Reader’s Digest had a column I dutifully read each week-“Laughter is the Best Medicine!” and that is true. Bernie Siegel wrote how he assigned homework to his cancer patients to watch comedies, The Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, Michael Keaton in “Beetlejuice”, and on and on…Attitude makes a big difference. We’ve all heard of the mind/body connection. Laughter is powerful.
I love to laugh and do at least 4-7 times/day. But, lighthearted doesn’t mean you can’t be serious. I used to think that and took things way too seriously. Many over-achievers can relate, right?
That label, overachiever describes me. Two Master’s degrees and lots of extra courses and coaching certificates. I don’t mean to brag. As Will Rogers said,”It ain’t braggin’ if you done it!” I “done” it. But, so what? I hardly ever laughed and constantly heard, “Lighten Up”!
So, gradually I did. I met a really funny, endearing friend who, too, was an over-achiever…a doctorate at 22! Pretty amazing! But they also loved life and laughed at movies, situations and often found humor even in times of adversity.
I know I used humor as I experienced life’s challenges. ! When my health was compromised, humor got me through it.
And about the same time, I heard of Laughter Therapy and Laughter certificates and even, Laughter workshops! Of course, I had to attend one and find out about it.
We learned what a belly laugh revealed as opposed to a chuckle or giggle and with each lesson…We started to laugh as she demonstrated what each laugh meant. Laughter truly is contagious and a group “sport”.Then, she had us go around the room laughing. When we stopped, we had to grab a partner, smile at each other and laugh…We all had a blast!
Our presenter,a Laughologist, talked of raising endorphins and increasing blood flow, mental health, wellness and this insatiable learner really didn’t pay attention…I just had fun. Heather Wandell was our Laughter Specialist and over the years, I’ve attended Laughter workshops whenever I can.
Friends would always find me slightly irreverent and I’m often asked to just relate my day-they laugh and say thanks. In part, there was always some humor inherent but, taking those workshops have given me permission to lighten it up.
My clients come to me at a vulnerable time-in midlife questioning, “is this all there is?” Or they want to avoid being overwhelmed, want to change careers, get a better job, start a business or some combination of these goals. I bring my 25+ years’ in education, talents and experience + my sense of humor and support. And I encourage them to “Lighten Up” and let us work together to achieve their goals!