I LOVE my job! I enjoy the freedoms of owning my own holistic life coaching practice; in balancing my needs between family and business; the flexibility of managing my own schedule; and I am blessed every day with the opportunities to dream and create! Every day, I get to dream and scheme, laugh and share, heal and help others! I just love, love, love working with people, my clients—YOU---who have varied and interesting stories to share!
And sometimes I feel like a child with an exciting secret—I get so giddy! One of the greatest things about my job is that YOU teach me something new every single day! Sometimes I feel like I’M the one who really benefits from our sessions! I wonder if my clients really know how happy they make me, how much THEY teach ME, how much sheer delight I get from our sessions, sharing and healing and opening to each other!
Which is why I am kind of scared and kind of nervous to share the following news…
See, here’s the deal…over the past nine months, I have experienced a few major life events—my father was diagnosed and lost his battle with cancer; my daughter moved out of my house and in with her father; and I turned 40! To help me cope with these transitions, I have been seeing a therapist who has charged me with the task of completing a “life timeline.” It is not an easy exercise to do, as it has brought up all sorts of painful memories---and loads of revelations!
These revelations are causing major energetic shifts for me! I always coach my clients to be gentle on themselves when they undergo such shifts, and I have to treat myself with my own advice. With the amount of shifts I am going through, I need time to fully integrate the changes and space to release all that I no longer wish to carry.
I am not sharing this for sympathy, or any kind of reaction, actually. I am sharing only because it helps to put into context the kinds of things I am meditating on lately…I believe that every experience I have had has prepared me for this crucial moment. I believe I chose to incarnate on this plane, I chose which path my life would take and the experiences I would have. I hold a vision that my experiences are not only for me to learn by, but for others too. I chose to incarnate an Aquarian, the water bearer---sharing information with all of humanity.
Lately I’m being called to focus my energies on writing my book. I actually have three of them started (THREE!) and I feel compelled at this time to finish them. And so, the best thing about my job is that I get to choose how to spend my time and energies. I have given this considerable thought, but realize that life really is too short. My ideas, my story, won't help anyone if they remain in my head! I must be the Water-bearer, and pour out these stories as if they were water for the thirsty! The mantra of late is loud and clear, "WRITE THE BOOK!"
I do intend to honor my commitments of producing Tele Classes—I have quite a few already planned throughout the year—and I will continue working on my side project, Magickal Harvest, but come March 1, 2013, I will not be accepting client appointments until further notice.
You wanna' know what else I really LOVE? I LOVE that I am the master of my own destiny! I am elated that I don’t have to do the “daily grind” of the 9-5 office life, under artificial lights, subject to quarterly reviews. I love that I can wake up one day, listen to my heart and know that I have the support of people who get it!
Because I know that while right now seems scary for me to step into, in the end, it will be so worth it!
Me and my daughter enjoying a hearty Group Belly Laugh at a laughter session!
I was rushing the other day to get to our Lughnasadh celebration and it seemed like nothing was going right. I left a basket of food on the counter and didn't realize it until we arrived to the party. So I drove back to the house to get it. The boys followed me into the house and I asked one of them to carry it out to the car while I checked to make sure I had everything else. He passed it off to his brother, and unbeknownst to me, the basket was left on the porch.
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!
I was interviewed by the lovely and charming Joanna Devoe for her KickAss Witch
blog and got to explain a little bit more about what I do! She has interviewed some pretty amazing and brilliantly talented women and I am honored to be included in her list of inspiring and KickAss Witches! Lol! Check it out!
We are energetic beings and as such, we respond to the various vibrations resonating within the Universe, including light, sound and other harmonics. “Harmonics 1. Of or relating to harmonics
. 2. Integrated in nature.
And of course, harmony means, “a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity
.” In music, the parts might be of a set of strings on a guitar, striking a harmonious chord. Thus, if we are to live in harmony with ourselves, we must arrange all the parts of our being so that they are congruent. I like the metaphor of living in harmony because it incorporates the concept of vibration.
In my work as a Life and Laughter Coach, I focus a lot on chakra work. Chakras are that part of the energetic body that overlaps into all other parts of your being, including your emotional, physical and spiritual states. It is my belief that keeping the chakras balanced is the best way to bring about harmonic resonance in all parts of your life.
So…what exactly is a chakra?
The word Chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel.” Chakras are round, spinning energy centers located throughout the body, with the seven primary chakras running from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. As your chakras spin, they create a vortex which either attracts or radiates energy on a vibratory level. They can draw on any kind of energy you come into contact with, from microwaves to emotions and thoughts. This is because our chakras connect our physical bodies to the energetic forces of the Universe.
There are hundreds of chakras located throughout the body, and my main focus on the seven primary energy centers that run from the base of the spine up through the crown of your head. Each of these primary chakras governs the organs found within that part of the body in which the particular chakra is located. When your chakras are functioning properly, you are happier, healthier and more in tune with yourself. But, if any of your chakras are out of balance, it impacts the organs and glands that are connected to it, and can also affect the neighboring chakras forcing them out of alignment. A chakra can become imbalanced when it is over-active, under-active or blocked. So, learning about your chakras and how you can energize and balance them is key to living in (literal) harmony.
Here is a list of the seven main chakras and where they are. We will go into further detail later, but for now, just know that: Chakra #1
- The Root Chakra is located at the base of your spine. This chakra governs issues of security in life. Chakra #2
- The Sacral Chakra is located about two inches below your belly button. This chakra is the seat of creativity, including your ability to create (as in sexuality) as well as your imaginative creative powers. Chakra #3
- The Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the top of your stomach. This chakra is where your personal power resides, as in will-power. It also governs metabolism and action. Chakra #4
- The Heart Chakra is found in the center of your chest. The heart chakra is all about love--unconditional, compassionate, free flowing love! Chakra #5
- The Throat Chakra is located in your throat area. The throat chakra governs your ability to speak your truth. Chakra #6
- The Third Eye Chakra is in the center of your forehead. This chakra regulates your psychic abilities and intuition--traits everyone has but for various reasons, not all develop. Chakra #7
- The Crown Chakra is located at the top of your head and above. This chakra is all about spiritual awareness, knowledge and understanding.
As each chakra is associated with the organs and glands of that particular area of the physical body in which it is located, each chakra is also associated with certain core traits that are the basis of our being, much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Upon closer examination of the chakra associations, we begin to see where patterns of disharmony exist in our lives and then we can begin to identify those particular chakras that need work. Whatever their relation to this structure, the chakras are entirely non-physical. We use the mind to access, explore and balance our chakras. What we tend to misunderstand about the human mind is that it does not exist solely within the brain. The brain, after all, is connected to the nervous system which runs throughout the body. Thus, emotions may get locked in certain areas of the body. I've both experienced and witnessed the release of powerful emotions while doing yoga, laughter yoga, pranayama and bodywork.
If you are ready to unlock your held emotions, I can help support your release. I am available in person and via Skype. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was destined for laughter yoga! In fact, my nickname was Giggles when I was a little girl, because I would and could laugh at just about anything! As I got older and faced the responsibilities of adulthood, it seemed I found fewer and fewer reasons to laugh. I had more important things to worry about--mortgage, money, bills, lawn care...you know, life! I found myself repeating mistakes and life's lessons constantly presenting themselves to me. I denied my own inner truth, tried to run from my problems, found myself in toxic relationships, hating my job, dissatisfied with much in life...then I suffered a TIA, i.e. a mini stroke. It was not devastating or life threatening, but it was enough to stop me in my tracks and wake me up to the fact that in my pursuit of "living the dream," I was neglecting the most important thing of all--my health! (For without health, we have nothing!)
As we get older, we tend to lose our child-like wonder and playfulness. As children, we didn’t need permission to laugh. But what happens to us? What hardens our attitudes? Why do we find it so hard to find wonder and joy in the simple pleasures of life? As we get older, we take on responsibility like marriage, jobs, caring for a family, bill paying, mowing the yard, taking out the trash…all these things can add stress to our lives!
Isn’t it funny, though (no pun intended) that most of us maintain a sense of sarcasm in our everyday communication? To many (myself included!) sarcasm can be funny. But did you know sarcasm is rooted in anger?
I believe sarcasm is a mask we wear in order to protect the ego. When the ego is engaged, we care too much about how others perceive us. Sarcasm allows us to express pent up rage in a “safe” manner—we are not directly “attacking” anyone, we get to express ourselves and we elicit a laugh from others (albeit, most usually a nervous, timid laugh...) And this is okay, to an extent. But when it becomes so common that sarcasm is part of your personality, the use of sarcasm can be detrimental to your emotional wellbeing.
What we need to do is shed the mask, let go of ego and laugh for no reason! Not everyone is comfortable with laughing for no reason. Many of us need to watch a comedian or a funny movie or listen to a joke in order to make us laugh. To combat this hurdle, here’s a trick you can do…give yourself permission to laugh. And then, just do it! And remember, laughing for no reason is a skill that gets better with practice.
Fortunately for me, and through a strange cosmic synchronicity, I found laughter yoga shortly after my TIA experience. It was the answer to my hardened attitude and today, I laugh-- ALOT! With practice, laughing for no reason becomes natural (and the benefits to your health are amazing! But that is another topic for another blog post!)
If you would like to incorporate more laughter into your life, join me in January as I will be providing one-on-one laughter yoga coaching.
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