I received the best compliment recently. It may not have been intended as a compliment; yet it alighted the biggest smile. As I thought about the words, “you only see what you want to see.” I felt accomplished. I felt the value in years of meditation. I felt the reward of slowing my speech to monitor my words; every second of rehearsing and searching for the positive spin to describe situations. I felt pride. This statement, even if intended as a jab, came to me like a first-place trophy. It is recognition of my diligence. I do not look to tell-a-vision, to give me the story. I pay little attention to the programming that is channeled as doom, gloom and fear. On occasion, I come face to face with the infectious negativity, but I turn away from it. I have made being happy, healthy, and wealthy my mantra. It is my ultimate goal; a peaceful state of being that I desire most. Therefore, I am vigilant to see only that which I want to see, that which fits my narrative. My positive vision.

It’s impossible to stay relevant and not speak about the event that is currently impacting people’s worlds across the planet. Though I might wish to shut my eyes tight and pretend away the awareness of an illness running through society; a pandemic that has grabbed the attention of even the least aware, I cannot hold my focus long enough to wish Covid19 away. Still, I dream of the day people return to greeting each other with a friendly handshake. The world has taken a serious tone. Those who do not fear death, fear someone else’s death, and the rest fear the state of the economy to come. It’s been a great catalyst to start conversations about the hard topics. People are arguing and sharing fear, but they are also sharing hope and making a choice to value health. There’s also a great deal of awakened ones looking for light. Brilliantly, there has been an uptick in access to laughter, with many masters and students meeting up in the virtual world to stream their light-heartedness for all. It is my main desire of this event that we humans learn to lighten up. It is my hope that we face our fears and laugh them squarely into place.

I’m a recovering serious person. One of the first things I asked my husband a dozen years ago when we met is, “Are you ever serious?” I thought his lack of attention to things I considered important was a sign of immaturity, although he is decades my senior. Fast forward, and the tables have turned. Today, I find a mantra serves me well when I feel drug into deep wells of dark emotion. “Nothing serious is going on here.” Now, in the current times of unrest, I rely on that mantra more. It reminds me that the info coming to me is beyond my control. It reminds me that the monsters are not under my bed, but in my head. Except the monsters only come when I shift my focus to the negative – to fear, uncertainly and scarcity. Therefore, the most important tool I have continues to be my positive outlook. If you had met me a dozen years ago, it’s likely I would have been described as intense. Today, I’m described as light-hearted and optimistic. I write this to offer some comfort in these times. Our moods depend on where we place our attention. In other words, if it hurts to look at or think about, simply don’t think about it. Consciousness is our greatest gift.

FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Are you in Fear or Faith? How does one know? Stop for a second and rehearse the words. How do they feel in the body? Are you in pain or peace? Faith equals light, happy, solid. Fear equals heavy, angry, uncertain. It’s okay if you realize mostly you just feel heavy, scared, and uncertain. This is no time to JUDGE. Almost every single person is acting out of fear.
Some people’s fears are health related, some are wealth related, some are even freedom related, and some people have such density that they are just now facing this fear. They need our love and compassion. It’s a fact; that’s what the Earth needs most right now. It’s time to go within and make a choice to heal, to face up to who we are inside. It’s time to get back in touch with emotion and be so fed up with feeling bad that the only choice available is to chase happiness. We need not be afraid that to face our fears will keep us fearful, because it is the act of bringing light to dark that replaces the darkness. There needs to be no condemnation of others or ourselves. We’ve been in fear, and now we can choose faith! We can choose peace; we can choose our reality. Let’s be happy.

I gotta tell you how Spirit works. Such cool stuff!

So I have this person who actively displays ugliness towards me, and I ask God;

I say, “Hey God, I don’t know why this person is all up in my grill, but help me see something good about so and so.”

I just use a first name, because well, it’s the first name that matters, and God knows- right?

Next thing I know – every single freaking person I meet has the same name!

Seriously, I am meeting someone with that name every place I go, and as I sit right here, there are two of them!

But the thing is… I like these people in front of me, and the ones I keep meeting. As far as my recent experience goes, the people with this name are hilarious and fun and friendly and nice as could be.

I promise, the minute I ask, expecting there will be a change in the way I’m able to see things, God just SHOWS OFF!

Seriously, who knew “——” would be the name of so many awesome, fabulous people that I would grow to love and appreciate?!!!

It’s like that other one simply doesn’t exist in my world. God gave me a brand new appreciation, and all I had to do was ask for it.  20/20 vision – clarity.

The world has entered uncertain times. Uncertainty is likely the biggest fear on the planet. As humans, we long to feel safe. It is in the name of safety that rules and laws are passed. Being bullied affects a victim’s perception of their own safety. It is a human’s uncanny ability for wild imagination in times of plenty or famine that has brought us all forward to this time, and to the wonderful creations in it. Laughter Yoga is one of those things! During this period of unforeseen calamity, it becomes paramount that this time must be spent witnessing our fears and clamoring to our faith. This is a moment of decision to decidedly create a better world. Now, more than ever, we must lighten up! Now, more than ever, we must choose to laugh at our fears, at our discomfort, at our situation. This is the monster under the bed, the eerie sense of doom; this entire situation with its uncertainty is exactly that great big bully called FEAR. It is time to now face this and vanquish it. There is such catharsis that comes from emitting our emotion with intentional sounds of ha ha ho he. I do hope that those who read this choose to giggle and guffaw their way to a happier outlook. Let’s find joy amidst this uncertainty.


My 19-month-old grandson pulled out all the glass vases from the cabinet. I turned the corner to find him quizzically watching me. He looked at me and said, “turkey” as he pulled out a candle holder stashed away for the autumn months. I took it as a challenge; “You gonna choose fear or faith?” One reaction resulted in no one crying, and continuing to be child-like, curious and full of wonder. The other would be to react as if the glass broke before it actually did; probably resulting in some crying, and at the very least my heart rate would have risen. If I had chosen fear, there might have even been yelling. I love how they are always looking to see how big a deal we make things. I learn so much from these littles. It wasn’t a big deal. He got to learn how to put vases away. Nothing broke. I got to savor that I can always choose my reaction. I recommend playing – really engaging – with children in a, “just roll with their imagination kind of way.” We cannot be in a state of stress and choose play. We must choose play and laughter first, with the intention to flow with ease when attending to our emotional states, staying focused on happiness.

Happiness requires action. Perhaps someone exists in perfect contentment, impervious to the world’s woes, but that isn’t me. I am a responsive being. I react to situations. I have also come to believe my happiness is independent of the will and welfare of others. Accepting my own free will, I understand that I am able to choose how to feel about events. Patterns and programming have taught me a repertoire of responses. Whether these are positive or negative feelings is largely a memory I’ve attached to specific variables. For instance, if I find out I have been lied to, it may be in my best interest to feel compassion, but it may be in my programming to be offended. From that offense, I may choose an action that will feel either good or bad. This set of events (action, response, reaction) continues until a choice to proceed differently is made. If I am bent on deliberate creation of my own happiness, I begin to process offense in new ways. I may value peace, thus choosing immediate forgiveness. I may let go of my expectations and see them as they are, coming from a place of unhappiness. Consistently, deliberately choosing to feel good becomes the new norm. There is never a good reason to stay in a state of bad feeling.

u like buffet

by Misty Barron

I remember the day well. Sand hill was in my rear view mirror. It was nigh on lunch time. A buffet was on my mind. “U Like Buffet!“ the sign screamed. No, really, this sign shrieked its command, a grammatical nightmare in neon lights, “U Like Buffet!”.

I was at a crossroads looking down the streets of dust. I yelped, but a whisper returned nada. It was literally all the food to be found in this one-eyed town. I hate buffets. But traveling is my life and food keeps me living. 

I saunter over. An Asian man in his late forties greets me at the door. I stop to admire the waving cat statue. In broken English he notes my curiosity. Dryly, he offers, “U like cat U like buffet.” Naivety is my best friend but not today. I clearly got the remark. It was a cat house. 

Nothing to eat there but a whole lotta lives to save! Support your local rescue program. There are cats that need your love. 

#AdoptDon’tShop #AprilFoolsDay #gypsylife 

#rescue photo by Mariamichelle on Pixabay
Misty Barron is a children’s book author, retired LSSP, a grandmother and founder of LaughterExercise.com 
She is a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and a whole-hearted advocate for intentional playful laughter. 

All About That Play

All About That Play
by Misty Barron



What do you want most for your child? I bet it is what a good number of us desire. It is simply to see our children happy. We want many other things too, but overall, in any state or circumstance, we find ourselves wanting to see the sunlight on their faces, their smiles. Children come into this world expressing happiness almost immediately. The first smile comes as a reflex in the first days of birth. Experts say the first real smile happens between 6 and 12 weeks. Many cultures celebrate baby’s first laugh that occurs about three months of age. Even children who are born with or acquire in childhood a serious malady or deformity are often heralded for the joyful spirit of their strength. Joyfulness is a natural state. It is imbued in birth and intended for life. How many times (a day) do you melt when your new baby smiles, coos gaily, and giggles gleefully? Probably every single time. This is an act of play. An infant’s first play thing is it’s caregiver. The infant becomes a quick master at eliciting play. Play is the expression of joy. It is the working out of the desires and interests of our heart. Play begets joy. Joy begets play. 


As our babes grow, we begin to see their interests lie in a certain category. Interesting fact: infants begin to “categorize” things starting at 4-6 months. They recognize that a cat is not a dog even in the absence of the language constructs and despite the similarities. This further develops from 6 months forward. One thing is certain however, your child’s preferences present effortlessly and it’s easy enough to see what brings them happiness at every turn. 


Happiness is a certain category I hope we all choose to encourage for ourselves and with our children. How do we do that?

It is all in the noticing! What is it that your child naturally responds to right now? Is there an underlying theme as your child ages? 


The child who is always into Mommy’s makeup and loves when the camera comes out is already a star. She is playing her part as a public face. Her imagination may have her as a YouTube sensation releasing the next batch of stage makeup tutorials that go viral. Or she may be envisioning herself as the next American-born Princess. It’s happened! What she plays with and how she plays may not be clear to the observer. However, seeing her happily at play is hard to miss. 


How does your child play? This is a big question that has a big future. Let me explain. 


I looked up one morning and noticed that my child, now in mid-twenties with a son of his own, is still playing. My adult son makes his living by playing! I drove to his workplace, a beautifully decorated space on the thoroughfare of our densely packed city. It screams my child in the beauty of the artwork that his own two hands crafted upon his tailor-made signage. It’s a stylish place. He’s a stylish guy. More importantly, this business is his. The middle school entrepreneur who broke rules that hadn’t even been written into the school code yet has succeeded in crafting his dream job. 


That kiddo daunted school officials on a few occasions. Smart and defiant, unfocused. Bored. Impulsive. They missed his most beautiful attributes. They didn’t see that I was always having to wait just inside the store entryway because his generosity led him to stand and hold open the door to everyone. To everyone. He had no fear. From his early days of motor cross riding to those days greeting people at the door, he displayed a persistent disregard of certain fear.  School authorities did notice something about him early on. He wasn’t much for being bossed about. They insisted that medication could help with that. Those letters behind my name (L.S.S.P.) were a career choice made so I could understand what they were saying and know directly how to fight for my son. I knew from pre-school my son would be subjected to misunderstandings. The very first school misunderstanding is when he got in trouble for laying his head on the paper to color. This was daycare at age 4. “Tell him to keep his head up, he can’t fall asleep during work.” Well guess what lady, that doesn’t help. Luckily someone cared enough to give me some better advice. I came to understand the factors at play and was able to advocate effectively and preemptively on that point. Other times I furthered us into ignorance by failing to investigate. 

My point is from the beginning I knew there was much for me to learn from my child. It started with observing, having a watchful noticing eye. My son liked wheels. His Hot Wheels collection started before it was age appropriate. His bedroom was decorated with scale reproductions of automobiles, He had race track sets, riding toys, motorized and radio controlled motorcycles and cars. Long before he reached high school, he stopped playing with cars. His interests branched out. He participated in the experience of a summer job at an art museum. He worked for family and friends. He announced early on that he was to be his own boss. In hindsight I laugh, my son will be an entrepreneur was the real takeaway from that meeting with the principal and teacher in kindergarten. They were fortune tellers!



Driving up to his business I realized my son has never stopped playing. He has built that thing that perpetually keeps him playing. Our children are powerful creators. We don’t need to be worried or scared for their future. We don’t need to be hard on ourselves for not always being perfect. There will be mishaps. Sometimes we will mistakenly see in our child more of what the others see and less of what we know is there. There will be times when we fall short providing for them— that’s mostly in our minds. It is a parent’s natural instinct to want to give to their child. Our children once supplied with their physical needs, craves our attention above all else. Our noticing. 



Noticing starts with just the intent to be aware. Some parents will write down each and every milestone, journaling an index of the days. Others will make less entries but will document the feelings and the memories in the recesses of the mind with the waves and beats of the heart. Still others will keep a photographical treasure map of the ins and outs of life with the littles. 



The next step is encouragement. Again, I believe this is every parent’s true nature. We simply need the reminder. i heard once that shame and guilt are the cornerstones of good parenting. I dare admit I overheard this in the offices of a psychology department at an academic institution. I shudder to confess I tried out the theory. No! Absolutely, no! We all feel enough shame and guilt running through our DNA and the messages of society. We don’t need more oppression.  


It’s time we call for the opposite. It’s time we encourage. Encouragement is not a patronizing statement “you get this trophy because you were on the team”. Encouragement is authenticity. It is saying “We give this token to remind you that you’ve accomplished a goal.” It is a celebration of being, doing, and creating. Celebration of life’s little victories build the foundation for realization of the dream.  It is waking up to the fact that the dream is now the reality. Acknowledge, congratulate every little victory along the path. Let the face, the body, the voice exclaim the celebration. Become a master at play. It is the way of creation. 



Today I celebrate that I woke up to notice my son is still playing. It used to be with Hot Wheels. Now it is in the acquiring, brokering, and selling of affordable automobiles to the living class. All of those “descriptors” others used once to mislabel and wrongly highlight my son’s natural traits matter not today. It is his singularity of interest, his disregard of fear, his independence, his perseverance, his generosity, and his passion that plays into his purpose. He is living that out in the world today happily.  Loving what we do is a spiritual right. It represents living in alignment to our purpose. Doing what we love allows us to always play. I’m still learning how to play. 



The next time you wonder if you are doing right by a child (even your inner child) take a moment to breathe, let out a laugh, and exclaim, “Go forth wild child and play!”. It will feed the future. 



Misty Barron is a retired Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, a grandmother and founder of Laughter Exercise.Com
She is a Laughter Yoga Leader and a whole-hearted advocate for intentional playful laughter.