Seniors Week – City of Greater Dandenong 9 October 2012

Last week for the third annual time I did a Laughter Yoga session for Seniors Week for the City of Greater Dandenong. It was a very successful one, however not what we might have expected. The two previous years we had about twenty people attend and it went down very well, they obviously felt uplifted and enjoyed the laughter session, ending with some meditation.

However this time was different, as their bookings were low. In fact only three people turned up. Perhaps some got lost, as it was difficult to find the place and correct building. But wait there is more! I did say it was successful. We asked the Dutch people in the next room if they would like to join in and we went in to their space and did the session. It was a bit different to the other times, as we included a great discussion about laughter, fun and that led into a discussion of stress and ways to reduce it with breathing and meditation.

Even though it was not what had been anticipated, the hour was valuable for us all. A couple of noteworthy sharings to make here, were that a 92 year old (or should I say young?) lady shared how she spent half an hour each morning in the bathroom doing her exercises. Talk about walking the talk, keeping up and never giving up.

And a gentleman shared how he is inclined to feel anxiety and he chooses to laugh every day as an exercise. If he misses doing it regularly, he goes right back to being filled with apprehension and anxiety. So glad he came along. It was worth it, even with smaller numbers. I hope they put it on again next year because to even touch one person’s life positively is a great worth.

I  invite you to share your positive experiences from your everyday life regarding laughter helping you, or perhaps like the 92year old lady, a regular routine that enables you to get more out of life. Thank you. xx

Here is a link received today from Natural Therapy Pages regarding the psychology of laughter.—why-do-people-laugh/

Belonging, Community Spirit & Australia Day in Melbourne 2012

Laughter yoga blog

Australia Day – Woo Woo – Thursday 26th January

Who lives near Melbourne or in Victoria? Then you will know about heaps of activities that go on in and around the city on Australia Day.

Please spread the word, I felt to share this on my blog because some readers may live overseas, yet have friends in Melbourne. In which case, the more the merrier to join us at 10am near the corner on Bourke and Swanston Streets.

We are group number 58 and you won’t be able to miss our purple and yellow Laughter Clubs Vic t shirts. If you have one please wear it and if not we may have one you can borrow. The march starts with the raising of the flag at 10.30am and lasts about 30 minutes but we need to be there for marshalling at 10am. After the march we will be meeting for community laughter sessions in the park at the Melbourne People’s Day Festival.

After the March at 2.10 pm Laughter Clubs Victoria Inc will be leading a laughter session and there is more information on the Australia Day 2012 page at Laughter Clubs Victoria’s website. It is on the grassed area and note, not on the main stage.

If you would like more information about what’s on in Melbourne. Then Google What’s On In Melbourne! I just did and saw that The Roulettes will be flying overhead at 2pm. The Roulettes are from the Royal Australian Air Force and they will be putting on quite a display. And there are fireworks at night, at midday at The Shrine, an Australia Day 21 Gun Salute, movie marathon at ACMA showing our nation’s rich heritag, Government House is open, even a 5km swim at Middle Brighton Pier, plus you could start the day with breakfast. Everything is covered on this very special day, between breakfast, lunch and right up to the fireworks.

It is wonderful to be part of a nation and community. I recall when I went to see my beautiful daughter Georgina in Vancouver a few years back, we were driving through the mountains to Calgary and happened on a small community which was having its celebrations. There was a march and one person jumped out at me, he was posing for my photo and was a really small, finely built elderly gentleman who loved to dress up as a clown and share fun, love and laughter with his small community.

Isn’t that what life is about? We all make so many contributions, albeit unconsciously to come together and share ourselves with others, sharing the joys, the sorrows, the ups and the downs. Where would we be without family and friends and I believe that all of us, or truthfully, the majority at least, have that sense of belonging.

That belonging can be to ourselves, to immediate family, larger family group, our work and it extends out and out until in reality, we are all connected upon earth. I love that there is so much awareness happening these days with the animal kingdom, the environment and with many overlapping areas, people are growing and evolving, becoming interested and desiring to make a difference as they can.

Regardless of feeling of hopelessness and what is the point of it all that is shoved down our throats and programmed through the predominantly negative media, there is hope, there is a purpose to it all and it starts with one thought, word and deed. It is never too late to start a new beginning. Each day is a new day and with it comes a new start. What was that saying about changing the things that you can and accepting what you cannot. We can change our attitude and how we react to things. We can make a difference in our lives and help uplift the planet, holding in our mind’s eye the ideal, rather than heaping more judgment on what we see and hear. To hold in our heart the ideal of what can be and say ‘Mother Father God, they will not my will be done’  helps us to work with the universe into programming love not fear.

I did not know this was going to happen, felt to write about Australia Day and obviously it touched something in me wanting to be expressed. It is wonderful to be part of something, Laughter Yoga, that sense of believing in a movement that is positive. cherished and world wide. As I said, it is great to belong on many levels and with all that develops a deeper purpose which can help to fill the void and connect us with our heart and soul.

Thanks for listening. Love and Laughter Blessings to You and Yours. xxx

Laughter Yoga in a Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School

My husband and I had more fun last week when we presented a Laughter Yoga session at a private girls’ grammar school in Melbourne, than we could have possibly imagined. The Laughter Yoga session was held in a huge basketball auditorium and was very noisy, as the laughter sounds pealed out loudly, like lovely church bells happily being played by joyful year 12 girls.

There were 45 girls present and two teachers and I was invited to facilitate a laughter yoga session as part of an initiative by the students, an activity organised by their fun club. The girls have been attending school for many years and will be finishing their secondary education and then heading to university in 2012.

What a perfect way to complete their fun activities with a laughter yoga session. The girls were very, very loud and if it were not for the Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha clapping, would have gone on and on with each laugh, as they threw themselves into the activity.

It was a joy to be there and partake in their youthful exuberance. So often as adults we lose that and simply do not have the energy to spare to act like that!

This reminds me of how we can get away from our spirit nature and get bogged down with duty. We can learn to please people to fit into life and forget to please ourselves. To please ourself surely must come first, to please ourselves in a gentle, loving ethical way where we are connected at our core with our wholeness, our essence.

Here is a favourite quote of mine: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain.

This one is a gem also, a Raymond Hull quote on the cost of not being yourself: “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” ~ Raymond Hull.

If you feel to, take some moments to sit quietly and reflect upon where you are in your life right now. Is it where you want and choose to be? Could it be that you need to lighten up a bit and this could be done, right here, right now, using laughter and breathing.

So I urge you to sit and reflect, perhaps to write and connect through pen and paper and then do deep breathing for a few minutes and let go with some hearty laughter. See then how you feel and check if this could be a useful exercise to do on a regular basis, throughout the day, laughing all the while consciously, with great awareness.

Blessing to you.

Knox Community Health Service

The Knox Community Health Service was established in 1996 to provide a high quality of community care & health education programs to Knox consumers. Knox Community Health Service delivers a range of services that improve the physical, mental and social well-being of individuals, families and communities in the City of Knox.

I had the pleasure of facilitating a laughter yoga session this week for the volunteers, preceding their special lunch and joined them for lunch also. The KCHS as it is generally known relies quite heavily on volunteers and from what I could see spending time with these people, a wonderful way to be of service in the community.

I understand that there are a few positions available for those wanting to get involved, either in a small way or a larger time investment.

The laughter yoga session was a lot of fun and it did my heart good to share laughter with these lovely, giving people, many of whom have been volunteers for decades. The favourite laugh of the day was the Kookaburra laugh, followed by the High Five laugh.

Thank you KCHS for inviting me to be part of your community again, as last time it was for the ACE (active chair based exercise) class. That had quite a different flavour and was for a fairly short time as time was behind. I look forward to returning at some stage to introduce the laughter yoga exercises and breathing to the staff.