A few weeks ago my four year old HP computer, which had never caused me any serious problems, crashed for the second time after Windows 10 had unexpectedly downloaded on me a few weeks earlier. I was already under a lot of stress with illness in my family and prayed this would be a simple fix as I loaded the equipment into my car and took it to the computer store .
Repairs, it turned out were not part of my current technical support plan, but the tech on hand felt it could be a simple fix if it was just a windows 10 glitch. Only problem was that the summer is their busiest time and an estimate of three to four days wait for the results of a diagnostics test was predicted. I didn’t have a backup other than my iphone so I knew I would be using computers at the library if this went on too long. Still, despite my disappointment and what seemed like a mountain of work to be done, I didn’t get angry or argumentative. I just said thanks and was relieved for the optimism on the fix. I also realized this was a good time to again test my latest meditation –opening to love. It is one of the heart meditations from the meditation master Pragito Dove and when life goes suddenly out of control, it helps you to focus on the wisdom of the heart rather than listen to the logical mind, which can drive you to panic. It also helps to laugh and there are laughter meditations to counter stress, too. Continue reading
I first heard about the healing power of laughter in the 70s when I read about how Norman Cousins cured himself of a fatal disease with the help of the Marx Brothers, but I already believed in it. In college, my best friends and I formed a “super society” bonded in a belief that laughter and song were the best antidotes to life’s challenges and terrors. That bond of laughter got me through a lot of heartache and loss until I became overwhelmed for a time by a combination of personal and political crises. I then threw myself into an angry activism focused on the anti-nuke movement. My friends warned me that I was becoming unbearable. Without laughter to ease the stress, I also grew tired of my angry face. Luckily, the anti-nuke movement quickly succeeded in halting new plants and I slowly lightened up again.
My friends next worked hard to convince me that a final solution was dating one of their colleagues – I resisted for almost a year and then embarked on a path that led to the most laughter-filled and glorious days of my life, a partnership with my late husband Tim Robinson.
Amazingly, it was laughter and tears meditations that helped me get through the pain of Tim’s sudden loss after surgery. I had met meditation master Pragito Dove (http://discovermeditation.com/) in San Francisco where we were both members of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She had just written a book on “Lunchtime Enlightenment” about meditation in the workplace and we started a long friendship. She counseled me on how to use meditation to heal after Tim’s death, when Doctors could only prescribe strong anti-depressants to cure my overwhelming pain and grief. She knew that laughter and tears were closely aligned and explained why allowing the tears, not blocking them, would also allow the laughter to flow. At Tim’s funeral, his family agreed that we needed to share the joy he brought into the world, not focus on our grief. We laughed that day as much as we cried.
The financial crash brought my latest test of strength as my career faced daunting challenges. The stress seemed endless. Suddenly Pragito was back to the rescue, this time with a new teleclass on laughter meditation. Once I took the first course, I became convinced that I wanted to take the entire series to get certified as a laughter meditation coach – that’s how much it affected me.
Now Pragito is offering a FREE CALL, THE POWER OF LAUGHTER MEDITATION on Tuesday, May 3rd (5pm PT and 8pm ET) to introduce laughter meditation to newcomers and demonstrate how it can change your life (http://discovermeditation.com/programs/free-call-discover-the-power-of-laughter-meditation/). In this increasingly complex and stress-filled world, please bring on the clowns!
As we continue through the painfully slow economic recovery with escalating anger and impatience, it is time to remember the importance of laughter and hope. As a communications consultant, I know that if you can make someone laugh during your day, you earn their gratitude.
I’ve been through enough bad economies on both coasts to know the experts don’t have crystal balls. How many predicted accurately in the boom times that the excesses of the market would lead to such worldwide havoc? And if we look back a year from now, how many would have been accurate on the rate of recovery?
The answer is that it is the strength and optimism of the American culture that keeps pulling us out of the latest disaster. For me, the secret to that optimism has been involvement in my Brooklyn community and in organizations like NAWBO-NYC, Team Women and Connecting to Greatness, whose leaders are forging ahead with entrepreneurial zeal. Their energy keeps refueling my own enthusiasm.
For more inspiration, I suggest reading a few books to keep your eye on the future, not riveted on the current headlines.
Black and White Strike Gold by Sandi Webster and Peggy McHale is “the essential manual for creating and running a successful business,” and includes a brutally honest look at the daily trials, tribulations and–oh yes, the joys–of being a small business owner. The Fearless Factor: Overcome the Fears, Doubts, and Anxieties that Stop you from being your Best Self Now by Jacqueline Wales, shows you how to turn off your fear and turn on the confidence. Laughter, Tears, Silence: Expressive Meditations to Calm Your Mind and Open Your Heart by Pragito Dove is “full of rich lessons in the nature of living a great life.”