Friday, February 26, 2010

buddha laugh

(honeyboy showing his buddha tummy)

Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with them.

~ Unknown ~

Some days feel like nothing but roadblocks. It's as if the whole world is screaming, "Go home! Rest! Take care of yourself," but we can't because there is all that important stuff to do.

Just before I sat down with the 'puter this morning, I was re-reading an old Ode, the laughter issue. Got me thinking that next time I feel my blood pressure rising and my ears turning red like they're going to burst into flames, I should make myself laugh till I'm doing a full-belly Laughing Buddha laugh, he of the rotund tummy, crinkly eyes and wide-open, mirthful mouth.

What do you think, Wanda? Would it help? Ooooh!Ooooh! Ooooh! Did I just ask Wanda something? :*) (Truth be told, I wish lots of people would find this and Ask Wanda, because I love to see your responses.

Kathryn Grace (of Building Ordinary)

Hey...did you know that "grace" is my word of the year? I love it that you keep checking in and reminding me of that.

Will laughter help in those moments when progress is only a word in dictionary? Abso-friggin-lutely!

Laughter won't change the fact that I got stuck in traffic, lost a contact lens, tweaked my back, and had to spend hundreds of dollars on the washing machine. Laughter will change my experience of it all and reduce my stress significantly.

I still remember one day when I was in college. I had gone shopping with a friend. The clutch cable broke on my VW. We switched to his car and his transmission was doing something funky, too. We laughed. We drank soda pop and ate crackers and jelly. (Hey--we were poor college students.) We spent the day schlepping around trying to get our cars fixed and we laughed some more.

I can tell you that I have had many more bad days than that one, but I remember this one because we laughed and had fun while all of the crappy things were happening. We couldn't prevent any of them, so we enjoyed each other's company and did what we could.

Laughter is one of the things my sister and I do best. I always feel better when I am with her. We have been through some hard times together but laughing our way through them has kept us sane and connected.

I haven't been one to make myself laugh or "fake" laugh when I am in a situation that I don't find funny. So far that hasn't been appealing to me. If you try it, let me know how it goes. Far be it from me to discourage that if it works. The experts say it doesn't matter if you are laughing for real or pretending. The body responds the same. Furthermore, if you start out pretending, eventually it becomes real.

Will it help? Yes.

If anyone tries it, let me know how it goes.

And Kathryn, thanks for the question. Please feel free to let others know that I am entertaining questions...hopefully, in an entertaining fashion.



Karen L R said...

Oh, how I love this post! The photo, the question, your response. . .

"Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all."
-Anne Lamott

Joan said...

I love to laugh with you, dear thithter. Your post brought happy tears to my eyes.

m. heart said...

In my family, where there could be a lot of stress between my parents, I was always the one trying to make everyone laugh. I can still make my brother laugh so hard he cries and gets the hiccups.

Have you heard of "laughing yoga?" And have you seen this video?

Kathryn Grace said...

Oh man, I left the computer for a day or two and almost missed this. Thanks for responding. I agree with you completely--having a good friend to share the laughter is wonderful, and amazingly healing.

When my papa was dying, his raucous kids, by then all adults in our forties and fifties but still noisy, could be heard throughout the hospital halls laughing uncontrollably. We always managed to find something to josh about, as Dad used to say. That laughter helped us through that very difficult time.

As for faking it, I don't know that I've tried it when I've been in a snit or a bad funk, but I'm going to give it a try next time, and here's why. I have participated in events where, without warning and without any jokes being told, the group was asked to laugh. It wasn't long before our fake laughs were genuine and growing deeper by the second. Soon we were all laughing so hard, it was difficult to stand up straight. Many had to sit down and catch our breath.

So yes, I'll try that next time and see what happens.

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, Wanda. Love your focus word of the year, btw.

Deb Shucka said...

I find that I often have a conscious choice when things go wrong: I can get mad, or scared or both, or I can connect with someone nearby and laugh. And the laughter almost always results in some miracle. Thanks for this great reminder.

And for making me laugh regularly with your kitty pics. :-)