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The Magic of Laughter.

by Bill Gracey

Today is Global Belly Laugh Day. At 1:24 p.m. on January 24th (1/24) you can stop and have a good deep belly laugh.  Laughing is good for you.  It lightens even the most solemn moods and can even help lower your blood pressure.

With today’s pressures, many of us find it hard to have the lighthearted spirit needed for a really deep belly laugh.  You know, the kind that has you gasping for air and clutching your stomach as you loud ha-ha-ha’s fill the room – or even the entire house.

Make the decision to find time for laughter.  That’s why silly holidays like these can be so important.  Today I was not feeling like laughing, especially at work.  But I saw this holiday listed on my calendar and checked out the web site. As I scrolled down and saw the video for “Can’t stop laughing” I stopped and watched it.

When the best man lost his pants at the wedding, I couldn’t help but giggle.  When the groom continued snickering, I began to laugh a little more, but when the groom, his bride and the crowd all started chuckling, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Of course I shared the video with my coworkers and we all started laughing.  One giggle led to another, and then another, and soon we were all having a great time.  This is the magic of laughter.

If you make time to visit funny web sites, read humorous emails, watch sitcoms, or any other activity that strikes your funny bone, you’ll feel better. It will invigorate your mind and body.  Suddenly you don’t feel quite so tired anymore.

One of my favorite activities is watching children.  It can be in the grocery store, at home, or even on TV.  Ever see a child in a shopping cart making faces at people as their mother shops? Or a 5 year old making clucking sounds to the delight of his baby sister?  Children are full of the enthusiasm that laughter brings.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Read the funnies – newspapers comics are still a great source of laughter
  • Play with a puppy
  • Read a great bit of Giggle Poetry
  • Smile at everyone you see
  • People watch at your local mall – guaranteed to find you something funny
  • Visit You Tube
  • Have a Tickle Fight
  • Have a Laughter Yoga session and “fake it until you make it”

Have a great Global Belly Laugh day, and discover the magic of laughter for yourself.

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by elycefeliz

I know I’ve made mistakes, lots and lots of them. I’ve been rude, given the cold shoulder, let down a friend in need, and not lived up to my own expectations.  I’ve forgotten birthdays, skipped lunch and dinner invitations, and gotten so caught up in work that I’ve gone home tired, headachy and grouchy.

I’ve tried to become a writer, planned to open a store, and didn’t apply for better jobs when I had the chance.  I’ve not exercised, eaten far too much, and skipped cleaning the house when it needed it.

Isn’t it great?  Because all these mistakes mean I’m making progress. At least I’m working.  I’m doing something.  I have found so many things that don’t work for me over the past 20 years.  So I must be pretty darn close to figuring out the whole mystery of life.  (Well one can hope can’t they?)

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas A. Edison

As every inventor knows, life is all about making mistakes –there would be no new inventions without them. Babies fall down more times than they stand, but they keep trying.  They know the goal is worth the effort – a whole new world awaits if they can just get it right.  Basketball players can miss half their shots and still win the game.  Even when you fail you can still succeed.

Don’t just look at your missteps and errors and not see the accomplishments, skills or lessons you’ve learned. Maybe you discovered you weren’t quite organized enough to run a business and you need to work on that first.  Perhaps you learned to arrive late like your best friend instead of wasting time waiting for her.  Maybe you saw that your passion for writing was not for a novel, but better suited to magazine articles, poems or some other shorter bits of material.

Making mistakes means making progress.  I forget this vital truth from time and time and need to remind myself.  There is relief in knowing that each blooper and blunders is just part of the journey.  The path you’re on may swerve in an unexpected direction – it’s up to you to decide which whether to keep going or not. It’s the adventure of life and we all live it.  Where will you’re adventure lead?

Picture by thatbluepuppy

I’ve heard several blogs talking about picking a word of the year for your New Year’s resolution. I really like the idea, but last year I just couldn’t narrow down my choice to one.  This year I’ve got it – my word is FREEDOM.

Freedom to make mistakes.  Freedom to change my mind.  Freedom to be silly.  Freedom to do what I want to do. I tend to get way too caught up in doing what I “should” do.  Going to work, paying my bills, cooking, cleaning, and all that stuff.  Which is fine in it’s own way, but I spend more time on what I HAVE to do, instead of what I WANT to do.

I’m giving myself PERMISSION to have the freedom in my life that I envy in the lives of others.  The freedom to CHOOSE to make time for the things I’m missing out on.  Going on more trips, eating at new restaurants, learning new ways of making money so I can afford the things I want.

Freedom is allowing me to stop complaining about my life.  I’m free to find a new job that is more align with my passion.  I’m free to try dressing in a new way and even overhaul my whole wardrobe if I want to.  Lately I’ve been trying many new foods and finding that my taste buds have changed and I enjoy flavors I didn’t before.  Freedom allows me to say, “I’m different today than I was yesterday – and that’s WONDERFUL!”

My own inner critic was holding me back far more than any real-life criticism I received.  If a person told me I couldn’t do it, I’d just say – “Yeah right –watch me!.”  If I told myself I couldn’t do it, I was convinced that I was a smart person and I must know what I was talking about!  By focusing on FREEDOM, I know that I’m free to change my mind, try again, or completely revise my old ideas. This focus word is helping me put things into perspective.

So what is your word for the year?  And how does it help you?  Share your ideas with me.


Tattoo Clown Man In Funny Glasses
Originally uploaded by Pink Sherbet Photography

I often fear letting people see the inner me. There are so many critics out there – -and I already have plenty in my own head.  I find I have many fears; looking stupid, making a mistake that could cost me – money, friendship, or an opportunity, or missing out on something better.

 

Recently I started drawing again.  For me that basically means copying other people’s ideas.  I have very little drawing skill yet, and I’ve done no formal training, but I love cartoons and always wanted to draw my own.  I also loving coloring just for the sake of coloring.  The colors, the rhythm of crayons or colored pencils across the paper is relaxing to me.

 

I find showing people my drawings fairly embarrassing.  While I might know that I’ve already progressed bit by bit into cleaner lines, others may see my attempts as immature and weak.  I know that each day I draw I get better, but when the comments begin “What exactly is that supposed to be?” I do get a bit flushed in the face.

 

I also like to sing and dance although I’m not very good at either.  But since I’ve been practicing letting go of my fears I’ve found that with practice those get better too.  Not that I can leave my day job in this lifetime, but at least my voice stays in tune a little better and I only fall on my butt once instead of three times.

 

Honestly, I wish they taught us these things in school.  Like, it’s okay to make mistakes – it means you’re learning. And you can’t be great at something if you’ve never done it before.  It takes practice, that’s all.  And why not teach us that being different is not only okay, but possibly necessary for our sanity.

 

Just like different have different tastes – my husband loves pumpkin pie while I prefer cherry for instance, we all have different ways of expressing ourselves. I love to read books, meditate and watch cartoons.  Friends of mine often haven’t picked up a book in years and find cartoons childish.  That’s fine, I’m not a big fan of shopping and I don’t like math.  To each their own.

 

All I know is when I do all those wacky, strange, crazy things I love, it makes me smile. The smile often turns into laughter.  After a few minutes, I find I feel more energized and peaceful.  These activities entertain me and break up boredom, frustration and put me in a better mood.  You can’t ask for better than that.

 

So next time somebody asks you why you’re being so silly, just tell them “That’s me, that’s just how I roll.”  Enjoying your passions and having as much as you can fit in your day are the best ways I know to have a satisfying life. Being yourself is totally worth it.

 

Here’s a few more things I love; rock collecting (crystals and fossils), ghosts and the paranormal, movie nights, visiting the library, going to the flea market, dogs, kids playing, walking in the woods and surfing the Internet.  What DO YOU LOVE?


Picture by revoluzzza

The fear monster is very scary. It can be overwhelming loud and insistent.  That nagging voice that says “You can’t dance.  You don’t know how to paint.  You’ll never be able to write an entire novel.”

We all doubt our abilities and talents.  We fear we don’t have enough time, determination or knowledge to accomplish our dreams.  When in doubt – do it anyway.

Our fears will always be there.  Usually they never amount to anything.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve hesitated to do something new because I might look foolish.  Often, I did look silly, uncoordinated or clumsy.

It’s okay to look like a fool sometimes.  It means we’re growing and learning. I took a writing course since I love books and stories and I’ve always wanted to create some of my own.  I never did any more writing after that course.  It overwhelmed with the big bad world of publishing.

I learned publishing was too intense for me right now.  But I did learn others things; punctuation, sentence structure, and other useful tips that I can use in anything I write.  I learned that I may need to tweak that dream a little to make workable for me. So even though I see the course as a failure, I did learn.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas A. Edison

 

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

We’re always going to stumble and falter when we try something new.  We’ll feel uncertain and nervous, ungraceful and fumbling.  But our investigations will teach us, sometimes leading us in new, exciting directions.  It’s an adventure worth having.  So if you’re in doubt – go ahead and do it anyway.

Frankenstein Friday

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  I love the chance to be creative and silly for absolutely no reason at all.  And of course all that chocolate and candy doesn’t hurt one bit either.

 

Halloween is only 5 short days away.  This year we get a full weekend celebration.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  In anticipation of the big event, this Friday will be Frankenstein Friday.

 

Created in 1997, it celebrates the creation of Frankenstein and all his many incarnations since.  From mama Mary Shelley who wrote the original novel, to papa Boris Karloff who began the classic Frank stein character.

 

How do you celebrate such a day?  Any way you want.  Watch some Frankenstein themed movies with popcorn and dimmed lights –sure to give you the willies.  Get a door hanging and play pin the tail on Frankie.  Draw a picture of the big green guy, or make Frankenstein cupcakes with green frosting and a candy face.

 

You can scare yourself silly by reading Dean Koontz’s version of the modern day Frankenstein – a 4 part series.  Have a good laugh by watching one of my old favorites Young Frankenstein.  Get out some face paint and do your best rendition of the his big mug.

 

Whatever you do have a good time.  Halloween is a time for playfulness and fun, and this year we’ve been blessed with good weather and a long weekend to celebrate.   Enjoy!

 

Picture by bob canada

by True_Bavarian

I started this blog to help people.  Myself, friends, family, strangers.  I want the world to be a brighter place.  And at times, it is so easy. Share a little laughter, some fun things from life, and all the willy-nilly topsy-turvy adventures of life.  Joy is everywhere.  A blog article I read recently reminded me of the joy of crunching leaves under your feet in autumn – a secret love of mine.  (Kim you know who you are.)  Something so simple, but just so fun.  The sharp woodsy aroma and the crackling crunching of the leaves is addicting.  So is looking at the sheer varity of shape, texture and color in every leaf.  I saw streaks, blobs, stripes, and all sorts of patterns.  It was highly entertaining.

Even TV can bring enlightenment.  While watching the TV show Deadliest Roads, I was reminded not only of how lucky we are to have safe and convenient roads in the states, but also of the luxury and wealth we take for granted.  While one truck driver was stuck in a traffic jam fuming and late, he saw some nomads camped on the side of the road. He shared a large container of candy he had bought himself for the road and several large watermelon with the hungry children, and spread smiles, laughter and joy.  He rejuvenated his mood and outlook, when he returned to driving suddenly things didn’t seem quite as bad as they had before.

Of course we all have days where the stress piles up one after.  Too many chores and errands, work that piles up endlessly making us feel like we’re drowning in it, traffic, burning dinner, ripping your favorite pants, or an unexpected car repair.  By themselves, these things are fairly easy to handle.  But add up two or three in a day, and suddenly our normal coping mechanisms flee and we lose our usual self control.

Taking these tips in mind, I think the best defense is a good offense.  Since we never know when stress will hit, our best plan of attack is to have a good game plan.  Some ideas work to help alleviate stress BEFORE it turns from a molehill into a mountain.  Other ideas can aid in the midst of the chaos.  Here’s a few ideas I’ve picked up along the way.

  1. Perspective – is this a big deal? Often we think the stress we are currently in is worse than anything we’ve endured before.  But is it really?  Are these deadlines and setbacks really going to interfere with our life, or does it just feel that way?  Do you even remember the annoying coworker from your last job who drove you crazy?  Did the expensive care repairs from 6 months ago really put you in debt or did you just give up a few dinners out to pay for it?  Most problems seem worse while we’re working to solve them.  The problems I had two years ago seem much smaller looking back now.
  2. Clarity – are you seeing the truth? Is your boss really out to get you?  Does your sister-in-law truly find ways to insult you at every get together?  Maybe these people treat everyone that way.  It’s possible they feel threatened by you in some way.  Are you really trapped at a job you hate?  Or did you choose your current position knowing it would give you job security and a good paycheck until you can find something better?  Could you leave if you really wanted to?
  3. Health – are you having fun? If you’re not taking time to have a little fun every day, something is wrong.  There should be at least a few minutes if not several hours a day, where you are doing what you love.  Doing the things we love bring us joy, passion, energy and peace.  Whether we’re doing yoga, fixing a car, making cupcakes, or reading a book, doing something you enjoy will bring you time to relax, unwind and bring some balance to your life.  You don’t know how busy you are until you make time to slow down and notice.  Don’t let life pass you by.
  4. Health  – mini breaks. Mini breaks are a life saver.  Taking as few as 2-3 minutes to step away from your stress can make a huge difference.  I stood outside the other day and did nothing but look at the day.  I heard the birds, saw the butterflies, the trees changing, the sun shining, the cool breeze, watched people going to and fro.  And I relished every minute knowing that while today is beautiful, tomorrow could be rainy or cold or windy.  Delight in the little things and you’ll be happier for it.
  5. Humor – Laugh at it. Exaggerate your problems.  I named the other day GUOSD “Gang up on Shirley Day.”  That was what it felt like.  Work piling up, problems for my attention and so on.  By exaggerating that everyone in the office was out to get me, I was able to laugh.  Then I could better focus and realize that not everything in the pile had to be done today.  Relieved, I focused on the priority and left the rest for later.
  6. Organize – Prioritize. I use a trick I picked up from some great source that I can’t remember.  I list three MIT’s (most important task) for each day.  Then I add a Pending file of items that need to be done after the MIT’s.  I usually move the Pending up to start my next MIT list, but some weeks the Pending stays the same for several days.  I always know I’m doing what needs to be done most and I don’t forget the smaller things, so I can relax more while I work.
  7. Humor – Nobody cares. This tip is a flip.  Nobody cares about my whining and complaining, just like I don’t want to hear theirs.  This makes me realize that I need to suck it up and deal with it.  Sometimes that means switching tasks, or asking for help, or even wait until the next day when I’m better rested.  My mom used to tease me when I was grumpy,  “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna go eats worms!”  When you can see the humor during your pain, it helps.
  8. Goals – am I getting what I want? Sometimes we get weighed down by the mundane tasks we need to do to reach a goal.  This is the time to remind yourself of why you’re doing things in the first place.  Maybe your job is a way to save for a new house or car.  Maybe you’re working extra hard to earn a promotion.  Knowing why you do something can help you see it in a new light.  You do have a choice.  You can change your course whenever you realize you’re not headed in the direction you want to go.
  9. Goals – change what you can. Sometimes our problems may aggravate, annoy and frustrate us because they’re so repetitive.  Is there something about this habit, task or chore that I like or could change?  For instance, I like to sing and hum while I do the dishes, it helps me pass the time.  Having fun with your task can make it seem easier.  Maybe you could trade a coworker part of a job you don’t like.  Maybe she can type up the report if you do the research – or vice versa.

I’m no super genius, but these ideas have helped me and hopefully they could help you too.  If you have better ideas to share – feel free.  I will happily give you credit.  I’m wise enough to showcase people smarter than me.  :0)  Thanks for stopping by.