The Cultivation of a Giggle ... Carol Ames My Dad was a self-admitted 'clown'. He teased, joked, cavorted, wiggled, grinned, and pranced. And sometimes he called Sharon (my older sister) and me 'clowns'. I interpreted this as an endearment and basked in the glory. I thought my Dad was absolutely fantastic, so if I was anything like him, then this meant that I was okay too! I often felt awkward and unsure of myself as an adolescent. Then I started to notice that when I used humour I could more easily connect with others. Whether this translated into praise, resentments or intimacy, anything was preferable to being anonymous. A strategy was born! As a young woman I was developing quite a reputation for, among other things, a sharp intellect, a perceptive mind, and a quick wit, all of which could combine to either entertain or terrorize, depending on my mood, the circumstances, and the barometric pressure that day. I had honed my humour but hadn't quite caught on to fi~ld sensitivity yet. My strategy had developed
Never one to do things by halfmeasure, when I finally started to become more aware of myself and my behaviour, I decided, among other things, that I would cut out this nasty humour stuff and instead be loving, warm and compassionate. Gone were jibes, slapstick, puns, giggles, funny faces, jokes, double-entendres, ridicule, irony, self-deprecation and wit. In my effort to become more enlightened I was also becoming a bit of a bore-and a very cautious one too!
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Since that day I have come to
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Although the focus of The Quantum Laugh is humour, this does not mean that I perform stand-up comedy for two days, nor are the participants required to regale each other with amusing anecdotes or witty repartee. It is an opportunity to consider the role of humour in our lives, the value we attach to humour, and what our sense of humour, or lack of it, says about us. In that first weekend course there were laughs, chortles, giggles, guffaws, groans and snorts. And there were discoveries, frustrations, revelations, resistances, creations and epiphanies. I have rarely felt as vulnerable or as alive. I was thrilled to be able ro share my passion with this group of hardy explorers.
In 1993 I took Phase II. My fearless leaders apparently thought I could usc, and might appreciate, a humour injection. With their guidance I spent an afternoon session transforming some difficult and charged childhood memories into a colourful slapstick romp replete with ludicrous characters, childish songs and wonderfully twisted plot lines. I had shifted my perspective on those childhood memories of mine, and the group members reported having enjoyed the experience! The group's energy and spirits were high, and I experienced both relief and lightness.
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more fully accept my skewed perspective, my quick comic timing, and my full-bodied laughter. I understand that humour is not only a form of entertainment-for me it is an access to my energy, my understanding, my creativity and my ability to connect with others. The Quantum Laugh ... Shifting wtfh 1--Iumour, which had its inaugural run at The Haven in November 2002, is a product of this journey.
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Spirit Intensive Sept 14-16, 2003 S445 ($415 early bird)
Marilyn Qossner,Ph.D .,Ed.D. Cc:rfounder-pre&idenl of lhe &pirilual &ience l'ellow&hip. a behavioural and yo13a lherapi&l. a 13ifled inluiUve, medium. educalor. psychic.
s6en - Issue 32 Fall 2.003