“I need new friends,” I told my life coach.
She agreed with me.
Now, in case you are reading this and you ARE my friend, let me reassure you. I need MORE of you. At this particular point in my life, I am craving community. I mean, A LOT of community.
“It’s like I yearn for people who ‘get me.’ Know what I mean?” I said.
Yes, she did.
And I want to “get” other people because, sometimes, frankly, I don’t GET other people at all. I don’t get small talk. I don’t get fake smiles. I don’t get office Christmas parties. I don’t get SERIOUSNESS. I guess I just don’t get IT.
“You need to take action,” she told me.
Let me tell you, I did. For the past two weeks I’ve been on a friend campaign. I have literally sent hand-written letters to people that I barely know (but wanted to get to know) that say, “Would you be my friend?”
I have reconnected with college friends I adore. I have had skype dates and phone dates with strangers and old friends and barely new friends and sometimes I talked so much I thought my voice might wear out. And I’m not done.
Well, if you’re wondering if it’s because I’m some crazy extrovert, that’s not the case. Most days I’m content to hang out alone at my house with my husband. No, it’s because the energy behind connecting with someone who really is a true kindred spirit is so powerful that it propels me to be more of me, create more, and literally feel ON FIRE with love.
And … because of one kindred spirit and fellow Heyoka in particular (who is also an amazing life coach) … I discovered a name for my calling. After laughing with her about our shared humor, my mind whirled with ideas. So much so, that at a very late hour I got up to do a google search on “sacred clowns.”
I’m getting to the point. Don’t worry. I had just remembered a book I read on “sacred clowns” in Native American tribes and their role.
According to Wikipedia (I know, I didn’t do a deep anthropological study here but I liked this description) the Lakota call people in this role Heyoka.
The Heyoka are healers and have many functions, for example healing through laughter and awakening people to deeper meaning and concealed truth and to prepare the people for oncoming disaster with laughter. Heyókȟas also have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from the experience of shame—they sing of shameful events in their lives, beg for food, and live as clowns.”
Heyokas are satirists. They love to poke fun at the things society believes is too serious for comedy. They ask “Why?” when other people are afraid to ask anything at all. They like to do things backwards, break taboos, be contrarians to show us when we’re all getting a little too crazy for our own good.
Five signs YOU might be a Heyoka too:
1. You fall into uncontrollable laughter during inappropriate times … like in the middle of “moments of silence” or piano recitals, your staff retreat, or even in church.
2. You’re the person in your family or group of friends who lightens the tension with a joke.
3. You enjoy Monty Python, Stephen Colbert, David Sedaris, and especially Coen Brothers films. In other words, you like dark humor as well as light.
4. You can amuse yourself even in your most bored moments, just by observing “that guy.”
5. You are full of contradictions and enjoy that about yourself.