Thursday, February 10, 2011

Have a Heart

Do you remember decorating shoe boxes in grade school for Valentines Day? It was fun cutting out pink paper and edging the lace to make the old box look fancy. Excitement grew as we wrote our cards and dropped them into the boxes. Bringing home that box with all of the valentines and eating the heart-shaped sugar cookies were part of my elementary school memories.

Of course there is not time for this in school today. I do not believe that valentine design is part of the learning standards. You know that there is certainly not time to waste on frivolous activities. Studying for national and state tests are critically important to “show” that our kids know their stuff.

Too bad the stuff they learn will not include the art of having time for heart-felt learning!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What Is Your Humor Style?

What makes you laugh? Who is your favorite comedian? These are a few of the questions that are involved in the workshop that I will be presenting this coming week called "Your Humor Style is Your Communication Partner".

The topic of humor styles has fascinated me for quite a while. I think most of us are mildly aware of our humor preferences and know that we prefer to be with friends and colleagues who appreciate our unique sense of humor. As part of the workshop this week, we will be actively looking at jokes, cartoons and identifying movies, and situations that we find funny. I will ask participants to think about how they use humor in communicating with others. How can a person enhance their humor practice to include more humor in their relationships?

I invite you to notice what makes you laugh. You might jot down those things that you find especially funny. Try to identify what kind of humor brings out a hearty chuckle. Is it puns, slapstick, stories, exaggeration, jokes, cartoons?

Awareness of our humor style is the first step in our ability to focus on integrating more humor into our communication with colleagues and friends.

As for me, I especially love short quips and quotes! "Remember-My dog can lick anyone!"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Humor Quest: Pieces of Love

Humor Quest: Pieces of Love: "Happy New Year! Oh my! How did we get through another year so quickly AND--what do you remember about 2010? In looking back I am reminde..."

Pieces of Love

Happy New Year!

Oh my! How did we get through another year so quickly AND--what do you remember about 2010? In looking back I am reminded that strong memories emerge from strong emotional experiences. Your 2010 memories are most likely linked to whatever strong emotional reactions you had this year.

As I get older memories seem to merge and I find that I cannot exactly remember which year a traumatic or joyful event occurred. However, I do have super-charged experiences etched somewhere in my mind----even if they are not on a specific time line. Frequently my children and others remind me of something and memories come flooding back. Can you imagine how many experiences are stored in our brains? I am grateful to the research pioneers who are dedicated to learning how this organ works. I do know from their research that I have some control over my thoughts and over what memories I choose to plant in my own gray matter. Repetition creates strong neural pathways.

With this in mind (pun intended) I choose 2011 to be a year that I fully emerge myself in the joyful and positive events in my life. I want to fully appreciate and create joyful experiences, reliving them through writing; consciously expressing gratitude for the flow and ebb of positivity in my life.

My 4 year old granddaughter recently sent me a thank you note with a lot of random dots and spots on the envelope. Her mother labeled these as "pieces of love" that this child told her she was sending to me. I have kept this envelope and posted it in my desk area. Each time I look at it, I feel the pieces of love wash over me and I am filled with gratitude.

As you navigate the challenges and stress in your life, I encourage you to focus on the pieces of love that pop up in your life in unexpected places. We know that gratitude journals and expressions of appreciation contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

My wish for you in the new year is that you experience pieces of love with amazing frequency and that these memories fill your heart and head for years to come.