Monday, 6 August 2018

I learned something - about myself

Vulnerability seems to be a key thing these days. I hope it continues on...

Over the past few years things have surfaced that I haven't really thought were impacting who I am today, but somehow they have.

Not only that, by those things surfacing I have allowed myself to let go and let other thing come up so I go grow throught the release of stuff that serves no purpose.

Life is a brilliant teacher!

So here is one thing I recently decided to change about myself - if you fancy listening or perhaps rather, reading... it is not meant to be too heavy and in fact perhaps it may help you realise a few things that may be worth letting go of for yourself.

But even if you don't that's fine, too.

I felt I was an awkward young person back millions of years ago which of course is in my opinion although I am sure I was.

When I started partying and dancing as a teenager - thank goodness for the 80s small moves where you didn't really move too much. I could feel the rhythm and sense it but I just didn't have the moves because I was too concerned with other people and their much better moves.

Looking at other people thinking I wanted to move that way too, dance like they did and my friend were amazing. I wanted some of that total self-expression they had on the dance floor.

The mind of Lotte Mikkelsen was overthinking the dance steps and I kept doing my 80s sidesteps.

I kept doing it or simply avoiding the dance floor.

In the 5-day Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher Training we have dance and movement evenings with Laughter Yoga and free flowing dancing. Great!

Since starting teaching the course when I became the Laughter Yoga Master Trainer in 2012 I always stepped back a little on those evening allowing the Teacher Trainees to 'do their thang' and that is absultely how it should be. However, I was also conscious that it was a kinda cushion so I didn't show my lack of connection with the rhythm or maybe moreso wanting to be look good dancing, too much thinking!

When Patch Adams grabbed me and swung me around to the beat of 'Blue suede shose' last year I felt like a sack of potatoes and did my best to pretend I was a little fnuff that was easy to tackle on a dance. Poor Patch but it did not matter because Patch does not judge and it was fun and I was so, so self-conscious thinking I was messing it all up.

Think about the many things we stop ourselves from experiencing because our mind says 'not good enough'. This is not just about dancing it is about holding ourselves back in life when it is time to have a full-on experience!

The fact is, that I am not here to be a Dance Instructor, I am hear to be a great teacher of Laughter Yoga and of ways of living life fully.


Oh dear, I cannot help but laugh when thinking of how we can fool ourselves for so long because this was never in my thinking, this is simply on reflection after I had an awesome experience of letting go and being in the flow of the music with my Larches Group at Larches Community.

Learning disabilities. When people have limitations or inhibitions, whether they are produced by physical or psycological defects or induced by society and community, the beauty of teaching is finding a way of breaking through the barriers.

If you are weighed down by your own self-perceived short-coming and inhibitions how can you teach others to let go and be free and self-expressed, gaining confidence through the work you do with them?

So.

We put on Laugh and Dance Party at Larches Community and I checked out the group and then everything simply unfolded. This beautiful group follows the leader, follows instructions, and if I as the facilitator cannot show the way then the door to self-expression stays closed.

The best dance ever!

And letting go of my own sense of how I should come across to people when I dance was a real breakthrough for me. When you are in the moment it really does not matter and magic happens because the thinking brain takes a nap and lets the sensing brain feel the music and move with the notes.

My Larches gained fantastic confidence from the work they had been taking on over the term; singing, dancing, paiting, experiencing, laughing, writing, reading, drawing, crafting and interacting. They learned a lot and stood up with self-worth and confidence at their Finale Concert.

I learned a lot from them, too, even if I was confident and knew myself already. Being with people with different levels of abilities peeled off a few more layers.

Life is a great teacher when you take onboard its lessons.

This is not about dancing, it is about what we pile on top of ourselves to avoid feeling vulnerable.

I take a deep breath and sigh in relief as I press the Publish button. This is a big deal for me to share as I am the image of max capacity for life and this was a little chip that was less than max - that is how life is, chips and mends that helps us grow and become more caring, compassionate and loving.

Thank you for readind and for not judging me, others and yourself.

Please feel free to visit UnitedMind and/or me!

#laughteryoga #laughteryogauk #LarchesCommunity #magic #laughteryogatraining #youreverydaylaughterqueen #lottemikkelsen #unitedmind

Friday, 13 July 2018

The Rock and the Tree - a short story of friendship.

A little thought I had when I was sat by the Clyde in Scotland last year.
On the shore of the River Clyde laid a rock and a proud tree stood tall by its side, reaching far into the air around them.

It was no ordinary rock it was a boulder that had been sat there for many many years, decades and maybe even centuries perhaps even longer.

The tree was old, too.
It had a wisdom in its branches, roots, twigs, leaves and big trunk. It was a happy tree.
Once it had been a tiny seed bursting through the soil on the shore of the River Clyde eager to live and to grow.

The tree had experienced many seasons of hardship in the rain, the gust, and even from the birds and other animals that had been seeking it out over the years. Yet it was a happy tree, a healthy tree with a lifetime of experience in its ever-growing branch-span.
There was a special bond between the rock and the tree.

For hundreds of years the rock had sat by the shore on its own. Maybe it was pondering on life or maybe not at all because all it knew was being solitary as the days and nights simply rolled along while the rock was watching seasons, life and weather go by.

Sometimes people would rest on the rock and sometimes animals would relieve themselves on its side. To the rock this was the flow of its being.

One day something very special happened in the ground beneath the rock. It felt the movement and the ripples in the soil, the earth and dirt shook gently. Such a small sensation but enough for the rock to notice.

A tiny little seedling broke through the surface of the earth just next to the rock. It was a moment of celebration beyond any past event as this vulnerable life showed its will power and its strength.

The rock felt proud and protective.

The tree was frightened but strong in its pursuit, thinking if it did not make an effort to grow then it would merely sizzle away and become dust. Not even a memory because there was no one around to remember it.

The rock reached out to the seedling and for the first time since its breakthrough it realised that it was not alone. Even a grand old rock had life streaming through its dense being.
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The storms and harsh weather from the mountains and the river would often pull and push the seedling and if it was not nature forces then it was wildlife pecking and pulling to feed.

For many years the rock provided shelter and protection for the seedling as it grew stronger and taller until it had become an impressive tree with a wide trunk and stretching branches full of lush green-coloured leaves.

The tree said to the rock, 'you have been my friend and protector for many years. I am now high and mighty and I shall return the friendship and favour. I shall protect you from wind and rain now'.

The rock was moved by this gesture and decided that it would always be there for the tree just the way it had always been in the past whether the words were spoken or unsaid.
Friendship exist beyond time and space, appearance and circumstances.

Even through tough challenges there is support in every part of life and although it may sometimes seem unlikely that backup is there for you.

Never dismiss anyone, they may have that tiny bit of magic it takes for you to feel special and to pull through whatever the challenge is.

Besides, no one knows what goes on in someone else's mind except that person so my encouragement and the point of the story is to let go of judgment and find a way to embrace change and diversity.

One world, one seed, one love.

#lottemikkelsen #unitedmind #thelaughtercompanytlc #laughteryoga #laughteryogauk #onelove #gratitudetsunami #youreverydaylaughterqueen #happinessinjection #friendship #oneworld #peace

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!