This post is dedicated to Maddy King, a fellow wanderer who could make me laugh until I almost peed myself and taught me the sacred art of paper mache. You were a gem. Thank you for the laughter.
While traveling Northern Thailand, Mallory and I made our way to a beautiful spot called Ayutthaya. Great People were met and Great laughs were had by all… The story goes like this:
While enjoying a mid-day coffee, we were approached by the owner of this quaint cafe who was quite fond of practical jokes. He held up a coin, dunked it in water, and stuck it to his forehead. He then gently tapped the back of his head and the coin fell off. He then insisted that Mallory try it next and, with a little persistence, she obliged. What only you and I can see clearly (from the outside) is that he Never puts anything on her forehead. But, she believes he has placed the coin there from the start. The jolly Thai man provoked Mallory by repeating “Hit yourself”. With humor, a spell of resistance, and the tinge of initial annoyance dispersed, she accepted- and literally proceeded to… hit herself.
Although I was physical witness to it all- after re-watching this video about a dozen times… I am still Laughing Out Loud 6 months later. My beautiful friend Mallory is far too wise to take this as me placing her as the “butt of a joke”— because that is not my intention at all. By posting this I hope to evoke joyful laughter free of malicious intent. And, also to share in psycho analyzing the common nature of our human behavior. It is indicative of the reverberation and lifespan of “a thought”. And illustrates the mechanism of: belief/manifestation of what is real or perceived, cause/resistance to that belief, and effect/acceptance as result of that belief.
How fascinating a thing we have been equipped with… a mind that can literally move us. To laughter, or To sorrow- Daily. It is my hope that we can all learn to best utilize our great gift, for betterment of all, by recognizing the power of our thought and learning how to laugh a little more … Our lives are about perspective. Which side of the coin are we choosing to be on?
Here are some fascinating fact-finds about the positive relationship between Laughter and the Humans who do it:
“Scientists have been researching the relation between the mind and the body, especially in connection with the body’s ability to heal (a field called psychoneuroimmunology). Laughter appears to change brain chemistry and may boost the immune system.”http://women.webmd.com/guide/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter
“Laughter is good for your health: Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system: Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins: The body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter protects the heart:
Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.(http://helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health)
I’m keen on the Wiki definition of Laughing:
“Laughter is a part of human behavior regulated by the brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations. Laughter is used as a signal for being part of a group — it signals acceptance and positive interactions with others. Laughter is sometimes seen as contagious, and the laughter of one person can itself provoke laughter from others as a positive feedback” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughter)
A Correlation between Humor and Creativity:
“Humor and creativity work in similar ways, says humor guru William Fry, M.D., of Stanford University–by creating relationships between two disconnected items, you engage the whole brain. Humor works quickly. Less than a half-second after exposure to something funny, and electrical wave moves through the higher brain functions of the cerebral cortex. The left hemisphere analyzes the words and structures of the joke; the right hemisphere “gets” the joke; the visual sensory area of the occipital lobe creates images; the limbic (emotional) system makes you happier; and the motor sections make you smile or laugh. So let’s laugh.” (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-health-benefits-of-laughter.html) \
Go tell someone a joke, watch a funny flick, make someone laugh. It’s good for us all.