JOYFUL TIMES EZINE
Resources and Inspiration for Discovering Inner Joy
 
Issue #4 - 2003
 
 
 
Purpose Statement:
 
The purpose of the Joyful Times Ezine is to uplift the spirit through inspiration and information. To this end we will emphasize the positive and focus on the good that is taking place in this world.
 
 
 
Philosophy statement:
 
We can create joyful times in our personal world by directing our thoughts and feelings. Seeing or feeling the perfection we want in our lives and in the lives of others has been called the highest form of prayer. This can lift us into the "high joy vibration" and through the "law of attraction" joyful times will result. Our motto is "joy is an inside job."
 
Pegi Joy Jenkins Ph.D. - Founder of Joyful You - Joyful Child, Inc
 
 
 
Letter from the Editor:
     Welcome to the fourth issue of "Joyful Times Ezine"!  We are an extension of Joyful You - Joyful Child, Inc. (website at www.joy4u.org  )  It is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 by Pegi Joy Jenkins, Ph.D. 
 
This issue's focus is on laughter.  Children come by it naturally, and we can all use more of it in our lives.  Laughter brightens the heart, and lightens the load. It is something we should never take for granted - but remember to count as a blessing at the end of every day. I don't know about you, but I love to be around people who make me laugh. We all are affected differently by what jokes make us laugh.  But "pure laughter" alone, with no jokes attached - can be contagious.  It starts with a smile as you observe the laugh of another, and before you know it - it has traveled through your eyes and ears - and into your heart, where it bubbles over with joy.  And the gift of laughter goes on.
    
Read on, and you will find the opportunity to learn how to refresh and enhance a relationship with laughter from Enda Junkins, MSW, LMSW-ACP, and Laughter Therapist. Or you may be inspired to look for a laughter club in your own local area, after reading of the benefits Pegi Joy Jenkins, PhD has discovered.
 
I am reminded of a quote that I would like to pass on to each of our readers by one of my favorite writers,
 
"May your walls know joy;
May every room hold laughter
and every window
open to great possibility."     -Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey
 
We welcome your comments and suggestions.  Thank You!
Finding 'joy in the journey,'
Joy Smiley
 
Table of Contents:
  1. Universal Principles
  2. Big Picture Parenting
  3. Joyful Relationships
  4. Activating My Inner Joy
  5. Global Good News
  6. Book Recommendations
  7. Joy Inspiring Products, Services & Classes
  8. Quotes to Ponder
  9. Contact Information

 

Universal Principles

Joyful Laughter/Universal Bonding  (a poem by Joy Smiley 2003)

contagious laughter, outrageous laughter, raining laughter pours...

low woofing laughter, high-pitched squeals of laughter, cackling laughter soars...

romantic laughter, children's laughter, baby's laughter sighs...

nervous laughter, sarcastic laughter, fantastic laughter highs...

comedic laughter, stage laughter, classic laughter trained...

spam laughter, canned laughter, sitcom laughter contained...

feeling laughter, kneeling laughter, healing laughter's touch...

grinning laughter, belly laughter, wet your pants laughter's too much...

ringing laughter, singing laughter, pealing layers of laughter to tears...

roaring laughter, soaring laughter, anxious laughter of fears...

flowing laughter, growing laughter, bubbling laughter of fun...

tickled with laughter, playful laughter, hysterical laughter come...

giggle, bubble, snort and guffaw!

tickled pink...

hee hee...

ha ha!

 

Big Picture Parenting

Rediscover Laughing Like a Child - With Children
by Joy Smiley
 
"The more I laugh, Ha! Ha! Ha! The more I fill with glee.  And the more the glee... Tee Hee Hee Hee Hee!  The more I'm a merrier me, Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! It's embarrassing, the more I'm a merrier me!"  - those words in song from Uncle Arthur of Mary Poppins fame, often come to me when I think of adults and children together in laughter.
 
If you don't remember that segment of the movie where Uncle Arthur gets everyone to giggling and laughing hysterically so that their spirits rise (as well as their physical bodies), you have missed a classic.
 
I have always been an adult who loves to get down on the floor and be at the kid's level for play and conversation.  I have several suggestions to help you discover your childlike laughter together from my personal experiences with nieces, nephews and other special children.  Maybe one of these will work for you - or inspire you to come up with some of your own.
  • Read silly books aloud 
    • (see our list in the "book recommendations" section).  My sister's teenagers still laugh out loud when taking turns reading aloud from Dr. Seuss.  If you don't have any silly books - go to the library or the children's section of a book store and sit together (for free) on the floor looking for fun and laughter in words and illustrations.
  • Sing silly songs together
    • There are numerous video or cassette versions available at Discount stores, Toy Stores or Book Stores.  I suggest Kidsongs - Very Silly Songs  or Disney's Silly Classical Songs or Veggie Tales - Larry's Silly Songs. 
    • Or you can logon to www.smart-central.com and choose from hundreds of FREE karaoke versions of children's songs with midi accompaniment and moving video parts (listed alphabetically)- so you and your child can sing and dance and giggle and laugh to the melodies together.
  • Listen to old silly stories.
    • Go to www.wilstar.com (click on MIDI music/then click on Classics in Real Audio) to listen to silly songs and the old comedy classics, like:
      • Who's On First - by Abbott and Costello
      • Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah - by Alan Sherman
      • NOTE: you can download REAL PLAYER for free (which is what you need to hear these) - just click and follow directions.
  • Play silly games   
    • animals? - the 3 paper fold way 
      • fold a paper in 3rds either horizontally or vertically.
        • The first person draws a head and can even color it in of any creature, animal, person, bug, fish, or bird on the first third - then folds it under.
        • The second person draws a center part of a body with arms or wings (if it applies)  of any animal, person, bug, fish, or bird on the second of the three sections (without looking at the head part that is turned over) and can color it in if they like... then fold it under.
        • The third person draws the bottom portion of a body of any creature, animal, person, bug, fish, or bird - like legs or shoes or a tail or claws and can color it in.  Then they fold it under.
        • The fourth person gets to open it up and name it!!!
    • Sesame Street FREE online games  - go to www.ctw.org
      • Click on LET'S PLAY, then find the signpost and click on GAMES, then find all the characters at the bottom of the page and click on one of them.  A slide show of the games they are involved in will popup.  
        • Click through till you find some you like.  I especially suggest "Zoe's Silly Seasons" (where you figure out what DOESN'T belong), "Dress Grover Party" (where you can mix and match hats, shirts, and pants in crazy combinations), "Zoe's Dance Moves" (where you create Zoe's dance sequence), and Elmo's Cloud Game (where you create pictures in the sky with clouds).
        • I also suggest you go back to the signpost and check out MUSIC or ART and many other options.
  • Eat silly ways
    • serve a regular meal (not finger food) with no silverware or napkins
    • pretend you all are old people and forgot your dentures - eat your meal with your lips curled over your teeth so you can't chew.
    • plan and have a meal that is all yellow, or all red, or all green... and don't tell the other family members till they sit down and start asking questions
  • Play silly pretend
    • How would a ________ laugh?
      • animal laughs
        • cow, monkey, dog, lion, monkey, pig, snake, sheep, kitty cat, hyena, squirrel
      • bird laughs
        • duck, chicken, rooster, crow, owl, turkey
      • insect laughs
        • bumble bee, cricket
    • Dress Me Silly
      • Child gets to go to parent's closet and figure out an outfit for them to wear that doesn't match (hat, shoes, socks, pants, top, etc) and is silly enough to make you both laugh.  Note: The clothes may or may not be yours. Then the adult needs to wear it to child's closet and return the favor in dressing the child silly.
      • or you can both get matching glasses with nose and mustache or purple hats and pink boas, or green shoelaces in one shoe and blue laces in the other with matching blue and green barrettes in your hair, and wear them to McDonalds with straight faces.
 

Joyful Relationships

 
How Can I Laugh with Thee? Let Me Count the Ways
by Enda Junkins, MSW, LMSW-ACP
 
"After God created the world, He created man and woman.  And then to keep the whole thing from collapsing, He created humor." - Ernie Hoberecht 
     If relationships are so easy to form, why are they so difficult to maintain? The divorce rate in the United States is currently at 57%. What is it we are overlooking?  Is there something the mountain of self help books already on the shelves doesn't include? Yes! And it is hiding in plain sight. The missing element in relationships is the preservation of the laughter between partners that is our bond, our saving grace, and the underpinning of our friendships.
     While searching for the answer to the high divorce rate, one study of 2,000 happy couples at the University of Denver showed that the strongest factor in overall marital happiness was the amount of fun in the relationship.  America is generally a serious place where the average couple now spends a mere ten minutes a week in fun. In order to have relationships that last, we need to learn how to laugh together again.
     If we think about it at all, everyone knows laughter is an essential part of the melody of love.  The opening strains of any new relationship include the various notes of laughter as partners are drawn together in love.  They begin their partnership with light hearts and lots of fun.  Soon after commitment, however, if couples are caught unaware, they give up their fun and the laughter that accompanies it in the interest of the seriousness that lies ahead. "I already know how to laugh," says a serious married man. "Why would I need help with that?"  "Are you laughing with your wife?" asks the author. "Well, no," replies the man, "I don't know why we don't laugh much anymore, but I still know how to laugh."  Of course he knows how to laugh, but where has the laughter in his relationship gone and can he get it back?  Belly Laughter in Relationships, a book by Enda Junkins will help anyone do exactly that.  Laughter is like riding a bike.  We know how to ride but often need a little help in remembering how much fun it is, in order to boost our motivation to actively do it once again.  Try the following laughter tips for relationships and enjoy the fun they will bring you and your partner.
Laughter Tips for Relationships
  1. Laugh together for 15-20 min. each morning.
  2. Do one loving and light-hearted thing for each other every day.
  3. Point out the day's absurdities to each other.
  4. Seek out the humor in serious situations and share it with each other.
  5. Put more fun into sex.
  6. Consciously smile at each other more.
  7. Stay playful in your interaction by keeping your voices and body language playful.
  8. Renew your "real vows" once a week. (See The Belly Laughter Workbook.)
  9. Take turns being responsible for the numerous "thought for the day."
  10. Giggle together right before going to sleep.
  11. Play "Teasing Telephone Tag" by leaving outrageous messages.
  12. Have a laughter match to see who can laugh loudest and longest.
  13. Surround yourself with flowers. "The earth laughs in flowers."-Emerson.
  14. Practice laughing without control.  Spit out food, wet your pants, wet each other's pants.
  15. Echo each other's laugh.  Laugh each time your partner laughs.
  16. Count the number of times you laugh each day.  Compete and share them.
  17. Tell each other how much you enjoy the other's laughter and sense of humor.
  18. Develop a fictional phone menu for different laughs. Press 1 for giggles, press 2 for chuckles, press 3 for guffaws, etc.
  19. List the positive things in your day each day and read them to each other.
  20. Play together one hour a week.  Examples: sing, dance, race each other, give exaggerated hugs, count smiling faces when driving together.

Enda Junkins is a leading national expert on laughter, a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author.  Enda's laughter expertise developed over more than 30 years of using laughter in the healing of serious issues.  Her work with laughter has been enthusiastically received.  She is the author of Belly Laughter in Relationships: Something Else Positive Below the Belt and The Belly Laughter Workbook.  She may be contacted at 3200 N. Macarthu Blvd., Suite 106, Irving, TX 752062,  www.laughtertherapy.com or call (972) ALL LAFF (255-5233).

 

Activating My Inner Joy

How I Activate My Inner Joy

Please send in YOUR entries to fill this spot next month! 

 

Global Good News

 

WANT MORE LAUGHTER IN YOUR LIFE?  TRY LAUGHTER CLUBS? by Pegi Joy Jenkins, Ph.D. LCL (Laughter Club Leader)

Laughter Clubs are spreading around the world.  It surely is an idea whose time has come. The benefits are immense.  Laughter offers healing - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Here are some examples:

  • Physically
    • Laughter increases the oxygen levels in the body, stimulates the immune system, helps control blood pressure, kills pain, increases stamina and breathing capacity. Laughter is beneficial for heart disease, insomnia, anxiety, depression, allergic disorders, asthma, bronchitis, tension, migraine headaches, backaches, cervical spondylitis, and the aches and pains due to arthritis.  This is a partial list only.
    • "Laughter is the body's own morphine." -Norman Cousins
  • Emotionally
    • Laughter stimulates joy and joy disperses worries, anxieties, grief, greed, irritation, and other negative emotions.
    • "We don't laugh because we're happy - we're happy because we laugh." -William James
  • Mentally
    • Because laughter triggers joy, we get the mental benefits of joy - a clear mind, sharper intellect, strengthened memory.
    • "At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities." -Jean Houston
  • Spiritually
    • The soul is nourished by the joy of laughter.  The energy of joy lifts us into the higher vibrational planes.  Fifteen minutes of laughter can wipe out six hours of meditation, say the Buddhists.
    • "The greatest prayer you could ever pray would be to laugh every day." -Ramtha

The origin of Laughter Clubs

     Dr. Madan Kataria of Mumbai, India is the founder of the Laughter Club concept.  There are hundreds of clubs in India and they have expanded into many other countries. In India it is usually a first thing in the morning exercise - the first 20 minutes in the factory or office, on the beach or in the park. You may visit his website a www.laughteryoga.org   to get the larger picture or read his wonderful book "Laugh for No Reason."

     The head of the Laughter Club movement in the United States is Steve Wilson, MA, Author and Psychologist.  He would have us "Think Globally and Laugh Locally." Steve has trained numerous Certified Laughter Leaders around the country.  They have penetrated nursing homes, retirement villages, hospitals, schools, clubs, libraries, and so forth.  He maintains an inventory of laughter related books and videos and laughter accessories, such as laugh squeeze bags.  Further information can be found at his website, www.worldlaughtertour.com    Look for an article from Steve in an upcoming issue of Joyful Times.  

     Dr. Kartari discovered early on that the Laugher Clubs cannot be based on jokes.  Such humor has limited appeal and depends upon culture, taste, age and life experience. The Laughter Club exercises put the emphasis on pure laughter.  The number of popular "laughs" expands each day and is limited only by our imagination.  Some of the "laughs" I enjoy are titled: Swoop and Spray, Ice Cube Down the Back, Party Handshake, Tickle Self, Cell Phone, Silent Laughter, Bow and Arrow, Lion Laugh, Electric shock, Appreciation Laugh and the 'Laugh at Yourself' Laugh. 

     There are a number of guidelines for Laughter Leaders such as warming up exercises, standing in a circle with leader the middle, maintaining eye contact, all laughing at the same time and so forth. One of the most important guidelines are the "Daily Practices to Prevent Hardening of the Attitudes."  The Laughter Clubs, internationally and nationally, have a suggested practice for each day of the week.  Mondays are for Compliments, Tuesdays are for Flexibility, Wednesdays are for Gratitude, Thursdays are for Kindness, Fridays are for Forgiveness (of self and others), Weekends are for Chocolate (a word used to mean a favorite food, leisure or pleasure.)

     The World Laughter Tour (WLT) held its first International Symposium this May in Florida and it was exciting to meet Laughter leaders from several other countries. The 2004 WLT International Laughter Symposium will be held in Monterrey, Mexico from June 3-5, 2004. 

     Consider connecting with the Laughter Group in your area or becoming Certified Laughter Leaders (CLL Certification training is a two-day program co-sponsored by Columbus State Community College in Ohio, where you learn how to organize and lead social as well as therapeutic laughter clubs.) 

     The three Laughter Links on the Joyful You - Joyful Child, Inc. Link Page will keep you informed about the Laughter Movement.  For more information go to www.joy4u.org   

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." -e.e. cummings 

 

Book Recommendations

Adult Relationships and Parenting Books

Almost Home : Embracing the Magical Connection Between Positive Humor and Spirituality  by Jacki Kwan

Jacki says her mission is to "Change the world one HA at a time!" This book is a must for anyone thinking of incorporating laughter into their program to make a physical, mental, or spiritual difference in the lives of others as you influence and invite the world to smile.

Laffirmations: 1001 Ways to Add Humor to Your Life and Work by Joel Goodman

Think of this as a HUMOR meditation manual.  For 365 days of the year you will be stimulated with several questions or quotes that will encourage you to think about where humor already exists in your life or to discover where it could be added. Each day's entry also includes an action tip to get your joyful laughter juices flowing. 

Kids Who Laugh: How to Develop Your Childs Sense Of Humor  by Louis Franzini

Dr. Fanzini is a psychologist who knows how to break it down.  He shares specifics on; what is amusing to children at specific ages from infants to teens, how humor can build a child's self confidence and coping skills, how to deal with teasers, how to make friends with humor, etc.  He has many fun and easy-to-do exercises based on different child's ages. Humor can be developed at any age, and this doctor has many suggestions.

 

Children's Books

  • Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw/illustrated by Margot Apple
  • Sheep out to Eat by Nancy E. Shaw/illustrated by Margot Apple
  • Sheep on a Ship by Nancy E. Shaw/illustrated by Margot Apple
  • Sheep in a Shop by Nancy E. Shaw/illustrated by Margot Apple

I grew up on a farm with sheep. So I believe that these 5 amusing, adventurous and silly sheep DO get into the crazy and troublesome situations by nature.  The stories are priceless; silly enough for 2-year olds and yet enticingly entertaining for adults.  But the illustrations are what makes these books a scream.  I laughed till I cried.

  • If you give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffee Numeroff
  • If you give a Moose a Muffin  by Laura Joffee Numeroff
  • If you give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Joffee Numeroff

The old adage: "If you give them an inch, they'll take a mile" comes into play in these stories about always wanting more. Adults will relate to the demands and requests that can be piled on you.  Kids get to see how their silly requests can sometimes lead to chaos. The stimulating illustrations will keep you both wondering what will happen next, as you giggle at what has already taken place.

 

  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  • Fox in Sox by Dr. Seuss
  • Green Eggs and Ham  by Dr. Seuss
  • If I Ran the Circus  by Dr. Seuss
  • Mr. Brown Can Moo!  Can You? Dr Seuss's Book of Wonderful Noises  by Dr. Seuss
  • The Sneetches  by Dr. Seuss
  • There's a Wocket in my Pocket: Dr Seuss's Book of Ridiculous Rhymes  by Dr. Seuss

I grew up on Dr. Seuss.  My sister's teens still love to read the nonsensical stories out loud.  The unusual creatures and phonetic rhymes keep the adults on their toes and provide timeless enjoyment for all.  These books encourage rhyming and dreaming big.  This author found ways to add humor to everyday situations and stretch the imagination while teaching hidden moral values and creating lasting memories of laughter that will stay with the ones who hear it, forever.

 

Don't Make Me Laugh  by James Stevenson

"Do NOT laugh!  Do not even smile!  Or you must return to the beginning of the book!" says Mr. Frimdimpny - the Smile Detective.  This silly book with rules is guaranteed to make you giggle.

 

Joy Inspiring Products, Services, Classes

Joyful You - Joyful Child, Inc. will consider products, services and classes to be advertised in this section. Email us for the guidelines or look for them soon on our website at www.joy4u.org

 

This issue we feature

 

- the NEW LAUGH BAG and LAUGH BAG BOOKLET -

Pegi Joy has upgraded the Laugh Bag Booklet that comes with the Laugh Bag. 

 

- the LOVE CAN -

Spread a little love around.  Sprinkle it over the food you lovingly prepare for family and friends.

 

Both of these items may be ordered off the www.joy4u.org website (which now has a new and protected shopping cart as a standard feature.)

 

 

 

Quotes to Ponder

"I grew up with six brothers. That's how I learned to dance - waiting for the bathroom."   - Bob Hope, comedian

"No one ever died from too much laughter."  - fortune cookie  

"Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth - a sense of humor."  - unknown

"Funny is an attitude."  - Flip Wilson, comedian

"Laughter solves a lot of problems because it gives you more of a positive outlook.  Change your outlook and you will change your life." - Robert H. Schuller, Minister   

"Laugh and you'll burn up 3 1/2 calories. No joke." - Jack Kreismer/The Bathroom Trivia Book

"Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects." - Arnold Glascow

"Laughter is like changing a baby's diaper.  It doesn't permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for awhile."  - unknown

"Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing." - Psalm 126:2

"Laughter is an inner jogging."   - Norman Cousins

"Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." - Marilyn Hirsch

"You can't deny laughter, when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.   - Stephen King/Hearts in Atlantis

"He deserves paradise who makes his companions laugh." - The Koran

"One doesn't have a sense of humor.  It has you."  - Larry Gelbart

"When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy, and the dimpling stream runs laughing by; when the air does laugh with our merry wit, then the green hill laughs with the noise of it."  - Lord Byron

"If you laugh a lot, when you get older your wrinkles will be in the right places." - Andrew V. Mason/Readers Digest

"We laugh heartily to see a whole flock of sheep jump because one did so; might not one imagine that superior beings do the same by us, and for exactly the same reason?"  - Greenville

"Laughter is the jam on the toast of life; it adds flavor, keeps it from becoming too dry, and makes it easier to swallow."  - unknown

"I've seen what a good laugh can do.  It can transform tears into hope."  - Bob Hope, Entertainer

 

Contact Information

Pegi Joy Jenkins, President of Joyful You - Joyful Child, Inc. can be contacted by email at joyful@joy4u.org or through her website at www.joy4u.org 

 

 

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