A Letter of Gratitude (written 3 years ago but still so relevant today)


Standing on the shoulders of my peers, teachers, friends and loved ones; the ones who have taught and reminded me about resilience, confidence and love; the ones who have told me all I need I already have, so go out and share it, I presented "Laughter - The Rhythm of Happiness" to the lovely participants at the TOPS convention in Santa Clara, California on June 1, 2013. It was a 90 minute talk and activity about using positive emotions and sustained laughter as a stress relief tool. About an hour before going on stage, while reviewing slides and speech, I was flop sweating so much I thought I'd pass out from dehydration or slide across the stage floor in a puddle of my own sweat. And those would not have been the laughs I was looking to share.


Thankfully the sweat did not appear. I fell into a full flow of genuine love and desire to share what I know about Positive Psychology and the power of sustained laughter. It was well received as the audience participated wholeheartedly in the discussion and laughter session; they listened to the words of great laughter innovators such as Annette Goodheart and Madan Kataria, and Positive Psychologist researchers Barbara Fredrickson and Tal Ben Shahar. They played, they danced, they sang joyfully. They welcomed the quiet of meditation, and asked great questions as we wrapped up. They enjoyed the new laughter toys and asked when I will be selling my video, so they can share it with their groups at home. I don't yet have a video, but did videotape the event, so will be working on that quite soon. I gladly returned home with homework to create a video and a desire to begin a weekly blog. Gratitude and thanks to all TOPS members for being the joy fueled souls that you are.


Genuinely pleased and a bit overwhelmed by the response, all I can think is GRATITUDE to so many; my teachers and peers at CIPP at Kripalu; particularly Maria Sirois, Donna Marino, Scott Simon, Tal Ben Shahar, all the CJAMMI's (you know who you are) and everyone that participated in Laughter Yoga at the immersions. You are all my 'confidence boosters.' Much thanks goes to my husband, Carl Derenfeld, who has always been my cheerleader, and this day was my Audio Visual Master, too. To Sebastien Gendry, Linda LeClerc, Jeffrey Briar, Laura Gentry, Debbie Friend, Sue Carter Ansari and Madan Kataria, Melanie Rudolph, Ina Lukas and Jason Freeman, all who introduced me to the great world of Laughter Yoga, trained with me and encouraged me to pursue its great lessons and share those with the world. And to my yoga teacher, Wendy Silvers, who has taught me that yoga is so much more than asanas on the mat; it is meant to be lived every moment as we walk through each day of our lives.

And much gratitude goes to you, each and every one who reads the Joy Fueled Souls blog. Thank you for taking time in your busy world, with email filled mailboxes to open, to read and share this information. I'd love to get your feedback, too. You can comment at the bottom of the blog or write on the “contact” page any thoughts or suggestions that you may have. May we all continue to feel truly blessed and be grateful everyday of our lives.