Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

I’m distressed by a lot of the news lately, as I mentioned last week. And the past week’s headlines haven’t done much to change that.

And so for a minute all of the news sent me down a deep dark hole of what-the-heck-are-any-of-us-supposed-to-believe and how-are-we-supposed-to-form-opinions and why-are-people-so-mean and what-on-earth-does-this-have-to-do-with-anything and why-do-i-still-pay-for-cable-tv???.

Then I found this. 

Like I’m sure most of you did.

The Wonky Donkey.  (If you haven’t watched this yet, stop now and watch.  Do this for yourself—it will be the best gift you can give yourself on a Monday)

I’m so in love with this woman, much like I was in love with the Chewbacca lady a few years back.  I can’t get enough.


Because her laughter pierces through all of the nonsense and cuts to the absolute core of beautiful humanity.

Human laughter like this, in my opinion, is just about the most beautiful thing you can hear or witness or do. It’s probably the most present and authentic thing we can experience. And that kind of laughter washes away everything that doesn’t matter and leaves behind only what does.

When’s the last time you laughed like that?

For me, it’s been times recently when my kids said something funny.  Or something I watched with them. Or something we, or they, were playing. It’s been youth-centric.

Because in youth, there is joyful, wild abandon.

But we put that away on a shelf, systematically, little by little, as we grow into “adults.” So serious and official.

I think as adults we have to consciously work to create a space for that kind of laughter. We have to allow ourselves to be present, let go of expectations, and just let joy in.

Just let joy in.

I think I’m going to turn in my next report, or prepare my next workshop, or format my next email in in the form of the Wonky Donkey.  There’s going to be some “spunky, hanky-panky, cranky, stinky, dinky, lanky, honky-tonky, winky wonky” action going on over here.

Because don’t forget—joy doesn’t just come where you least expect it. Joy is also something you can create.

How can you create the space for joy today?


Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.