The Lighter Side of Transformation

with Lisa Wessan, LICSW

Do you want to be a supercentenarian?

Do you want to be a supercentenarian (110+ years)? Great article on four amazing 100+ siblings…masters of letting go! http://ow.ly/2RkN8

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The health benefits of tears…

Yes, feeling is healing…more on the health benefits of tears…. http://ow.ly/2LVU6

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What is free will? From Poo to POWER!

“If life is nothing but a joke, you might ask, then what is the purpose of free will? I will tell you. We get to choose whether or not we laugh.”

~ Swami Beyondananda

When I was in my teens and twenties, I spent the better part of my time researching on the ideas on free will vs. destiny, one of the oldest paradoxes of our civilization.

This research lead me to many philosophical systems, comparative religious studies, living in Jerusalem for a year, even genetic engineering, and even more drama than I am ready to write about today…but what I finally learned was that it is possible for us to have free will AND also have a destiny, or multiple destinies/parallel universes, where a number of outcomes could occur.

No longer am I hyperfocused on this issue, but I’m still interested in what people have to say about free will, and I just love Steve Bhaerman’s quote on this (aka Swami Beyondananda)…I think he nailed it!

As I see it, life happens on life’s terms….no matter how much we visualize, pre-pave, practice positive thinking, chant, release, fast, burn candles and produce vision boards, bad things will still happen to good people who do all the above…when the poo hits the fan, will we be victims or victorious over the poo flying in our face? That is the question…

So how can we defeat the poo? Laughter is one the ways we can distance ourselves from the difficult poo…indeed, when we laugh, we truly diffuse the high negative energy charge of the moment, which then frees our brains up to find a solution, cope better and get help.

Viktor E. Frankl, MD, neurologist, psychiatrist, survivor of Nazi death camps said “I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation just enough to make it livable.” Dr. Frankl used laughter to cope with his imprisonment in the Auschwitz death camp, which he described in detail in his inspiring book, Man’s Search for Meaning.

My clinical work with therapeutic laughter is partly based on Dr. Frankl’s practice of logotherapy, a powerful cognitive behavioral method that can help you to shift and stand in your power despite the massive piles of poo around you. There’s a thought, from Poo to Power! That’s my newest job description…

© 2010 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

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Laughing with the joys and troubles of life leads to growth…

Reporter Julia Gavin did a very nice job on this article, with special features, one case study and more….thank you Julia!

Reference:

Gavin,. J. (2010). Laughing with the Joys and Troubles of Life Leads to Growth 
The Chelmsford Patch.

 

 

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What is Mirth?

Mirth is God’s medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it. ― Henry Ward Beecher

When I started to be known as the “Mirth Maven,” some people would hear the term and say, “What is mirth?” and “What is maven?” Let’s start with mirth…

Dictionary definitions for mirth include: hilarity, great merriment, gaiety accompanied with laughter; jollity; to express mirth = produce laughter.

I have come to understand that my JOB (JOY OF BEING) is to help people get in touch with their inner joy vibration, which inevitably leads to laughter. Conversely, laughter leads to entering the realm of the joy vibration.

No matter how sad, depressed, angry, frustrated and in despair you are, having a simulated laughter experience — which becomes stimulated and real in the process — can help raise your energy and vibrational attunement to a higher level. Give it a try — you have nothing to lose but your misery!

© 2010 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

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Laughter Therapy for Neuropathy with Lisa Wessan

Lisa Wessan presents Laughter Therapy for Neuropathy Association, Weston, MA http://ow.ly/2E5bS

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Laughter is a Creativity booster

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” ~ Jean Houston

When I present keynotes on laughter therapy, I always enjoy seeing the looks of surprise on my audience’s faces when I describe how laughter affects the functioning of our brains.

When you have a good laugh, three important neurological events occur:
1. You oxygenate your brain; the increased oxygen feeds the neural network and helps it spark more efficiently.
2. Laughter increases the communication between the left and right hemispheres, across the corpus callosum. This helps integrate your linear and non-linear thinking, as it were.
3. The overall effect of this brain stimulation is increased memory, retention and cognitive ability. Problem solving and creativity are significantly boosted as well.

Always working as an evidence-based consultant, I have the medical citations from peer-reviewed journals for these studies. The question remains: how come this information is not widely known? Why don’t we have a laughter coach or trainer in every school, institution and hospital?

Next time I’m going to share some of my case studies from presenting laughter therapy in advanced Alzheimer’s units… to share the remarkable way residents with Alzheimer’s Disease snap into lucidity when they laugh with me…yes, I have stunning evidence that needs to be published…first here, and later in a journal.

© 2010 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

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“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen’s quote triggered in me the many ways and opportunities we have to turn ourselves around. Here’s one recent example :

One of my clients was recently going through a tough time…let’s call her Tess. Tess received many financial gifts from her mother — who attached huge cables of control to each gift. Tess had fought with her mother for years about her spending habits, and was in tears about their most recent crisis level.

Her mother had insisted Tess see a specific financial consultant to help her sort out her finances and get more organized with her money. In order to continue receiving financial support from her mother, Tess was forced to share the details of her spending with this man and felt this was a huge violation of her privacy. Her pain was deep, as a 40-year-old woman, she felt humiliated by her mother’s intrusive ways. She felt weak, exhausted, angry, frustrated and depressed from the fights with her mother.

Towards the end of the phone call, Tess said she felt she was falling apart from it all. She feared she was having a complete breakdown from her mother’s brutal words and actions. I was silently listening and saying small phrases of acknowledgment and endorsement while she spoke.

Finally, Tess declared that she would rather be estranged from her mother than keep going through this agony with her over money. At this point, Tess announced she would sell her large condo, move into a smaller place, and become financially independent from her mother. My comment was, “So, you’re not having a breakdown, now you’re having a breakthrough….this may be for your greatest good…what do you think?”

When I said these words, Tess lit up and became so excited…she had revealed her cracking up process to me, and now a little light was coming through the crack. Plus, she was now being empowered by this emotionally depleting situation to realize that for her to have complete freedom — even her own financial freedom — she would need to detach from her mother’s money.

This is what living and practicing conscious transformation is all about, how do we turn our defeats into a victories? How do we use these cracks in our lives for the evolution of our consciousness?
“There is a crack in everything, and that’s how the light gets in,” resonates for me on many levels…So next time, I want to discuss what it means when we are “cracking up…” The good news, the bad news, the view from therapeutic laughter research….yes, more on “cracking up” to be continued….

© 2010 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

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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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