20 Benefits of Laughter

 Get your tummy muscles flexed and ready to chuckle and use this day as an excuse to start a new hilarious habit.

 The funny thing about laughter is that it is an entity in itself. It does not need to befriend humour in order to occur; just as humour can emerge without laughter.

Laugh for the Health of It

There are many benefits to a good hearty belly laugh and among them are:

    1. Laughter reduces stress levels by 75% or more.
    2. Laughter increases blood circulation and improves breathing.
    3. Laughter exercises facial, abdominal and chest muscles.
    4. Immune, digestive and sexual systems are switched on by laughter.
    5. Laughter increases tolerance for pain.
    6. There are no costs for laughter, but the income is priceless.
    7. Laughter improves the functionality of the brain and makes you more alert.
    8. Ten minutes of hearty laughter is equal to 30 minutes of rowing or jogging.
    9. The simple thought of having a good laugh helps you relax.
    10. Laughter and humour can help you cope with difficult situations.
    11. Playful laughing fuels positive emotions and cultivates optimism.
    12. Laughter slows down the aging process.
    13. Laughter raises your overall sense of well-being and leaves you bursting with energy.
    14. Self-confidence and communication skills are given a boost by laughter.
    15. Laughter keeps you connected to others.
    16. Laughter reassures you and defuses fear.
    17. Laughing is a universal language – just like smiling.
    18. Laughter is the cure for depression.
    19. Although laughter is not a disease, it can be contagious.
    20. Laughter makes you creative, ripe with possibility and excited about new ideas.

Open a Laughing Memory Account

What made you laugh today? Be sure to deposit it in your laughing memory bank account along with all your past laughing memories. You never know when an emergency situation will occur, and you’ll need to withdraw. You can do this by creating a special Laughing Memory Account book to record your happy memories in.

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
Victor Borge

We don’t laugh because we are happy, we are happy because we laugh. – William James

Among those who I like and admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those I love, I can: they all make me laugh.
W. H. Auden

Relationship Lessons

I was ecstatic when Asterix and I met up after a few weeks apart and he announced that he wanted to be in a committed relationship with me. In theory, everything was fine. But technically, there were quite a few missing pieces. First of all, he was the most dangerous person I could be with because he didn’t want to love me, and he also didn’t want to lose me. So, he lied to me and used me until he found someone else and quickly replaced me.

Looking back now, I realize I felt the red flags, all of them, but I chose to ignore them and put my faith in love instead of in his lack of action. He rarely wanted to communicate with me. Even when we were on an eighteen hour road trip, he preferred silence to conversation. He never wanted to talk on the phone either, he preferred very quick impersonal text messages. I respected that and accepted it… Never again! I’m worth so much more than that!

Here are a few important things I learned:

    • Always pay attention to the red flags and question them.
    • Lack of action on his part is a giant red flag.
    • Trust doesn’t live in the same space as lies.
    • The more chances you give someone, the less they value you.
    • I deserve to be treated with love and respect.
    • Honesty and communication are crucial to a good relationship.

Finally, he may have been most of what I asked for in a man, except he didn’t choose me the way I chose him. Next relationship I get involved in, whoever he is will have to make me a priority. I am worthy. In the meantime, just breathe.

8 Quick Tips to Overcome Winter Depression

We’ve set the clocks back and unhappily welcome the early darkness. A lot of us hate this time of year. We’d rather have sunsets that start at 9 pm on the beach than darkness that starts at 4 pm. We want the heat, not the cold winter months that lay ahead. So, what can we do to stay sane during the dark depressing winter months? Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Use a phototherapy light. A friend gave me one for Christmas last year and it really does help.
    2. Paint. Take out your brushes and get creative. Keeping busy on a project will keep your mind off the dark that looms outside.
    3. Write. Journalling is one of the best therapies ever. I strongly recommend this as it helps evacuate negative thoughts.
    4. Visit friends and family. Make the extra effort to go out and see people, it will help keep your mind off bleak introspection.
    5. Take in the sunshine. No matter how cold it gets, try to squeeze in some outside light by going for a walk or doing other outdoor activities like snowshoeing, skating or skiing.
    6. Take some Vitamin D. Vitamin D will supply you with that extra boost of energy you need to produce a smile.
    7. Take online classes. Why not take that aerobics class you’ve been wanting to do for a while?
    8. Setup video meetings with family and friends. Have dinner together via video, it will break the feeling of loneliness.

Most importantly, remember that it’s only temporary. It’s so easy to forget when we are down, but things will naturally come back up. Hang in there! Time flies when you keep busy doing things you love.

I used to play the following song on a loop when I was feeling depressed. What’s your happy song?

 

 

The Dream

I have to do a project about dreams for school. This could go so many ways:

    • Should I dream about actual life objectives and make the dream real?
    • Should I go off into an imaginary world where bears walk on tightropes with an umbrella in their paws up in the sky?
    • What if my dream is a nightmare where I’m being chased by demons on flaming motorcycles?

Dream big they say. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney

Perhaps I should simply lay my head down and close my eyes and see what pops up. Either way, I have to get this project done using textures, words and images. This is where I get to use my imagination… and PhotoShop.

What do you dream about?

Back to School

Life is looking up after 10 years of being sick. Last August, I started school at 54 years old, and it was a giant step. The first week, I cried my life every night wondering what I was doing there, I used to teach at that school and now I’m a student. Getting back into a routine is difficult and going back to school instead of work is a choice I made for my own sanity. The idea of having a boss no longer floats my boat. So, here I am, a student of graphic design taking refresher courses. I share a class with inspiring young men and women and a couple teachers who used to be business associates. My plan is to start my own graphic design business again. This refresher course is great and the freedom of being a student is the best feeling ever… and I’m in this for the next two years!

I guess, what I’m trying to say is that there is no age to go back to school. Life is too short to do things you feel obligated to do. My recommendation is: do what makes you happy. Do it every day and surround yourself with people who make you happy.

Keep shining!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/B2665MFFbdY

Ask the Universe – Part 3

I thought the sky had opened up when the man I ordered from the Universe decided to kiss me. However, before he first kissed me, he was acting strange, so I actually asked him if he had anything he wanted to tell me. To that, he simply kissed me, no explanation, so I assumed he had changed his mind and was ready for a fun, happy, healthy relationship. I was excited and believed there was finally a god for me. This beautiful man, who I’ll name Asterix for this article, was about to take a chance on me and he wouldn’t regret it!

We saw each other once every ten days or so, which was an okay rhythm for me for now knowing he’s taking a chance and opening up to me. We’ll go with the flow. I respect that. I value my freedom most of all, so I understand his fears. We had such amazing times together! He even met my sacred circle, (my family) and came to our piece of heaven. It was a big deal! My family loved him right away. They even said we made a great couple and they couldn’t believe the way we looked at each other. It was so deep and intimate. And we had so many plans together! I was going to be his booking agent, build his website, do his CD cover, write songs with him, paint and write while he plays. He wanted to travel vagabond-style like I dream of doing! Imagine the possibilities! God! It felt like heaven!

One morning, we went out on the lake on his inflatable kayak for two and to our amazement, we saw an asteroid fall from the sky and vanish about 20 feet above the lake! Now that’s magic! Of all the people around the lake, Asterix and I were probably the only ones to see it. Talk about a sign from the Universe! God is finally smiling down at me! All is right in the world! I hadn’t felt that comfortable with a man in 10 years and it was just starting! I thanked the Universe every chance I had for bringing Asterix into my life. What a blessing! And the best part, is that I’m finally ready to give and receive good healthy loving and I had laid out my conditions of satisfaction from the start: communication, respect, exclusivity, honesty and loyalty. A real best friend with benefits!

Boy was I wrong!

He wanted to be my best friend with benefits AND have sex with other women. Whatever gave him that right to use me that way? See, that doesn’t work for me at all. How can you be my best friend if you’re cheating on me, disrespecting me, and worst of all, putting my health at risk? Not to mention that it’s disgusting! What I should have done when he first kissed me was verify by asking him point blank: “Are you ready to commit to an exclusive relationship with me?”

I had to learn this lesson the hard way. What I should have told him from our very first date is that “my vagina is connected to my heart and my soul. That’s how I function, I’m built that way, If we sleep together, I will fall in love with you and want to be with you forever“.

I hope that once I’m healed, Asterix and I could be just friends. If it’s meant to be.

I love the chorus of this song.

Ask the Universe, Part 2

A couple weeks ago, I told you I had made a special request to the Universe and the Universe had answered. As precise as I was with my demands for the perfect man for me, I may have forgotten a few things. For example, I wish he made time for me. So far I’ve gotten rainchecks and cancellations. And I’ve gotten no feedback at all about my last blog, except that he’s letting it sink in.

I feel so inspired when I think of him that I can’t stop writing lyrics that I hope he will turn into songs.

I should add to my list that I want communication, respect, loyalty, honesty and exclusivity. My past relationships didn’t include respect or exclusivity, I deeply need that now. So the question is: Is he ready? Does he want the same thing as me? Or is he still healing from his past? I have so many questions, but he has no time for us to be an “us” whether as friends or more.

My friend says I should keep my options open. I think she’s right. I don’t want a one-way relationship. It’s true that I don’t have much to offer. Except a lot of love, affection, attention and time. I’m not as beautiful and sexy as I used to be, I’ve aged and gotten sick, but I’m on the path to get better.

So yeah, basically, you can ask for precisely anything, and the Universe will answer, just make sure you add all the details.

Here’s a song I like, full of gratitude.

Yes. I’m effing crazy!

As a young girl, when my dad called me “crisse de folle” (effing crazy), it was the most painful thing. It hurt because when he said it, he was filled with anger and hatred. He hated my mother and I resembled her so much that he took it out on me after they divorced. I was eight years old.

Today if you tell me I’m effing crazy, I take it as a compliment. I am effing crazy! I’m crazy about butterflies, hummingbirds, sunsets, the lake, music, acoustic guitar, the arts, and dancing.

I’m crazy in love with my son, my mom, my brother, my friends and my extended family. And most of all, I’m effing crazy about the fact that I’m getting my health back after an eight year episode of being sick. It’s a slow battle uphill, but at least I’m climbing! One little step at a time.

So, to all of you who judged me, misused me, abused me! Eff you! I’m crazy and I like it!

Ask the Universe, it answers!

A few months ago, I made a very specific request to the Universe. You see, after many years of failed relationships because I kept choosing men that resembled my father to share my life with, I have finally healed from my past and I’ve never been more ready for a healthy relationship.

I want to have fun! There aren’t that many years left to my life and I want those years to be nothing but bliss! In order to have the perfect partner for me, I placed my order as follows:

Dear Universe, I want a perfectly bilingual 57 year old man (yes! I specified his age). I want him to have had a full life, with all kinds of wild experiences, but who is now calm and wise. Someone who is done with heavy partying, someone with similar taste in music and who plays the guitar. Someone who would love coming to the lake with me. Someone who’s children are grown, someone who will encourage my creativity just as I will his. Someone who will take this slow… I want someone I feel comfortable with, where the conversation flows and last, but not least, someone who loves to cuddle and gives great hugs. I love hugs!

Well, I recently met someone who fits that description and I have to admit that it’s exciting and scary at the same time. I don’t want to be too pushy, and at the same time, I don’t want to lose this person as a friend. The first time I met him, I thought to myself as he walked towards me: “Yup! That’s the one!” and you know what? He gives the best hugs ever!

I hope this post won’t scare him away…

To be continued…

Rest in Peace

I woke up to some sad news this morning. Life can be so strange sometimes, so intensely unaware. I spent a couple of hours with a friend yesterday. I did a tarot reading for her. I even told her not to worry about finances, that she would soon get an inheritance and that things would go her way. Little did I know that as I was doing her reading, her mother passed away.

Life is so precious. Why do we go around like there’s plenty of time left? Why don’t people savor every moment they spend together? I know I’ve had my share of being careless and carefree, but not anymore. I enjoy every moment I spend with my friends and family, because I don’t know if they’ll still be around tomorrow. I call my mom and my son almost every day. I make it a priority to keep in touch with the ones I care about. Regularly, like clockwork. I care with all my heart. I listen attentively, I don’t judge, I mean, who am I to judge after the life I’ve lived? I have little regrets, what’s done is done, I have forgiven myself and have done the best I can to heal old wounds.

I’m scarred, but no longer broken.

To my dear friend, I’m so sorry for your loss. Know that I am here for you whenever you need me. May your mom rest in peace.