Bayview residents: all they need is a little encouragement!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
I’ve recently decided to end my public laughter club to focus more on my paid laughter programs. I’ve been in this laughter business for 12 years now and have been leading this particular laughter club for 7 years.
The public laughter club is my community service. It’s a lot of work to maintain it –specifically in getting a steady stream of participants there every month; not to mention the amount of effort it sometimes takes to get a small group of newbies to laugh. I’m letting that part of my life go…at least for awhile.
But I started to envision Mary in my mind. It brought not only a smile to my spirit but a renewed understanding of why I do what I do. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words came to mind: “If only one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.”
Mary came to my continuing ed class at Bastyr University claiming that she could “do serious really well”. She came with an intent to bring more joy and laughter and lightness to her life. She participated with a sincere and steady commitment to use intentional laughter to this end. And I watched her slowly transform.
At our last laughter club I saw in her, for the first time, a child-like lightness and contagious authenticity in her laugh. I felt a sparkle in her spirit and a joy in her face that I hadn’t seen before. I saw her evolution – the fruits of her sincere labor. I saw that I’ve done my job well. And I remembered why I do what I do.
I won’t be ending this work anytime soon.
Photo: Phinney Laughter Club
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Thursday, September 12, 2013
I watched an old clip of the first Saturday Night Live episode to air after September 11, 2001 (three weeks later) and mused on how completely well done they did it.
It opened with Rudy Giuliani flanked by NYC Chief of Police and NYC Chief of Firefighters with a crowd of personnel behind them. They were solemn and sincere and the audience honored them profusely with a long stream of applause. Something everyone needed.
Major Giuliani spoke a chunk of heartfelt words, after which Paul Simon sang a heartfelt song, with his sweet voice and poetic lyrics.
Then Executive Producer Lorne Michaels came on stage. Giuliani essentially told him the show must go on as they are a NYC institution. Only at this point did the comedy begin with Michaels asking Giuliani “Can we be funny?” To which Giuliani replies “Why start now?” And everyone got to laugh.
People sometimes ask me “Is it ever inappropriate to laugh?” This scenario is the answer. Take whatever time is needed to honor the tragedy, and then and only then, let the laughter begin; for everyone needs the healing more than ever.
I attended my first program on Laughter Yoga just after 911. The leaders handled it well. They spoke of the timing and confessed that they considered cancelling the event but chose not to. It was something we all needed. For me it was tender timing to the start of this vocational journey of bringing more laughter into the world.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The opportunities to add laughter to your day are everywhere….if you’re willing to see them.
My newest ritual, given me by my newest Naturopathic physician, is a body scrub routine designed to stimulate the body’s natural methods of daily detox. I am to do this each morning before showering. Quickly I realized it was the perfect compliment to my laughter routine in the mirror each morning. So I combine the two rituals – laughing while scrubing. It’s a gas! Great way to start the day!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
John is one of the awesome seniors in a Laughter Yoga program of mine recently. They call him Jack and he calls his walker, Johnny Walker. Ha-ha!!
His laughing buddy Gerrie is a youthful 91. She’s in amazing shape with an exuberantly positive attitude and a laugh to match.
So I ask her , "What’s your trick to your awesome longevity?" Her answer: "music and laughter!" She’s always sung in a choir and has always laughed a lot.
Thank You Gerrie.
Photo: Laughing Buddies
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
The more you laugh, the more you find things funny. You don’t need a sense of humor to laugh. Rather the more you laugh, the more you develop a greater sense of humor.
It’s a truism. For I laugh a lot and consequently find an amazing amount of things in the world funny.
I sat on a massage chair for the first time at the salon where my reflexologist practices. I couldn’t stop howling. Just couldn’t stop. It sent me into an endless stream of laughter. I guess you could say it tickled my funny bone, massaged it….whatever. I just thought it was an hysterical experience.
Because this was an upscale salon, and the laughter wasn’t congruent with the rest of the ambiance, we had to turn the thing off or I would never have stopped laughing…. Had I been bolder, we would have left it on.
But the point is I’m the only one I know who howls with laughter just by sitting in a massage chair. My laughter muscles are well-oiled…and often used.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Monday, July 15, 2013
I connect most easily with those who laugh freely.
I know why – it’s because they are the most open-hearted. This is true, not only emotionally and metaphorically, but also literally.
Hearty laughter is excellent for the heart. It lowers blood pressure; increases blood circulation; expands the lining of the arteries, taking stress off the heart; and strengthens the heart in a cardiovascular workout. There have been numerous significant studies linking heart - healthy people with those who laugh easily.
Friday, July 12, 2013
It’s healing to laugh! I’ve said it many times. Perhaps it’s time to say it again.
As I’m about to proceed to my appointment with my reflexologist this morning, I quickly think to exchange my boring white socks for the ones with bright colored dots. For I know this will give us an added laugh – just before she goes to work on my feet.
I chose my new ND for many good reasons, one of which is that I know how easily she laughs. For she was in my laughter class at Bastyr University last year. And indeed we spend not a small amount of our visits in boisterous laughter. It is so healing. The other stuff feels almost incidental. Though it’s also great healing stuff.
Laughter heals in so many ways: boosts the immune system, stimulates the brain, gives a cardiovascular workout, shakes up the internal organs, strengthens the lungs, reduces pain, stimulates and relaxes our muscles, and last but not least, give us a grand emotional and spiritual boost!
Photo: Phinney Laughter Club - July edition!
Monday, July 8, 2013
Laughing to the future TED Talk with Hugh McClelland:
I do the laughter exercises a bit differently - more raucous, not so controlling on the breathing, but sparking everyone to laugh with a demo. More natural and playful, so off they go, wild and wonderful. But his info here is great! And his enthusiasm!
“Babies laugh before they can speak. But also babies laugh before they have the ability to understand complex language, i.e. before they could possibly get the joke." Aha! No need for jokes to laugh – it’s a completely natural thing to laugh without any cognitive understanding of why. It’s simply joy!
“Laughter leaders remind people how to do the thing they already know how to do – laugh.”
Monday, June 10, 2013
I got “in trouble” once visiting a friend in the hospital – for laughing and being too loud. Granted it was Intensive Care, but he was out of crisis and me, well, I was just being me. It was like high school all over again. Getting in trouble for laughing too much.
But my friend Edward, the high school teacher, says the world is a lot more tolerant of laughter in the classroom now. I’m happy to know it!
Photo: My friend Gail, the compassionate clown, in our local hospital! She seeks to make them laugh – Nurse Funnybones!
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Teasing can be cruel or teasing can be loving. It’s all in the intent.
I played the violin when I was ten. Each week without fail, as I waited for my elementary school doors to open, with violin case in hand, I was greeted by the 6th grade teacher (who just happened to be male), as he teasingly called me “Machine Gun Annie”. (Those days were innocent enough that such a joke could be made.) It was a tease thick with love and I ate it up every time.
On the other hand I can think of many teases during that time from an older sibling that were laced with cruelty.
It’s all in the intent.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Brought some laughs to Everett Community College at their annual Passport to Culture event. My contribution: Laughter Yoga from India. Most were willing, some were tentative, most all of them were great young people willing to experiment with “unconditional laughter”. Thank you Elke for the invitation!
Monday, May 27, 2013
We remember that which evokes strong feelings. I remember all those who made me laugh hearty when I was young.
Today fond memories arose of those crusty old guys (old as a relative term) I knew when I was a teenager and young adult. They worked at the gas station I frequented annually to get my car inspected.
The scenario: As I slowly cruised in their lot, they would come to a faux dramatic halt, motion a faux dramatic Catholic sign-of-the-cross, and roll their eyes before waving me in. It made me howl every time. I loved those guys!
We remember those who helped us to laugh! At least I have. With great fondness.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
What a WILD bunch last week at the Laughter Club!!! Keep it up everyone and hope to see you all again soon!
Tina’s words: “Teresa’s relaxed style put me at ease and brought out some DEEP laughter and helped my light to shine a bit brighter.” Thank you Tina!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Check out this video – Hooked on a Feeling!
Laughter creates the same “high” as addictive drugs. Addictive substances cause rushes of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens sections of the brain. Fits of laughter do the same. Obviously with no horrific side effects. Instead it’s a “healthy high”.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Class at Bastyr is over – I’m sad – such a great group. Some comments shared last class: “I experienced a whole transformation.” “This laughter’s been a life saver.” “I came to class last week very down, didn’t even want to come, left completely uplifted.” “My whole digestive system is better.” (never heard that one before – but know the reasons for it – makes sense).
I will miss you all – hope to see some of you at Phinney!
Here’s Danette - champion laugher!