As Tina Turner might have said: ‘what’s laughter yoga got to do with it?’
Well, as it turns out – everything!
Fortunately I had decided before going into the 200,000-strong melee that I was going to have a wonderful festival. I’m very glad I decided that. I had lots of opportunities to laugh in the face of disaster after disaster, and I took them all.
First though, the ‘good’ bits. Doesn’t get much better than the Dalai Lama, tens of thousands saw & heard him, everyone loved his message of warm-heartedness, and managing to get this close was a result!
The essence of his message – practice compassion, to everyone, to all life, always. Practice warm-heartedness, and keep practicing – which is at the heart of my own laughter yoga practice (and boy, did I need to practice – more on that later on). And he of course is a big giggler, especially at himself – a warm, wonderful, enthusiastic example.
Secondly, my team – oh, they were outstanding. It’s always good but this year was the best by far. We were all present, engaged, enthusiastic and because we loved what we were doing, the crowd loved it too. Every day got better and the crowd got bigger. We got crazier, more spontaneous, more outrageous, and so did they. Laughter congas & laughter dragons every day.
Thirdly, the music of course. Lionel Richie, I love you, and I loved ‘dancing on the ceiling, with you. We all did. We all loved getting ‘Happy’ with Pharrell too. HUGE crowds.
Then there was all the quirky stuff, all the time, wherever you looked – like the tightrope-walking fiddle player? The Mexican slow-motion bungee jumpers?
The fire show? The fire?!
A rubbish orchestra?
The face painting?
After all this, what could possibly go wrong?
1. Noisy neighbours / not much sleep – every night, another opportunity to use silent laughter practices and extend warm-hearedtness & compassion. First night, excited rowdiness. Second night, pre-dawn rowdiness. Third night, all night rowdiness. Fourth night, teenage rowdiness. Thank you for allowing me to develop my practices so much. I lay in bed, smiled, chuckled to myself, and silently extended wamth to my revelling neighbours.
2. Rain. My tent ended up on a lake – and there were three little holes in the groundsheet, so there was a little lake inside too. Lots of Edward de Bono (lateral thinking) and laughter yoga skills needed here.
3. My glasses. My new £200 glasses. Collected on Monday, lost on Thursday…….breathe, relax, smile – and report to Lost & Found, giving all my contact details..
The final very best bit, my highlight even above the Dalai Lama was my wallet.
I lost my wallet – cash, cards, lots of ID and more.
However, before I even knew I’d lost it, it was returned to me?!
I was mid-conversation when my phone rang. I saw a number I didn’t know, said to my friend ‘this call is important, I have to take it’, and the voice the other end of the line said, ‘you don’t know me, but I’ve got your wallet’. I checked my pocket, and yes, it wasn’t there! Hahahahaaaaaaa! Two angels in human form had found it where I’d been sitting a few moments before, rung into Lost & Found, got my phone number from them (you see – if I hadn’t lost my glasses, they wouldn’t have had my number?!), and promptly contacted me.
My £200 lost glasses ended up saving me £000’s of stress & hassle – and gave me my most heartfelt laugh of the festival.
Oh, by the way, the festival was all about laughter yoga, not sex & drugs at all.