Monday, 8 January 2018

That 2017 stress...

Stress is the root of so much bodily malfunctioning and harm.

Back in 2007 I went through a year of tremendous stress in my personal as well as professional life.

It culminated in a visit to my doctor which resulted in an MRI scan and a consultant who told me I had MS in early 2008.

I changed my life around, started The Telephone Laughter Club, left my rather dysfunctional relationship a year later after trying to ignore the breakdown of the relationship, and I decided to be happy with my daughter and focus on good things instead of being stressed out about money I did not have, I spent what I earned and was happy with what was left.

Falling in love again was wonderful.

Sometimes it is not enough to be in love and be happy for yourself and in yourself, if everything else is stressful and is ‘out to get you’, sometimes that is sadly what happens and what gets you down.

So 10 years later 2017 happened.

A year with so many ups and downs and downs that were true downs from my own dramatic point of view. The year was full of my dramas in my life. I felt people were truly out to get me.

Get real – no one is out to get you! Seriously, how self-absorbed can one person be and I laughed at myself.

Although, it felt that way because no matter what I did of good for myself and others I had verbal rubbish blasted back at me to the extent I thought I was losing it but I wasn’t. I was just considering it all from a very human perspective. It stressed me.

But all is good that ends good and if you can laugh at yourself in stressful situations then you are already miles ahead!

If you love yourself everything and anything is enough. Yet sometimes your world can be shaken. Other people cannot be fixed by your own good intentions and good wishes.

Change has to come from the self.
  • If your ego is hurt your ego will hurt others. 
  • If your heart hurts you will comfort yourself and others. 

At least that is what I learned about myself and what is true for me.

If you cannot see your ego is hurt but think it is your heart then hurtful things will be communicated and expressed through the connection you make with the centre of your hurt bursting out. I never believed that bad and nasty things should be said in anger between people who love each other, friends or love partners, angry things perhaps but never deeply hurtful, untruthful things. The thing about this is that those very hurtful things are often a reflection of the person saying them and their own issues and personality. It doesn’t hurt less having this thought. When it is people you love and care about who say hurtful things it will affect you in some ways.

It took me almost a year to let it go, let go of fixing something that didn’t want fixing. And it happened in 2017 in all areas of my life.

It almost sounds like I have been upset and stressed for a year hahaha - I haven't I have simply been on a rollercoaster and laughter has been a great companion to help me see through the mists that at times seemed like thick pea soup. At the end of the day I am a jolly person and it takes more to truly push me off my path.

I let it go.

The impact of stress on our wellbeing cannot be dismissed in any way. We all know this because we are constantly bombarded with stress relief messages, exercises, medication, events, gurus etc. because we all know what stress can do to us or how we can make stress our negative companion.

My only say in this matter is, listen to your own body wisdom.

Don’t take other people’s word for it because they DO NOT KNOW what it is like for you. And they may call your stress a nervous or mental breakdown when in fact it is just going through some tough dealings and you handle it the way you do without breaking down. The things that cause people to ‘decide’ you are breaking down may be the fact you swear a bit more, you speak a bit less, you seem more introvert, or you may even rage more.

It is human to let emotions out and it is human to seek solitude when things are causing deep reflection.

None other than yourself knows what it is like being you so don’t let someone judge you and do not take their word for granted. Respect yourself and move on with your honesty and integrity intact.

In 2017 my health was impacted by this stress. Almost a decade to the date.

I continue to believe that MS is a myth of the past for my life but I also know that when the immune system suffers through the constant pressure of stressful events there is no guarantee it doesn’t hit you in some physical, emotional or mental way.

No matter what the stress brings with it – there is always laughter, love and nice deserts to be had.

Laughter got me through many challenges in the past and I continue to enjoy telephone laughter with lovely people who are on the same 7am laughter wave, deserts and wonderful people far and near are not to be underestimated either.

Life is life!

Nothing is going to stop me and no one is going to break me.

I share laughter and Laughter Yoga because it creates instant change. I have been accused of many things over the years including being all about the money and those who have made those decisions about me are wrong – it only shows how little they have listened over the years and how little interest they actually had in finding out who I am and what I am about. You cannot work together if you have no interest in knowing who you work with - especially not in Laughter Yoga where connection is key.

My life’s mission is to share laughter because it has a real positive impact on us, our health, our connections, our ability to cope, and when you share it honestly, truthfully, authentically and in integrity then you cannot be someone you are not.

You cannot pretend anymore.

It is no one’s fault that my health got a kick in 2017 – if I wasn’t invested in my work with a real passion I would just have ignored everything and gone into hiding. But I DO care, I care about the people who have trusted me as their teacher and I care about those who have decided that I am no longer worth their time. Love was there when we met and I will never change my heart.

My physical health experienced a set back because I didn’t honour myself and didn’t look after my own self, I let other people’s negative energies get the better of me - AND it didn't kill me!

As simple as that.

I will probably never change so I will probably do it all again.

However, I know who my people are and I know we are in it together supporting each other and loving people and positive change. I have not had a nervous or mental breakdown regardless which whisperers are whispering. I do not need anyone telling me I need help. I have the best help in the world inside me and around me – as we all do. I cry, I laugh, I scream, I quieten – it is not having a breakdown, it is being human.

My world is created by my word and my outlook, and I am done with negative ‘impacters’. Besides...

...it is none of my business what happened in the opinion of others anyway but slagging others off behind their back is NOT okay and that IS my business when it is about me and when people avoid saying things to my face about me, to me. More so laughter is my business and I am here for and with those who are up to something with laughter and Laughter Yoga.

Laughter cannot be separated from my life.

Challenge me!

When I allowed the opinions and the hurtful egos of others to have their effect it shook me up and it is the same for everyone when we let stress get to us. It is detrimental to our health.

Growth happens when we learn from our experiences and apply the lessons of life. There will always be someone behind you disagreeing or disrupting  when you are committed to move forward for the good of everyone because we all have our own pace of learning in life and ideas are individual not always to everyone's liking.

The important message in this is…

Remember yourself, your tribe, your people, your chosen and your blood.

And remember your body is awesome and it is also so complex that it does not know right from wrong and will do what it does best, react to the energy and release what is suitable in the given situation.

So, make sure you feed it love in all thoughts, words and actions.

I got spirited away…and now my body tells me it is missing my care and attention.

Remember who you are.

I remembered who I am on 31 December 2017.

And now I am off to indulge on B12 and D vitamins along lots of laughter to support a healthy and strong immune system and life spirit - 2018 is already a dance with life!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A reflection on teaching from the heart

What makes you ready to teach Laughter Yoga Leader Training?
And what makes you a good teacher? Or even a great teacher?

In the past many Laughter Yoga Teachers in the UK have learned on a 5-day training with me in Hemel Hempstead or Durham.

I am extremely grateful and feel truly blessed that this has even been possible. Some have even come directly from Laughter Yoga International and Dr. Madan Kataria.

There are now many Laughter Yoga Leader Training courses being offered in the UK and I am really excited about this because it means we have wider reach and share more laughter.

 But what makes you a teacher? A teacher who can teach Laughter Yoga?

Well. Many things, figures, and one really important thing is of course the drive, the passion, the excitement to share laughter because it is so great for us all. However, it is a passion from a selfless giving, loving heart as opposed to one of selfglory and selfpromotion.

When we teach from a selfless heart we share a bit of ourselves.

This training is not just what is in a user manual - it is what is in our hearts and how we each have created change in our lives through the mindful practice of Laughter Yoga.

How can we be teachers who teach from the heart?
  • Practicing Laughter Yoga every day is the first step to being in tune with the changes that extended, deep, hearty, unconditional laughter offers
  • secondly running a laughter club is essential for teaching others to do the same and to share the experience of running a laughter club, the benefits of doing this are tremendous when you become a new Laughter Yoga Leader
  • Thirdly, running community workshops and networking events, charity and other events
  • The next one is about getting experience you can share with your students from professional workshops run in workplaces and paid for by the client.
Without all of these experiences in Laughter Yoga there will be areas you cannot by any chance get across to new leaders and teachers. Of course, we are all constantly learning...

Laughter Yoga cannot be learned from a book, it is an experience and you cannot know other people's experiences, you have to do it, and be there, be Laughter Yoga, learn what works and what doesn't work, who likes it and who don't, the setup, the share, the laughter, the whole experience from leading for the greater good of the group. 

There is amazing and wonderful feedback on my workshops and courses, and sometimes less good feedback, too, I take it all onboard and learn to be a better leader and teacher. I listen to my groups and individuals - and grow wiser and humbler. 

The great words do humble me but I could not do it without you, without the people laughing and sharing in my training courses, workshops, events and laughter clubs. 

Experiences and lessons are what create the future Laughter Yoga Leaders and Teachers, and what touches, moves, and inspires each of them and us as well to move forward with new laughter clubs and other events. 

Great teachers and leaders share openly no matter what and act as an example with open minds and hearts - on training courses, and in life. 

We are creating history as we teach - creating World Peace through Laughter!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Knife Crime is Life Time

I did not know the young man who brutally got stabbed in St. Albans nor did I know the circumstances of this sad, sad event.

What a waste!
However, I know some of the young people who were in his friendship circle - young people who I hold in high regard and respect, young people who are close friends with my daughter who knew of the young man from her time in secondary school.

My deepfelt sympathy goes out to those near and dear to the 19-year young man.

Circumstances.

There should never be any circumstances where it is necessary to carry a weapon on a night out for fun and light hearted squirmish. Sadly, the nightlife culture dictates a different story, a different mentality.

It has got to stop!

We go on and on and on about how horrible war and suffering is and yet, we fail to avoid the fighting and killing at our doorstep.

It could have been avoided.

No matter how much someone gets to you there is never an excuse for plunging a knife into the depth of someone's flesh - watching the pain, the hurt, the terrible, terrible suffering and death too soon.

There is no excuse.

The event triggered memories from five years ago when my close friend was pointlessly stabbed and nearly died on a night walking home from St. Albans train station. This was a random attack - not triggered by heated discussions or fights but simply someone who held a grudge that got rammed into action that evening believing someone else was at the receiving end of the knife.

It does not stop when the knife drops to the ground.

It does not only involve two people, the killer and the victim.

Knife crime is for life.

For the perpetrator as much as the families, friends, and everyone who is touched by the event.

It never goes away.

So how do we move on from here? Move on from those sad moments, moments of regret, moments that cannot change back to how things were before someone died?

Back to the Future is not real.

However, we are all superheros who can make profound differences through our choices! Wear your invisible cape at all times and make a stand for the good stuff in LIFE!

And I worry - I am a mum, that is what I do. My daughter and her bessies go out on the evenings and I pray that I will never get a call like the one the young man's parents received.

If ever there is a dark moment where it seems pointless and without reason find someone to talk to - someone who has no vested interest in the story that is building up but instead can find ways out before it all crashes down into something too overwhelming.

Speak to someone who can make you laugh, someone who can help tap into joy, someone who can get the tears rolling and get back to the laughter and to what is important.

No matter how dark it may all look, it only takes a tiny spark to initiate something bigger than the ego.

And I do know that we are not all born into the same 'circumstances' but one person regardless of background can change the flow of events - only one person gives the first punch.

Remember what it is all about!
Remember community and friendship.
Remember joy and love.

Peace.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Limerick of the Pit Yacker and his Love

Today it is just a bit of meaningful romancing or random nonsense - depending on your perspective.

It so happened that I was in a romantic mood and started poetic pondering...

It may not follow all the rules of Limerick's wicked or fun rhymes but read it an weep is all I can say.

T'was a girl who would sing, laugh and dance
She found herself caught in a love trance
His blue eyes would stare
Bewitch, smile and snare
And they'd promise her more than a glance.

The distance was never a bother
Each other with love they would smother
They'd laugh, kiss and play
And they'd never betray
Their love for the sake of another.

The sound and the chimes of the bell
A beautiful tale they would tell
Of love on a beach
Where two hearts would reach
And echo 'I do' in a love spell.

The story of Lotte and Kris
Has a moral that's true which is this
Don't leave it behind
If ever you find
True love full of fun, sex and bliss.

I'm a poet and I didn't know-it!

Have a fantastic week, everyone, and embrace your inner poet!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Life goes on and on and on and on...

It has been almost one and a half month since last time I wrote in these pages.

Why?

No apparent reason other than life happening in many ways - also the once that need attention that takes the mind off thinking strange, weird and wonderful thoughts.

However, the thoughts never stopped - only the fingers glued to the keyboard.

No matter how busy life gets with all its happenstances there is ALWAYS time for good thoughts and good shares of whatever springs to mind or rather out of the mind.

It so happened that with everything that went down and up over the past few months, including a great conference, two car accidents, a prom, three training courses, 12 workshops, a house move, mostly love, and all the other normal events that create our life experience, and in this case, MY life experience.

It may not sound a lot...

At the end of the day, everything is just that, every thing - only material items that can be replaced even if it may take a while or even if it seems less great than what was there. It really doesn't matter!

As long as there is love and friendship, caring and compassion, and to be honest!? My life is complete.

On top of it all I am ever-so-fortunate to work with people who feel the difference of the stuff we do together in workshops and training courses.

This year I have been booked solid and my thought a few weeks ago was 'how am I going to find a place when I have a moving deadline and no time to look' and with no time to look even a thing like moving would be challenged come the day. I quickly apologised to the Universe as I did not mean to complain because I DID in fact ask for lots of workshops and lots of students (I love workshops and students), and I would like to keep the flow...please...

So, anyway.
With friends and family there is always a place to go.

So back to what is essential.

The conference in Manchester full of Laughter Yoga people showed a true sense of community and friendship, and I was blessed with being there with my life partner to share this atmosphere of fun and play - a special event where my mentor, teacher and friend along with his beautiful wife shared the space and wisdom of joy.

We are quite good at that in our own time and space but it was great to share a different fun with likeminded people.

Through thick and thin - or sick and sin, I will be there for you and you will be there for me - in love.

Love is what gets you through life...

...and adds sparkle and glitter!

Love life!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Trains, strikes, and stern faces

I started writing my post a few weeks ago but never got around to publish it...

My post started on the Wednesday I went to London while the train staff was striking away and somehow got stuck in 'Thought Alley' for additional days...

Just a reflection of my mischievous mind on the train
As I was heading back to St. Albans on the very slow train that Wednesday afternoon I just sat pondering, minding my own business, noticing people getting on and off.

The elderly gentleman sat across from me, his fierce Vinnie Jones face set in some serious folds but as the phone rang reality took a drastic turn as his cheerful 'hello-oo' sounded into the air almost like  a melodic symphony.

How looks can be deceiving and I wondered how often people don't get a second chance because we all KNOW for a fact that first impression lasts.

The past few weeks since this journey have been manic in an exciting and also challenging way, and it makes me wonder if I have been at the receiving end of judging minds when my faces has been laid in serious frowns, hiding smiles and laughs as I have been going about sorting and considering options and decisions.

Probably.

But then - no one has uttered any comments or opinions.

My face is definitely not built for frowns and seriousness which became blatantly clear when my daughter requested my assistance in completing her A-Level Art work.

I was to model a variety of expressions, from various artists, most of which were frowning, angry, fierce and agressively shouting.

Lesson learned, it hurts to put my face into unfamiliar position and aren't I lucky that for me, those unfamiliar positions are those of expressing anger, frustration and hate.

My face is definitely made for grinning, smiling, laughing and a bit of mischievous chuckling.

What is your face telling you?

No matter what we deal with in terms of house, transport and other big materialistic challenges it is always worth remembering that where there is a heart that beats with love, there is a home and room for a smile.