I learnt many skills in my previous career as a lumberjack.
One that has served me well is listening – not to the hinge cracking, nor the tree falling, but to people.
An important part in my lumberjack career was sales and I learnt that if you listen, or rather when we listen, we hear all the person’s under-currents, assumptions, preferences and particularities.
This type of listening, when we feel the nuances of the communication, is a great skill to master – if we ever can.
Its practical application in laughter yoga is been enormous.
It is a subtle skill to feel the nuances in a group – and helpful when we are looking for perfect pitch, so to speak, pitching the ‘perfect’ exercise, ie the perfect exercise for that moment.
It is a common practice to have a set, pre-planned repertoire, and it is essential to set the correct intention and to do proper preparation and planning. However, it is important to be able to vary our plan.
Sometimes this is forced on us by ‘circumstances’, other times there is a subtle invitation, if we know how to listen. Sometimes someone from the group makes a comment or observation, or behaves or interacts or moves in a particular way that lends itself to becoming a ‘perfect’ exercise. When we turn this moment into a warm, generous and inclusive exercise, it can be perfect.
It can certainly be ‘perfect’.
On one occasion, out of the group emerged a hokey cokey. In the context of the workshop it was about as tangential and off-the-wall as you can imagine – but everyone loved it. One person came up to me afterwards and used the words: ‘it was just perfect!’
The reason it was perfect was because it ‘caught’ the moment, it was spontaneous, inclusive and engaging, it was inviting, playful and fun, everyone found their own enjoyment in it, and everyone found it rewarding. This is my definition of a ‘perfect’ exercise.
In my own personal and professional journey I experienced many similar delights. I found the ‘working with what is’ approach in Kindling Point exceptionally useful as it fosters the ability to allow ideas and material to emerge from within the group.
Our skill in the laughter yoga / laughter therapy / laughter wellness / laughology / laughter facilitation arena is then to turn this into a ‘perfect’ exercise.
When we embrace this, sessions become richer, more rewarding, more effective, more engaging, more life-enhancing.
We can all learn this skill.