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I’ve just returned from the American Laughter Yoga Conference that was held in Vancouver Canada. There were people from all over North America, Japan, and Australia

Lessons learned from challenges faced

The Theme for the Conference was Lessons Learned from Challenges Faced. And guess what? People, not only myself, have been making many mistakes in many different situations, regularly. You would imagine that this would be bad news, but it’s quite the opposite. Whenever you make a mistake, you learn, and there was great learning to be had. Possible the best discussion was around how can we build and maintain more Laughter Clubs. At a macro level, is was decided that our Vision of World Peace may be lost on some people. One that was suggested, which I will be taking on board, is that Laughter Clubs are for “Health, Joy and Community”. It was also identified that some people had increased numbers attending by having Pot Luck sessions (this is where people can bring a plate of food to share afterwards), bring a (small) gift sessions, and starting each session with a very simple question to reiterate what the leader should be doing anyway “why are we all here?”

Laughing with kids

As luck had it, the Conference was being held a venue that often had kids activities run there. So we had the chance to run a session with more than 40 adults and around 15 kids. Sebastien Gendry led the session that included a Laughter Bridge, and a 4 quadrants game where everyone had to run to one of the corners, do the assigned activity, but only stay there for 12 seconds. The kids (and adults) could have played for hours and there was utter laughter chaos

Other laughs learned

I also learned some other laughs that I’ll be trying out next week. The first one is where there is a leader and the others have their eyes closed. With only lightly touching fingers, the teams are led around the room by following each other’s laughter. I also found out how to give a self-appreciation spray to someone’s face with my hands, laugh hip hip hooray, where the hands are placed on the hips when you shout hip hip, and the diving under water breath laugh

No touching in public

A really interesting point was made about laughs where we physically touch each other if the session is done in a public place. And the answer was NEVER, because this could stop people from joining in, if they saw they were going to be physically touched by strangers. VERY interesting point

Creative programs

And finally there was a session on creativity where we learned more than just new laughs. There were dances, chants such as “I’m sorry, forgive me, thank you, I love you”, and a game where you go around and say “I’m worried about this and that and every other thing in life”, and then you go around again and say to everyone “don’t worry”. Both of these were very effective, but in different ways

A reminder that the LYOZ Conference is less than two months away. It’s called Laughter Wellness, and the Theme will be Health, Joy, and Community. For full details go to www.laughterwellness.com.au. See you in Sydney in October

Enjoy Life