Monday, December 23, 2013

Tohono Chul with Friends and Laughter

Postings in this blog have been sparse because….
The social life centered around friends, family and the holidays keeps getting in the way.

Let's start with Suzanne.  A dinner with her always leaves me exhausted from laughter.   That is one piece of cake at Claim Jumpers!  The Food Network voted the dessert one of the top five most decadent deserts in the country.

I'm not sure what they would have voted about Suzanne.

A few days later I joined friends Pat, Suzanne and Belle (who is a very young 95 years old) for lunch in Tohono Chul Park.  (Another friend, Brittania had to rush back to work and I missed getting her picture.)

Dining outside in the middle of December is one of the perks of living in Arizona.

I read this following excerpt from a newsletter recently and some of these friends could definitely start one of these clubs.

"Steve Wilson, an Ohio psychologist and self-proclaimed 'joyologist,' launched the World Laughter organization in 1998 after meeting Indian gurus who were advocating laughter in hasya yoga clubs as a road toward health and peace. In conjunction with his Indian colleagues and growing numbers of U.S. supporters, Wilson began offering formal training of certified laughter leaders and the formation of laughter clubs literally throughout the world. This rapidly growing movement is propelled by little more than loads of laughter, physical release, and emotional highs. 

"Laughter clubs are organized by trained and certified laughter leaders anywhere for any sized group that can meet one or more times. What is unusual is that the group participates in a variety of laughter exercises for which there is no humor stimulus. The participants laugh loudly as a group, simply upon instruction to use different laughter sounds and cadences. They, and any observers who may come along (if the group has gathered in a public place such as poolside or the lobby of a hotel), just laugh heartily. Capitalizing on the laughter contagion effect, soon everyone within earshot is also laughing. 

"It is an amazing phenomenon. People in a dire or sober mood, who are preoccupied with their own personal problems, who fear for their business's success or the nation's future or a family member's illness or whatever issue is on their mind, all temporarily forget those stressors and laugh along with everyone present, friends or strangers. All are laughing and all quickly feel good. It's simple, it's bonding, it's stress reducing, it's physically relaxing, it's free, and it's legal! 

"Indian physician Madan Kataria is regarded as the founder of the international Laughter Clubs movement. The clubs are now found worldwide and touted to be applicable to eliminating strife and bellicosity among nations."

Author: Louis R. Franzini
Title: Just Kidding
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Date: Copyright 2012 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Pages: 26-27  

My friend Lynda joined me one evening for a stroll through Tohono Chul to view the lights and listen to the lovely music of Spanish Guitars, some folk singers and a blue grass group.

The park is run mainly by volunteers and covers one large block right in the heart of a very populated area in the northwest part of the city.

  Entering the park immediately removes you from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centers, traffic and noise of the surrounding commercial areas.

The park is the renovation of an old homestead that is now a lovely little tearoom style restaurant,

Besides the restaurant there are two gift shops,

 an art museum, an arboretum….

Several outdoor stages...

and lots of walkways for strolling through the cactus gardens.

It was a perfect holiday setting and really put me in the mood.

Here's wishing you lots of friends, fun and laughter for the holidays.  

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