My Cat Millie

Laughter Clubs Continue with New Vim and Vigour During COVID-19.

You will all agree that our lives have been radically rearranged since the advent of fears and restrictions due to COVID-19.  The virus brought with it many ongoing challenges, heartbreak, both personal and professional. We have been stretched beyond our limits, making it harder for many to stay positive physically, emotionally and mentally.

Simultaneously, many individuals, businesses and organisations are thriving as they can rise to the challenge, reinventing themselves. People often share having a deeper appreciation of things that were taken for granted. There has been a bonding of relationships and ties, people finding new ways to reach out, stay connected and value each other more. The garden industry is thriving, as the public have the time and inclination to be outside, tidying, pruning, replanting, growing vegetables and feeling a stronger connection with nature. Many express gratitude for the shutdown, staying at home has provided time for things that were left until they ‘got around to it’. Despite the difficulties there are blessings when we re-jig the way we have lived our lives, and we take stock of our life’s journey.

This has been the case with Laughter Clubs and those providing Laughter Yoga sessions professionally, new methods to do so. We have gone online using Facebook Live and Zoom meetings so that we can laugh together. They provided us with ways to continue, rather than go into hibernation. Now we embrace people who join us from all around the world, as we also join with laughter clubs in other countries. The laughter community is growing, resilient, connected and letting go of the stress that is so prevalent due to the virus.

We open our hearts in joy as we laugh, as laughter truly is the best medicine. This we choose to do as an aerobic activity, because the body does not know the difference with real and pretend laughter. Laughter releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones oxytocin and serotonin into the blood stream. It also strengthens the immune system, supports the heart and has many other health benefits which help sustain us to be in optimum health, as far as is possible.

I now share some personal feelings about the virus, that it is nature at work rebalancing the earth, which has been way out of balance in many, many ways. Are we doing our best to see the bigger picture and remain positive about future directions? It reminds me of something which if we could emulate, may benefit our lives in the long term.

I read about how a minority of ex-prisoners of war (POW’s) were able to survive the experience and maintain a state of emotional stability, love and internal peace. On the other hand, many returning POW’s were permanently scarred, psychologically or physically.

However, in this minority of people, who one could imagine, had their own strong support belief system in place, these people came back with more ability to embrace life once more. The horrendous ordeal had not broken their spirits, they had never given up hope, returning from the war to go on and become successful in their work and family lives. It is possible that their experiences added a quality of richness as to how they perceived the world, their life, their wartime struggles and their outlook overall.

Might I suggest that we are all in this time together and each day make it a priority to maintain positivity above all else? Especially too because when we live in fear, our immune system is compromised. Laughter as I have often shared, strengthens the immune system, even fake laughter! Let’s go, have a laugh, a giggle now, to yourself or out loud with others. Thank you.

We would love you to join with us in this laughter journey in a virtual way. At this stage we plan to stay online after the restrictions ease and when permitted, we will meet outside in the park again, although less often. We envisage this as being monthly and we plan to continue being online. This will give you the ability to stay at home and experience laughter clubs, as if you were in person. It does work and you will enjoy the laughter sessions, as we do by running them.

Until next time, laughter blessings. Do contact me with any questions you may have about the Zoom invitation or how to connect with our Facebook Live Saturday sessions.

See you soon?

Love and Laughter, Lynette and John. Virtual hugs.

Focus on Inhibitions and Kind Words From Laughter Club Members

Focus on Inhibitions and Kind Words From Laughter Club Members

Doesn’t time fly? I feel that most people will agree that with the passage of time can come the chance to heal, be in some degree of acceptance and move through our most difficult times. It’s amazing how differently we can feel right throughout our lives as we experience the various stages and challenges that they bring. Everything can become a learning experience, enabling us to grow and evolve. That is how it is for me anyhow, using the passage of time to continually evolve. And as they say, the only constant is change.

15 years ago, I became involved with the laughter clubs and it’s given me the chance to open up more to many things. I have gained much in many ways, which can be directly attributed to my involvement in the laughter movement. One area of improvement was in my confidence and to feel comfortable rather than self-conscious and wanting to withdraw when conversing with people. My self-worth wasn’t as good as I thought it was and I found myself busy with many activities to help me feel fulfilled. You will have heard of that one, busy being, busy being busy? Outwardly I appeared fine, confident and happy but it was much bravado because inside there was inadequacy and a fear of public speaking.

For me it all began when a current affair programme covered laughter yoga. I saw people laughing uproariously in ways that was to me, not the norm. They were having loads of fun and joy in a group and I decided then and there to become involved when the chance presented.

It turned out to be the best decision, as I became a laughter club leader, which flowed on to sharing laughter yoga with many and varied groups and organisations. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, yet strongly loved the idea of laughing together with people in a group situation. With that came facing my fear of being out there in the public eye. Particularly I had a fear of public speaking, which gradually diminished because there I was anyway, in front of people, speaking, sharing and leading laughter sessions. I knew I had to feel the fear and overcome it, were I to succeed.

The reason for that I share this is because many people who hear about the benefits of laughter, or Laughter Yoga as it is commonly called, would benefit from attending a laughter club and do not as they are held back with their own fear. I have experienced a lot of fear when doing new things throughout my life. And then when we give it a go and learn, step by step, become more comfortable and totally get over our fears.

Some fears come from what we see as a small child. We are naturally linked in and affected by our culture, family and so forth. Contained within us is a history book of experiences that mould us into our unique expressions of self. Unconsciously we observe our parents, family, society, community and where we live, taking on beliefs, which may be limiting and often misconstrued as we do our best to make sense of the world we are born into.

Everything affects us whether we realise it or not. It sounds quite complex, would you agree? Without knowing it, we are influenced by so much around us. Think about what we see, television shows, advertisements, or listening to the radio, to name a few common influences in our lives. No wonder we may feel bombarded and our senses overloaded.

There are many people who are quiet, shy and lack feelings of positive self-worth and self-confidence, without even being aware of it. They may put on an acceptable air, a couldn’t care less or angry attitude. No judgment either; if we are happy to go along and be as we are, not desiring to change or be interested in self-improvement.

You may ask is there a purpose behind this sharing and whether it relates to laughter yoga and laughter clubs? Yes. It does very much so. Laughter club members have often come along with these traits of being shy, lacking confidence, feeling depressed and in their various ways, looking for something to help themselves feel better.

I have two examples to share with you of laughter club members who have benefited from joining one of our laughter clubs. Some kind words were texted to me the day after a laughter club session that impacted me. The writer is a quiet, gentle, shy lady. When she first came three years ago, she had been in a depression for ten years, until she decided it was time to try to turn her life around. She took a stand and turned up at the laughter club in black clothes. We had a wonderful surprise on the third time that she came, she was wearing bright periwinkle blue! We credit her resilience and willingness to get out of her comfort zone and never ever give up.

Her sincere, spontaneous words were seen as an opportunity to pass on to you and give you a notion of what may be achieved. It’s a great example of what adding regular laughter to your life can offer and which is frequently transformational.

She wrote “Wow. I am really pleased I met you all three years ago. You have made a real difference in my life. This week I bought more bright clothes and I wore my gold shoes on Saturday. I would never have worn gold shoes prior to three years ago. Another thing. I danced for the first time at the jazz afternoon at the Village Green. That was another first since my wedding in 1984. See how you have both turned my life around.  A big thank you. xxx”

The reference to jazz and dancing is because the laughter club members go out on social outings together too. Some members comment that they would never go to a live play without going out with our group.

Other kind words to share – another regular lady has been coming for four years in May when we met at World Laughter Day. She was looking for something, did not know what it was and felt laughter may be worth trying. She is also quiet and a woman of few words. “It has added a lot of joy to my life, something that wasn’t there before. And I won’t stop!” She has often also shared that the laughter helps her to move forward.

Thank you both for sharing and we hope in doing so, it may help potential members comprehend the sense of fun and belonging that current members feel. I encourage you to come along to one of our two laughter clubs and give it a fair go. Come more than once; at least three times, and then see how you feel. It is possible starting out, that you may throw yourself into it. Alternatively, you may feel ill at ease with a sense of it being a bit too much and not for you.

Age is no barrier for you coming, our members range in age between four and 80. Women do outnumber the men however, as it somehow is easier for women to embrace the spirit of laughter and wellbeing than the men, who are generally more inhibited.

Does this inspire you to come along or put it on your bucket list? Let’s hope so. There is no time like the present and you will feel most welcome. Do please contact me with any questions by email, text or phone to find out more or to be added to the email newsletter.

Thank you. Much love. Lynette.

Laughter helps remove inhibitions

Millie My Cat, Our Growth and Relationship.

My Cat Millie

I am sitting in daily meditation and there she is.
My daughter left her cat with us many years ago.
Cats. You love them or hate them perhaps.
This particular one is independent, yet loving.
She was not always so, used to hiss and bite.
Not today, over time we have grown closer.
Millie is a wonderful, loving cat.
I believe that cats are marvellous mirrors.
They so easily reflect us, where we are at in life.
Tonight, I ponder, what is going on here?
I feel the cat’s quiet, serene, peaceful strength.
She sits on the edge of the arm chair,
Then lovingly rubs her face against my book.
Taking a rest from catching mice,
Time off from being on the look out for them also.
She settles down, purring at my side.
Will she sleep until morning, or go outside for a twinkle?
Millie has been left to us by my daughter Virginia.
She misses her, she has put her needs ahead of her own.
The love of her life, sometimes moody at first,
One is still always wary of her, in case she growls.
Those growls can lead to hissing and biting.
Surprisingly, over the years, puss has become softer.
Her wariness and distance turned to that of trust.
One delightful thing she does is greet us when we come home.
Millie leaps up at the sound of our car.
She runs out fast, purring her head off.
So delighted that we have come home.
Millie has missed us no end and now will not leave us alone.
A very surprising state of affairs.
Like people, cats have their own ways and unique behaviour.
How blessed are the homes with a resident cat!
The cat does indeed sit upon the proverbial mat.
Part of puss’s charm is her independence and aloofness.
We observe puss and muse at her behaviour.
We ponder how it must be to live as a cat.
Self sufficient, contented, watching and observed.
Thank you to all the cats I have every known.
The ones greeting me on the streets as I walk.
Those in pet shops looking out, innocently.
And the ones I have been lucky enough to live with.
Thank you, I have appreciated each one of you.
It is so easy to understand, being a lifetime cat lover,
How many of us humans treasure cats and include them in many ways.
As a pet or perhaps more – a cattery business, an artist or writer.
Maybe you are a vet or vet nurse and handle them each day.
Whatever the reasons for your connection with cats,
I imagine that if you are reading this you just happen to be a cat lover.
I greet you from my heart to yours.
May cats continue to bless us with their presence.
To inspire us and give us joy, company and some purpose in our lives.
Cats are there to share our lives with and give us opportunities for growth.
Blessings in abundance to you and all the cats you have ever known and have yet to meet.

 

WELCOME TO A DAY OF DISCOVERY  AND HEART  MASTERY
TO DISCOVER  YOUR  INNER  JOY.

Saturday 30th Oct. at 9.45 am for 10.00 am start – 5.00pm

The Hut Gallery in Ferntree Gully. Please book before coming!

Discover Your

* Creative Artistic Self  * Rainbow Energy  * Joyous Child Within
* Compassionate Heart  * Serenity & Healing Through Meditation

Note: Group meditation for Joy starts at 10.15 am sharp!

Morning & afternoon tea provided.  BYO lunch or buy at nearby shops.

Bookings Essential: Numbers are limited so secure your place by registering with pre-payment.

Energy Exchange: $50.00

Contact: Lynette Mitchell

Email: lynette@lynettemitchell.com.au

Phone: 9763 5475 or Mobile: 0425 799 258

Here is what some past participants said:

“Thanks, I had a great time, it was well organised and heaps of fun. I feel more grounded and centred.”

“The facilitators were supportive, enthusiastic about their subject and sensitive to the needs of the group.  There was nothing I didn’t like!”

All facilitators are members of The Insight Foundation™, a non-profit global educational and philanthropic organisation dedicated to transformation and healing.

https://laughterforliving.com.au/57-2/