Learning to Laugh

“When you laugh you change, when you change the whole world changes” – Dr Madan Kataria

I am learning to laugh. I don’t mean to say here that I don’t know how to, or don’t laugh often, because I do. I am learning to laugh in a different way… I am learning to use laughter to lighten me up, lift my mood, and relax my body. I am learning to laugh when I don’t feel like it.

When life gets busy, and I enter rush-rush mode, I get tense. I forget how to relax – it is not that the thought slips my mind, it is like I don’t remember how to. Everything gets tight, moods gets serious, and eventually, I lose balance. My goal now is to use laughter even when I don’t want to – finding a way to feel better when I need it the most.

When I first started doing Laughter Yoga sessions, I felt so silly. It was harder than I imagined, and I caught myself tense, scared, even. But I was able to loosen up, and as I started to laugh, I felt the benefits. I am now a believer (LOL). I have been able to start belly laughing out of nowhere. If you want to give it a shot, try this very short TEDx video below. If the idea interests you, there are plenty more videos to try in YouTube. Why not?

Laughter is medicine… and here are some of the benefits:

  • Boosts your immune system
  • Lowers stress and eases anxiety
  • Relieves pain
  • It’s an ab workout, really (nothing like a belly laugh!)
  • Enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles
  • Reminds you to lighten up and play
  • Quickly boosts your mood

Did you try it? Did you feel silly?
It is weird at first, but worth it in the end
Trust me.

When Your Heart Is Born

When my daughter was born, I knew right away: nothing would ever be the same.

Love like I had never known overflowed inside me, and with all that love, vulnerability. And with vulnerability, fear. Motherhood is a work of balance, constantly. Sometimes I look at my girl, and love takes over me, overpowers me, and at the height of that feeling, I also feel a weird understanding that I have given away all control. I have no control over my daughter’s choices, over her moving around and falling, over her heart and her heartbreaks. When you become a Mother, your give birth to your heart. Your heart, beautiful and vulnerable. Your heart, full of love and potential. Your heart, brave and scared, all at the same time. And we have to let go. We have to allow our children to be. We have to allow them to fall and get hurt. We have to allow them to have pain and suffering. And that… is hard. It is hard to look outside of you and watch your heart, out there, living, and being vulnerable to Life.

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Home Is Where Love Resides

“Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends”. Unknown

This past weekend I was home, mostly resting, after my second vaccine. Being home is healing, my family took care of me, and I felt the love.

It is easy to take home for granted, isn’t it? We get home from work, or school, often tired. We are crabby, overwhelmed. Sometimes I come home and the first thought that crosses my mind is: “oh my, I have so much cleaning to do, look at this mess, oh, the dishes, the laundry”, and so on. Yeah, life will always get a little dirty.

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That New Office Feeling

Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

It was a snowy winter day, and I was hard at work sewing. Than it happened: the thought that started it all. All of the sudden, and I mean that, I decided that I was changing careers. I decided that real estate was it. I knew it, right then, at a moment’s notice, that my life was about to change.

Let me take you back to twenty years ago, 2001, when I started Law School. It was my institution of choice, my career of choice, and I was determined. But as fate would have it, on my fourth year of Law (it is a five year program in Brazil), I decided to switch directions for a little while, and enrolled in a work and travel exchange program. I lived for one year in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin, USA, where I made friends, fell in love with the Great Lakes, and with a handsome local. Truth is, if you know Door County, and I hope you do, then you know that you can’t help but to fall in love with the Peninsula. The way it feels, the way you breath when you are here. Rumor has it that when you are on or above the 45th parallel… magic happens.

My change of direction for a little while, became a life change – a move across the world. I did go back to Brazil to see family and friends, and to complete my law degree. Soon after I started researching and planning my move, and six months after graduating I started studying Economics at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. I did not finish the course, and after my first semester, I moved to Door County, and never looked back.

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