Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

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Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Monday, October 4, 2010

Belly Laugh!

Make yourself at home...clean my kitchen.
My husband is known for his unique laugh. On one of our first dates we watched a funny movie together. He laughed so hard and long I thought maybe there was something seriously wrong with him! His laugh is like an automatic machine-gun...and it's loud. So loud that when we go out to movies or for dinner; people who know him can identify him by just hearing his laughter. Isn't that really a wonderful thing to be known for? It's part of what makes me love him. Sometimes I wonder how he was ever attracted to me. I am quite serious most of the time. I'm quiet, perhaps even melancholy. And there's nothing wrong with being quiet. But lately I've been analyzing that melancholy side of me. (Kelly would laugh at that last sentence; because truthfully, I analyze EVERYTHING.) Here's how our conversations generally go:

Me: I was just reading this book that's told from the family dog's point of view.
Kelly: That must have been a challenging read. Did chapter one say, 'bark, bark, bark...barkbark?'
Me: No really it was very moving. The dog's owner was accused of some terrible things and the dog was his only witness.
Kelly: Did the dog testify in court?
Me: He wanted to; but he couldn't talk.
Kelly: (laughing) Sure he could...'bark bark bark bark bark bark...'
Me: (exasperated) Very funny. You should read the book.
Kelly: Maybe you can just bark it to me...

But seriously; I've been doing some research on the benefits of laughter and have discovered that it can be very beneficial to one's health. Here are just a few of the benefits:

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.


So I've realized that I need to lighten up. It will take some work on my part. I've nurtured this sense of melancholy for most of my life. It's true; there have been some tough things that were contributors; my father's death in my teenage years; being the child of an alcoholic... I could go on. But here's the point: I think that over- seriousness is a learned behavior-a compensatory reaction to one's environment. Well if it's learned-it can be unlearned. So I've asked my cheerful husband to help me. When something is funny and I'm trying to be serious, he looks at me and says 'belly laugh!' At first I just started doing a fake laugh. But that was so awkward that it was funny; and it made us both laugh! Now I really laugh. And it feels great.

I'm learning to take the time to look at the funny side of things. It's very similar to going for a walk and stopping to admire the autumn leaves or a constellation on a starlit evening. You just have to take time to notice them.

The Bible says that a merry heart does us good like a medicine. (Proverbs 13:22). So I challenge you to join me and start taking this wonderful medicine every day...BELLY LAUGH!

I'm not tense, I'm just terribly, terribly alert.
A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory.
A fool and his money are a girl's best friend.

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