Monday 24 June 2013


We all have different levels of confidence and the comfort zone is different from person to person and then we have the hand we are dealt which determines the challenges and karma, as some would refer to it, we are faced with...

However, these feelings or boundaries are often mistreated as well as misrepresented in our society in such an unworthy way that leave people with a strong sense of self and enjoyment beat up by saddos and negative people who are jealous that fun can be had without substance intake and laughter is celebrated together and not as a taunt and spiteful activity in your face at you.

My friend and her mate were attacked at a great gig last week and this spurred our conversation about the insecurity and cynicism that flourish among us in life. During a superb event in London a random stranger leapt at them trying to push them over the balcony - fortunately without any luck - and all seemingly because they actually enjoyed the music, laughing, dancing, singing and having a blast...

Now, I know I'm not the quitest of people and my laughter is loud and expressed but my friend is certainly in the same league and it is always a treat to spend time in her company.

Why are we trying to suppress this natural expression?

Considering we are holding onto old air at the same time, I think it is a choice we are merely being brought up to think is acceptable mannerism.

Why is everything 'supposed' to be so controlled?

A laugh should be allowed to be fully outburst but in our suspicious society where rules are keeping us eyeing anyone who is a bit to loud. 'Lower your voice', 'You are so embarassing', 'I'm NOT with you' and comments like that... All because of patterns, conditioning and behaviour we have grown up with and if anyone steps out of these norms, well, shame on you!

There should be a course and an exam in self-expression, self-esteem, real values, and other important lessons in our schools so that we can more easily face the cynics and their sarcasm instead of getting knocked back and go into hiding. Or even remove the cynicism altogether - I know that's a very-long-term goal but one to work towards.

Jealousy of successes is also a major factor in people withdrawing from having a good laugh. We should celebrate success for other people because it brings joy to ourselves, but instead we go into nagging and discomfort and the place of greed and why isn't it me types of thinking... Comments like 'Born with a silverspoon...', 'They had it all made for them in the first place', 'Never had to lift a finger...' and other sentences are common. We say them behind people's backs to make us feel better about our own situation instead of stepping out of our own comfort zone and risking a bit of our ingrained need to comply with society's norms.

And it is all down to the risks we take!
Or don't take...

I challenge you this week to notice when you stop yourself from being your joyous self - noticing is the first step to the real value of letting it go! and when you notice... laugh! or sing! however random and out of context it may seem.

I love my own successes as well as the challenges I face, and I love it when I see people succeed around me - we cannot succeed without wanting other people to do the same and celebrate whatever success looks like!

By the way - loving my own successes is not said in a pompous, bragging way or with money-only in mind - not at all, but moreso said as a means to make self-acknowledgements acceptable and a way to prosper in all areas of life.

Life really IS full of surprises...
...and laughter shall set you free!

Monday 17 June 2013

Tic Toc Tic Toc

It is almost three years since I started working full time with UnitedMind, almost six years since UnitedMind became a limited company, more than ten years since UnitedMind was founded, and it has been an amazing journey so far.

UnitedMind is 'only' relating to my professional life and yet it is so much more.

The lives I have had the privilege to be part of and the wonderful miracles I have seen happening in people who have made the changes I talk about in my trainings in real life - nothing can replace that, a true Kodak moment on all levels not just the visual.

Even when it's tough and challenging there is always something wonderful in it for me and the value of what I do doesn't fall into the lap of a corporate manager who harvests all the goodies. Instead it belongs to everyone who I have been fortunate to laugh with over the years.

One of the things I sometimes mention when I speak at carers' or other health related events is my life with health altering news.

I don't know if I will be affected in the future but at the moment I am really chuffed that Laughter Yoga has added a dimension to my life which has in many ways counter-balanced the upsets and fears of maybe - just maybe - having MS.

Many of you who read this post may already know my story but I hope you will read to the end anyway as it may provide a bit of reflection on the serious matter of caring and losing.

My family lost my elder sister in 1991 when she was only 31 years old, leaving a family with two young daughters behind to cope with life from then on.

In hindsight - and that is an easy one - there are many things that I could have done differently in terms of being there for my family instead of being absorbed in my money-driven work and me-me-me thinking. Amazing how life and views on life change when you grow up and grow out of money-focus - but I wasn't there yet...

My nieces are two amazing, strong young women who are on their own journeys in this lives and I salute them with love, pride and more love. When I saw my brainscan back in 2008 my sadness was that my own daughter would perhaps grow up without a mum in her life. But no matter what, there is always someone who cares so much that the family you have is kept well and glued together.

When I went to the Crossroads Carers Pampers Day on Friday where I was running two laughter workshops, I met two of the three gentlemen I'd had the pleasure of laughing with the prior two years at Crossroads events. Their friend wasn't there. He is now in a carehome because of old age.

I sat down and spoke with the two of them who had come to the Pamper Day. Although their friend was still around they did not have the means of transportation to visit him very often and they really missed him. All of them had lost their wives after caring for them for some time and now they had each other. They would always be The Three Musketeers.

It is great to take the time to show your own human side and compassion, be vulnerable and share a bit of yourself when people are in need of a good listener and in need of letting out the emotions and sadness that is often there when life changes.

There is always time to listen!

'Busy' is something we created in our left brain to make us look important and un-affected but it does not create valuable connections except with the paycheck.

The quote that stuck with me from a cancer patient was:

'It is the little kindnesses that makes the unbearable bearable'.

Monday 10 June 2013

On a bench with a sandwich...

Catching the bench scene from the corner of my eye, an elderly couple with each their sandwich.

You may think that is is just an everyday event and nothing special about it but wait up!

The bench chomping reminded me of my mum and dad and of how, what we eat and things we do have changed so much since I grew up which is not even that long ago - in my humble opinion.

We did eat sandwiches when I grew up but in Denmark the sandwich is slightly different from the one we eat here in the UK because it is the open sandwich on brown bread or sometimes even a 'klemme' which would be two brown breads smacked together in a closed sandwich, still on brown bread but similar to a 'normal' sandwich.

Sandwiches will be waiting somewhere are hard work on the beach
It would be snatched from the kitchen as we would run out and play while chomping aways or it would be wrapped in celophane and packed into a box for later consumation while on an outing to pick berries somewhere nice and greet, or on the way to a campside, or going to the beach and eating sandwiches that lived up to their name...full of sand - that was my 'klemme' anyway.

It wasn't a glamorous sandwichas we see them today. Back then you wouldn't realise exactly how hungry you were until your teeth sank into the bread and you would start chewing your way through it. The brown bread was handcut and I remember my friend Birgitte's mum who sliced bread unevenly and it was often thick at one end and see-through thin at the other end. It took time to chew your way through it and you were left with a sense of energy and ready for more play. Yum!

So today's scene is different because of a variety of factors coming into the big picture, for example multi-cultural food, breads from around the world, buying your sandwich from a shop or cafe instead of making your own ones - yeah, different times, different customes. Ready meals are on the menu!

The old couple on the bench reminded me of my mum and dad later in life, as they laborously ate their way through their sandwiches there on the bench. Labourously, not in a 'hard-work' sense but moreso in a way where the breadstick it was made up of was thick and crusty, tough for old gums and false teeth.

They were together, though, and there was love between them as they sat there on the bench.

So, REMEMBER the days when TV was grey and life was outdoors. Love is what we need and the sharing of a sandwich on a bench.

Long live uneven bread slices and celophane wrapped sandwiches!

Monday 3 June 2013

'You only get wet once'

Tyres, eh?

Had a blow-out on the M1 last week when driving up for a lovely loved-up break in Yorkshire. That was Bank Holiday Monday, mind you, and tyre shops are not that keen on getting out on days off...

RAC-Chris politely came to the rescue and eventually after I'd nudged him in the thought-direction of Kwik Fit a few times we ventured off in opposite direction of North Duffield - he kept saying they were not open and I kept saying let's check if they are, and they were open and had a tyre for me (this is not an advertisement by the way). Woopeedoo!

Chatting in the van on the way to Matlock for tyre change he was talking about his work and how he really enjoyed the RAC work. However, lots of his colleagues would moan about location for the rescue or the time for the rescue or - the weather...

His words really stuck with me. He said, 'I always say to them 'you only get wet once'' - and isn't that just perfectly true?

I started pondering on that sentence and it applies to so many areas in life. For every opportunity you pass by, for every moment you think too much and don't take action, for every missed call - just remember, the risk is only once!

'Little Things from my Life'
Only a matter of stepping outside of your comfort zone to create a bit of magic in life, and guess what - a bit often becomes a lot and that is where it doesn't matter if it felt uncomfortable at first because the reward for stepping out or stepping up reallly pays off.

Sometimes it takes longer than a moment but it is worth the wait for an extraordinary life.

Just think for a moment, about your life - where did you ever say 'no' because of opinions, conditioning and your own non-stop radio station?

Sometimes it takes longer than a moment but it is worth the wait for an extraordinary life.

I will wait forever for love because I know it's true. I will go the extra mile for the work I know is worth the while. I do what it takes and if it feels right in the gut - what is the worst thing that could happen?

So remember the wisdom of the RAC, 'You only get wet once'.