Figuring “It” Out!

One of the hardest things I have to do is organizing or prioritizing what is important in my life. I love to learn new and exciting information about the world around me. However, learning for myself can be a pretty selfish pursuit. So I also seek to figure out how the things I learn can be integrated into my life and shared with others. My passion in life is and, I think, always has been to improve “life” (however you define it) for those my life touches. As the youngest of four, I was the brunt of a certain amount of “picking on”, ridicule and criticism. As a teacher, I heard and saw how children “picked on”, put down and ignored some of their classmates.  And I believe we have all felt the shame of “not being enough” in the eye of someone we may like or even look up to. I have recently become aware of what this behavior can or does do in the developing brain and awareness of young, very young impressionable children.

Therefore, I am embarking on this website, a different course in my life, and the risky goal of changing a whole community of people. These are people like you and me, who were raised by good people, doing the best that they could with the knowledge and understanding they had at the time. Yet, many of the patterns, styles and methods they used did things that were never intended.  They left adults who struggled to mature. They created a world where children have become a nuisance or an inconvenience. These seemingly harmless methods, that were meant to help, have in many ways lead to a culture less creative, more hostile and saturated with negativity. By turning our gaze often, daily and intentionally to see the extraordinary ordinary positive realities all around us, I believe that a world, a society and a culture can be turned around, unlocked and become amazingly more creative.  We can change the world if we will unlock the power found in the “broaden and build” effect described by Barbara Fredrickson in her recent book titled, Love 2.0. My goal is to make the community I live in the Joy Capital of Michigan using the skills, behavior, actions and methods I continue to learn about through positivity and the fruit that grow from its core.

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If you wish to join me, smile at someone, and then, if you wish, write a comment to tell me how it made you feel. Then do it again. Make a habit of it. Spread the joy of a sunrise or the serenity of a sunset and watch the positivity grow!

Blessing, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

“Jolly” John

 

 

“Marinated in Negativity”

Soaking in Citrus

Marinated in citrus is when the food soaks in the flavor of surrounding it. What flavors of the world are you soaking in?

Why do I use this phrase to describe our culture? Think about what you see and hear almost everyday. The first story on the news each evening doesn’t tell about the mother who faithfully cares for her children, or the father who has stood by his wife’s side caring for her every need for 30 years and counting because she has muscular dystrophy.  They don’t tell you about the teenager who works for his dad in the mud of a construction site to help pay his way to college.  They don’t tell you about the young woman who was homeless as a teenager, spent 2 years in a residential home, went to a foster home, went to college and is now married, working and raising four children with her husband. No, these stories which are being lived out by hard working people aren’t news, but the drug dealer who is shot, the latest murder in Flint, and fire that destroyed a home and killed two people are on the top of the list.  Add to this the daily failures of our lives, the burnt dinner, the hostile driver who cuts you off on the way home from work, and having to forgo the trip to Cedar Point because you replaced the leaking old washing machine instead.  Slowly, invisibly little by little the effects of “not being enough” permeate every waking moment until, if we can, sleep gives us a little reprieve.  My point is not to boast of this culture of negativity, but to point out the danger of not recognizing how subtly it seeps into our lives, pulling us all into its grip. I talk of “being marinated in negativity” so we see the value of taking a different course, the course of positivity, hope, joy and laughter.

Come alone with me on the journey of POSITIVITY that will take us from the fog of negativity into the beauty of a fresh outlook, a different focus and a more creative way to think and live in our world.

Thanks for listening-Keep Laughing,

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

“Jolly” John

 

 

 

Laughter IS the Best Medicine

We often hear age old wisdom such as “Laughter is the Best Medicine” but is it? I’m not sure of Laughter is the BEST medicine but I know it is a very cheap and very good medicine. Since I am not an expert in all medicines, it would be wrong for me to make such a statement. This I know there is much scientific evidence to show the benefits of what is called HEU (Hearty Extended Unconditional) Laughter. In a study of 200 healthy young subjects  where one group participated in seven 20 minute Laughter Yoga sessions over 3 weeks they showed a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. They also show and 18% increase in positive emotions and nearly 28% decrease in negative emotions.

This tells me we should put more intentional HEU Laughter into our lives. Telling jokes may be a good way to do it. However, that is leaving the consistent, intentional laughter to chance. The jokes may not be funny to everyone. But laughing for no reason like a baby or a young child does brings the benefits without chance. Your body doesn’t know the difference. Just Laugh! It doesn’t cost a thing and it pays huge dividends.

Thanks for listening-Keep Laughing,

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

“Jolly” John