So, we were half way to our destination--again!--when they remembered their mistake. I breathed a deep sigh, turned on the blinker and pulled the car to the side of the road, erupting in a fit of laughter. Both boys looked at me like I was insane, but it helped me to release my frustration!
When things don’t go as we wish, we are often advised to just go with the flow. But for many of us, that is hard to do! In my laughter yoga teacher training, I learned about something that can help. It is the concept of the “inner spirit of laughter.”
The inner spirit of laughter is about so much more than just laughing or just yoga--the inner spirit of laughter is a state of mind that allows one the ability to stay positive when everything seems challenging. It can improve physical health and help to release negative thoughts. From my own experience and from listening to others, I know that negative thoughts can crystalize and take physical form! So, when things don’t go your way, you can either laugh or cry. I have found that laughing is the path of least resistance and offers better outcomes!
As a sales manager, I was in a state of constant worry--I was constantly stressed about money and image and meeting goals and yet, everything that I was afraid of came true. It is no secret that I have met my own extreme challenges in life, including the fact that I lost my job, my house, my car, and my family went through a devastating separation. In the process, my children and I became homeless, living with kind family members. I found myself literally starting over at the bottom with nothing but each other.
After I realized my worst fears, I began to feel extreme guilt. Fear and guilt are two the two most paralyzing emotions anyone can experience because they keep you mired in murky muck, unable to move forward in life. Although I started to rebuild my life, I was still scared and harboring feelings of guilt. I sought a therapist to help me through this time of insecurity. It was after all of this happened that I found laughter yoga, and it was timely for me, occurring as if on cue. If I had not gone through these extreme challenges, I wouldn’t have taken my training in laughter yoga as seriously as I have.
You see, laughter yoga helped me to re-train myself to laugh for no reason. For me, it was a remembering of who I am. As a child, my nickname was Giggles because I would and could laugh at anything and had a happy-go-lucky attitude of grace (but that is another blog post!) I remembered with laughter yoga that when you find yourself in a challenging situation, if you can laugh openly, for no reason at all, you will trigger your mind to overcome difficult situations more easily.
Laughter yoga goes beyond laughter. It trains your body & mind to respond to challenges in a more productive manner. I remember how, before laughter yoga, I lived in a constant state of lack and scarcity, and because it was the core of my subconscious mind at the time, I actually manifested loss of everything for myself. I am of the belief that your thought forms create your physical reality and it is important to watch what you think about. Laughter yoga has helped me to retrain my mind and body to respond differently to negative thoughts and feelings. My training in laughter yoga has opened up channels for me to express my fears in a productive way, allowing me to face them head on and deal with them, instead of burying them and worrying about them all the time.
The surprise in all of this is that cultivating an inner spirit of laughter helped me to reconnect to my spiritual side. Yoga is Sanskrit for “to connect,” and in context, means to connect to the Higher Self. When we are connected to our Higher Self, things flow more easily in our lives! But yoga can also connect us to others and build community. When you laugh you raise your own vibration and others pick up on it—it is contagious and infectious and you soon begin to see that the Inner Spirit of Laughter promotes community building. The exercises I teach in a laughing session bring us to that mental state of appreciation because this is the space in which we connect with others, and they are really profound and life changing.
With laughter, I have gone from an attitude based on fear and ego to one of appreciation and gratitude. I find my days starting a little brighter, waking every morning and feeling appreciation for every little thing. The inner spirit of laughter has helped me to recognize the little things that make life a big deal!
Whenever you find yourself in a challenging situation, just laugh! I would LOVE to teach you how!