clowns: the healing touch of laughter

I was recently involved in a wonderful Clown workshop with La Gata Cirko in Bogotá. The deep insight and self-exploration tool that I found amazed me. It helped me get grasp of my innermost essence, by laughing at my self, at my ridiculous limitations, fears and frustrations.

So, who is a clown? We all are clowns deep inside within our hearts. Our clown is our inner child who manifests through us when we are eager to open up and show our beautiful and transparent soul to the world. However, in this busy world filled of cultural and social paradigms, these deeply engrained ideas about how we should behave, what we should do, what we should say and where we should go, cover our natural and unique beauty with facades and masquerades that become our “normal” way of presenting ourselves externally. We are not really aware of the amount of external bias that we have been accumulating over decades and that have also been imprinted into our system through both our DNA and the cultural patterns that come all the way back from our ancestors. We don’t only believe that this is the way we actually are. Moreover, we believe that all our limitations, fears, frustrations and lack of love for ourselves are just a matter of how we are and, as such, that we cannot transform them.

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Our clown appears when we uncover our most beautiful inner essence. It appears with the simplicity and humbleness of a child who, with his huge and surprised eyes, will play at every moment and exist completely in every instant of his game: believing, loving, exploring, playing … Our clown is not worried about the past; he is all about the present moment and within this awareness he constructs his future. Our clown always participates, always tries, without any consideration about “failing” or making “mistakes”. Because in our clown’s world view nothing is a failure, everything is an experience that can be drew on and laughed at.

Once on stage, there is an instant when you just want to run away. No one is laughing and you are there, not knowing what to do to save the show. In technical terms, this very instant is called “Mr. Flop”, because it is, literally, as if someone inside your own head started whispering at you how ridiculous and non-amusing you are at that precise moment. Then it is all about patience and endurance. It is about being able to just be there, in the present moment during that small instant. Not allowing Mr. Flop to drive you out of stage, and just keeping your mind calm and quiet while allowing your vulnerability and fear to show. Your public will, at this very moment, start connecting with your whole essence. If you are able to do this, then, suddenly, you will be able to hear the next divine instruction, the improvisation guideline that comes from your innermost source of wisdom. And all of a sudden you are wonderful, funny, and enjoying the whole thing again… and this cycle goes on, again and again, resembling the spiral-like quintessence of life.

Finding one’s own clown is quite a pedagogical experience, with no one but oneself. It is a powerful way of understanding how we really are inside, by means of an external “barometer” or measurement instrument. Your public will tune in with you and laugh only in those moments when you are there; when your soul is visible and exposed. It is as if your essence and vulnerability tickled them, producing laughter and joy. It is a soul connection.

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