Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow is the best – fun, perky, animated, personality-plus and funny. Anyone who can make the news funny is top- of-the-line in my book.

I just discovered Ms. Maddow, on the verge of disowning news altogether, a process that now actually has a name: media fast. I got so fed up with top golfers apologizing for events we should be collectively embarrassed to know about; Olympic judges bringing personal politics into their scoring (just my opinion of course); and Obama, dear Obama unable to get anything done because one particular political party beginning with the letter R, stand solid against his success at the expense of the country (just my opinion of course)….

I digress into politics. Forgive me. But I was so fed up, I even switched my email from Yahoo to Google, to escape the major gossip headlines in my face, every time I checked my email.

Then a friend told me about Rachel Maddow, news commentator on MSNBC. What a joy. Rachel makes the news palatable. She really does. She’s just a great example of using humor and laughter to ease the stress of difficult situations; and just having more fun with it, whatever it is. Any information is more palatable when dished out with humor, fun and laughter. If we must know the bad news (because you know there actually is good news out there, and plenty of it – but that’s another story), I’ll take it from RM.

Thank you Rachel Maddow.

(Wikimedia Commons Photo)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Medicate Yourself with Humor

I had a very upsetting 24 hours recently, when I had an argument with someone I’m close to. And so I didn’t feel at all like laughing . This felt a bit hypocritical since I was leading a laughter program in 2 days and since I promote the idea that, if you can laugh when things aren’t going well, this is a tremendous life skill. Nevertheless when you fight with someone you love, it feels like your whole world has fallen apart. And you just don’t care about laughing.

So I did what I sometimes do when I need an extra boost to get laughing, I turned to Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. Now sometimes Jon Stewart does it for me and sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes his humor is counterproductive since he basically pokes fun at the right wing conservatives, which for me is just great, but sometimes it’s also very depressing and upsetting to see and hear what the right wing conservatives are putting out there. But this time Jon pulled through with some really funny laugh-out-loud stuff and it got me laughing again.

When I was really down, I medicated myself with humor and it helped.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I attended a workshop recently where at the onset we, the participants, were instructed to laugh at the funny parts. It was a revelation to me that Laughter Yoga is not the only place where people are directed to laugh on command. I realized more than ever, how much willingness is a major factor in the act of laughing.

I once had a young woman attend my laughter club with a group of people. It was her first time and she arrived late, missing the entire introduction. She then spent most of the laughter session making ridiculing remarks and nonverbal expressions to her friend. One comment I overheard was a pronouncement of me and the laughter exercises as “not funny”.

Of course she missed the whole point of Laughter Yoga. She had no idea that it wasn’t my job to make her laugh, but only my job to inspire and encourage her to laugh. Willingness was her missing link.

To me it summed up the entire difference between the comedian who is responsible for making the audience laugh vs. the laughter club participant who is responsible for creating her own laugh, i.e. taking responsibility for “being willing”.

Even attending a comedy act, if you aren’t willing to laugh, you aren’t likely to find much funny. When you are “laugh-ready”, you’ll find a lot more things funny (in a comedy routine and in life), you’ll laugh more, and have a fuller experience participating in both.

Willingness is the key.

Photo: Stock.xchnge