The Lighter Side of Transformation

Observed and reported by Lisa Wessan, LICSW

Nothing is impossible…

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’M POSSIBLE!” ~ Audrey Hepburn

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Discipline becomes Bliss-ipline

“Your Discipline Will Eventually Become Your Bliss-ipline.” Rev. Michael Beckwith

This is my prayer for today…I need more daily willingness to eat healthy food, exercise, forgive, let go and move on from bad decisions…for today these are my disciplines, and they are rough going. I look forward to the day when these are automatic and easy.

There was a time not too long ago when I woke up early, meditated, met friends in Central Park at 6:30 AM to do our four mile race walk loop in an hour, and was showered, dressed and at my desk a subway ride away by 9 AM…I yearn for that structure again.

What will it take for me to regain that structure? Being on a consultant’s schedule, I have the blessing of flexibility, but the shadow side of this has lots of opportunities for distraction…

How do you bring on the discipline and the “Bliss-ipline?” I’d love to hear your structure and flow tips for a more balanced life. I’m a beginner again here…

© 2010 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

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Advice from the Sun

I was recently at a meeting at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Nashua, NH, and saw this posted on one of the bulletin boards in a hallway. It made my day brighter, so I want to share it with you:

ADVICE FROM THE SUN

Keep it light
Rise to the occasion
Look on the bright side
Set your sights high
Renew your energy
Keep a sunny disposition
Be brilliant!

~ Author Unknown

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Nashoba Valley Medical Center chooses laughter therapy to celebrate Nurses Week

I know my group has hit the sweet spot when people are laughing and crying, maybe even a little drool is running down their faces, from learning to have an extended, massive laughter session without a stream of funny jokes….learning to “laugh for no reason” is key in this work.

The Nashoba Valley Medical Center, Ayer, MA, invited me to be their keynote speaker in honor of Nurses’ Week. So May 12, 2010 we had a large gathering at the Groton Country Club in order to experience “Therapeutic Applications of Humor and Laughter for Caregivers.”

Everyone starts out serious – because laughter therapy is part of a serious multimodal stress reduction program that aims to lower cortisol levels and blood pressure, increase immunoglobin A to prevent flus and colds, and release all kinds of stress in the muscles and joints, oxygenate the brain and leave everyone feeling refreshed and energized. That, plus much more. What is beautiful is to watch a group of intelligent, noble, dignified people give themselves permission to let their guards down for a few minutes to experiment and have a roaring good time. The psychological benefits are so numerous – increased cohesiveness in the group, open to forgive, enhanced compassion and team building strengthened. I will continue this in a separate article.

Mary Mathieu, the Director of Case Management at Nashoba Valley Medical Center summed up her experience of my keynote: “Lisa Wessan, ‘The MIrth Maven’ was invited to be the speaker for the Nurses’ Day dinner. She presented a program, ‘The Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter for the Healthcare Professional.’ Having been to many Nurses’ Day dinners in my 21 years as an RN, I enjoyed this presentation the most. She began by providing evidence-based research on the physical and psychological benefits of laughter and the second half of the program was lots and lots of laughter…I laughed until I cried….I laughed on the way home…the next day…and thinking of the event still makes me smile. I look forward to attending many more of her events in the future. I very highly recommend her!!!”

In the meantime, it was my honor and privilege to participate in this expansive event. Nashoba Valley Medical Center joins with several other large hospitals and organizations in Massachusetts that are clearly on the vanguard of a growing movement to include laughter therapy and team building with laughter as part of an empowered management strategy. Based on my short time here, it is evident that New England health care facilities seem to trust that laughter therapy will help prevent burn-out, reduce turnover, and keep their professional caregivers high functioning and more productive.

My professional goal: to have a full time certified laughter therapist in every hospital!

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Forget your TO DO list…What’s on your TO BE list?

The New Year has begun, and how many articles, blogs, talk shows guests and interviews have we already seen about setting goals? No, don’t call them goals, call them intentions! No resolutions, yes resolutions, hold the vision, turn it over, give it to God and on and on…

There’s nothing wrong with all of this, but sometimes I question how far we go in mapping and planning our lives. I have one dear friend who solidly books herself for 52 hours each week. She knows what she is doing and where she will be for all those hours. I imagine there is some flexibility built into her system, but I wonder how much wiggle room she allows for spontaneous events? It seems to work for her, but I know I could never work that way.

The first Sunday of the month I gather with a bunch of friends for a monthly focusing meeting. We call ourselves an Abraham study group, because we do study and work on the principles and exercises found in the Abraham literature, particularly the book Ask and it is Given, by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I love this book because the second half of the book offers 22 exercises to help shift our vibration up the vibrational scale. This is another kind of turnaround process, moving from depression and despair up to hope, and several more levels until we get to the joy vibration, as it were. In theory, the easiest and most successful manifesting of success happens when we live in the joy vibration.

Our group always discusses our intentions, goals and whatever resistance we have moving towards our happy dream…one month at a time. At our January meeting, however, we spend a little more time than usual sharing our vision for 2010.

After listening to all of us rattle off our amazing goals and what we want to manifest this year, the room was definitely filled with energy and excitement, and perhaps mingled with some anxiety. Members were putting out huge wish lists as part of their vision, so to speak, such as getting married, adopt a baby, become a bestselling author and world class speaker, lose weight, redesign bathrooms and more.

One of our members, Carl Puglisi, was the last to speak in our circle, and he looked around the room and said something to the effect, “I think I want to make a TO BE list for 2010…I want to be peaceful, be relaxed, be more active with my music and play more big public music gigs [he’s a drummer]…” I won’t repeat his whole TO BE list, but as soon as Puglisi said this, it zinged me.

YES – I want to make a TO BE list too…I want to be more peaceful and relaxed, be laughing and light hearted, be forgiving, accepting and loving. Be gentle, kind, generous. Be patient, hopeful and trusting. Be lean and serene, fit and fabulous(TM)! Indeed,I look forward to writing that book some day when I’m on the other side of this mountain!

Making a TO BE list has an entirely different feel to it…I invite you to make your own TO BE list for 2010! Try it on, see how it feels, and notice the difference. Clearly, it’s no accident that we call ourselves Human Beings, NOT Human Doings.

©2010 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

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