Monthly Archives: June 2015

Believe In Yourself, Part Two

During the time I was struggling to believe in myself, I started attending a laughter club in Tempe. I didn’t know what to expect, but when my friend Joan told me about it, I knew I needed to find out. It sounded intriguing and fun! I needed more fun in my life! Family members had been sick, I’d been sick and just in the house for what seemed like weeks. I was also at a stand still on my book, so I needed to get out of the house. I need to point out that I believe in the message of my book. I simply doubted myself and the ability to publish the book.

Meanwhile, I went to the laughter club and had the time of my life!! I became a laughter junky! It doesn’t solve problems, but it helps take you away from it temporarily. It helps to release some of the stress of life. In fact it helps to put a different perspective on how bad things are when you can take a minute to laugh a bit. I wish I had known about laughter clubs back when I was struggling with mental illness.

At the laughter club, we do exercises that help to reduce stress by inducing laughter for no reason. We laugh, say our mantra “ho ho ha ha ha”, make eye contact with the other members, and dance depending on who is leading the group. I was able to come out of my shy shell by attending the laugh club. I don’t feel as socially inept and lonely anymore. I can let down my hair, be silly, and be myself! I love to laugh now but I will never forget the darkness of depression I once lived in.

It’s my hang out place. People hang out at coffee shops, bars, churches, clubs, and other social places. They go where they feel comfortable and it’s their “thing”. Well, laughter club is my thing! I do other “things” as well but this is my most comfortable place. It reminds me of the line in the Cheers theme song where it says, “you wanna go where everybody knows your name.”

In May, the laughter club celebrated World Laughter Club. I bought some red noses to wear for the day. I met with other club members at a lite rail station. The intent was to share the benefits of laughter while riding the rails. Before we got on the train, we did some warm up exercises. Someone took pictures and video taped a little blurp of it with their cell phone.

At first, I was a little stiff and it was hard for me to let my hair down in front of all these other people. I wasn’t in a room full of people with my gang of laugh buddies but out in public being silly! People might laugh or stare! So I was clapping with the others, saying our “ho ho ha ha ha” mantra and a little dance, but I needed to loosen up. I told myself, “You’re either in it all the waya or not!”

So I started clapping, dancing, smiling and singing no matter what! I was very passionate sbout it and it made a big difference. I smiled and waved at perfect strangers. I was totally out of my element, but you know it was very liberating! I overcame that fear! It didn’t matter who was watching. Actually it did matter who was watching. That was the whole idea! Yeah we looked silly, we looked crazy, but it didn’t matter we were happy! We were happy to be sharing the message of the benefits of laughter. That’s what believing in yourself can do for anyone. It’s being passionate about what you want, and being “all in” without reservations or hesitation. It’s giving yourself permission to “just do it” as Nike says.

I’m very interested in becoming a laughter leader now. It will take some training and yes going to the next level. The next level is doing it without following someone else’s lead. It’s where I’m doing it on my own and leading others into it. I’m so looking forward to that day!

Everyone knows that laughter is good medicine, but how often do we do it? There are laugh clubs all around the world and skype groups as well. If you’re not connected with one, and would like to google it and I’m sure you’ll find one. Some of them advertise on meetups.com. Believe in yourself.  Love yourself!  Get out there and do what you love. Take a break from the work, problems and laugh! Ho ho ha ha ha!!!

Believe In Yourself!

In January this year, I attended an online book workshop. The faciliator, Carey Kingsbury, showed us how to write a book in 4 weeks. I was very nervous about getting started but I did write some stories to put in my little book, Dear Sophia, Love Yourself! I wrote the stories, had someone edit them (my grammar is atrocious), and I took the time to make lots of corrections. The editing part took longer than the original writing it! Some of the biggest problems were missing punctuation marks. I also write the way I talk which isn’t a good idea if you don’t talk correctly. I tend to use ethnic expressions. There were lots of grammatical errors. I was very on edge about it all. At times I just wanted to throw it all away because I simply couldn’t find ways to better express myself. However, the editor did offer suggestions to me which I’m very grateful for.
It was very important for me to write the book because it was part of my healing journey. Yet for many reasons, I made excuses to not approve the book for publishing. I sent my text in for approval on the createspace website for self publishing. There were problems with my margins and it was so frustrating. I hadn’t used a word processing software in years so I was very rusty on it it all. I was also not very good at working with templates. I finally ordered a proof of the book when I thought everything was okay but when it came, I realized I hadn’t fully justified the text, and the margins were still off!
Meanwhile, one of the other writers in the workshop published her book. It is a workbook called How To Believe In Yourself: A 7-Step Guide For Overcoming Fear And Self-Doubt by Carmen Parks. The book was very timely because I had serious doubts about my ability to publish my own book. I was uncertain about the cover, what I wrote and I even found out that I had accidentally left out one of the most important stories in the book. It’s the story called, “I’m Not Crazy!!” Gee, I was feeling very crazy about it all! I bought Carmen’s book and ended up attending one of her workshops. She very kindly walked me through the process of overcoming the fear. She also helped me to overcome any doubts about publishing my book. My own book is about learning to love myself and I needed it to help me do it! Hehehe.
The main point in all of this is to believe in yourself! Let go of fear and speak up for yourself. My husband helped me to fix the margins and I ended up publishing the book. However, it took me a while to actually tell anyone I did it! It’s so hard to put yourself out there. I was feeling very exposed. Yet I did it! That’s the most important part, I did it! I believed in me and my work. Now I’m here writing a couple of blogs! I remember, prior to publishing my book, Carmen told me, “This book can open doors that you never knew were out there.” It is so true. I have had many doors open for me, and it also helped me to come out of my shell, and let my light shine. I feel more free to openly share what I have been through, and have overcome. It’s liberating! Believe in yourself and all you want to accomplish. You never know what doors it may open for you! More coming up in the next entry.

Don’t hold back

I recently had a revelation.  I realized I was keeping my love to myself .  I have lots of love in my heart, but I frequently would hold back especially to friends and family.  It’s no wonder, I was feeling a bit unloved.  It’s a strange paradox, if I hold back, I experience lack!  Yes, I sort of rhymed there.   Ain’t no crime to tell a rhyme!!  What I’ve realized is that the very thing I am lacking is what I am holding on to.   And not only that, but I wasn’t giving it to myself.  I spent many years in therapy trying to heal of childhood abuse and wounds. I experienced lots of empathy and compassion, but it didn’t help me to heal until I started showing compassion for myself.    I also had caring friends, but I didn’t feel their warmth and love, until I extended it to myself.    Yes, I’m saying, I needed to love myself, but I also needed to learn to give it away.  The flow of life is the giving and receiving, receiving and giving.  It gets blocked and stuck, and we experience lack when we don’t allow this natural flow.  What do you need right now?   Think about it, and see if there is stagnation somewhere.  Have faith in the natural flow of life!  There’s a scripture which says “it’s better to give than to receive.”  I also like to give out of the abundance of what I’ve been given.    There’s no reason for me to think I need to hang on to what I have as if I’m going to run out because it never does, it just seems like it because I’m not allowing the flow.  My wisdom today is to plant seeds of love or whatever I want to see grow in my life, starting right here in my heart.      Plant those seeds, you will receive a harvest!  Also, don’t forget to love yourself!

Wisdom of another blog!

I balked when I was first presented with the idea of a blog.    I thought surely the world doesn’t need another blog!  Yet I started blogging and now I have another one!    Seriously, what’s with all the blogs???  Well, I haven’t read very many, but considering there are quite a few out there and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon, it seems we all have something very important to say!!   Wow, that was brilliant!  Yes, I’m dripping with sarcasm right now…Seriously, many people are talking about the exact same thing so I didn’t think I would have anything more to contribute.  Then it was brought to my attention that I have a unique point of view.  I have a unique voice and ideas of how to present myself.  I am different.  I’ve had different life experiences.  I get it now.  My stories, my blog is going to resonate with some people, and they’ll “get” it, too.  For others, they’ll say “she’s crazy!”  Some will see through my silly sense of humor and will leave in a flash.  It’s perfectly fine because some people will love me and others will hate me.    But my wisdom for today is be yourself!  Love yourself!  Shine your light whether anyone is watching or not.    If you have something to say, say it with love and honesty.  Share your truth.

Hello world!

This is my other blog!  I share my wisdom and stories a bit unrelated to my book Dear Sophia, Love Yourself!  Okay this might sound corny but you know my name is Sophia which means wisdom in Greek.  I feel this great unspoken pressure to be wise.  Yet it comes very natural and flows freely from my pseudo version of spirituality.  I’m probably going to share things you might not have wanted to know me.  However, it will at least sound wise most of the time.   I actually graduated from the SHK, but I didn’t stop learning and I find myself learning on a deeper level and new understanding of things I learned long ago.   For those who don’t know SHK is School of Hard Knocks!  You might find this hard to believe but I am sort of a wizard of wit and wisdom, hence the reasoning behind Sophia’s Wizdom!  I have no plans to quit my day job and become a comedian nor guru.   I just happen to believe I have lots of insight into many things and I happily volunteer my time to share it with the world and my faithful readers.    It may appear I’m full of myself, but I’m actually quite meek and humble.  I’m not trying to brag here, but just rest assured, I have several humble badges.   I share stories of love, joy, laughter and tears.