Posts filed under ‘Laughter’

Quotes from “A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman”

Do you have particular books you want to read this Summer? I do. My list is here. I just finished this book A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson. It is FULL of quotes I want to remember.

BE HAPPY WITH ME  

All is ripely quiet, and I lift my glass to me, a woman turned inside out, no longer wanting to become happy because, finally, I am.

“You mustn’t fret. There is no arriving, ever. It is all a continual becoming.”  (Joan erickson)

When I need centering, I sing a favorite hymn, “Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart,” which also allows me to ease drop on my spirit and pick up on its mumblings. ·

 

HAVE FRIENDSHIPS THAT CAUSE ME TO GROW 

Every woman should have a mentor – not her mother, but someone who doesn’t have a stake in how she turns out, who encourages her to risk, who picks her up when she falls flat on her face. Joan prods, pokes, and coaxes me each time we’re together. ·

“Want to get into some trouble today?} What did you have in mind I ask, smiling at her devilishness. “Oh, I don’t know – just getting out and gathering up some experiences!” ·

 

BECOME WHOLE BY PAYING ATTENTION 

Of primary importance now is for me to retrieve the buried parts of me­-qualities like playfulness, vulnerability, being at home in my skin, using more of my instincts. Like so many pieces of a puzzle, I need to find a way to create the whole once again

I have learned to pay attention to my instincts and take notice when I feel anxious – to remove the pebble from my shoe before it blisters, get the chicken bone out of my throat – in short, to be mindful of feelings and emotions and work with them, not run from them.

Related Post . . . 8 Thoughts on Living Well  … What If The Wholesome Words Were Bleeped?

LAUGH MORE

What do you want? We usually answer with some material object. Imagine If we said something like a better state of mind, or togetherness, or simply to be surrounded by laughter.

Sitting here alone is satisfying enough, but the night would be far better if shared with another-with someone whose mood meets mine, who relishes moments, whose wonder remains untainted, who appreciates simple things and says so, who laughs much, indulges heartily, is spontaneous in spirit, is quick to embrace, and sees joy as a duty.

Related Posts . . . Finding Laughter – What I Learned From a Funny Friend … Laughter Quiz  Laughter Has My Gratitude

LIVE A FULL LIFE

I am no longer just passing through the world, but digging deep and collecting moments.

“Vital lives are about action,” Joan Erickson tells me. You can’t feel warmth unless you create it, can’t feel delight unless you play, can’t know serendipity unless you risk.” I’m trying to bring more of the spontaneous beach back to the cottage and incorporate it into my everyday life.

I must live a little each day, watch the sun as it rises and revel in its setting, swim naked, sip coffee and wine by the shore, generate new ideas, admire myself, talk to animals, meditate, laugh, risk adventures

Related  Posts . . . Live in the Day: a To-Do List … How 20 Wishes List from Fictional Book Helps Me Live Today … Do More Than Count Blessings, Be a Blessing

CHOOSE TO AGE WELL

Pam with Christmas Lights

“Why am I more cautious as I age instead of the other way around? I wonder if it’s all tied in to failure. I tend to forget my gains and remember only the losses. The failures have piled up, wreaking havoc with my confidence until, as an adult, I’ve become afraid to take chances.”

“I’m coming to see that life is not a lesser thing than I imagined it to be,” I say, thinking out loud just now. “Rather, it holds more than I have time to seize. The big secret is that everything doesn’t happen in youth.”

Related Posts . . . Singles Thanksgiving Bucket List … 3 Ways to Encourage Others Year Round … 16 Ways to Comfort Yourself

Your Turn . . .  

  • What quote from this book strikes you and why?
  • What’s on your summer reading list?

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Finding Laughter: Books Still on my Bookshelf (Day 30)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingWow – I cannot believe this 31 days of laughter is only one day from being done! And I am sad to say that I didn’t finish all that I wanted to finish. I can see that my Finding Laughter project is far from complete with books to read, Ted Talks to listen to, experiments to try.

 Yes, I still have books to read. This month was soooooo busy that I didn’t get to read all I wanted. I did read all the books for children though. So I am going to read the following  – no deadline this time.
EDITED TO ADD: It is now March 2016 and I have read all the below books except for the one by Carol Burnett. That is still on my list.

Your Turn . . . Are there any other books I should be reading? NOTE: I am making my way through the suggestions given here.

Related Posts from The Finding Laughter Series . . . 

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

 

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Finding Laughter: Laughter Is Part Of My Worldview (Day 29)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingHave you heard of sourpuss Christians? About how life is too serious to inject fun? And that you must be UN-spiritual if you do these injections on a regular basis?

“From somber, serious sullen saints, save us, O Lord.” ~ TERESA OF AVILA

I didn’t know of these expectations growing up.  I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. Although for many of my younger years I was bussed to Sunday school. The Christians I met there, my teachers, were anything but a sourpuss.

They kept an orderly classroom (after all this was in the 60’s when all children minded authority figures because if you didn’t you got into BIG trouble at home). But the consistent attitude of these teachers was one of kindness. I don’t remember what they taught, but I remember how I felt (and why I wanted to keep going back).

I felt love from others and God. My teachers and mom modeled love, kindness, and fun. Laughter was part of my worldview then and it is now.

And for most of my Christian life (41 years now) I have been surrounded by folks (from the pulpit to the “regular” people) who are anything but a sourpuss. So when someone tells me their experience is to the contrary, I am always a little surprised and sad for them.

But while I am not a sourpuss, I am not light-hearted. I have to keep reminding myself to go back to the basics – to be a joy-filled Christian is to remember my why.

We can have a foundation of joy when we keep remembering what Jesus did.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous, be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy; I have overcome the world.” My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.” John 16:33 (AMP)

Marilyn Meberg says this verse “assures me that because of Jesus, the Overcomer, I too can be an overcomer in all of my trials and sorrows simply because He lives in me. As a result, I have access to His victory and His power over my circumstances. . . . Our cheerfulness rests on our Savior-relatedness. The divine transaction of accepting Christ’s death on the cross not only assures us a place in heaven but also a cheerful heart on earth.” (Quote some from her book, I’d Rather be Laughing.)

By remembering my why I can have a cheerful heart on earth!

Remembering impacts our laughter. Laughter impacts our length of days. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A relaxed attitude lengthens a man’s life.” (TLB) An insurance company statistic relates that people who laugh live on average 8 years longer.(Stat from Laughology movie.)

 What else do we need to remember besides what Jesus did for us on the Cross and through His resurrection?

“Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” ~ Psalm 126:2

 We, I, need to remember that God is for us and that He has and will continue to do great things for us. Great thinks like . . . 
  • Providing His ongoing Presence in our lives
  • With His Presence comes guidance and empowerment to follow His wise & good way in (all the) areas of our life
  • Financial, relational, emotional to name a few
  • Remember there is more to this life than this life. Heaven is coming and it will be perfect

This does not mean life HERE is perfect and free from struggles, or trauma even. The Bible clearly says there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance,” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

But through knowing our why and purposefully thinking on and talking about the great things of God, we can keep our balance during these traumatic times and the lesser but equally draining, daily, irritants of life. Sometimes though, this is HARD to do. Sometimes it takes time to get our balance. And sometimes we need the help of others to get and maintain that balance.

And there is one last thing we need to do. Besides keeping our minds fixed on God and His gifts to us, we need to have right actions. Why?

When our actions do not match up with our deeply held beliefs, we WILL experience guilt, depression, alienation and isolation from God and others.

 Some of these right actions consist of . . .

  • Staying away from known sin (gossip, anger, lust, greed, wasting time, etc)
  • Keeping our word to family commitments (consistently honoring each other in a selfless, kind manner)
  • Providing a full day of work each day we are at work (stay off cell and personal computer usage during company time, maintain a pleasant and servant-attitude)
  • Choosing free-time activities that strengthen us and our world (it is healthy to have solo interests. It is not healthy when these solo interests negatively impact those in our world)
  • Living in a  manner of forgiveness (asking for it and extending it)

In short, live a life of integrity. And I am not talking about perfect actions, just progress towards the perfect and a having a loving, humble attitude,

Jesus can be our foundation. Cheerfulness can be our habit.                                                                             Laughter can be a frequent guest in our mouth.

Your Turn . . . Have you had a lot of experiences with sourpuss Christians? If yes, how has that impacted your laughter? . . . . . What can you do today to make cheerfulness a more entrenched habit?

Related Posts From This Series . . . 

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

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Finding Laughter: Can I be a Comedian? (Day 28)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writing I am not easily amused, but I want to change that. I want to learn to add to the funny around me. In Day 8 I proposed that I collect jokes and tell at least one a day.

How has that gone? How have people responded to me? To be honest not well, Many days I have forgotten  to write down a joke and then to repeat my joke. Since I am not a natural joke teller, people tend to sympathy laugh or maybe it is a grimace. I am, however, laughing at my attempts.

That’s okay with me though. My quest is more about me developing an attitude of a light-heart, a habit of cheerfulness. I am no longer looking to be funny and causing others to laugh.

I am looking more intently for the funny in life, what can I make light of especially when it comes to my life. Since I don’ t have a natural bent to looking at life this way I am doing a few things.

  • I have subscribed to The Good Clean Funnies List (thanks to Barb). GCFL sends one clean joke 5 days a week. These jokes cover the gamete of topics and often make me smile as I recognize the funny bent on a situation. I am hoping that at some point this type of thinking will become natural to me.
  • I’m cultivating a mindset of laughter. My original thinking was, “You just try to be funny. Life is too serious to laugh,” Now I am more predisposed to laugh. I may not be a laugh-producer (able to tell jokes which produce laughter), but I am becoming a laugh-receiver (where I laugh at your jokes).
  • I search for Facebook posts that are humorous. I.e. One of my friends posted that her little guy said the following: “My hands are freezing!” Then rubbing his 8-year-old side burns, “And my beard is freezing, too!” 
  • I am adding more play to my life. Where there is play, laughter is not far behind. I never realized before that as an empty-nester how serious my quiet home had become. Children are great at play and thus at laughter. Here are two links with ideas. (1) 25 Ways to Have Fun At Work. (2) Have More Fun – a post from Gretchen Rubin.

While recently working with a team, I was part of adding laughter to life. At Retreat last week we (the retreat committee) planned some humor-time. At the beginning of each session we read 3 phone calls that the conference center switchboard had supposedly taken for our ladies.

Here are some examples . . .

  • MJ your husband called to say that your cat is on an extended time-out because he ate your new running shoes.
  • RM your hubby says that dinner turned out well. However when he was cooking his famous tube-steaks the cupboard over the stove caught on fire. And you no longer have a dining room table.
  • VT we hope you have full coverage. One of the grand kids took your car for a joy ride down the driveway and hit a fire hydrant. There is good news though. There is no longer a drought in  – – – your yard.
  • TD your hubby says that the grand kids made you a mural – – – using permanent markers – – – on your kitchen wall. Please advise.

Reading these FALSE phone calls here, they don’t sound that funny. But we had a good time at the time – writing them and reading them outloud. And as an intended side-effect we also learned something (truthful) about each person.

 I occasionally write about the funny in my life. Here are some posts I’ve written that showcase some of that humor.

In conclusion, to answer the question, “Can “I” be a comedian?,” I don’t think so as that isn’t my bent. But I can ADD to the funny by making a concerted effort.  Like by TEAM-writing funny phone calls . . .  writing what funnies OTHERS have said . . .  and by laughing at myself (which is a whole other post).

Your Turn . . . Did you find any of my “humor” posts funny?  . . . . Kids really do say the darndest things. What is a story you have?

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

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Finding Laughter: The Habit of Cheerfulness (Day 27)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingHealthy laughter, especially regular and copious amounts of laughter, requires a cheerful heart. This bookI’d Rather Be Laughing: Finding Cheer in Every Circumstance by Marilyn Meberg, tells how to develop a cheerful heart.

I will list some of the points that Meberg makes about establishing a foundation of cheer. Be sure to read the book in order to get the back-stories and all of her ideas.

Recognize Life Is Not Meant To Be Perfect

“Of course we all know nothing is perfect-don’t we? Yet why do we continue to feel restless and on a quest for perfection? What makes us think it is attainable? And how can we find cheer when we’re muddling about looking for perfection?” ~ Marilyn Meberg

We look for this perfection in our marriages, children, and in fact in all relationships. We look for perfection in the service industry, in those we deal with at work (whether a co-worker, boss, client, or assistant). We look for perfection in ourselves: how we look, talk, and perform in all areas of life. We look for perfection from our machinery: cars, air conditioners, computers, and this list goes on and on. And when perfection is not attained we get depressed, angry, GROUCHY or feel picked upon.

But anyone can . . .

Develop A Habit Of Cheerfulness

By developing the HABIT of cheerfulness, we can live with an ATTITUDE of cheerfulness. We acquire certain behavior patterns [aka habits] by frequent repetition.”[1]   These frequent repetitions of behavior affect our thinking and feeling. [2] What do we need to repeat and repeat? Two things: what we think and recalling the past.

Make A Choice On How To Think

Our attitude is directly impacted by what we think. Taking a cue from Philippians 4:8, let’s think on these things throughout our days.

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8, MSG)

Until I read this version of the verse (The Message) I would have said I was fine, that I have gracious thoughts and words. But this past weekend I was complaining (cursing really but without bad words) about service that we received at a famous coffee shop. I really do want to concentrate more on praising and stop with the complaining.

So I want  to CHOOSE to think upon the “true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Bring Up The Past

“I am convinced that one of life’s most easily accessible sources of cheer is to remember some of the off-the-wall, crazy things that happen to us. . . The original cheerful feeling will always remain attached to that memory. . . . Seeing and reliving those good memories can give me a giggle as well as a break from the circumstances that threaten to overwhelm me during a difficult time.” ~ Marilyn Meberg

I have already started a laughter journal because of this #write31days commitment. I am writing down things that made me laugh from my childhood, but that has been HARD to remember that far back. I think I need to include more current things like I did laugh at Retreat a LOT:

  • A bathroom conversation where Bip misunderstood what I said
  • Mary told stories that were startling and so were FUNNY
  • Seeing LaRee so excited about singing Jabba the Hut

These are just a few things that will go into my journal. It is true, thinking about them now gives me a giggle.

There are more points from this book. I will share a couple more in a future post. But you’ll have to read the book to really know them. This book is WORTH the read.

Your Turn . . . Do you already have the habit of cheerfulness? . . . . Did you know another way we can develop this cheerful habit is by “indulging” in more fun. What do you do at home, work, or in the neighborhood that fosters the atmosphere of fun? I NEED ideas.

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habit

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attitude

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Finding Laughter: Funny Christmas Movies (Day 24)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingWithout a doubt there are some Christmas movies that we would all agree are FUNNY.

  • Elf
  • The Santa Clause movies

I wanted to watch some other movies to see if they make the  funny list for me. So I am checking out the below. I won’t get to watch all these before the end of October, but I will surely add them to my November and December viewing list.

  • A Christmas Story – I saw this when it came out in 1983. So I had to rewatch it. I did. I give it a thumbs up as being a funny movie.
  • Edward Scissorhands – I still need to watch this to see if this one tickles my funny bone.
  • A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas – I watched the first 15 minutes and had to turn it off. Since the movie started with two guys smoking a joint, I should have realized this movie wasn’t for me. Plus I find it painful to watch movies where there is one disaster after another after another.
  • Mixed Nuts – Again, no thanks to this type of humour.
  • Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas – I didn’t care for this one as I don’t appreciate “Madea” humour.

Your Turn . . . If YOUR funniest Christmas movie isn’t listed above, be sure to share the title.

Related Posts . . . 

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October 2015 on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

 

 

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Finding Laughter: 9 Laughter Date Ideas (Day 23)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingWhen was the last time you had a laughter date?

“I have laughter dates with myself, where I find comics on YouTube and watch them. Louis C.K. was my first laughter date a couple years ago. I’ll also watch those videos of people doing idiotic things. That cracks me up.” ~ Inga Muscio

Laughter dates are meant to expose you to things that could bring on laughter. I am trying to have a laughter date 1-2 times a week. Things like games, gratitude, and being around funny people do that for me.

WHY LAUGH? Here is a quote Barbara left in the comments.

Mirth is God’s medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it. Grim care, moroseness, anxiety — all this rust of life ought to be scoured off by the oil of mirth. It is better than emery. Every man ought to rub himself with it. A man without mirth is like a wagon without springs, in which everyone is caused disagreeably to jolt by every pebble over which is runs.
— Henry Ward Beecher

Below are some of the laughter dates I’ve had while writing this series.

  1. Volunteer to be a nursery helper at church. You will see yourself doing all kind of SILLY just to get a kiddo to smile. And when they laugh, you feel like you’ve hit gold.
  2. Play Telestrations at a family game night. This is the Telephone Game with a drawing twist. None of us are artists. And we all think so differently from another. It was hilarious trying to figure out what that drawings REALLY meant.
  3. Interview a funny person. Ask him/her about their humor beginnings, tips, and  a recent humorous event. I had a funny and connecting time when I interviewed Lorna.
  4. Watch Patch Adams. This movie stars Robin Williams. I was alone when watching this. And I LAUGHED out loud multiple times.
  5. Go to staff lunch. Humor always abounds when we are together.
  6. Recall humorous times. In your humor notebook write down funny events from childhood, work, etc. I don’t have much written in my book yet, but it is a work in progress.
  7. Watch the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. There are plenty of youtube videos. Much of this is just plain silly. I don’t usually find plain silly funny. But it is clean and sometimes I actually LAUGH.
  8. Write a gratitude list.Then thank God in prayer for those things. It is hard to be happy (which leads to laughing) without first being grateful.
  9. Meet a funny person for coffee. I had an unplanned “date” with a funny person. And it was great. I will be doing more of this.

Your Turn . . .  What are some ideas you have for a laughter date? You might not need ideas, but I sure do!

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October 2015 on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

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Finding Laughter: Suggestions From Readers (Day 20)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingDon’t all bloggers love comments? This is not only because there can be a connection; but also because you can learn from the comments. Below are comments that have helped educate me further about laughter.

WHY PEOPLE LAUGH

Jodi   – My most consistent source of laughter is my now four-year-old daughter but that doesn’t help you much! Maybe a comedy podcast to listen to on the way to work?

stuckinindiana –  I often laugh at myself… does that count?? My husband has a great sense of humor; so, he keeps me chuckling too!

Carol  – My brother and I used to lay on the floor and fake laugh until we were laughing so hard we couldn’t quit. It drove my mother crazy, but it always made us happy. Who knew it was scientific?! Maybe find a friend to laugh with you?

MADE ME GO “AHHHHH” 

Jodi – I use humour with my students (I teach for a school that caters for at risk youth and primarily work with a group struggling with anxiety and depression). It definitely helps break down barriers and build relationships.

Ruth  – I find beauty in being silly.

BOOK SUGGESTIONS

Tammy – Being a life coach that specializes in Grief and Loss, I fully understand the journey to laughter and joy. I would recommend the book “I’d rather be Laughing ” by Marilyn Meberg.

Dianne –  A friend recommended this book to me when I was “sitting on my nest,” pregnant with twins. Much laughter here! Worms in My Tea, and Other Mixed Blessings … By Becky Freeman.

Anita – I’ve never read a book on laughter before–but I have read a lot of funny books 🙂. I especially love Patrick F. McManus’ books

Carol – Marilyn Meberg and Patsy Clairmont have some great books filled with laughter and I agree with Anita, Patrick McManus books leave me in hysterics. Of course, those are funnier if you’ve ever done the outdoorsy things. There are some great youtube videos too!

Jenn – For The Love, by Jen Hatmaker was very funny and so relatable.

Sarah  Who am I kidding… I love all Mo Willems books; I don’t care that they’re written for children

Anita – funny you should mention Lincoln–I have a book of his stories, jokes and riddles published in the 1800s! I need to pull it out and look it over (it belonged to my great grandpa).

MOVIES AND INTERNET SUGGESTIONS

Tobi – I stream Friends on Netflix all the time, also love the movie Parental Guidance.. it’s hilarious.

Romi – The only movie I can think of right now is Patch Adams.

Anita – When my husband had cancer, there were at least two times that we laughed hysterically whilst watching a movie (My Cousin Vinny and Rat Race). The nurses got a little annoyed with us, but boy, did it feel good to laugh!

Barbara  I subscribe to a Good Clean Funnies list and get a joke a day.

Karrilee  Youtube and netflix are great for comedians… some of our favorites are Brian Regan, John Mulaney, Angelah Johnson, Kathleen Madigan.

Your Turn . . . Do you have anything else you would add to these categories?

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October 2015 on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

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Finding Laughter: If You Can Joke, You Can Cope (Day 19)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingThis TED TalkThe Epidemic of Over-Seriousness, had a lot of serious information. But Zara Swindells-Grose delivered it in a comedic fashion. I laughed, a lot, learned, and enjoyed the learning. Be sure to listen to this TED Talk. It was my favourite of all the talks on laughter.

Here are some of my notes on this talk.

When we are little we have no problem thinking big. But life changes us. As adults we forget that we have an unlimited, easily renewed, untapped, secret super power. Our super power is a sense of humour.

A good sense of humour is something that can’t be taken from us. And we need it. We are no happier now than in the 50’s. Back then the average age of depression was 29. Today it is 14 1/2. A million people a year commit suicide.

  • Humour requires intellect and psychological flexibility.
  • If you can joke, you can cope.
  • Humour helps us interpret life’s challenges through a more positive lens.
  • It gives us the gift of perspective.
  • Much of our coping style is genetic. But we can still become better at coping by becoming a humour-being.

Humour = keeping a light-hearted frame of mind . . . regardless of the circumstances.

It is inappropriate to be comedic all the time. But it is just as inappropriate to be serious all the time. Remember that capability and seriousness are not related.

I am more convinced than ever that developing my sense of humour is an important skill for me to learn.. This is especially true since I tend to be one of THOSE serious people. I am tempted to come up with a comedy routine. But I seriously have no idea how to view my life through a light-hearted lens. I don’t know how to write jokes. Help!

NOTE: Zara Swindells-Grose is a Director of Humour Australia (or HA!) and a member of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Your Turn . . . Are you a good joker? . . . if yes, how do you come up with jokes about your life?

Related Posts . . .

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October 2015 on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

. at . 2 comments

Finding Laughter: Is Laughter Needed at Work? (Day 18)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writing“People spend about 75% of their adult wake time doing work-related activities . . . 

  • getting ready for work,
  • traveling to work,
  • working,
  • contemplating work,
  • and decompressing after work.

“If we spend that much time in that part of our lives, we ought to enjoy it and be energized by it.”  Ken Blanchard

And yet, how many folks are disgruntled with work? Complain about it? Dread going? And don’t even give their best efforts because of all the negativity they are surrounded by or express themselves?

“Life is too precious just to be passing through to retirement,”                                 (Stephen Lundin in Fish!)

Perhaps it is time to do something different. Maybe part of the problem is the work-atmosphere. “People like to work in an environment that is fun, energizing, and where they can make a difference,” (Stephen Lundin).

I recently reread The book FishA Proven Way To Boost Morale And Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen. (I’ve read it four times so far.)

It lists four principles to embrace that will help us enjoy and be energized at work. The most important action is choose your attitude.

“By accepting that you choose your attitude, you demonstrate a level of personal accountability and pro-activity.

“Choosing your attitude and acting like a victim are mutually exclusive.

“Choose to bring your best self to the world and to love the work you do.”                      Stephen Lundin

I am a Follower of Jesus Christ. And the Bible talks about how we are to do our work: with excellence. And part of that excellence is to have a good attitude.

Below are the 4 principles in bullet form . . . 

  • One. Choose your attitude – without this foundation the following three ideas are a waste of time.
  • Two. Play – we can do this in a respectful manner and still be professionals getting the work done well.
  • Three. Make their day – concentrate on helping the customer enjoy their interaction with you.
  • Four. Be present – pay attention to only the one in front of you. (put away that cell phone and stop talking to your co-worker)

It is not always easy to make changes in our attitude or actions. But “the risk of doing nothing is probably greater than the risk of acting,” (Stephen Lundin in Fish!).

Another important area to consider is meaning. We all want to do something that has meaning, that can make a difference in the lives of others. But we can’t all do “meaningful” work. Or can we?

“Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or a prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something . . .

  • you build into your life.
  • you build it out of your own past,
  • out of your affections and loyalties,
  • out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you,
  • out of your own talent and understanding,
  • out of the things you believe in,
  • out of the things and people you love,
  • out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something.

“The ingredients are there. You are the one who can put them together into that pattern that will be your life.

“Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.” John Gardner

SIDE NOTE: Working with the public (restaurant, hotel, utility company, etc) might not seem the most meaningful work to you. But I know that when I get good customer service, it makes my day. And that rep is a VIP to me! And I tell others about it because, unfortunately, good customer service is becoming a rarity.

And on the flip side, when I get bad or even no customer service, I tell others. And I will do ALL I can to NOT frequent that company again.

So people who work in “non-meaningful jobs,” you really need an attitude check. Your work DOES have meaning to your customers. And I am sorry that so many of them are grouchy or don’t think to say, “Thank You.” So I will say it, “Thanks for the excellent way you took care of my request/need. You rock!”

When levity is used to appropriately ease a burden or relieve tension it is greatly appreciated,” (Mike Myatt).

What does all this have to do with laughter and work? Is it needed? Yes! I think it is needed. I think it makes the workplace a more fun, healthier, more energized and more productive place to be.

It is my contention that laughter (healthy, community-connecting, stress reducing, playful laughter) cannot be part of our work culture if the four principles are not practiced. Some individuals may be laughter-profuse, but the work place as a whole is one of stress, seriousness, illness, and laughter-deficiency.

Watch the TED Talk, The Epidemic of Over-Seriousness.                                                           The review for this talk will go live tomorrow.

Your Turn . . .

  • Is your work place one of laughter or seriousness?
  • What is something you do or can do to increase the amount of play there?
  • What is your thought on Lundin’s four principles? Is there one you’d like to concentrate on?

Resources used for this post:

  1. FishA Proven Way To Boost Morale And Improve Resultsby Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen
  2.  Fish! Website and Blog

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October 2015 on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

. at . 2 comments

Finding Laughter: You Can Find Your Laughter But You Can’t Choose to be a Comedian (Day 17)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingI’ve watched two instructional videos, Laughology and Why We Laugh: Funny Women.

Below is a summary of what I learned.

LAUGHOLOGY – Filmmaker Albert Nerenberg went on a world-wide quest to find his laughter.

Did you know that you can lose your laugh? Evidently 80-90% of the American adult population has done so. However, we all start laughing between 2-4 months. And you don’t have to be taught. All babies laugh, including blind, deaf, or sensory-challenged babies. Even though this is a universal characteristic, laughter is still a mystery.

Laughter is part of the universal, human vocabulary.

The laughter doctor – Madan Katana – stopped practicing as an MD because  he felt that laughter was more healing that traditional medicine. He says that stress in our modern life leads us to lose our laughter and this lack negatively impacts us physically, emotionally, and mentally.

A common myth in the late-mid 1500’s was that “Regular laughter irreparably damages your teeth,” (George Catlin).

Laughter is a social act, therefore it is hard to laugh by yourself. If you are good at laughing all by yourself, beware. It is associated with schizophrenia.

There is more than one way to laugh, probably 1000 ways.

How can you get yourself to laugh on a regular basis?

  • Just laugh – fake or otherwise
  • Make eye contact.
  • Point at one another.
  • Lay on the floor together.
  • Get back-to-back.
  • Give yourself permission to laugh

NOTE: Watch the whole movie to find out about holy laughter, laughter yoga, laughter epidemics, the man with a most contagious laugh, and about the people who laugh the most. It is a free watch on Amazon Prime.

__________________________________________

Why We Laugh: Funny Women – 5 comedians discuss comedy

Comedy is a lifestyle. It is making sharp observations about society. The essence of good comedy is truth-telling. Be yourself and tell them your truth.

Comedy comes from a place of tragedy. It is a coping mechanism [for those with a comic bent]. In fact the beaten down and the stomped upon make the best comics. Comedy is the most palatable way to get an intense point across.

Most of the comedians agreed that comedy is not something that can be taught. It is something you are born with. And you perfect it through practice.

Your Turn . . .  What was the most interesting thing you learned from this post? . . . Do you have anything to add?

Related Posts . . . 

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October 2015 on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

. at . 8 comments

Finding Laughter – What I Learned From a Funny Friend (Day 16)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingLorna laughs – a lot – and she is funny. So I knew I HAD to interview her for this Finding Laughter series. When I called Lorna on the phone to tell her my idea, I kept laughing. She wasn’t saying anything funny – yet.

I think it was in anticipation; just like you might laugh in anticipation of the tickle that is sure to come.

Lorna didn’t grow up with a lot of laughter in the home. In fact there was a lot of sadness and loss. I.e. In the middle of her 2nd grade three big changes occurred: her great grandma died, a baby brother joined the family, and they moved. There were a lot of tears.

So then how did Lorna get her laughter beginning?

Then something happened in 3rd grade. Lorna and 4 other girls became a roaming comedy troop at school. They would go from classroom to classroom to do a skit. However, these skits were not well-scripted and practiced in advance. They were totally ad-libbed. They were goofy and made people laugh. “I guess I enjoyed being a ham,” Lorna concluded.

Lorna feeds her funny bone in two ways.

  1. Lorna grew up with comedians like Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball and Jerry Lewis. “I could watch them today and still laugh. I know some people don’t like Jerry Lewis, but I love his goofy humor and I could laugh for days at his comedy.”
  2. Time with her family is always filled with laughter. Shawn and Lorna have 6 adult children and 7 grand children. “I know I will laugh when I am with my family. All of them are very funny and have a great sense of humor. When we get together I laugh until my sides hurt.”

What is Lorna’s best laughter advice? 

Laughter and bowling are a good mix.

Laughter & bowling: a good mix.

Laugh as often as you can. When life is anxious, difficult or hard, laughter can help you get through it. There is a grace to being able to laugh. 

Remember God is gracious; while there are the bitter times, there are also sweet times. And although I don’t always see it, there will be an end to the bitter. At some point I will see the funny.

Don’t forget to laugh at yourself.

I laugh a lot at work because I laugh at my mistakes. This is a change for me. When I first started, I was worried about making mistakes.

Now I laugh about them. For example, I send a lot of emails every day. Sometimes I forget to strike the “o” key. Later an email will come back with a reply and I have to laugh when I realize that I told someone right at the onset of the email, “Hell Susan.”

Luckily Lorna hasn’t been reported for harassment or profanity.

Of course, Lorna and I laughed a lot during our time together. And as research has shown, our laughter made me feel more connected to her, even though we haven’t talked (about deep things) in almost a year.

And I was reminded of a few things. . .

  • Laugh at yourself.
  • Be around funny people.
  • Practice being funny.
  • Know that laughter can be a holy, wholesome and genuine relief from life.

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October 2015 on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

. at . 4 comments

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