Monthly Archives: July 2014

lets wait and see

 

 

 

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There are more elaborate versions of this fable, but I think this one will get the point across.

There’s a story about a farmer many years ago who owned a horse.

He wasn’t a rich man and his horse was his most prized possession.

One day he woke up to find that his horse was missing.

The other men in the village came to visit and commiserate with him.  “What terrible luck, losing your prized horse.”

“Was it terrible luck?  Let’s just wait and see, it’s still too early to tell.”  the farmer responded.

Confused, his friends went home.

A few days later, the farmer’s horse returned and it had brought another horse back with him.

“What good fortune,” the man’s friends said, “now you have two horses, you have been blessed.

“Have I?  Let’s wait and see, it’s too early to tell.”  the man answered.

A week later the farmer’s son was riding one of the horses and he fell off, breaking his leg.

“What terrible luck,” his friends said, “You have surely been cursed for such a horrible accident to take place.”

“Just wait and see.”  the man again responded.

Once again his friends were confused by the farmer’s response.

A week later, the country went to war and every able-bodied young man was required to join the military.  The farmer’s son was excused from duty due to his injury, but every other young man from the village was forced to leave.

Sadly, they all were killed in battle.

Once again the men from the village gathered and congratulated the farmer on his good fortune.

“Just wait and see.” was the response.

 

Now for a real life example:
A week or so ago there was a story about a man in Arizona who was working at a convenience store when it was robbed. He was tied up along with another employee and pistol whipped to the degree he was taken to the emergency room. Once there they stitched up a large gash and gave him a CT scan. The scan revealed a brain tumor that, doctors said would likely have gone unnoticed, but would probably have resulted in his having gone to bed and never wakened. The tumor, golf ball in size will take 3 surgeries to remedy, while the initial injury required 8 staples.

 

When we are disappointed with an outcome, it may be difficult to consider that this result might actually be a blessing. A partner is heartbroken when a troubled marriage comes to an end and finds a partner down the road with whom he or she experiences a far more satisfying relationship.   A child does not get into a college they hoped for yet finds a great mentor at their second choice.   A great job interview doesn’t lead to an offer from a company that, downtrends a year later laying off many people. I’m not suggesting that every situation has its silver lining. I wish that were true. But I am suggesting that, very often, it is our attachment to an outcome that creates suffering, rather than the circumstances we experience.   At very least, it gives me reason to wonder how one’s suffering might be mitigated, if not alleviated, by taking the posture of “just wait and see.”

I’d love to hear your examples where waiting to see may have surprised you. Thanks as always for reading. If you liked todays post, I hope you will pass it on to someone else and suggest they subscribe. Until next time take good care.

 

 

 

Dont shoot purple cows

 

 

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Please don’t shoot the purple cows

I have to say my last post inspired ME. I hope it did you as well.

I started to think about what purple cows really look like and how would I recognize them if they were only a dim shade of lavender in the process of becoming deep purple.

My son Andrew likes to mix his ketchup and ranch dressing together for dipping French fries. I’ve criticized him for doing that in the past. It’s not normal.

I wonder if the mother of the kid who invented honey mustard was more flexible and said to her son “great idea… run with it”.

My son Alex is constantly creating large scale contraptions out of old junk. I often tell him to get the mess out of the way.

I wonder if Walt Disney’s mom told him to stop wasting so much time in his imaginary world. Or did she say,  “Wow those are such creative ideas. I bet millions of other kids would love your stories as well.”

My husband the inventor uses the microwave in increments like 33,  44 seconds rather than 30 or 40. He says it’s more efficient because it requires the hand to search for other keys.

I originally told him I thought that was the laziest thing I had ever heard. Then I realized (with much reaction from him) that this is the mindset behind process improvement in manufacturing something he knows a thing or two about. Significant manufacturing dollars are recouped with sometimes even microseconds of improvement in efficiency.

How does one become a purple cow? Some are born that way. And if they are lucky, they don’t have someone like me who talks them out of it before it flourishes and takes root.

But for those who aren’t born purple it looks a little differently. Someone asked me yesterday if you decide or become and then decide. My reply was “Once you decide, you have already become.” Let me explain.

If I take two clay pots of dirt and plant the seed for a daisy in one and a geranium in another and set them on the windowsill, anyone passing by will see only 2 clay pots with dirt in them. But at the point of deciding, and planting the seeds, they are in fact already a daisy and a geranium. They are uniquely different from each other, even though no one can see that yet. Each day as they start to make their way to the surface they take on more and more of the qualities that let’s others recognize them.

So once you plant yourself, you have made the decision to grow in a particular direction. You can water and nurture that growth and become either a vibrant daisy or a sickly one. So similarly, if you want to be a purple cow, or a purple daisy, you need first to decide what variety, plant, and then start growing. Unless of course, you are one of the lucky natural born purples. If that is the case, your work is largely the sum of not hiding your purple. And, it is a good idea to seek out and nurture other purple cows to preserve the species and protect them from extermination from people who don’t understand the benefits of purpleness, or that lavender can lead to purple.

Think about posting a metaphoric “no hunting purple cows” sign in your household or business environment. If they are wandering around, they may just be the person who comes up with the next great idea. And think about hanging one in your own brain. Eliminating the energy expenditure to mute yourself into the “normal” bubble, may just free up the creative energy you needed to accomplish something really important to you.

Thanks for reading. If you find this helpful, I hope you’ll pass it on to someone else and suggest they subscribe. If you aren’t a subscriber, please take a moment to enter your email so you won’t miss a post. Until next time take good care.

 

 

 

Purple Cows

 

 

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I’d rather be a purple cow

I like Seth Godin. He is a quirky guy with great ideas, which are also sometimes quirky. Recently, I watched a TED talk of his and he used the example of working to find a business that is a purple cow. His point was that when we drive down the road, we see a bunch of cows, no one ever says “Hey, a cow”. But if we drove down the road and saw a purple cow, that would stand out and we might say “Hey there is a purple cow!”

I think Seth Godin is a purple cow. He is bald and wears funny glasses, and his style makes him stand out in such a way that, usually causes me to notice him even before he speaks. But his speaking as a marketing guru is worth noting as well. Through a blog, podcasts and several published books, he coaches people in business to, break outside the status quo and do something no one else had done. Smart.

But as usual, it got my mind wandering. And it wandered to the nursery rhyme you might remember:

I never saw a purple cow

I hope I never see one

But if I saw a purple cow

I’d rather see than be one.

I love nursery rhymes and children’s books, and often find them to have some of the most sage wisdom.   But I actually inaccurately remembered this one the first time around. I transposed the last line to:

I’d rather be than see one.

And I’m sticking with it.

I don’t work with people every day to help them figure out how to develop a purple cow like Godin does. But as a therapist, I do often work with people who need to realize that I believe is their innate ability to be a purple cow, a green or horse, or whatever suits their fancy.

The dilemma for most people is that they too aren’t used to seeing purple cows and instead work to keep their color under wraps in order to fit in with all of the other cows.

In a recent blog (uniquely you) I talked about the importance of authenticity. If you are really a purple cow and you’ve made yourself brown or black, it’s hard to be authentic.

What is something you secretly always wished you had done? I’m not talking about the bucket list here. I’m talking about those things that you wanted to do, but felt you might not be good enough for. Or worse still, someone else thought you weren’t good enough?

How can you produce anything different if you keep your mind in the same small box that everyone else keeps theirs in? If you only play where the other cows play, eat the same food, rest at the same time, it’s hard to stand out.

To be a purple cow, means to think about what “I want” before seeing what everyone else is about to order. It doesn’t mean to become a narcissist and disregard everyone else’s wishes. It means simply to value your own separateness in conjunction with theirs.

To be a purple cow means not worrying who is looking at you, judging you. And it especially means to not worry about it even before you arrive somewhere by trying to anticipate their judgment. It means to wear what makes you feel fabulous.

Being a purple cow means to have your own feelings, rather than have them dictated by the group consensus.

Being a purple cow means to stand firm in your convictions.

Most of all, being a purple cow means to invest in the art of introspection to know yourself well enough to appreciate and value you.

Thanks for reading. I always appreciate your time and hope you’ll leave me a comment. If you like what you heard, please pass it on to someone else. Until next time. Take good care

Heroes

 

 

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I want to highlight and recommend a couple of books. These recommendations are not for the sake of reading a good book,  but for the importance of the message they deliver about the perseverance of the human spirit.

They are: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado (Unbroken is under production as a movie due out 12/25/2014). A little less strong, buy yet still a good read is Crazy for the Storm- Norman Ollestad

Each of these books is based on true stories of survival.  But far more important than the harrowing experiences that these individuals had to endure and overcome is, the sense of gratitude and affirmation of life they developed from their experiences.

They are all interesting stories.  Each offers detailed accounts of what hardships the individual experienced and how they managed through their life threatening ordeal.  Each discusses their physical capabilities, their mental resources, the connection to family and loved ones, and most importantly, a spiritual component.  Each of these men is certainly heroic in the having conquering odds that would make most of us (or at least me), crawl into the fetal position and beg for it to be over with.  And yes, each of them has a more than fair share of brutal and stomach turning details to digest (no pun intended).

I had a professor who defined a hero in a less traditionally thought of way.  He said (paraphrased) that, a hero is one who has come to terms with bearing the flaws of his humanness.  He referred us to the example of the Greek Tragedies, particularly Oedipus the King.  Upon learning Oedipus had fulfilled the prophecy by unknowingly killing his father and marrying his mother, she hung herself. In contrast, Oedipus continued to endure the pain of his knowledge by moving forward.    I realize this is a little deep and theoretical for a casual blog- but I wanted to provide some additional context for what follows.

We can look at Louis Zamperini (Unbroken) or Nando Parrado (Andes) and call them heroic because of their survival.  Most of us will never come close to what these men endured in their disaster.  But I found the real gem of these books to be how the men talked somewhat universally that, their greatest obstacle wasn’t getting out of a prison camp or climbing down a mountain.  It was their fight to find meaning in their own existence and whether or not it was a value worth fighting for.  Each ultimately had to keep stepping or breathing or whatever was required, in order to, prove their own essence had merit.  In both cases, it was largely dependent upon their willingness to see themselves as part of something larger, yet significant within that largeness.  These men had to come to realize that they mattered and it mattered if they kept going towards life.  They had to choose over and over both during their ordeal and even more so after they were safe, whether their next action was life affirming and preserving, or life rejecting or destroying.

The choices I have to make minute to minute or day to day or obviously not in the ballpark of what these men had.  That’s true for most of us, although certainly there are people walking around suffering from many afflictions and maladies, both mental and physical which are weighty and burdensome.  Sometimes no one else will ever know about those challenges.  However, when we don’t have circumstances so grave, we are more likely to interpret the ones we do have with the same type of scale.  For example, it’s a sunny day, everyone is getting along, a great item I want is on sale equals a good day

It’s rainy, I have a flat tire, I didn’t sleep well,  I’m late for work, I feel challenged equals a bad day- Those are the two poles that I judge between.  Yet, I suppose if I had cancer or a sick child, being late for work might be higher up the scale towards good day because the range has changed.

I hope what I want to say is coming through clearly, which is that, our individual challenges are less the focal point in determining our heroism. Our individual challenges are such largely because they come from our own lens. Easy and hard are relative terms not defined equally between people.  What is universal, however, is the need for each of us to have to choose to do what we feel is hard (when it leads to life affirmation) for the solely because we believe there is purpose in us doing so.  That something greater than just us benefits from us doing so.  That we accept that connection and the responsibility to the degree that, we are willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other to make it happen…. Even when it’s hard, painful, muddy, cold or any other number of conditions which apply.

Are you heroic?

Are you waiting for a set of conditions to pass in order to realize your significance?

How do you know that you don’t already?

And if you already do, I would love to hear what helped you to know that you are a hero.

 

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He’s just not that into you.. and she may not be either

 

 

 

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Several years ago I wanted to do a little remodeling project in our house. I wanted to add in some bookcases to separate a wall between the living room and my office, and add French doors to close the office from the foyer. And I wanted to have this project done before my son’s upcoming birthday party.

I got a recommendation to use someone at the church we were currently attending. I called up “Joe” and asked him to come and bid the project. He said he would be there Sunday after church. Great! Except that he didn’t show up.

My husband (the logical Aspergian thinker) said “That’s not a good sign”.

But I said (the non Aspergian, emotional based decision maker).

“Well, he probably got busy, let’s give him another chance. “

And so we did. He came out another time, proposed a bid and we mutually accepted. He scheduled to begin on the project within a few days. And he did. See how smart I am?

But then the project started to linger. And linger. Bad weather caused the trucks bringing the doors to be delayed, and he scoffed “Didn’t I know he didn’t work on Sundays?” (hmmm, had he not originally scheduled to bid the job on a Sunday?) His helper has the flu; he was having trouble getting the right color paint mixed.

My son’s birthday party came and went. Coincidentally, it was a “Bob the Builder” theme and the little boys were going to be building bird houses in our garage. When the guests arrived through the front door in the foyer and saw the bright yellow “DO NOT ENTER” tape hanging over my door-less office, they thought it was merely part of my extravagant decorating scheme to create a construction themed ambience.

But I was growing increasingly less enchanted with my contractor. And I had recently finished reading a book that was popular at the time called “He’s just not that into you” by Greg Behrendt.

 

Greg is a pretty funny guy and was working at the time as a writer for Sex and the City. He wrote this book as a reaction to hearing his female co-workers, talk endlessly about this guy or that, whom they were sure would call. Greg was certain (from a guy’s perspective) that, the men in discussion around the break table, had long moved on. Greg garnered his hunches from his own behavior and from that of his male friends. He felt in a nutshell that men made up all kinds of lines that they fed to women—- largely because they could. The book was his “coming clean” of sorts and saying “Girls- if you don’t expect better behavior, you won’t get it. See the excuse he gives you as just that–àan excuse, and probably a pathetic one at that- and move on. Quit giving men the ammunition to beat up your heart by believing that if you just become a really good doormat, he’ll see the error of his ways and come back and give you the treatment you deserve.”

Now, in case I sound horribly sexist—I believe this goes for BOTH genders. It’s what we do as people. We always set the “rules of engagement” in our initial contact with people. We tell people from our first interactions what we will and won’t tolerate. Consciously, unconsciously, verbally and non-verbally. Sometimes it’s a romantic partner or a casual friend that’s not into us. And instead of letting go, we try to do 100% of the effort to accommodate the relationship? Sometimes it’s any number of the people we try to do business with. Do you ever find yourself settling for a lot less than you intended to accommodate the person you are trying to give your business to?

 

So with this knowledge in the back of my brain, I heard myself finally say the things my husband knew on day one. Our contractor, was just not that into…. Our project or us.

And so I called him up. And I gave him my expected completion date. I don’t care if it is you or someone else… but if it can’t be you, I’m moving on. I no longer care what the reasons are- I simply want it done.

Guess what? The work got finished on time. Even with storms, flu and uncooperative paint.

 

 

How to make people happy by disappointing them

 

 

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In another life I had a job very different from what I do now. I worked in the corporate office for a retail chain. Basically, once the buyer made a purchase of goods, my job was to allocate how much of that purchase went to each specific store.

Different types of commodities used different criteria for determining what, was an appropriate level of inventory to carry. If there was a new toy for the season, the goal was to have as much of it as possible on the shelves. The demand was high, and supply was usually low, so buyers tried to purchase as much as they could to keep product filling the shelves as quickly as it arrived.

In contrast, an item in health and beauty department only expected to be about 95% in stock. That means for every 100 customers who came in to purchase a bottle of aspirin, the store expected to only satisfy 95 of them, and willingly considered it a benefit rather than a problem, to disappoint 5 customers. I hope you weren’t one of them with a headache who left empty handed.

So why does a store deliberately want to disappoint its customers? 5 of them in this case? Because in order to maintain 100% in stock on the shelves, there has to be a constant flow of merchandise. Some has to be on order, more in transit to the warehouse, more sitting in the back stock room, and then finally enough to fill the shelves. That is an enormous amount of dollars tied up to carry enough inventory to ensure the 100% outcome, especially on items that, the store might only make small margins. Therefore, it’s too costly, to try and sell to 100% satisfaction.

I bet you all have the headache now because you didn’t come to my blog looking for an explanation of aspirin sales. But this strategy is quite applicable in everyday life.

Any mom’s out there who are trying to fill 100% of the needs of their family, only to become exhausted and “out of stock” to manage their own health issues?

Any employees out there who are giving 100% plus to their job, and then disappoint their kids or husband because they are depleted?

Any individuals out there who are giving 100% to some aspect of their self, perhaps their appearance and then find themselves “bankrupt” on another area of their lives like financial stability?

Sometimes the cost of delivering a flawless performance is simply not worth the price. Not too long ago Tom Hanks went public with the fact that, he is now a Type 2 diabetic. He attributed this development in part, to his having gained and lost, in some cases significant amounts of weight. For his role in Castaway he lost 60 lbs. and gained 30 for his role of the coach in A league of Their Own. Oscars apparently do not have a positive benefit on blood sugar.

So my aspirin selling company had figured out that it was better to tick some folks off but a bit, in order to satisfy the greater number of customers. Doing so allowed them to make a profit, and thus stay in business to fulfill far more purchasing needs than aspirin. People with headaches stayed loyal in other ways.

And the likelihood is that the people who only came to buy aspirin, were disappointed and left vowing never to return were probably not worth having as customers anyway.

Are there relationships that you are afraid if you let them down in some small way, the relationship would disappear? Maybe your “customers” are more loyal and resilient than you give them credit for. And if they aren’t, again, they may not be worth having because of what they are actually costing you.

Today is a great day to assess your inventory reserves and see where you may be spending too many energy dollars to keep them available to others.

 

I’d love to hear your comments, but you’ll need to go back to the website to post them. Here’s the link

http://www.drmaryphd.com/blog

 

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Til next time… Take care

 

 

Uniquely Yours

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Today I have another book recommendation for you.  It’s called “The Art of Being Unmistakable” by Srinvas Rao.

The book is currently only available as an E-book, and I purchased it through Kindle. It’s a short, but helpful little book.  I’m going to give you four excerpts to give you a sense of what the book has to offer, each followed with my own commentary. Please keep in mind that these are notes I highlighted out of context of course.  They aren’t sequential and go together only to the extent that they all come from the same book.

 

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

You have to go to another level, new energy, change the paradigm, maybe even do something that doesn’t make sense to find a solution.

Obsession with crossing off the checkboxes of society’s life plan leads to little other than therapy, midlife crises, and depression.

The boxes are determined from the outside rather than the inside. It’s unlikely the inside can feel authentic satisfaction by completing the checks. To use a food metaphor, it’s like having someone on the outside determine what they think YOU are hungry for. If you are past the age of 2, that’s only something you can determine accurately.

3Let’s say you want to be an artist of some sort and for the next 100 days you sit on your ass in front of the television.  Well that’s a completely different direction than the one your dream is pointing you in.  But if you have the habit of sketching, drawing, doodling something every single day and correcting your course just a tiny bit during each step along the way, you’ll eventually end up at your destination.

Check back to my earlier post called Do One Thing- every step towards your goal gets you closer. Some days you can walk further than others.

 

If you planted a tree, would it make any sense to keep digging up the roots to make sure it was growing?  You water it and have a bit of faith that it will grow.

Checking your bank account every day, your email every 10 seconds, waiting for the phone to ring are all examples of letting anxiety drive the process instead of expecting something to work. How might that energy be expended if you relied on faith instead?

 

So what is this book about?  Inspiration to become authentic.  It’s a dare to break the chains one might be living under, imposed by self, or other, or community kind of book. Rao suggests you instead charter a new path dictated by the need to be one’s self rather than by a picture of what the self should be.   The book is written by a blogger and quotes other bloggers.  This may be a little distracting if you aren’t or don’t want to become a blogger.  Ignore that.  The information is equally applicable to other careers and goals as well.  Its primary theme is cultivating your willingness to follow your own beat.

I keep a book on my bookshelf called “Giraffe’s Can’t Dance”. It’s a children’s book full of similar though simpler wisdom.  Basically, anyone can dance if they find the right music.  Rao’s book is an invitation to stop listening to familiar music and find something you genuinely like, even if no one else does.  Make it yours, so that everyone who hears the tune will remember it and associate it with you.

If you like today’s post, please pass it on to someone else and invite them to subscribe as well.  As always, I appreciate your time in reading and comments.

 

 

 

Happy 6th 7th and 8th of July

 

 

 

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The fireworks have ended. The sparklers have burned out. The chips are eaten and hopefully by now the trash from holiday celebrations is already out on the curb. 4th of July 2014 is now in the memory files.

Summer is ½ over. Department stores will start to transition this week to fall apparel. We start to think ahead to back to school (my kids go back 8/11).

So is that it? We move from anticipation of event, to event over, to anticipation of the next event. But what is the event? More importantly, WHY is it an event?

The 4th of July is a national holiday. Its ONE day. And sometimes it dribbles into a 3 day weekend. But what the 4th of July represents is not an event. I mean literally it is the marking of signing the constitution, but it represents far more.

The day we elected to become a free nation

What does it mean to be a free nation? Most of us don’t take the time or energy to think about that very often. I am moved by a recent story about a woman in the Sudan was jailed and sentenced to death by stoning and then set on fire because she refused to denounce her Christianity. She was given a temporary stay to give birth to a child and raise it for two years before her sentence would be implemented. She was then released, and detained again as she tried to leave with her family. At the time of this writing she and her family are staying at the U.S Embassy and trying to make their way to the U.S.  Her plight is an example of what it means to not be in a free nation.

We can be Jewish and not persecuted. We can be Christian or anything other religion and not sentenced to death for our beliefs. How many of us ignore our religion?

We can hold property. Property we often complain about the woe’s. I live in Wildwood and we have a septic/well system. The well pump broke this week. I have been without water for 2 ½ days so far. I have complained- a LOT- So this post is to remind me that I am free to hold property. But freedom also has responsibility attached.

We are free to marry who we wish. How often do we complain about our spouse?

We are free to send our children to school. I have spent a lot of this past year complaining about my kids school.

We are free to speak our minds. Are there times when you avoid doing this when it could make a difference to avoid getting involved?

We are free

But do we appreciate these freedoms day in and day out?

We can vote. How many times do you blow off an election because its not that big of one or you don’t know the candidates?   I know I have.

The goal of this post is not to lecture you and I hope it has not come across as such. Rather, it is to remind me along with you that freedom is not something to celebrate one day a year, but every day of the year like a process rather than an event. Considering our freedoms on a regular basis moves us into a spirit of gratitude rather than deprivation and burden. Embracing our freedom on a daily basis promotes a feeling of optimism of what is possible rather than focusing on what is hard about the life you are in. I heard a story this morning about a fund that raises money for returning vets to start their own businesses. The speaker said “Vets make great small business owners. Those guy know what a hard day is and what a hard day is not.”

I don’t wish to minimize any challenges or difficulties that exist in anyone’s world. Dealing with a special needs child, financial worries, an aging parent, a chronic illness or disability is in fact stressful in ways that most of us cannot truly imagine. I am simply saying that even when those traumatic events occur, we live in a society that provides much greater resources to cope with these things than most other people on earth. I also believe we are a nation of people with a mindset to work together to help manage crisis which is exactly how we got our freedom in the first place.

If you are a military vet, or a family member of a vet, please accept my heartfelt gratitude. Last night I watched Lone Survivor. If you have not seen the movie, select any 5 minute clip to get a sense of what the people who serve to make this a free nation for the rest of us are willing to endure, in order to achieve that goal.

So while the last sparkler may have extinguished in this holiday, light one in your heart today and shine for the world with all that you are free to do.

 

 

 

 

Something worth laughing about

 

 

 

 

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A bear walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “I’ll have a whisky and …… soda”. The bartender says, “Why the big pause?”. “Dunno,” says the bear. “I’ve always had them.”

I wanted to help you burn a few calories.

Maciej Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbilt University, conducted a small study in which he measured the amount of calories expended in laughing. It turned out that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories.

Did you know that laughter triggers the release of endorphins which are our bodies “feel good” chemicals? Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood and increases good cholesterol. Laughter protects the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

The act of laughing Stimulates many organs. It enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles.

 

Some studies have shown that the ability to use humor may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells, as well.

One study of 19 people with diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on blood sugar levels. After eating, the group attended a tedious lecture. On the next day, the group ate the same meal and then watched a comedy. After the comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after the lecture

 

Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a recent study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The study, which is the first to indicate that laughter may help prevent heart disease, found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.

 

One of the most powerful “fat-burning” hormones is HGH (Human Growth Hormone).  There is also evidence that HGH aids muscle growth somewhat as well. Laughter, according to one older study, strongly increases (by 80%) HGH levels. That means that “laughing your ass off” may be quite literally true.

So this is actually a serious laughing matter. But please don’t rely on my jokes.

Instead you might

Read a funny book by authors like David Sedaris,

Watch funny TV- Big Bang Theory

Watch Funny movies: I love stupid humor like Christmas Vacation, Airplane, Police Academy. The other night I re-watched the Pink Panther movies with Steve Martin.

Hang out with funny people

Look at pictures of yourself as a kid with big teeth and even bigger hair

Play silly games- the kind that take you outside your comfort zone

Try Laughter Yoga- I am not making this one up- it really does exist.

And if you just can’t find anything funny to laugh at…. Then just laugh for no reason.

Instead of finishing this off with another corny joke, I’ll offer you one of my favorite quotes instead by Marjorie Pay Hinckley:

The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it

You either have to laugh or cry

I prefer to laugh -Crying gives me a headache