Be Your Own Batman

The other day, while reading “Dare, Dream, Do” by Whitney Johnson, I was introduced to Alyson Jenkins’ anecdotal story, “Be Your Own Batman.” I was immediately drawn to the story title. It conjured up all sorts of fun visuals and childhood memories of cartoons, costumes, and heroes! And as I have been pondering Alyson’s story and the title phrase for a few days, I’ve been reflecting on its deeper meaning and relation to my life and journey.

As a woman and social worker, by nature and by training, being Robin — someone else’s something — has been easy. Realizing I can also be Batman — MY something — has been life-altering.

For many reasons, I’ve spent a lifetime being Robin. It’s been a nurturing, supportive and fulfilling role. The world needs Robin, for sure. To be a support system for family or community, and to be of service, is incredibly important. However I realized a few years ago that I lacked balance in that area. I had an internal yearning that was not being fulfilled. I couldn’t even put words to it. I had spent so long being Robin that I never allowed myself to find out who I really was, to fully dream or realize my own goals and aspirations — to be… Batman!

Over the course of several years involving lots of hard (yet rewarding!) internal reflection, self-trust, and personal development, I have been able to knit together my own Batman suit and wear it proudly! (note: it’s less black & gray and waaaaay more vibrant yellow)

Laughter Wellness has been the crux of my acceptance to being my own Batman, from trusting my intuitive guidance and completing several levels of training, to the effort and passion I put into it daily. The transformative possibilities built into the simple elements of playfulness, community, laughter, and breathing have carried me to places I never imagined. And as I continue to trust my inner guidance, deepening my laughter skills and sharing it with everyone, the practice and the community support me back. Not coincidentally, allowing that support from others has been a learning experience in itself. It’s the perfect ebb and flow of Batman/Robin relationship. And throughout every laughter session, we can flow back and forth between being Batman & Robin for each other, depending on the exercise.

I love being Robin, riding along in my husband and children’s sidecars, championing all their efforts to move forward, but when I also see myself as Batman, with my husband and children riding along in my sidecar, I’m happier — so much happier — and not coincidentally, a much better Robin.

As Jenkins notes, becoming my own Batman has been life-altering! I’m having so much more fun, more experiences, and making deeper connections by empowering myself and allowing myself to take time for myself and to take center stage once in a while. And I certainly continue my Robin role as well. I’m finding the balance to be what living fully is all about.