Blissful Gratitude

Be Grateful.Wow! In this moment my heart is bursting with gratitude as I sit reflecting on all the wonderful things in my life. Mostly I am grateful for the work that I have chosen for myself. (Scroll down to see my detailed list!) Because of that, each day is a continuous opportunity to be “Living Bliss”, to practice “Getting My Bliss-ology On”, and to engage in “Bliss101”. I mean, if I’m going to advocate it, I have to be it, right? And what a gift it is!

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I have my days, and mood swings, and moments of not remembering. I’m not perfect. But as a Messenger of Bliss, I get to be constantly reminded of what choices are available to me, by my work. Some times, in those moments of darkness I hear the same words I shared with a client, and I burst out laughing. I’ve chosen many careers over my lifetime, and this one, by far, is the most fun, and the one that challenges me the most to live with integrity, purpose, passion, and authenticity. And that is an amazing gift to be uber thankful for, I think!

(Recently I interviewed a self-proclaimed “Joyologist”, Melodee Stumpf, on Bliss101Radio. We decided that when we become an honor student of Bliss-ology, we become Certified Joyologists! And, she shared about how she handles those dark days-take a listen, it’s a really fabulous interview.)

Along with the gift of my work comes many other things that I am immensely grateful for, which I’ve listed below. What are you grateful for? Are you paying attention to all the amazing things in your life? Are you sharing that gratitude?

  • Top of the list no doubt: YOU!!! Thank you for being the amazing personthat you are, for being in my life, for encouraging me to be the best I can be, just by being here. Yes, you are awesome!
  • The ability to live life on my own terms, to create and design the life of bliss I desire.
  • My dear friends who stick by me thru think and thin.
  • My Kitty-Luv, who currently is in my lap, with her head resting on my right wrist as I type this! Silly cat, doesn’t seem like a comfy way to rest, but I have to admit, that’s a look of bliss on her face. Ha! (see video on right)
  • Warm sunshine, soft wind, delicious moon-glow, starry nights, howling coyotes, sunflowers, pomegranate’s, expansive views, mountains…oh heck, all of Mama Nature!
  • Music that soothes my soul, moves my body, lifts my day, and inspires my heart. (My current fav’s: Prem Joshua and Herb Albert Tijuana Brass)
  • My Ecstatic Dance community-you dance me into Bliss!
  • Food on my plate, a warm house, a working car, things that make my life comfortable.
  • Eyes that see, hands that touch, ears that hear, a heart that feels, lungs that breath, a body that is healthy, a spirit that loves.
  • The opportunity to live yet another awesome day on this most amazing planet, with other incredible beings walking and laughing the bliss path.

How about making a gratitude list, and sharing it with your loved ones??

For me Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, and offering our thanks to the wonderful world around us. May you have an awesome Thanksgiving, surrounded by the very things that you are most thankful for.

Laughing Bliss

Happy SundayThis summer I became Certified as a Laughter Yoga Leader. Ha Ha Ho Ho HO! Oh my gosh, this is some fun stuff!!

We all have heard the saying “Laughter is the Best Medicine”. Well, as it turns out, there is a lot of truth to this. Laughter supports our immune systems, is great for our physical bodies, improves our mental/emotional frame, and even benefits our social situations. The benefits are way to many to not consider using laughter as a primary health and wellness tool.

Besides, it feels good and it’s fun!! Isn’t that a good enough reason?

Here are some interesting factoids:

  • The International Congress of humor found that laughter is down 66 – 82% worldwide of what it was in the 1950’s.

    In the 1950’s people laughed on the average 18 minutes a day. Today, we are lucky if we average between 4-6 minutes a day.

  • Children tend to laugh an average of 400 times a day. For adults however, it is a totally different story. A recent laughter study shows that: 64 % of people smile less than 20 times a day at home 72 % smile less than 20 times a day at work

  • 13 muscles are used to smile, but 47 are required for frowning. You have to smile nearly a quarter of a million times to make 1 wrinkle.

  • In terms of exercise, you can get the same benefits from laughing 100 times a day, as you can from 10 minutes of rowing.

  • 15 minutes of laughter equals the benefit of 2 hours sleep.

  • One good belly laugh burns off 3 1/2 calories.

  • Laughing for 15 seconds adds 2 days to your life span.

  • Research shows that only 30% of longevity is genetic. Therefor 70% you control with your mind on how you think, with your body on how you keep yourself in shape, and the lifestyle you choose to live.

So, why not choose to laugh? With all these benefits, it’s a giant step that we can take to bring more bliss into our lives. Laughing teaches us to look at the brighter side, to entertain a different perspective, and to not take ourselves so seriously. When we bring laughter more consciously into our lives, we attract other happy people into it, and our relationships are meaningful, joyful, and much more fun, and we make the choice to live a life of gaiety.  How fun is that?

Here is a list of many benefits of laughter:

Physical Health Benefits:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease

Mental Health Benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience

Social Benefits:

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding

I recently created a 4 minute laughing video to inspire others to begin laughing today. Feel free to use it as much as needed to get you in the practice of laughing fully and heartily. Then watch how things begin to change in your life as you invite laughter in, on the path towards living your bliss. Share it with your friends too! :)