sadness, anger, anxiety, regret, resentment, etc. then do what my friend did. Try making yourself laugh, even if it feels strained, and do this until the laughter comes unrestrained, all the while holding the offending incident in your consciousness.


  1. You will very likely notice that after the laughter -- even if it felt "phony" at first -- you will feel differently about the incident. Notice if you've lost some charge.  Feel free to repeat until the incident is "flat" -- no charge.


  1. If it STILL isn't funny, there is obviously too much pain involved, and forcing laughter will be counter-productive. This is good information -- something in your life requires deeper healing!


Oh, one more thing.  To reiterate a point made in last month’s post, the words humor, human, humility and humus all come from the same root.  When we lovingly laugh in the face of our own egoic foibles we become more human – we cultivate humility and avoid the humiliation of having your face rubbed in the humus!



Steve Bhaerman is an author, presenter and comedian who has spent the past 34 years in the guise of cosmic comic Swami Beyondananda.  Swami’s comedy has been described as comedy disguised as wisdom, and wisdom described as comedy, and noted author Marianne Williamson has called him the “Mark Twain of our times.”  He can be found online at and you can find out more about his work as creative consultant here.