This month I am celebrating 10 years of Laughter Yoga!!!
I never could have imagined where I would be now... I completed my leader training in March of 2008 and my teacher training the beginning of April that year. Originally, I had no intention of starting a laughter club, and definitely not leading trainings. I hoped to get a few ideas for lightening up life for myself and my coaching clients.
Instead, I fell in love and in the process found myself and a community.
Thank you for the role that you have played. No matter if you think it was small. If you have ever laughed with me, I am here to tell you that it had an IMPACT. In 2015, Portland hosted the All-American Laughter Conference for the first time and then again in 2017. During the 2015 conference in Portland, I finally let land the importance of the community that I helped build and the impact I have had simply, because I said Yes & dove in, deciding I wanted and needed more laughter.
My first laughter club closed back in the summer of 2011, after almost 3 years, but by then the Hawthorne Laughter Club was already going strong by then. We just celebrated 7 years in January at the Hawthorne Movement Center. As a club, we've been in the Portland Rose Festival's Starlight Parade 5 times!! (See a video sample) And although we are small, the laughter community here in Portland is mighty. My students have started satellites of laughter in Washington, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and New Hampshire. During that first conference in Portland and since it has become palpable how many people have been touched by laughter, because I said Yes. AND because I heard about Laughter Yoga through Sheila's website, because Elaine said Yes to training me one-on-one. Because Jas said Yes to giving me that first studio space at Awakenings Wellness Center and Maggie, Michele and Christine decided to give that first, early morning club a try. Because Laura Lou, Don, Angela and Maryellen decided to champion it. I could go on and on. And that's only the first year!!
The reality is that Portland Laughter Yoga has not happen in a vacuum. Yes, I have continued to deepen my own education and experience of laughter, but many have played a role. In Portland, in the Northwest and around the world. I am so grateful for all that you and this experience has taught me. Leading and sharing laughter with you all has been one of my greatest teachers and blessings.
I have learned that I do not have to do it alone.
I have learned that I do not need to hide behind laughter, that there is space within my laughter practice for all of my emotions.
I have learned so much about relationships and what it means to be a friend.
I have also learned that you never quite know the impact you may have on someone in the moment.
I am so thankful for having you along my laughter journey!! Here's to another 10+ years!