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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

January 10th challenge: State Change

I want to be authentic with myself and with you, and frankly, I’m cranky and tired tonight.  You almost got a blog called “Furious Friday.” Anger is a legitimate response to injustice and I saw and heard way injustice this week.  But when I looked for quotes on righteous indignation, every one was about it being bad.  I don’t buy that.  Anger very often signals something is Not Right and when channeled properly, gives energy to drive change.  Rosa Parks wasn’t a sweet, simple, meek tired woman.  She  was angry.  She was a long time activist tired of injustice.  So she did something.  That you, sister Rosa.

Our culture doesn’t know how to deal with angry women.  Angry men are seen as powerful, but angry women are portrayed as bitches,  bitter and out of control. And I do have some things to say about that.  But not tonight.   I left my good computer at work and am forced to type this on my smashed IPad, and that is tedious and not improving my mood.  

What DID help today was attend Laughing Yoga with local treasure Sunita Vazdev, who reminded us that 2 minutes of laughing provides numerous health benefits.  So I will lay aside fury and tablet typing and offer you this 7 year old rerun challenge.  
Here’s to a lighthearted day,

 Friday FUNday
adults need recess too.  especially the time-traveling type.  

 "Life is Mysterious;

Don't Take it Serious"

(quote on an old rubber stamp)
In several of these blogs, I've talked about the inevitability of suffering.
Enough of that. Let's talk about the power of playfulness.

You may have heard the expression that "Kid's play is kid's work." Play is where kids learn to deal with roles and other people, fine tune communicating their ideas and needs, exercise their bodies and widen their imaginations. Why would we want to give that up as adults? Yet many groan-ups (yes, that was deliberate) see life as one unending have-to-do list. I'm not advocating shirking responsibilities, though I am admittedly expert at it. I'm encouraging righting priorities. Play, laughter, positive thinking, joy have their own rafts of research supporting the idea that a good time is good for you.

At least twice a year, I go away to play with my pals at WAR (women's art retreat), where we hold theme dinners in dress up (wedding in Vegas, Beauty Pageant, Circus Night) and write ridiculous bits. For years I participated in an on-line salon where we exchanged thematic haikus, limericks, tom swifties and wrote bad country songs. There's lots of ways to make the ridiculous sublime. A few minutes a day softens the heart and sharpens the brain.

A few links for you:
Laughing Yoga
Laughing Yoga was started by a physician in India who to promote the healing benefits of laughter for the body and soul. Here John Cleese provides a 3 minute intro to the practice.

Global Belly Laugh Day
We're not quite at the official Day (Jan. 24th), but we can start practicing. This site offers a wealth of research and related links.

Shop local:  Even if all the movies that week are dramas or documentaries, a look around the eclectic decor at Darkside Cinema holds grins for most of us. While you're there, pick up one of owner Paul Turner's books of essays or a Prancing Lavender Bunny T-shirt sporting one bad-ass buff biker bunny.

Dancing like a maniac always cheers me up.  Check out contra dances or take a Zumba or belly dancing class.

 Laughter really is good medicine.
A good belly laugh reduces stress hormones that havoc the body and soul. Researchers in Loma Linda found cortisol and epinephrine levels drop, while human growth hormones and beta-endorphins rise when people experience, or even anticipate big fun. Other research shows laughter improves relationshipsimmunity, increases oxygenation, is cardioprotective, and helps us be more alert and creative.

Laughter connects us to others, reduces social and internal tensions, shifts perspective in positive ways, and relaxes our bodies for long after we stop giggling.  And most of the time, it's free!

Humor is an individual thing, and what some find funny others will find offensive or just dumb.  With that caution in mind, here's some web resources to get you going:

Funny or Die videos
The Onion News
Tweet Me Harder Podcast
The Institute of Official Cheer 

 For a brainy look at laughter, listen to Radio Lab's Laughter episode.
You've got lots of choices and a long weekend to accomplishes a little happy.  Let me know what you can manage.  2 minute flash mob solo dance?  Play a game?  Plant a wonderful present for a friend? 
You'll figure something.

Now, go out there and don't come back until you've had some fun.


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