Tag Archives: laugh

Intent of the Day: Laugh

laugh

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
– Audrey Hepburn

There is something wonderful about people who laugh. They shine a little bit. They’re a little lighter. They can roll with the punches a little easier. We’re trying to get some of that in our lives. As it turns out, laughter is not only good for your spirit, but also your body and mind. So today our intent is to laugh because we think we need it. You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

Laughter: The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have Meditating

In the latest episode of The Chopra Well’s 30 DAYS OF INTENT, Natalie and Iman get silly with some laughing meditation. They visit Stephanie Nash who leads them in an intimate and, at times, goofy session. We interviewed Stephanie on her experience teaching laughing meditation and how the practice has changed her life.

The Chopra Well: We love laughing! And Natalie and Iman do, too. Why is it so hard, then, to laugh in the more controlled setting of a laughing meditation session?

Stephanie Nash: Laughing is a spontaneous act – as we all know. Why are we not, then, laughing all the time?

Well, with the stresses and worries of life, our minds become occupied with concerns of the past and future, with less room to allow the natural response to freely take over. We develop tensions that become habitual of holding back our tears, of swallowing them with tightness in the tongue, throat, and jaw. Laughter is not something that we tend to deliberately stifle – it’s usually more of a case of not leaving space for it, and thus it’s harder to notice how tension makes it less likely.

“Why is it so hard … in a controlled setting”?  Because something that is spontaneous and happens naturally will be easier. That, however, is not the point here. The key is not necessarily to have it feel the same, the key is to stretch so that there is more tendency to laugh and smile as natural responses in life. And it’s been proven that simply doing the actions of smiling and laughing there are physiological, psychological and emotional benefits, even when the laugh or smile is not authentic.

CW: If we tend to hold ourselves back from laughing spontaneously, what are some things we can do to open up and loosen the muscles a bit?

SN: One way of “stretching” or “lubricating” the pathway is to deliberately smile or laugh – without the natural impulse. Yes, it often can feel quite false at first. What I’ve tried to do is make it an exercise that is practical and can be done by anybody during the course of his or her day. Just 30 seconds 2-3 times a day, can help shift any habit pattern of sadness, depression, anger, or fear.

CW: Natalie and Iman seemed a little bit wary at first to laugh. Is it ever hard or awkward for you when you’re first teaching someone the practice?

SN: I’d say that most people are a bit surprised at the notion of “laughing for no reason.”  Some, as I believe Natalie brought up, might even find it to be insane. So right there you’ve got concepts and judgments that get in the way of them experiencing the potential freedom that could be experienced. Does that make it more challenging for me to help people experience the possibilities? Sure, but that’s my job. And some people are going to be more naturally inclined to laugh or open to the possibility than others.

Also, and this is not unimportant, this was the first time I’d ever taught anyone who hadn’t come of their own choosing. Also, I did not know until moments before Natalie and Iman arrived that they had no idea what they were heading into. So that made it particularly challenging for everyone, I think. All those factors added together to create a unique challenge given the nature of this work, but working through challenges usually leads to some interesting growth.

Also, I’d say that 95% or more of the time that I present laughing meditation it’s to a group, and that makes a big difference. Different groups have different dynamics, but there are always a few people who really let out a huge guffaw that affects the group, and/or there are a couple of people with very funny, unique laughs, and that alone can set off the group into peels of laughter. Hearing a good laugh can be like being tickled, which is what I try to supply with my laugh. Then, after someone has experienced that, when they attempt to do it on their own, it’s definitely easier because the natural recall of the positive experience of the group returns and supports the process.

So, when teaching people privately, it will naturally be a bit more challenging. It can be easier to teach one person than two, depending on if it’s a comfortable, intimate relationship or if they are relatively new to each other. So then, naturally, it’s not only more difficult to abandon oneself to the laugh during the teaching, but at home, the remembering of that initial discomfort may be recalled, reinforcing more resistance.

CW: Do you practice laughing meditation daily? Have you noticed any effects of laughing meditation on your life or overall health?

SN: Yes, I practice the smiling practice 3-20 times a day, and the laughing practice I employ if I realize I have not heard the sound of my laugh that day. Because I do this a lot, I laugh a lot and am more prone to laughing. But when I work as a meditation teacher with people in deep pain or grief, laughing is not the natural or appropriate activity, so I use the laughing meditation to balance. It’s like taking a “positive” vitamin, in the same way we may review our day – Did I exercise? Drink enough water? Meditate? One can notice if one let out a good deep laugh that day, and it’s an easy fix.

Since I started employing laughter and smiling, I’ve been happier and am more motivated to move, create, and serve. I notice many people commenting on how much younger I look.  I’m 55 years old now, and I probably feel better and stronger than I did in my mid-30’s.

And there is also a tangible shift in my life circumstances and relationships from this practice. An undeniable shift is on job opportunities, people wanting to assist me, or come to my workshops. I mean, who doesn’t want to be around a happy person? And the relationships and students I draw into my life reflect it back, so I am then not just generating it myself but receiving it from others. This triggers a quite authentic impulse to smile or laugh, and this lovely positive feedback loop develops. When smiling and laughing, you notice the world smiling and laughing back, and it feels like the world is buoying you up.

The last thing I feel I should say is that I find laughter to be a wonderful and totally underutilized component to happiness. When I’m counseling or teaching meditation to someone, I always also emphasize exercise, getting out in nature, employing mindfulness in daily life, along with some kind of fun, creative energy release. But there is no question that smiling and laughing can supply the fuel for all that.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and don’t miss Tuesday’s episode on orgasmic meditation!

Be In Joy

 Tuesday, 5/31

 

Be in Joy

 

“Find cause to laugh, giggle, or radiate cheerfulness, practice being light-hearted, carefree, and elated about the miracles in your life or the miracles of the moment.  Be happy, be bright, rejoice and enjoy.  Be in Joy.”

 

–Morning Messages by Peggy Black

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director

 

10 Tips for Authentic Living

1. Sit in silence with yourself every day.

Living an authentic life means taking action from the inner confidence of intuition. Most people have no ideas what their intuition looks like or feels like because they are so busy, busy, busy running around every day trying to do ten thousand things. We live in a culture here in the West that valorizes productivity over peace. Cultivate your voice of intuition; it will always lead you in the right direction. You need to be able to actually hear it, so practice silence every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time.

2. Nurture your playful side.

I noticed a kid yesterday in the mall freak out in excitement over this globe strobe light dancing on the ceiling. WOW, I thought to myself, how is it that we lose this playful inquisitive side of ourselves, the excitement and wonder children so naturally display, once we grow up? It’s almost as if we step into these predefined roles of serious, mature, adult behaviour. That’s just a recipe for misery. Connect with your playful side, if it’s playing with a dog, your kids, playing a trick on someone, whatever it is, connect with that little kid inside you and allow the wonder and magic of life to embrace you.

3. Reconnect – get out and enjoy nature.

If there be only one thing you take away from this article, one thing you do to connect with your authenticity, let it be this one. Nature will always bring you back no matter how far you stray off your path. Don’t be afraid to get lost out there either. Sometimes you have to get a bit lost to find the right path.

4. Do some yoga – open your energy centers your chakras.

Some people think yoga is so granola, call me a granola because I LOVE yoga! I discovered it over 10 years ago on the beaches on Thailand. Yoga literally means “union” of the body, mind and spirit. It is not a practice of personal development; although the practice of it will leave you feeling more tapped in, tuned in and turn onto the flow of life. Yoga is a practice of self acceptance. Before you can turn your life around, you have to start with self acceptance of where you are. Try out a few classes and a few different teachers and styles to find the right yoga for you.

5. Be vulnerable – reach out and ask for the support you need.

We want to live an authentic life, be more real, feel more alive, empowered, and fulfilled, on target on purpose but yet we numb all of our painful emotions. Being vulnerable is facing these emotions of shame, fear, guilt, frustration and grief. It is only when we connect with our pain and move through it that we connect with the emotions of love, joy and happiness on the other side. So when you are feeling down, reach out and ask for the help you need, call a friend and tell them, talk about it.

Don’t become another statistic in this society where we have the highest rates of drug use, obesity and violence than ever before. Authentic living challenges us to be real, to be vulnerable, to be aware. See more on this topic with one of my favorite people Brene Brown in this youtube video here. http://ow.ly/32wa5

Remember to connect with people who understand you and really get you. One of the best ways to unravel your authentic self is to surround yourself with people of like mind and spirit, and then you won’t feel so crazy for being who you really are.

6. Go after your dreams- start with your first NEXT STEP.

Even if it feels like reaching them is so far away, if it gives you anxiety just to think of all of the steps in between before you actually enjoy living your dream life, start! The worst thing you can do in this life is watch time go by and try and dull or extinguish your fire for life. That’s when you wind up later on with something rude awakening like cancer. There are so many people living with depression and I believe it’s because people have given up living their dreams and settle for a comfortable life. A life that is not too exciting and not too scary, not too enjoyable, but safe. Make a list of all of your dreams and pick one that you get the biggest hit on, the biggest emotional charge, and start there. Write out the steps you will need to take in order to live that dream and take your one next step. It won’t feel overwhelming if you focus on your one next step.

7. Honour your feelings first.

Authentic living demands that you take care of yourself and honour your feelings first. It’s like that line in a song I heard yesterday, “You can’t really love anyone until you love yourself first”. This sounds like such an easy thing to do, but as a society were raised with gender roles and social norms where we just weren’t taught how to deal with, live with or translate our emotions. It’s all kind of a grey sea of mystery. Authenticity demands that you honour yourself by honouring your feelings and trusting them that they teach you and guide you to your truth. Tuning them out, pushing them aside or burying them will only end in disaster.

I saw a grievance counsellor after my father passed and she told me that we should treat our emotions like a wave in the ocean. What happens when a big wave comes to hit us and we brace ourselves and tense up and hold tight? The wave knocks us over and ravages us, slamming our bodies into the sand and we get hurt. But if we let the wave take us, give into the emotion and let it wash over us, it soon leaves and we find ourselves on the shore, intact no limbs missing, except maybe a few pounds lighter.

8. Laugh out loud!

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. ~Victor Borge

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. ~Yiddish Proverb

A hearty laugh gives one a dry cleaning, while a good cry is a wet wash. ~Puzant Kevork Thomajan

9. Follow Your Intuition

We live in a society that tells us to numb everything, to disregard, not talk about or bring up feelings of weakness, vulnerability, anxiety, that we should just have a drink, have a smoke but don’t really feel it, feelings after all are dangerous. What happens is that you also drown out and numb your intuition, that guiding voice of reason, that gut feeling we have that leads us on the path of right living, of our authenticity. One of the biggest signs that you are living authentically will be your ability to direct all parts of your life, business, personal, your relationships everything, through following your intuition. The hardest thing to do is to follow this feeling in a society that tells you to follow your head, plan, organize, be sensible…intuition is about connection to self, and there is nothing linear about it.

10. Share a part of yourself with others – share your story, start there.

When you are living authentically your natural desire to reach out and help others struggling with similar problems is paramount to your evolution.

Being authentic means embracing all of the parts of ourselves, even the stories, especially the stories that shape us into who we are. You really start to connect with others when you share the stories that shaped your journey to the authentic you:)

“Owed” to “God”…

We kinda suck.
Honestly,
for if tHere
be Creator,
we’ve made
them out to be
‘haters’, baiters,
facilitators of pain
and punishment in
judgment of our ‘sins’.
If I were ‘Them’,
I’d bitch slap us.

What if…
We really are created
in the image of…then what?
No wonder we struggle with
guilt and sin because if we ARE in
the image of Creator … can you imagine?

Here’s the deal… there is Know Such a Thing
Creator wouldn’t punish in judgment of anything
Destroy such precious generations of life
and that’s right… we’ve been ‘here’
a very Long Time for reason
through countless seasons
breathing surviving
existing over Time.
We grew. Learned
yearned, cared to
dare and Became.
Aware,
We invented
debated, moved
over lands and
Pro.Created. Grew
schools, organized rules
in towns growing over grounds
into cities of abundant sounds.

Do we know exactly how ‘delicate’
we ARE in this Universe? How almost
impossibly improbable our existence even is?
You being here, now at this moment
in this space of real time current
reading this silly little rhyme
is THE definition of Time.

We Owe it to God,
because the truth is?
We’re pretty hard
on ourSelves.

All things considered….

 

Owed to OurSelves

Seriously, I’ve been thinking about this
whole genesis thing and there’s that part
the one just before the start
that says something kind of sad…

It said that God was alone before they had
the idea to create Us and I was glad
to see that such a Verse was written.

This is the part of God I can see as Human.
Admittedly I’ve not read the book
but I did read that page and look
we all have our understanding
and we read just what we need. Right?

And I did in deed, over and again
see how sad this God had been
alone before there was even a When.

… Can you imagine?

What might have been seen
in the face of the waters Then
and in the greatest effort of Love
Imagination was created Above
because before We could be…?
I’m guessing…
God had to reach inside to see
Just and exactly, what and how
precious We, had to be.

Genesis

“Mirror Mirror is the Ball….”

Humor is Healing

I’m sure there isn’t a single person on Intent.com that doesn’t already understand the healing properties of smiling, laughter and humor. Since there’s no need to explain the topic, let’s just get to the laughing part…

When asked what he wanted for his birthday the Yogi replied, "I wish for no gifts, only presence."

Hear about the Buddhist who refused novocaine during root canal work? He wanted to transcend dental medication.

What do you call a schizophrenic Buddhist? Someone who is at two with the universe.

How many psychotherapists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but only if the light bulb really wants to change.

How many Zen masters does is take to change a light bulb? None, there is no light bulb. http://bit.ly/HuangPo

The waffle company created a product for Buddhists. The slogan is "Leggo my ego."

The spiritual student walked up to a hotdog stand and said "Make me one with everything."

Heard about the new Buddhist vacuum cleaner? It comes with no attachments.

Nisargadatta Maharaj loved animals and even made a pet food product called "IAMS Cat". http://bit.ly/IAmThat

Nisargadatta Maharaj wrote a Broadway play called "Thats", but it had no story.

People thought there were 2 lake monsters, but actually there’s only one-ness.

What’s Krishna’s favorite video game? Gita Hero. http://bit.ly/Gita

Meditation – It’s better than sitting around and doing nothing.

Feel free to add your own! 🙂

7 Life Lessons from a Two Year Old

http://www.sunshinepie.com

 

Original version can be found on "Sunshine Pie" @ http://www.sunshinepie.com

 

Wondering what you can learn from a 2 yr old? Before my niece was born over 2 years ago, I most likely would have said "Probably not too much". After all, a 2 yr old can barely count to 3 and has trouble pronouncing their own name. Right?

If there happens to be a 2 year old in your life, or you have known a 2 year old at some point, you may read this post and say "Duh!" but for me, spending a week with my 2 yr old niece was an inspirational experience. I quickly discovered that my 2 yr old niece loved every moment of life, and that I had a lot to learn from her example.

This is a list of 7 life lessons that were inspired by her…

My 2 yr old niece:

1. Eats slow w/ little bites.

  • This little girl was enjoying a freshly-made peanut butter & jelly sandwich that was carefully cut up into 4 square pieces. She took a tiny bite every so often & seemed to enjoy the peanut buttery flavor.
  • After 15 minutes, it became clear to me that she was not concerned with whether or not she was going to finish her sandwich in that sitting. She was not rushing through her meal to get to her next task.

 

2. Is overwhelmingly willing to share.

  • As her attention was wondering away from the pb & j sandwich, my sister asked, "Can Uncle Randy have a bite?" Without thinking it over, she immediately raised up a fully intact sandwich-square in her tiny hand. She gleamed at the opportunity to share her meal. She gasped the sandwich with her fingers covering about 75% of the square, leaving me about an inch of bite room. Being cautious, I took the tiniest bite I could, as to not injury her hand.
  • As I was chewing my tiny bite, I caught myself thinking, "I wish I could have had a much larger bite," but then I suddenly became satisfied with my tiny morsel of pb & j. Even though I only received a small bite, my sense was that my niece would have given me the entire sandwich if I wanted it.

 

3. Has unlimited patience.

  • I had the great opportunity to take a walk down the street with my niece (as she held my hand, of course). She was completely content as we walked with no real end-point in mind. She watched in wonder as some children played basketball, or a car pulled out of their driveway.
  • There was never a thought of "I’m bored" or "This is pointless" or "Let’s go home" – The entire experience just was what it was, and it was evident that she was enjoying every moment.

 

4. Gives full attention to every task.

  • My sister sat on the couch with her daughter and read a "What is it?" book. The task on each page was simple; identify the object or animal on the page, such as an umbrella or an elephant. My 2 yr old niece announced the item name with pride every time she could make identification.
  • When she saw something on the page that she could not easily identify, she intensely concentrated on the object to try to figure out what it was on the page. She put every ounce of concentration into each identification task.

 

5. Sleeps with the Sun & takes a daily nap.

  • Once my niece goes to bed in her crib, my sister gets upset with me if I run down the steps or talk loudly. This forced me to pay particular attention to my niece’s sleeping patterns. By the end of the week, I could assume that if the sun was down, my niece was asleep.
  • Also, in the afternoon, there was a daily "nap time" – I often thought to myself how much I would enjoy a daily nap time everyday.

 

6. Is tirelessly persistent & will not take "No" for an answer.

  • When my niece wants something, such as being held by her mother, she will not stop asking until she is satisfied. My niece does not seem to care if people think she is needy or annoying. She just asks.
  • She has a goal set in her mind, and she keeps driving until she reaches it, even if it is to simply ‘be held’.

 

7. Does not pass up a chance to sing or laugh.

  • One of my niece’s favorite events is a birthday celebration. She will sing "Happy Birthday to You" at every single mention of the word birthday, regardless of whether it is actually someone’s birthday. This past week, there were 2 birthdays, her Daddy & Great Grandmother. As soon as a cake was brought to the table with candles, she immediately knew to break out into song. "Happy Birthday to you….Happy Birthday to you….." (Those are the only lyrics that she knows)
  • One of my favorite things to do in her presence is to just start laughing for no reason. I will go into an almost "comical/movie" laugh, and she will keep the pace and volume and try to laugh just as much along with me. When I get too tired from laughing, my niece is still smiling and still laughing.

 

It is truly amazing how much better I felt about life after spending a week with my 2 yr old niece.

Thank you little one

🙂



Please pass along to any person who knows a 2 yr old

Remember: Sunshine Pie is a mindset. Keep it going.

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Territorial Impaired

 Twixt the tween and the thought:

   How many times have I started this journey of a new life-style to become a better me?  A hell’uva lot is the answer.  I am my own worst enemy when it comes to motivation. I know it’s in me, I feel it’s just buried under and extra 43 pounds of chicken fat.  I’ve tried partners on this journey, but either stopped to rest and never got back n the road or allowed them to proceed ahead with the promise that I would catch up. Nope!

So it seems that relying on myself to help me hasn’t been a winning ticket.  

Accountability?  Sure, but to who?  Right now it’s not me.

See Humor and Laugh!


Mark Twain said, "Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place." Today, look for humor in all situations, especially the challenging ones. Steer away from cynical humor. Just look for reason to laugh and rejoice! Scientists are discovering now that laughing actually has healing effects and can extend the length of your life. Once you start noticing humor, you’ll begin to see it everywhere. And as Wayne Dyer commonly states, "Don’t take life so seriously!" Being able to laugh at yourself and life-situation is a great step towards self love and forgiveness.

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Dressing Up as Mickey Mouse – a Halloween Story

It seemed like any other day but for some reason everyone
was looking at me funny. "What’s the deal?" I thought to
myself.

And then it struck me…..I had ears. Big ones.

I am Mickey Mouse for Halloween. But just to clarify, I’m
not dressing up as Mickey Mouse….I am Mickey
Mouse.

The way I look at it is that Halloween is the ideal opportunity
to be something new. Most of us (if not all) spend so much
time and energy stuck in our roles. In fact, we go to great
lengths trying to maintain those identities even when the
moment is so clearly calling for something new to be born.

Living this way is tiresome and boring.

I am as guilty of this as anyone — which is why I have decided
to embody the energy of this global icon instead of simply
putting on a costume.

So this morning, I made the choice to wear my Mickey ears
all day long. The only problem was that I had a meeting with
a potential new coaching client that I had never met before.

My fears started to bubble up from within: "This is silly",
"How will she take me seriously?", "I’m not a kid anymore".
Just a few of the thoughts that flowed through my awareness.

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