Friday, January 28, 2011

Just before Dawn

When darkness settles in and laughter feels so far away you can’t even imagine it. Or worse yet, the heaviness of depression creeps in and laughter actually feels painful, for it strikes up against your wounds like a cruel joke.

These are some of the things I do:

Take a walk. Fresh air and exercise always help a little.

Write a poem and share it with a friend. If there are no friends around, just write it out anyway. Someone’s listening in the ethers around you. I’m sure of it.

Remember the times you have laughed. Just remembering will help.

Be Creative. It’s one of the best ways to connect with your Divinity.

Help a friend, or a stranger. Altruism fosters happiness.

Play. You may laugh yet.

Feed your passion. It will help bring you back.

Thump your thymus and activate your inner light. Darkness is just the absence of Light.

Forgive someone. See their inner light.

Smile. It will help relieve the stress.

Know that: This too shall pass. The darkest hour is just before dawn.

Photo: Stock.xchnge

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Barber of Seville

The opera house isn’t the first place that comes to mind when looking for a place to get some laughs. But here in Seattle for one more week, in fact it is.

I had the joy of attending Seattle Opera’s Barber of Seville last night and laughed my way through this delightful Rossini comedy. It was nonstop laughs as Rossini meant it to be. A stellar performance.

Figaro was his true charming self. Completely full of himself, he bounded his way through the show, initially springing onto the stage from a seat in the audience, cajoling the crowd along the way and never letting up for the entire two and a half hours. They say Rossini gave the baritone the best music. It can’t be denied that Figaro is the highlight of this great opera.

Some of my favorite bits:

The great running joke comprised of just two words, buona sera, as the wanna-be young lovers attempt to rid themselves of the lecherous old fart.

The Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx inspired comedy routine of Almaviva and Basilio, mirroring each other’s movements as they suspiciously eye one another.

Almaviva’s wild hair flying to the precisely correct musical accompaniment from the orchestra.

Bartolo’s falsetto mimicking of others when he's irritated.

And all those Rossini crescendos – music starting slow and quiet then building faster and louder until it explodes like a canon, the classic Rossini simile. Fast faster fastest. At many points in the show the musicians sang so fast it reminded me of the gibberish Laughter Yoga students learn. Speaking so fast and nonsensical that it becomes nothing but pure silliness.

It’s a great show. An opera full of Rossini’s infectiously upbeat spirit. Catch it if you can.

Photo: Lawrence Brownlee and Jose Carbo by Rozarii Lynch

Monday, January 17, 2011

Clown Nose

When I was certified as a laughter leader back in April of 2002, I was given a clown nose as part of a gift package of laughter goodies.

But I quickly learned that it wasn’t my style. I’ve always known that I’m not the clown type, but I thought I could at least manage to don a clown nose.

So I tried it only once at one of my first ongoing laughter clubs at a retirement community. One of many such clubs I would lead over the years.

Sure a senior or two chuckled when they saw me. “Great” I thought “This brings more laughter.”

But as soon as I started the laughter session, I felt hidden behind it. Even though it was just a clown nose. But it was big and bright and red and to a certain extent hid my true spirit. No I was right. It wasn’t my style.

Laughter bonds. Laughter connects people. Laughter is contagious. Laughter is magnetic. Laughter is so huge and powerful, a clown nose pales in comparison. Most importantly I understood that I was teaching people to laugh as an expression of joy, an expression of our truest selves. The clown nose simply detracted from all that. I wanted people to laugh with me, not at the prop on my face. Instead of laughing at my goofiness, laugh with my joyfulness. Catch the true spirit of laughter.

That’s my stand on clown noses.

Photo: Wikimedia

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Laughter Yoga in Prisons

There are those rare and special laughter leaders who bring their programs to prisons. The above photo says it all.

Photo: Laughter Yoga with prisoners in India (LYI)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

E Pluribus Unum

This familiar phrase appears in the wisdom of the final pages of Dan Brown’s latest book The Lost Symbol. Out of many, one.

In discussing Noetic Science, the fictional character Katherine Soloman explains: “What I’m saying is two heads are better than one, and yet two heads are not twice better, they are many many times better. Multiple minds working in unison magnify a thought’s effect exponentially. This is the inherent power of prayer groups, healing circles, singing in unison…The idea of universal consciousness is no ethereal New Age concept. It’s a hard-core scientific reality and harnessing it has the potential to transform our world.”

When I read this, I immediately flashed on Laughter Yoga and the amazing power generated in a roomful of people laughing together simultaneously. No matter how many participants come together to laugh, it’s a powerful thing. Yet it can’t be denied that the larger the group, the more amazing the energy. Sometimes I feel we’ll blow the roof off with our combined laughing. Other times I feel the joy we generate must be felt in all corners of the universe.

E Pluribus Unum. From the many, comes one powerful expression of joy!

Photo: Laughter Yoga International

Saturday, January 1, 2011


“Let yourself be drawn by the silent pull of what you really love.” Rumi

This is where the laughter resides.