On this Memorial Day Weekend, I am practicing much gratitude laughter.
Respectful laughter to honor those who serve/d in the military and for those who died in the line of duty. Many of my elder family members have served in the military. My father served in the Air Force as a flight engineer Crew Chief. My uncle was an Air Force Pilot. I am married to a former Marine JAG officer and I have a cousin who’s son is a Navy fighter pilot.
I am more of a pacifist and my mission as a Laughter Yoga professional, is to foster peace in the world. I practice gratitude laughter each day. When I feel my stress levels increasing and my chest tightening, I remind myself to take a deep breath in, to hold it and then to exhale s l o w l y. This mindful, deep breathing helps me to manage those moments when life gets a bit challenging, like when I am feeling anxious, sad, worried or overwhelmed.
The next thing I do is…laugh! If you know me, I laugh a lot. Well yes, it’s my job but actually it’s a lot more than that. Since beginning my journey with Laughter Yoga, I have been practicing Laughter Yoga almost every day. I say “almost” because yes, there have been times when laughter was more difficult. Times when I was sick, had a bad cold or due to an extreme situation, I was just not able to laugh. However, for the most part, I laugh habitually and unconditionally. I laugh because it feels good to me.
I laugh when I am happy and when I am sad. In doing so, I feel more joyful, uplifted, healthy, energized, connected, relieved and free. It has helped me through painful situations and has helped me to manage my pain.
Speaking of freedom, this feeling of lightness from laughter is truly liberating. If I had a superpower, I would choose to be LaughterWoman or a Laughter Fairy with my magic wand. I would wave it over my subjects and get them to laugh, deeply from the heart. It would be cathartic and cleansing. Not a villainous or sarcastic laugh but a pure, luminous and loving laugh. A laugh symbolizing that we are one and let’s fix this planet. Imagine the world!
As mentioned in my previous blog, COVID-19 continues to challenge us and the struggle goes on. No one is immune (unless you have immunities, ha!) . As we do our best to adapt and learn new ways, we are discovering new things about ourselves each day. Like the extremes within ourselves: We can be strong but we are also vulnerable. We experience highs and lows. No one is perfect. We are human. You are not alone. We are all riding this unpredictable roller coaster.
However, there are plenty of things we can do to protect ourselves in addition to washing hands, wearing a mask and practicing our physical distancing. Socially, we can connect. Check in on those around you (even strangers), by letter, e mail, phone, Skype, facetime, zoom, in- person/at a distance. Show others that you care. The best way to leave a lasting and lingering impression of this connection, is by sharing a laugh!
You are not alone. There is hope. There is love. There is creativity. There is help. If you feel like you are struggling, reach out. Together we can weather this storm and in doing so, we become empowered.
Honoring ourselves, the ones that are no longer with us and those who remain.