HVF020 – Melanie Bloch

Tony Winyard – Health, Breathing, Sleeping, Mindset & Movement Coach https://tonywinyard.com/

Happy Vs Flourishing episode 20 with Melanie Bloch is all about laughter. Melanie is an instructor in Laughter Yoga and if you’ve never heard of that before, you’ll learn much more in this episode. There is far more laughter involved in the sessions than yoga, and the body oozes with feel-good chemicals as a result of so much laughing.

  • Topics discussed:
    Origins of Laughter Yoga
    Therapeutic benefits
    Laughter Yoga has been an immense relief for many people in this pandemic
    Practicing this in a corporate environment
    Adapting to doing sessions online

Favourite book:
A contemporary spiritual text which Melanie uses as a daily practice
‘A Course In Miracles’

PDF: http://stobblehouse.com/text/ACIM.pdf

Favourite quote:
‘Although the world is full of suffering. It is full also of the overcoming of it’
Helen Keller

Coming up in January and Feb

Intro to Laughter Therapy: 10th Jan

Laughter Yoga Facilitation Skills: 17th Jan 

Inner Spirit of Laughter Workshop: 6th Feb

Website :
www.melaniebloch.co.uk

Resources:

Health benefits of Laughter Yoga

What is your Laughter Quotient?

What is laughter yoga?

Happy Vs Flourishing links:

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How to leave a podcast review:

Tony Winyard 0:00
Happy versus flourishing Episode 20. Welcome to the podcast where we give you ideas on ways you can improve the quality of your life. And in today's episode, we're going to investigate the world of laughter with Melanie Bloch, who is a Laughter Yoga instructor. Laughter Yoga is is an amazing concept you, you basically just spend 45 minutes laughing non stop and your body is oozing with all these feel good chemicals. So we're going to find that a lot more about it and how it's used and how it's also used for therapy for many people. Please do subscribe to the podcast that way you'll find out when new episodes are released every Tuesday. Maybe share this episode with anyone who you feel would really get some benefit from it. There's been so much stress over the last 9, 10 months, with lock downs and everything. laughter is a great therapy for stress. this could be an episode, if you know anyone who's really been rundown and is maybe not feeling so great, this could be the perfect episode to really pick them up and give them some resources to go to where they can get more a bit more laughter in their lives, which may help brighten them up. So right now it is time for this week's show.

Tony Winyard 1:25
Happiness versus flourishing My guest today is Melanie Bloch. How are you doing?

Melanie Bloch 1:30
I'm doing good. Thanks, Tony. Thanks for inviting me

Tony Winyard 1:34
Thank you for coming on and we you from listening to your accent. Most people would presume that you're in Scotland, but you're quite a way south of that.

Melanie Bloch 1:43
Well, I was born and bred in Scotland, but I've been living in Stanmore, Northwest London the last 25 years but you don't lose the accent.

Tony Winyard 1:54
It's funny you say that my my godfather, who lived next door to my nan and granddad, and he's been in England for; I think he's in his 90s now. He came over in his early 20s. And he comes from Wexford in Ireland, and I still have trouble understanding him. Sometimes his accent is so strong.

Melanie Bloch 2:12
I love the different accents. Gorgeous. It does bring a lot of flavour to things, doesn't it when people have their own voice?

Tony Winyard 2:24
This is going to be quite a different episode, because we're going to explore laughter yoga, and my suspicion is that many people listening to this, probably have no idea what laughter yoga even is. So this is going to be something quite new for many people. How long have you been in this area?

Melanie Bloch 2:42
Well, I've been a therapist for over 25 years and studied many different modalities. But I actually came to laughter yoga at a time when I really needed to find my life again, my mom had passed away from cancer, and I'd been her carer and my son was going off to uni. And I was in that empty space, I was grieving for my mom. And yeah, that's the empty nest syndrome, and all my therapies. None of them were really helping my spirit. And I didn't feel that I could treat anyone or give anything, I was so depleted. And something came into my mind. I had remembered attending a laughter session many years before just a short introduction. And I googled laughter. And found this incredible, shall we see, it's a mind body spirit exercise that reignites your breath and your energy. And in the form of the hahaha sound, and playful laughter exercises and deep breathing. I went on, enjoyed the session so much fell in love with it. I went on very quickly to, to train to be a leader, and then a teacher in it. And yeah, the last eight years I've been shooting sessions primarily started off just within within my community, I had people in my home. And then at some point, my experience became such that I got some corporate work. And so now it's corporate and community. And every time I run a session, it helps me as well. So yeah, it's a very beautiful thing to share last with people.

Tony Winyard 4:13
What you just said is something similar to my experience, I first discovered it a couple of years ago, I can't remember how I found out about it. But I went to a session in Archway North London. And within five minutes of doing it, I thought I need to learn how to instruct this because at the time, I was delivering workshops. And they were all day workshops. And so essentially, that composed people sitting at a desk all day long for eight hours. And I knew that I needed a way to change the energy during the day at some point because it's not good for you just to be sitting down and basically there's only so much you can take in and as soon as I started doing it, I thought I need to learn how to do this so I can incorporate some of this into my workshops.

Melanie Bloch 5:04
I mean, that's so wonderful that you felt that too. And I think, you know, when you're looking on the outside, some people can think seems a bit strange. Why would you need to be going to a session, which is all about learning to laugh or reignite your laughter. But as we can see protecting this year, more than any, that sense of connection, that camaraderie, you know, if you're isolated from people, and you're isolated from families, and you don't have the same structure, maybe you, you'd have challenging situations, to find your way to life, again, is vitally important. And it can boost your immune system, and just raise the energy. And as you said, in serious situations, work situations, they've actually proven that if the team is finding a way to laugh, it supports the communication. And people can work more cooperatively together. So it's bringing in a different energy

Tony Winyard 5:59
For many people listening, who are still unsure as to exactly what it is; they probably worked out, okay, laughing is involved, but what is it? So if Could you describe how a live face to face session would be and then how an online session?

Melanie Bloch 6:13
Well, as I started to explain, it's actually all about breathing. So at the moment, particularly, as we know, it's so important to get oxygen. And when we're wearing the masks, we're not actually getting an opportunity to breathe as deeply. And because people are potentially feeling quite frightened about things as well, that also affects the breath. So we're actually supporting people and finding the diaphragmatic breaths to from the belly. So once we get that motion, again, we were breathing deeply from the belly, then we actually add the sound of heart. Now note, the sound of heart is actually very powerful. And in terms of spiritual energy, it actually connects you to that that is bigger than yourself. So when you go, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Melanie Bloch 7:07
Right to the very end of your breath, you're already surrendering to something bigger than yourself. Now, we're born with the ability to laugh and cry. Of course, these are really emotions within ourselves. And when we repress that laughter or when we repress those tears, you can just imagine, you know, what we're shutting down inside of ourselves. So with this loving encouragement, just to breathe, and I like to see breathe with a smile in your face and a little willingness. That's all we're doing here. We're making the sound of heart. And we're allowing the breath to support it. And we're releasing stress.

Tony Winyard 7:45
And I imagine a lot of people think, yeah, surely it must be... just to start laughing. That must be really fake?

Melanie Bloch 7:54
Well, yeah, I'm glad you asked me that. Tony, the way that I like to approach it is, the fact that you're feeling you need to laugh a little bit more means that something inside of yourself is seeing that gives us a goal. So there's that little willingness is in place. And when we start breathing, and we start making the same, the half, what we're doing is we're stimulating that part of ourselves again. So again, it's that little willingness to see I want to feel a little bit better than this. Now, the wonderful thing about simulated laughter is the body doesn't know the difference between real laughter or simulated, you get all the endorphins. Anyway, the oxytocin, the serotonin, the dopamine, that we've shown this magically, so your mood will lift. So it's a little bit like the chicken or the egg, it doesn't really matter, because you're going to get the benefits anyway.

Tony Winyard 8:49
I believe it's been used in a therapy for certain conditions.

Melanie Bloch 8:53
I believe that it can be used in a complimentary sense, beside any health condition. Because really, again, we're just breathing deeply, and we're releasing stress. And I do think that a lot of this ease does come from shutting down our emotions, and those emotions, you know, can be tightly locked into the body and you know, stop the blood flow. And again, just in terms of our immune system, when we find a way to breathe deeply and release stress, we're actually opening up the capacity for a more healing. So I think it could be used alongside any health condition.

Tony Winyard 9:36
I remember the live session I went to, it started off with a group of people, the way we were introduced to each other there was a balloon, we were all hitting it up into the air and as we hit it up into the air we had to say our name, and it just became... It is hard to describe it without seeing it, but it actually was quite funny. The situation as we were whacking this balloon into the air and and then saying, our name, and then the next person do the same, and then that transitioned into something else. And although the beginning it was we were maybe forcing the laughter, but pretty quickly, it was quite genuine laughter to the point where my stomach was hurting from laughing. At the end of this session, I think it was 45 minutes, one hour, I think it was, I think it was the most pleasant stomachache I'd had in my life, because I just felt so good.

Melanie Bloch 10:28
Oh, that's lovely. And I love the sound of that, in that playful way, you know, with the balloon and batten the balloon backwards and forwards and saying your name, again, it's all about lightening up isn't there, you know. So, again, that kind of sense of connecting to the inner child, the playful part of ourselves, which is still very much alive. But when is that actually given the opportunity, you know, to really come out and, you know, express joy. And, and again this year, you know, I think it's more important than ever, that people look within themselves to find that resource, there's still a joy there, there's still something they could connect to, to support the well being.

Tony Winyard 11:09
Well, how different is it doing it online to doing it in a face to face session?

Melanie Bloch 11:14
I have been so pleasantly surprised and I know I was sharing with you before, you know, we started recording the podcast, you know, just how technophobic I was. And it took a pandemic to actually get me online. You know, beyond my, what I perceived as my limitations around technology, when I started sharing the laughter, I couldn't believe just how incredible it was that, you know, the camaraderie, the sense of connection, and obviously can hear each other laughing, you can see our beautiful smiles, again, people were sharing, you know, allowing space for people to share what was on their mind, and then perhaps turning that into, you know, a laughter exercise that wasn't about pushing that feeling down, but was actually about allowing it to rise. And through the last, and perhaps the tears force, the was at the centre of emotion shifting and changing, and then allowing something more supportive to come in, you know, change a thought, you know, a change of perspective.

Tony Winyard 12:17
You alluded to a couple of times, it must have been enormously helpful to some people during this year.

Melanie Bloch 12:24
Yeah, I mean, the laughter community has really come together this year, more than ever. And there's a lot of free resources out there people sharing laughter sessions every day. Because it was felt, you know, for the individual, the person sharing it too, of course, that that was what was needed. They wanted to laugh more, and sharing it with others. I mean, you can do on your own, but sharing it with others is really beautiful. So they were helping themselves and also supporting and helping others. And, yeah, in terms of what laughter could do, you know, after you attend, even just a 10 minute short session, you can really use as you said, Tony, when you attended your first session, you really felt a difference.

Tony Winyard 13:08
Do you know of any stories, where you've worked with someone who was really cynical and really disbelieved in thought this isn't going to help me and they were transformed by the end of it?

Melanie Bloch 13:25
Absolutely, I do have some stories. I mean, there's so many stories, it's actually quite hard to pick to pick home. But I do remember one more elderly lady, this was a session at the house. And she came up to me and she said, I gave myself a fright. Because I had my laugh. For the first time, in such a long time, I forgotten what it sounded like. And I had another lady See, I've just remembered who I am. So again, it's like people that have just been kind of shot off maybe a little bit isolated and felt very, very low. There's just a coming back to oneself, you know, when one releases the stress, what's available to to each and every one of us because we've all got that inside us, but just stress is bombarded and shut us down a bit. In terms of someone being really, really cynical. I think, again, if as long as there's a little bit of willingness there, they will feel that benefit as long as they join in with a little bit of willingness. I think if anyone sits on the sidelines and watches they're not going to get the benefit if the feeling cynical because again, they're in that place of the judgmental inner critic mind. That part of ourselves that can actually be very self sabotaging and destructive, but laughter can really support us in dropping that is actually an eagle busting laughter we're literally Like we point ourselves, we just chalk away. Our ludicrous is our busy thinking that the stories we tell ourselves, and if somebody is willing to laugh at themselves, you can actually break down that, that underminer. And again, it's like to move into a space that's more expansive and loving. And and actually let one last thing as well, you know, there's that potential for, again, I call it you know, the part that's bigger than ourselves that reads the grass in the sky blue, the part we can't control. And when we surrender into that, there's a beautiful piece that comes and, and I think that within the last year community, and sadly for myself, I found a way to stop and silence that busy over critical thinking mind. And that's what I love others to encourage, to do as well.

Tony Winyard 15:51
The thing about laughter is it is so contagious. I imagine that even if you were so sitting on the sidelines, and watching what was going on, with everyone laughing so much, it will be difficult to stop yourself from laughing,

Melanie Bloch 16:06
I think everyone's different. And it is hard to generalise, I would like to think so I would like to think so. Again, it does depend, you never know what somebody is going through at the time, you know, what challenges they're faced with. And certainly I know myself, you know, after my mom had died, I wasn't ready to be laughing at that point. It was after I'd been grieving for about, you know, about nine months, I had something within me said you need to shift. And at that point that I was ready and then actively sought out. So again, I can never be the judge, you know, somebody can be in my station and not seem to be responding as much as the others. But again, you can never know left return, there may have felt a benefit. And, and there are lovely stories like that where people can come up and say all three years ago, I attended the session and actually, you know, it had an effect, or you know, there was a benefit, and then it maybe took them on to the next step, whatever that was for them to seek out more support. So this is the thing, we can't ever be the judge of what what somebody is receiving.

Tony Winyard 17:08
You just reminded me, I seem to remember it can often release a lot of emotions for someone you know, halfway through or by the end of the session or whatever.

Melanie Bloch 17:18
Absolutely. If I work as a therapist as well, what I like to do, you know, we all got our own way of making our own, and sharing, you know, with the skills and the acumen that we each individually have. So different people will be drawn to different people's sessions and trainings. So mine tends to be from a very therapeutic point of view, where I do very much encourage, notice, obviously forced, is all about if it's ready, and if it feels right for you to allow are all. So whatever that is, and that can be quite messy. But it's a very safe space, it's a very contained space for all of that release. Because again, that was my experience, it was what I needed. And as a therapist as well, I'm trained as a laughter therapists too, we can take it into places where a lot can be done, let's put it that way.

Tony Winyard 18:13
How different is it doing it in a corporate environment, where people are much more maybe reluctant to really laugh and let themselves go because of how their colleagues are thinking of them?

Melanie Bloch 18:25
Absolutely. And again, different corporations have different policies. So I've I've been blessed enough to do it for people like NSN. And people like be who have, you know, a more ethos around loving kindness, and actually support that kind of environment within the workplace. And those people tend to be, you know, that their job is? Well, sure, listen, we're actively encouraged to be creative and think outside the box. And again, that's more in touch with their emotions. So actually, in terms of those sessions, they can be very much like what I've described, but in terms of other sessions, where people just, you know, the kind of work that they're doing the limitation, shall we say, within the company and the corporation? You're absolutely right. The could be feeling like a bit lockdown, a bit shut down, not actually being given permission, even though the session we've been invited, then to unlock stress and to support team building, if they've actually not in our kind of ethos, shall we say, or an environment where they feel safe to do that, then you can't change the climate, you know, of a company's ethos, certainly not in one session, but what you can do is point them into their own innate well being and in a very gentle, loving way without it being too, you know, without exposing them too much. share a few things that potentially they can find helpful. So again, dealing with each Individual within a session pointing to something that is the theme within us all. We've all got that we all have emotions, we all have to deal with challenges, and we all need to laugh and cry.

Tony Winyard 20:14
And it is a pretty global thing now, laughter yoga?

Melanie Bloch 20:18
I think so I mean, it's been going 25 years. So Dr. Medina pitarrio originally started this movement with his wife, with just five people in a Monday Park, and 1995. And it was very much for the community. And you know, over this period of time, it quickly grew. So now there are spaces and faces of laughter clubs in over 100 countries worldwide. And of course, with the online presence now is reached so many more communities. And yeah, I mean, I have really no idea just how vast it's grown this year, with the online presence being as as because yeah, people need something, they need something to lift their spirits. And again, it's something that is natural to us. But sometimes, when there's so much challenge outside, you know, in the world, we need to look within and find that resource within ourselves.

Tony Winyard 21:15
For many adults, they need encouragement to laugh, I guess, for children, they need no encouragement at all.

Melanie Bloch 21:21
Yeah, yeah, no, you're absolutely right. To me, I think I kind of mentioned a little bit earlier on that, as adults, you know, we're sometimes put in a box and expected to behave in a certain way. And even for young ones, I mean, I'm not quite sure if that tide is changing a little bit. No, but you know, from a very early age, you know, from the nursery, practically, as they were moving into primary school, they were being taught, you know, you know, to actually lock down that part of themselves, you know, to actually have to conform, and, you know, just in terms of ticking boxes and things, you know, at a very early age that that spirit was already being, you know, against the price, so, it's about unlocking that, and allowing the full human spirit to, to come through and young dancing, playing, singing, being creative. You know, these are attributes that have been potentially underestimated just how important it is for people's mental health. But with this last few years, thankfully, you know, with the tide turning, again, in recognition of how important is because the mental health of the nation, you know, has been so compromised, that we're coming back to these basic abilities are things within ourselves, it's very, very important to, to Yes, support, not locked, divulge Sharpie, not show ourselves off from

Tony Winyard 22:54
With the other therapies that you're doing. And now you're using this in conjunction with them. So how much of a difference has it made to what you do?

Melanie Bloch 23:02
I remember very early on, I offer body work, nurturing deep tissue bodywork, once I started shooting, last two sessions actually changing not with everybody, but in certain sessions, allowing a lot more space for sound and breath. So we might be working on or I would be working on the shoulder, or, you know, lower back pain, and actually encouraging the client to release a little bit of the tension through sales. So that might sound a little bit like all or, you know, actually acknowledging just how painful it was. And sometimes in the acknowledgment of the sound, which, you know, could be quite cool. The person would have to laugh, because they were almost like, again, as a kind of response to the pain, the laughter was being laid out. So I was actively encouraging a lot more of that. And then I'd always held the space, I think, for tears, you know, for whatever needed to come. But it was just kind of a deepening into that. So yeah, there was a deeper sense of surrendering, I think, as well. And because I was so comfortable with it, because you know, I've been going through my own process, you know, of healing myself through the laughter and the tears, because when you want to do the teacher training, you actually have a lot more space and time to, to actually go deep. So I'd be doing rather a lot of that. And yeah, the more comfortable I think you are with that yourself as an individual, the more you can create a space for that. And one of the other things that I share with people, I trained as an Emotional Freedom Technique, and that always did allow space for laughter and tears, because again, it was quite a natural reaction for people as they were releasing stress. But again, my old comfort levels around that, you know, had changed and was so deep myself. I think that capacity is there and whatever. You know, it is that you share with people, whatever it is that your tools are that you're doing. And then, you know, if you feel drawn to it laughter for yourself first and then finding a way to support others, and all it brings you see, it's, it's quite messy, it's not just about the haha sound, it's about everything that's under it and that can be really can be frustration, you know, all the emotions.

Tony Winyard 25:20
So how often are you doing sessions, every evening?

Melanie Bloch 25:26
no, I mean, you know, during this period of time I had about a month where, you know, I didn't do anything and, and it was quite interesting for me because, you know, I wasn't obviously treating people, you know, in person, you know, during the first part, the lockdown. And I think in some ways I, I needed that rest, and I didn't feel I didn't feel bereft, you know, I didn't think all you know, what am I going to do? Now, I think I've been through that I've been through that phase in my life, many, many years before, you know, the place where you kind of come to, shall we say, almost like, you know, call it a breakdown for a breakthrough, but a place in your life where you recognise you're not what you do, you know, that the value of you does not depend on that. So it was interesting for me to meet that place, you know, and then also be okay in it. And then I got an invitation just to shoot a free session with someone. And again, of course, this was obviously online. And that was my first, shall we say, venturing online, because I've been so phobic about doing anything online. And particularly with laughter. I, in my own mind demo limitation, I couldn't see how I could share that effectively. But I wanted to say yes, to the sensitization. And the rest is history. Because that either this lovely lady that invited me to our Facebook group, you know, so she, you know, I didn't have to worry about the technology, she was hosting it, I just arrived. And I just did what I needed to do. And it was easy, because, of course, it was the same, it was actually the same, there were people there were people that wanted to be there. So that made it easier to it wasn't like a really challenging session. And I have had some challenging sessions sense, which I can share a little bit with you about, but it was people that wanted to be there and the camera was on. And they were engaged. And they were smiling, and they were laughing. And we were all in it together. And it was such a lovely experience. And there's a see, for me, that was very important. I think that the first one was an encouraging session. Because it it, it made me feel I can do this. If I've had a really challenging one to begin with,

Melanie Bloch 27:40
I probably wouldn't have carried on, you know, I've got quite so we see a sort of sensitive personality of all, obviously, through last draft by usually more resilient. But you do assess, you know, again, to work through those kind of blocks. And it was nice, again, that I was given some encouragement. And I think sometimes you're not given anything more than you can cope with. And I think I've been very lucky in some ways that when I started shooting last two, it was within my community that were really out for it. And so I had these really, I call it joyful, brilliant experiences, sharing laughter with people that wanted to be there. And that gave me the confidence. And it was later on, you know, I would say, a good while later on, I may even more challenging experiences, but I was then equipped to deal with it.

Tony Winyard 28:32
And when you talk about more challenging, how do you mean?

Melanie Bloch 28:34
yes, well, my first, the first corporate, one that I did online, which was probably I'd probably done about eight really great online sessions by then. So I was so now talking about paid sessions. So these ones were all, happily from my heart were gifted ones, and was happy to do it. And again, it gave me that experience. This was a more corporate situation where they didn't have the cameras on. And I did have one point of contact. And one other point during the session, somebody did put the camera on, and I could see she was engaged. But it was my first online session where I couldn't gauge what was happening. And I did encourage them. And I did say you know, it's very beautiful if you can switch your cameras on, and then we can actually connect with each other. And I did talk about the mirror neurons smiling and how important it was. And and I think at that point, not one person. Least I had that. But it was a very strange feeling. I just did the best I could, but because I couldn't actually tell if people were joining in or not. I think at one point later on, I was again encouraging people to unmute, and I could hear a little bit of laughter So again, that was good, because I knew both some people are engaging. Yeah, it was a strange one. It was a real learning curve after the session I I remember you know about four days of to needing time to process says just how different add felt for me. And again, you meet your own blocks, you know, in a situation like that, you know, it's your own sensitivities you meet, because, you know, within myself, you know, I've got this thing about, I always want to do a really good job, and I am my own worst critic. So I met my own worst critic, could I have done it differently? And oh, you know, it's hard to beat myself up. But I reflected on the thought, What else could I have done, you know, it was their choice not to switch the cameras on. And I have encountered that, again, with some corporate ones, but I'm more used to it now. You know, and even if you just got three or four people that are engaged, that's enough, you know, that is your kind of fuel to see what's working and not what's not working. So you can maybe change or think about, you know, introduce something else. And again, that's the same in a live session, you're very much feeding, in a sense of meeting the people where they are, and changing what you're doing so that you, you just get a sense of what's working, or what will work better. But with no feedback whatsoever. That that's to me was a real learning path.

Tony Winyard 31:09
For people who are listening and thinking, I like the sound of this, I'd like to try this out, where would be the best places for them to learn?

Melanie Bloch 31:16
Well, I mean, again, online, there's so much free resources at the moment, you could just google laughter yoga free sessions are online, and I'm sure, you know, people will have the choice of so much they can join, if they did want to join one of mine. At the moment, I have been offering a lot of free sessions, I haven't got a free one coming up. But I do have some very low cost, a call it a little bit more than just a session, they're actually introduction to learning laughter skills. So in the new year, I've got some things that are going on, but they are paid, but as I say, keeping a very low cost. So they could look at my website is this out, they would like to check out what I'm doing, which is www.melaniebloch.co.uk I've got some free resources on my website to add some footage of sessions. So they would be able to kind of check out some things, she added quite a lot on there. But yes, the free sessions at the moment, again, just to look up and yeah, to be able to join something. And yeah, just to get a sense of, you know, what's available in terms of the benefits of boosting, boosting, you know, your natural immune system right now with, with a little bit of releasing laughter.

Tony Winyard 32:39
And, I believe, is there a book that you often recommend to people?

Melanie Bloch 32:45
Well, I know I shared with you, Tony, when you asked me what my favourite book was, is my daily spiritual practice, actually, it's a Course of Miracles. And it is a contemporary spiritual text is pointing in the same direction. As you know, all the other beautiful spiritual beliefs you know about that we are the love, and hate to we'd show up as the love every day. So there's actually a lesson every day, that it's very beautiful. I like to call it like, it's almost like inspirational, downvoted visionary poetry. So it kind of puts you, when I read it anyway, it puts me into a deeper space, a deeper connected space. And yeah, makes me more available. Yeah, to open up. And also to see things in the world in a different way. So, you know, again, it's almost like, you know, what lens Are you looking at the world from? Are you looking at it through the lens of fear? Or are you looking at it through the lens of love, and if you find a way to actually look at it through the lens of love situations, and people, it can actually feel very, very different. So that's my daily spiritual practice. And, and it caught for that with the laughter Really? Yeah, because it supports and serves me to to be more, I believe, more healthy, you know, in the way I think, and the way I you know, rather than being reaction to every thing, or every trigger within me, you know, I can actually take a beat, I can actually look within myself and say, hang on, what is this actually about? And then you know, from that place or five maybe you know, needing to sit with it for a while allow some surrendering allow some cry laugh a little bit? Oh, yeah. It's actually that and to do what, that's not the truth, that's just an old made up belief. And I don't need to believe that in a locker. And then I can then make an informed response from a more shall we say, a clear space, a clear space rather than a triggered response.

Tony Winyard 34:45
And is that easily available to find?

Melanie Bloch 34:48
is absolutely easily available to find again, as you can, if you don't want to order the book, which you know, you would pay for if you're ordering like paper copy, you can actually See online for free. I prefer to have the paper copy myself. But yes, if people just look up a Course of Miracles, and they would also be able to see a lot of great teachers of the course, talking about it or sharing, you know, a lot of this understanding. So again, you can just google YouTube, of course, miracles, and then they will be able to hear a lot about it. It's been, it's been around since the 1970s. And there's a wonderful background around it, too. Again, this is not trying to say is better than any other spiritual understanding. But it's a very beautiful, one very beautiful way with daily lessons of bringing yourself back to that deeper space of connection. And I find it so helpful. So that's why I like to, you know, talk a little bit about as asked,

Tony Winyard 35:52
and finally, Melanie, is there a quotation you like?

Melanie Bloch 35:57
Yes, well, the one that I chose is so many isn't that but the one that I chose is Helen Keller quotation. "Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it". And I love that because I feel at the moment, most people myself as well, all of us, we're going through so many challenges, but to just know that we have this resilience within us, you know, and the world is full of the overcoming of it. So things like last there are anything that you know, that's helpful and supportive to your own immune system and your own clarity, your own peace of mind. Yeah, tap into that. And yeah, we will prevail.

Tony Winyard 36:42
And that makes me think of the media who are so very quick to point out all the suffering and bring lots of stories about that, but none of the opposite. So that's why we believe there's so much suffering, but there's actually far more people, as you say, they're overcoming it.

Melanie Bloch 36:59
Absolutely, that's why it's so important that people like yourself, Tony, and even the action that you have your podcast, and all the other things that you share, you know, to actually support the other side, you know, you know, you know, to say that, yeah, there's a huge amount more, and a huge amount available to us that we can tap into. And I do think that, again, within the laughter community, not all of us are coming from a heart space, that truly that is, you know, we find something that's helpful, we want to share that, because it helped us so much, because I would imagine if you spoken to any one of the leaders or the teachers, thank you for, you know, asking me, it's been lovely to talk to you. But each one would have a story about overcoming, you know, depression or an illness or, you know, finding that loss, just support them so much in their resilience and in their everyday lives.

Tony Winyard 37:54
Melanie, thank you for your time. It's been wonderful. And I'm sure a lot of people will really benefit from hearing about this, because I imagine there's so many people No, never come across before and it can be so beneficial to so many people. so thank you.

Melanie Bloch 38:08
Thank you for asking me, Tony, I really appreciate

Tony Winyard 38:14
next week is Episode 21. With Dr. Emily Splichal. She is the CEO and founder of EBFA, Evidence Based Fitness Academy. And they educate many people, they've educated over 20,000 professionals worldwide about the power of proprioception, and sensory sequencing as it relates to movement dysfunction, chronic pain, and movement longevity. And it's all around barefoot running and body mechanics and so on. So we're going to find out a lot more about some of those areas next week with Dr. Emily Splichal. Hope you've enjoyed this week's show. If you know anyone that you feel would probably get some value from some of the things that Melanie shared, why not share the episode with them, and use the resources that she talked about to go and have a take part in a laughter yoga session, you'll feel good, almost certainly you'll feel good at the end of it. And there's many free sessions around if you do Google laughter yoga. in the show notes. I'm going to put a few some information on how to find more details and resources on laughter yoga. Hope you have a great week and see you next week.

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