Monday 29 October 2012

OutSTANding or OUTstanding??

Depends whether you emphasise first syllable whether something is unresolved or being extraordinary on the second syllable...

1. superior; excellent; distinguished
2. prominent, remarkable, or striking
3. still in existence; unsettled, unpaid, or unresolved

The same with anything you focus on in life - it is brought into focus, attention and life! And anything that feels as if it is incomplete will inadvertently be OUTstanding...

Today is a little different because there is no focus on what is OUTstanding, instead I want to give a mention to the outSTANding people I meet and work with every day. One of the reasons I feel so very blessed and grateful when I wake up and when I go to sleep.

My work teaches individuals and teams to laugh for no reason. My friend and colleague, Julie, put it very eloquently the other day on the first day of our October 2012 training when she said 'you arrive as strangers and you leave as friends'. One of the key benefits of Laughter Yoga, the social aspect.

There is nothing religious or political, sectarian or spooky about Laughter Yoga - there is only a passion that come to life when you engage with individuals and groups in this fun activity, a passion that spurs you on to want more and more once you discover the full benefits of Laughter Yoga; the mood lifting endorphins, the immune system boost, the breathing element, the quality of life through social interaction, the resourcefulness and resilience you build up.

Who doesn't want all of that?

Laughter Yoga is one way of obtaining it all in a very simple way! It is still puzzling me why there is such a fairly small number of people engaging in laughter as an exercise when the benefits are staring you right in your face the minute you get eye contact with a 'ho ho ha ha'.

The potential for changing own life and impacting other lives from a positive angle is immense and readily available through learning the Laughter Yoga techniques.

Whether you train to lead workshops over 2 days, train to teach other leaders over 5 days, are being laughter coached for 8 weeks or come to a Laughter Club for 1 hour - well, those are just many ways in which people can learn to focus on possibilities and opportunities instead of seeing the hurdles and obstacles in life.

Such a massive potential!
More than 60 million people in the UK alone! and with the World within an embracing reach!

Every day people decide to take that extraordinary step to do something out of the ordinary and make that change, become a better person, soften their views, expand their vision, learn something that triggers that outSTANdingness!

I salute you!

A huge thank you to those 500+ individuals in the UK so far who have invested your time, money and mindspace in spreading laughter, Laugther Yoga and joyfulness. The world embraces every positive footstep on your path!
Abi Abul Adam Ah Ng Alice Alison Alix Amanda Amy Andrew Anetta Angie Anish Anita Anju Anna Annabel Annalise Anne Annette Artis Beatrix Belinda Ben Bernie Bette Beverley Bharti Bill Bimla Bozena Brenda Burton Cara Carol Carole Carolina Caroline Carolyn Carron Catherine Charlotte Charmain Cheri Cheryl Chloe Chris Chris Chrissie Christina Christine Jim Cily Claire Clinton Colin Collette Connie Cristina Darren Dave David Debbie Deborah Debra Debs Denise Deon Diana Diane Dinah Dorota Dorothy Douglas Dumisani Eileen Elaine Elena Eleni Elvira Emma Fatima Fay Felicity Fiona Francine Fraser Gail Geoff George Geraldene Gesine Gianna Gill Gro-Mette Guy Hazel Heather Heidi Heike Helen Helene Hilary Hina Honor Ian Ilona Ingrid Iwan Jackie Jacqueline James Jan Jane Janet Janice Janine Jannine Jatinderpal Jayne Jean Jeanette Jeanne-Claire Jenna Jennifer Jeroen Jessica Jigisha Jill Jimena Jo John Josephine Joy Joyce Judith Jules Julia Julie Juliet Kalpana Kamaljit Kamini Karen Kate Katharine Kathleen Kathy Katy Kay Kamala Kes Kiera Kirsten Kristopher Laura Lesley Lez Lidia Linda Lindsay Lisa Louise Lyla Lynn Maggie Maja Malcolm Manda Mandy Margaret Maria Marian Marie Marina Mark Marlies Marneta Marnie Mary Maureen Max Meera Melanie Michal Michelle Miriam Monica Monika Munira Naomi Naseem Natasha Nathalie Nathaniel Neil Nick Nicky Nicola Niki Nikki Nina Navinder Nisha Odile Olga Paddy Pam Pamela Parviz Pat Patricia Patsy Paul Pauline Perry Peter Rachel Ramagopal Rambai Randy Rani Rebecca Rena Rhona Richard Robert Rola Rosaline Rosanna Rosie Roz Rudy Ruth Sabrina Sagar Sally Salwa Sam Sandra Sarah Sasha Sean Seth Sheila Shell Shirley Sidakan Simon Simone Sipora Sirry Sita Sonya Sophia Spike Srila Stephanie Stephen Sue Surya Susan Susanne Suzanne Tahira Tallulah Tanya Taravajra Tessa Thalia Theresa Tiffany Tim Tom Tony Tracy Trish Vanessa Vicki Violeta Vivian Wendy William Wojciech Yvonne Zoe Zoƫ!
NB Names are only listed once for all the Carols, Johns, Karens, Lauras, Susans and many more.

Wishing everyone a wonderful autumn week with lots of laughs and fun!
Kick up the leaves - you never know what's hidden in beneath the surface...!

Monday 22 October 2012

To a Mouse...

Whenever drama shows its self-expressed face in life it is most likely to be caused by expectations - in particular those that weren't met as planned.

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
by Robert Burns

First of all, I would like to extend an apology to everyone who has ever had to put up with my dramas and bad moods when things did not turn out as I expected - most likely thing has been to put the blame elsewhere for the lack of coordination, timing, whatever the circumstance would be.

And you know me, I don't like 'circumstances' - I learned years ago that blaming 'circumstances' is an excellent way of removing responsibility for mishaps and unfulfilled expectations from yourself and place them on something or someone else.

An everyday example is being late, 'oh, the traffic was horrible', 'I broke a heal walking down the street', 'the bus was late', 'the train was cancelled', 'I got held up at work' - you name it!

There are millions of excuses for not planning being on time...and that was just one example.


I was held up two hours in traffic a little while ago when I thought 1½ hours was enough excess time to get me to the venue on time - a 3 hour journey with a good 4½ hours to go - wouldn't you have thought it was enough?

Well, I could have taken the exit when I saw the sign 'Accident between J16 and J18' and avoided being stuck in standstill traffic - so what is my excuse?

Hmm, put it that way - there really isn't any. Even if I can think up a million reasons and excuses and 'buts' and 'whys'!

Don't cry over spilled milk as the saying goes - so the only right thing to do is to clear it and tidy up the loose ends. Apologise for delay and stop making excuses to say 'it wasn't my fault' when really it could have been avoided. 'Sorry' is often enough 'sorry, but...' is often too much.

I know that this may sound harsh, but it really is not very harsh - it is just a different way of looking at life which allows you to clear yourself of your stories and see the beauty in everything, because if you think about it, whenever there is an excuse there is also a possibility of 'being found out' and that in itself can create a drama, too.

This blogpost is just as much a reminder for myself as it is for anyone who want to be reminded that excuses are just not worth the hassle.

Not only being late but also organsing things in order to complete dreams can change because we are surrounded by individuals who are pulsating with life and all that life entails. Therefore, there are no guarantees that plans work out as planned. However, the energy put into growling or smiling at unwanted or unexpected changes is what creates the next set of events - the energy that creates life!

I just look forward to the next opportunity to live out delayed dreams with the people I love!

My life is busy and full of things and events that I constantly juggle and reorganise - just because I want the good things that I love in life to be present instead of rushing around and never having the experience of love, laughter, joy. The truth is that all those moments are there and I can beautifully treasure them when I snap out of my excuses and my 'feeling-sorry-for-myself'.

I know where I've been, where I am, where I am going, and with whom. And it may change - life is not as static as that but it is nice to have aims and goals, and know who is important!

As for the unfulfilled expectations? Well, they are done and dusted for now - bring on the next bundle and we can have a great laugh!

Monday 15 October 2012

The Hollister Experience

Inspired by one of my good laughter-friends, Sue, and her words:
How many times have you thought: "I'll go out and buy an outrageously expensive, poorly-made T-shirt, with a lot of branding on it, but I'll buy it in the dark, where I can't see what I'm buying, what colour it is, or size, or price?".

Nope, me neither.

But some people must think this way - otherwise what's the point of Hollister?
It is clear that this is a phenomenon that some people have branded in an outrageously good way! That goes for Abercrombie, too - they are the same company, aren't they...???

What are we searching for that makes it okay for organisations to rob us of our pennies in a way that leaves us questionning our sanity when we return home and open our shopping bags with a face of anticipation that quickly turns into disbelief?

Well, mine does whenever I have, with great excitement, looked into my teen-daughter's purchases - for which I have often been the purse... all in a good days work and shopping! 

I know what this particular smiley :-o means - I must have been the model for it...

Hollister - almost rhymes with demolisher, and that is what they do, demolish account balances in plus and turn them into minus.

You may be under the assumption that I don't like Hollister and the likes - in essence I just think they prey on young people's minds in an unhealthy way. But they are not the only ones to ever have done that - it happens all the time and what is there to do? Stop buying? Stop shopping? Well, not my choice for sure hahaha!

People shop for youth, health and beauty, and all of it is availably under your nose in Hollister and Abercrombie (as well as endlessly many other places). Although in my opinion it is a bit of stereotypical image of Barbie and Ken beauty that does not allow for 'normal' beautiful people to be in the crowd.  Where is the Equal Opportunities Policy for job seekers at these beauty-fixated shops?

Nevertheless, we shop for this image that the media has created and we do it with smiles on our faces to make sure the crowd knows we belong - even if the usual size 12, 14 or 16 etc feels a bit tighter than the usual size 12,14 or 16 etc...

Christianshavn - where I lived and shopped second-hand...
Pretty clothes can cover up a lot of things but the attitude is difficult to hide away.

With certain shops comes a certain attitude...that's why second-hand shops are great for me and my second-hand attitude!

Love life - love shopping!?!?

Monday 8 October 2012

Sex for the greater good...


Sex, eh?

Although I am all in favour of speaking in own quotes and made up 'thinking strings' (even with the occasional quote from other people) I will start with a mention I read a little while ago just because it fits nicely in with today.

A great sportsman said something to the extent of 'exercising is like having sex, you should enjoy it as much before doing it, while doing it and after doing it'.

Those who say sex is not all that have either never had the 'right and great' sex or really just say if because it is part of the conditioning we have added to our belief system that we should not place too much importance of physicality, or perhaps they just say it.

Years ago when I ran Laughter Medicine in ISIS Crystals' rooms in St. Albans one of the participants commented at the end of the workshop, when sharing the experience, that it was 'just like having great sex' - the exhilaration and relaxation that followed was a superb measure.

There is a lot of truth in that comment because in all exercising whether it involves sex, weight lifting, laughing or other activities - we release endorphins, the body's selfmade morphin and happy chemical altogether. Woohoo! What's not to like???!!!

And guess what! This is not about sex - this is about exercise - similar release of chemicals although some would prefer one to the other. However, if you are not in a position to exercise then there are other alternatives.

Although you do not get the same muscle toning effect as when you lift weights, Laughter Yoga is a really, really good alternative to ... erm ... exercising - cardiovascular exercising. Furthermore, our abdomen muscles really do tone up and strengthen when we get the deep belly laugh going. Very good for our core muscles which support our posture!

Laughter increases the heart rate and the blood flows faster and with fresh oxygen it is a healthier circulation that now rushes around the body. If you cannot laugh naturally then start off with Laughter Yoga and the playful fun it involves.

Any of these activities produce a sense of wellbeing and it is not just the sense it really does happen to the body and mind, we become calm and peacefully resting in the self.

As for sex and laughter - both create an instant intimacy that initiates a bond between two people in a beautiful and magical way! That is, of course, in my opinion, and between the right people...

 So, to switch on the Happy Factory:
  • If you cannot laugh and cannot have sex - then exercise lots!
  • If you cannot have sex and cannot exercise - then laugh lots!
  • If you cannot exercise and cannot laugh - then have lots of sex!
  • If you cannot do any, then eat lots of chocolate!
  • And finally, if you don't like chocolate then...
    fake it, fake it, until you make it!
And remember, live well, laugh often, love much!

Monday 1 October 2012

Hoolahooping goes nocturnal

Waking up in the middle of the night freezing cold is one of the uncomfortable sensations that needs immediate action - so what do you do?

Step onto the kitchen's icy floor to get a drink that is likely to cause more shivers unless it's a warm and soothing cuppa...

OR grab your hoolahoop which is, of course, always conveniently balancing against the wall next to your bed.

Well - mine is!

There is no better way to get warm and feel great than a few minutes of hooping in the middle of the night. The rhythm of the gentle moves is soothing and almost creates a light trance when twirling the hoolahoop in the dark.

It is definitely a warming and calming experience if you cannot sleep for being cold or - if you cannot sleep. Furthermore it gets your mind into a spin of new ideas so keep a notepad or journal and a pen by your bed, just in case that autobiography gets new life in the wee small hours of the morning...

If you do not own a hoop yet - give yourself the gift of getting one! Hoola Nation knows about the joys you get from this fun activity and I guarantee you it will see you through the Northern Hemisphere winter gloom and give you energy no matter how seriously deflated you feel.

Unless of course for various reasons you cannot engage with physical hooping then hoola hoop your mind instead- laugh for no reason it really is the best medicine for counteracting the blues and cold.

It does not matter how loud and boisterous you laugh - it is the intention to laugh and willingness to feel the change and be with it.

Love life - love laughter - and add a bit of mental or physical hoola hooping to it.

Get hooping on that mind and body!