The Power of Play
At what point in our lives did we wake up and say: " OK, from here on in, I'm only going to care about what other people think, I won't step a toe out of line in the risk to look foolish, and I will forever ignore all instincts of play." When did that happen? Well, I say: " NUTS to that! I want to feel good and play!". Sadly, most of us get so wrapped up in our responsibilities and getting to the next goal that we forget there really is nowhere to go and no moment to savor except the exact one that we are in. We don't forget to play because we grow old, we grow old because we forget to play.
When CityLine asked me to join them with some laughter yoga for their happiness episode (watch here) my first reaction was an automatic 'YES, and thank you for inviting me to play!!'. That's the first and very basic rule of Improv that I learned taking comedy classes at The Second City. Each player must "Yes, and" the offer, otherwise, we block the play, the scene is dead and the story can no longer move forward. I truly believe the same rules apply in life. If Shakespeare was right and 'all the world is a stage', than when a door is opened for us our only responsibility is to 'Yes, and' the offer and see where the story leads.
Laughter yoga is the art of faking it until you make it. It's the practice of forced laughter and play that brings each of us back to the child within and that forced laughter quickly becomes authentic uncontrollable laughter. I don't know about you, but one of the best feelings is having a complete gut busting, laugh attack and giggle fest with my family and friends. In the case of a laghter yoga class we may be practicing with people we don't know, but it is a great tool for those who live with depression and loneliness because with eye contact and pure enjoyment we create a sense of community. Other benefits are a strengthened immunity (laughter really is the best medicine), increased mood and happiness, reduced stress and more oxygen circulating to the brain and body.
Today, I encourage you to do a little OMwork. Make the decision to be truly happy and allow yourself an adulting timeout by waking up your inner child to laugh, to connect, to enjoy, and to play.
From my heart to yours