Allow the love in
My greatest joy has been simply to let love in.
How do you do that?
Let go of pride and ego.
Ask for help.
Take the help and ask for help again.
Then savour in it.
Allow others that beautiful feeling that you get when you give.
Allow them the immense pleasure of helping you.
By doing so you let others know that they too can ask for help.
Some in the Joyworks family had become dearest friends but others I had not seen for years.
Reflecting on the way it all panned out, it seemed to me that the ‘Joy-ins’ brought everyone together from the last thirteen years of facilitating events, workshops, and training and all that fun and love was magically turned back to me at my darkest hour.
I was an incredibly lucky girl.
A beautiful lady Shauna, who attended the very last ‘Joy In’ I did (and had been coming to Joyworks events for over a decade) was powerfully drawn to set up a ‘Power of Eight Intention’ group for me.
I could never have known then how she would be inspired to soothe mine.
She led Hazey, Pat, Martin, Misha, Gill, Romayne, Isabel, Linda, Eilidh, Caroline, Natalie, and Lisa in visualising me well.
It was sweet Natalie who trained as a Laughter Yoga Leader over 8 years ago that rallied the Joyworks family together.
They intended by either joining the weekly call or by quietly intending at the agreed day or time.
I greatly benefited every Monday night at 8pm as they set an intention for my healing but more of that later.
They did this for months.
This still blows me away.
Natalie tells me that there was around 25 in the initial ‘Power of Eight’.
If you are reading this and were involved do reach out so I can thank you personally.
Many have written about how life-changing our Laugher Yoga Training has been for them.
The overflowing love I received and the strength I have found in myself has been life-changing for me.
Thank you also to many of you reading this for the most beautiful cards, flowers and videos throughout this tricky time.
Whether they popped through my inbox or post-box they made me feel I was never alone.
The level of thoughtfulness and generosity that has been shown to me from my family, my love, friends, and organisations (Rainbow Valley and Epilepsy Futures deserves a special mention) continues to overwhelm me.
Attending Rainbow Valley’s online sessions in those early days- this time- as a participant was deeply moving after all the years of facilitating at the ‘Seven Steps to Health’ Retreats at Ardoch.
The memories from those days of us altogether – my Rainbow Valley Family have lifted me so.
Walking into Ardoch was like coming home.
Lindsay, Phil, Betty, and Karen -the dream team – welcomed me with such warmth and love before I had the immense privilege to culminate the two days for those who were living with cancer.
How we laughed. How we cried. How we hugged.
Rainbow Valley Heroes rocked, and we transformed the endothelium in that room!
The endothelium is a thin membrane that lines the inside of the heart and blood vessels.
Scientists have proven that the magnitude of change seen in the endothelium from laughter is like the benefit received in aerobic activity.
Phil used to have to help me out with the pronunciation of the word and so it became a running joke.
It was fitting that very first online event I was invited to do in August 2020 was with Rainbow Valley.
It meant the world that Lindsay trusted me to deliver the session despite what was going on.
It was, thankfully, a great success and of course we still ended the session dancing to ‘It’s a Wonderful World.’
And I was back!
In one of the last ‘Joy in’s’ before I got ill, I had asked everyone to write a love letter to themselves and post it.
In the next session I mused at how surprised I was that my love letter to myself described the ways I helped others and the beautiful people who loved me.
I loved myself because of who loved me and what I did for others.
Looking back on this is profound.
There are still days I self-bargain with my body for better health, but even on the days when I am not 100% successful, I am always aware of just how loved I am.
Even when I am resting on the couch doing nothing.
Can you today just sit doing nothing and bask in how loved you are?
2.Tap into beautiful memories
This week after a seventeen-month absence I will re-join the world of social media.
How freeing it has been to just be away from the influence and noise of it all.
However, I do use it for the joy!
Each morning I savour happy times by clicking on ‘memories’ section on Facebook (you don’t need to go onto Facebook for it) I then send the memories to loved ones so they too can have a feel-good moment.
I have loved ordering Free Prints of favourite times to plaster all around my fridge and using the iPhone app I have also loved making movies.
Talking about precious memories in the past and exciting plans to distract when things are tough is a wonderful practise and how it changes mood instantly.
All it takes it a little awareness – therein lies the work -for me anyway!
Yale University has scientifically proven the benefits of this technique and calls it, ‘Savouring’.
Those Abraham Hicks fans will know it as Appreciation Rampages and Pre-paving and those Christians among you will know it as ‘Counting Your Blessings’.
It’s a perfect way to train ourselves on how we see the world – to see it as a place of belonging and connection rather than being weighed down.
At the beginning of my journey the ‘Power of Eight’ intentions felt beautiful.
Everyone could see me getting stronger week by week but as time went on, I had forgotten just how healing it was.
Three months ago, I began using visualisation peppered throughout my day. I visualise times when I was 100% healthy and happy.
I have often talked about the scientific research around visualisations, but I can now personally vouch for this technique to improve physical health too.
Dancing in a shimmery blue incredible ball gown kindly gifted to be by dear Lindsay at the Rainbow Valley Ball and kicking off the Conference in Vienna are two of my favourites and I’ve also been using them before Joyworks online events.
I’m happy to say a high-profile event last week was a great success!
What would your top three visualisations be?
What have you got to lose?
I had had a two-month dip when I began using short visualisations them consistently.
Just three weeks after later I was able to go with one of my oldest friends to her new home in Perth.
My friend and I even went shopping!
I drove to Kelvingrove Park for the first time in over a year and boogied with my friend Gill to ‘Young at Heart.’
And we are.
3.Find a way to give
On days I physically could not get down the stairs, to get outside, I fed the birds from the window.
On better days I went downstairs and what once I knew as the bin sheds became a little bit of paradise.
I cannot tell you the heart-singing joy it gives me.
At that time, it made me feel useful and less vulnerable.
It made me so happy that they had chosen my turf!
Now I marvel at how intimately I know them.
When I am lucky enough to hear the robin sing, the fragile wee mite it is, it really makes my day and I think I bore everyone to tears by going on about it!
And we’re never really giving simply receiving. Right?
Laugh when you can, it’s cheap medicine