Monday, October 26, 2009

Laughter Clubs are a Great Thing, Oprah!

Laughter Clubs are a great thing Oprah!

In Oprah’s recent interview with author Daniel Pink (The Whole New Mind) for O Magazine, she comments, “Isn’t it kind of pitiful? You don’t have anything really to laugh about so you go to a club, you have a meeting to laugh?”

It’s comparable to saying, “Isn’t it pitiful you don’t really have anything to sing about, so you join a choir, you come together to sing?

I love Oprah for being a positive force in the world, but here she misses the point of laughter clubs. It’s more laughter. It’s more of a good thing. It’s going deeper. It’s doing it with others. It’s a celebration of laughter.

It’s my dream to appear on Oprah and have her experience the authentic joy of participating in the true spirit of a laughter club.

We come together and laugh because it increases the amount of laughter we have in our lives. Because the more we laugh for no reason, the more we find reason to laugh. Because the more we do of something that is healthy, the healthier we’ll be. Because the joy and emotional stability it gives us, carries over to the rest of our day, our week, or even our month.

For many of us our laughing spirit gets buried over the course of life’s challenges or just over the course of the daily grind. As one new laughter club participant told me, “That one evening extended my life two years.”

It’s like that choir. Or like meditation. The combined effect of laughing in a group profoundly enhances the experience, multiplies the effect. The combined energy raises the roof in exhilaration.

I once had a workshop participant leave my program on such an emotional high, that when he ran into a friend, his friend thought he was newly in love. He had that unmistakable glow! But it was from laughing with a group of 100 people.

Photo: Laughter Yoga International

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An Evening of Joy

We had a joyous meeting last night of the Phinney Laughter Club. It was a smaller group of ten as we birthed our new laughter club, a reincarnation of the old one in Ravenna. For me it was a nostalgic evening. Exactly eight years ago, in October of 2001, I started my first laughter club at Phinney Neighborhood Center, across the hall in the Red Room. I feel blessed to still be at this business of bringing more laughter into the world. Thank you all who came last night. You were a beautiful crowd of laughers!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Laughing iMAC

I’m in love with my new iMAC!

With it’s built in digital camera and 20 inch screen I can create my own videos directly in front of my monitor. As a friend says, instead of bringing my camera to the action, I bring the action to my camera. My latest creation is a video of myself doing my morning laughter routine. Now anytime I need some laughs, I can just click on my video and laugh it up – with myself!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fun in Fremont

I live in Fremont now, the Center of the Universe, as the locals call it. There are organized groups of people in this community whose purpose it is to “keep Fremont fun”. Fremont is an easy place to laugh and play.

From my window today, I face a huge inflated pumpkin, sitting atop a spike in one of the low- rise buildings along the canal. With a ghoulish smile of shark-like yellow teeth, it invokes my morning laughter.

Julia Cameron, famed writing teacher, encourages aspiring writers to scribe their morning pages each day (three handwritten sheets), to keep their writing muscles toned and their words flowing. I prescribe morning laughter, to keep our laughter muscles in shape and enhance a steady flow of positive emissions. This October I’ll use the huge pumpkin. Tonight I’ll point it out to my dinner guests and we’ll laugh more. After the sun goes down, it illuminates like an element of fun plopped into the sunset.

Each morning I begin the day facing East to greet Mt. Rainier. When it’s not immersed in clouds, I get the full top-to-bottom, left-to-right view. It’s a special moment in my day. Now I’ll also turn West and laugh with the pumpkin!