By Lori Hanau
At least four times in the past month, I have woken myself up laughing. I have actually been brought awake by my own chuckling. No story, no image, no dream, just laughter. It’s been a wonderful, surprising experience. In a world and an America that seems to be getting more grim, it’s been heartening to know that I’m cracking myself up at night. There is something that I seem to be remembering and it sure feels good!
I know how valuable it is to remember to laugh in the daytime too. I make sure I am laughing with my colleagues, clients and teammates frequently. I think one of the biggest “not so funny” surprises of 2016, as we began delivering our Shared Leadership and our Compassionate Accountability Frameworks and trainings into different workplaces, is how much trauma people are carrying. Not just personal trauma and trauma from childhood but workplace trauma, from the lack of soul, spirit and humane connection in the workplace. Add in societal free floating anxiety plus work place stress and we become very heavy indeed. Laughter and play are capacities that help us to lighten our loads.
Our colleagues, Mary Fridley and Marian Rich understand the healing power of laughter. As part of their work with Lois Holzman and the East Side Institute, they have been offering an improvisational theater and humor workshop entitled Laughing Matters over the last decade. They have been deeply immersed in the practice of co-creating and being in laughter as a way of empowering individuals to create healing connections. Mary has shared, "We experience the magic of people from all walks of life becoming creators of humor, of joy, of humanity in ways we, and they, could never have imagined."
I don’t know if there is a more powerful integrative resource than laughter. Our workplaces need the spark and sparkle of continuous healing, just like every other community environment we create. Come make some joyful noise with us on April 25th. Let’s learn from each other by playing off of each other….in a good way! Let’s help each other to remember that in being the change we want to see in the world, laughter truly is the best medicine. Why would we leave our sparkle out of our workplaces, where we often spend two thirds of our waking hours? Silly us!! Doesn’t it bring a smile to your face to imagine the next revolution – cultivating our humanity and wholeness at work – actually being FUN? Then our businesses will be forces of good for our world from the inside out!
My GRTL team and I would love for you to join us to share more ideas and practices during our Building Beloved Community Webinar session: Making a Joyful Noise on April 25th 11:30am-12:45pm EST http://grtl.ontrapages.com/webinarseries