It would have been my Papa’s birthday on 18th February.

He was an amazing man and such a character.

He had a hard life but was pure JOY and taught me so much.

I wonder what he’d think of me now?

He’d often say, “Oh hen you’re awfu serious. You want to lighten up!

And I was.

He passed when I was in my forties.

I was grieving him when I heard about laughter therapy on the radio.

Having delivered a workshop ‘just for fun’ for a change.

Fifteen years ago now.

This week I was preparing a Keynote for HR Share Conference 2022, the ‘Importance of Laughter in the Workplace’.

I guess it really hit me how much he has shaped who I’ve become and I felt his loss.

But I’ve always kept him alive in Joyworks.

I loved how he’d throw his arms up in the air and slap his thighs with laughter.

“If you don’t laugh, you’ll greet.”

We all loved his wee sayings and we loved joining in as a chorus when we began to say each one.

“Smile and the world smiles with you – greet and nae bugger wants to ken you!”

“Oh hen you gotta laugh!”

When we spoke of him passing…..

“Somebody has got to feed the worms!”

When we asked him how he was he was always aghast for how could you be anything other than great because

“I woke up!!”

He was always dismayed if he found out I had stayed in at the weekend…….

“Aw hen !!!     Nobody’s going to chap your door!”

He’d have loved my love Paolo.

He loved parties and was always the centre of attention.

We’ve a big family the Mitchell Clan (Mitchell is ‘Muckle’ in Scots meaning big).

We couldn’t get enough of him.

If  I moaned about someone….

“If you can’t say anything nice. Don’t say anything at all.”

Precious memories of us all gathered around him in his wee living room.

Him holding court in his muckle chair and us all taking turns singing and telling stories.

Sometimes I’d go in and he’d have, ‘Bat Out of Hell’ playing.

He was forever a teenager at heart and loved us so.

Aw papa. We miss you.

We love you.

“No as much as I love you”, he’d say.

Who has shaped your life?

Can you use the memory for a loving kindness meditation?

I’ve used this practise over on and off since learning meditation in India in 2008.

However it was September 2021 that I began to use it regularly to heal

as part of the Gupta programme.

My Papa has shaped my life and his beautiful presence has helped me heal.

There’s longer traditional Buddhist meditations but a short burst does just as well.

Western Medicine has ran lots of research studies on the deep healing benefits.

They will blow you away and it’s just so soothing and rejuvenating.

Just close your eyes and imagine someone you love.

And say you find yourself low or tense outwith a seated practise simply hold the memory for fifteen seconds.

Neuroscience tells us we will receive the benefits just the same.

Don’t have a loved one you can use?

Choose a scene from nature, or a favourite place you like to go to.

Go on nurture yourself this Sunday, watch how joyful, compassionate and loving you are afterwards.

Open your heart and let all that love in.

My Papa

My Papa’s memory lives on in Joyworks and in my Loving Kindness Meditations.