This week’s Peace Nurturing Practice is laughter, the antidote for seriousness, judgment, angst, and other heavy energy.  Rather than subscribe to “woe is me” and “woe is the world,” we can throw our heads back and laugh at the joys and absurdities of life. 

Do you ever look at a bird, pet, or child and chuckle at their innocent, openness to try anything and delight in whatever they are doing? The photo that accompanies this post is of an orchid which opens my heart to laughter simply by being.  To me, it’s a powerful combination of pure beauty and humor. It looks like a clown to me, a very happy clown.  We aren’t limited to others, we can also choose to look at ourselves, see our innocence, openness, and foolishness, and laugh lovingly at the little child within us.

Another place to start is with giggles which express our joy and delight in life.  Giggles are contagious; others can’t help but smile, giggle and laugh with us. When they do, laughter flows like a healing balm over what can be a weary world.  Laughter and giggles change everything inside of us. Frowns and their accompanying headaches and tummy aches can disappear through the marvelous medicine of laughter. 

Norman Cousins, a political journalist, author, professor and peace advocate was diagnosed and hospitalized with a life-threatening disease.  He followed medical advice, but he also chose laughter and credited it with his recovery.  "I made the joyous discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep," he wrote.  "I'd much rather take my chances with hope than with despair," he said. (Excerpted from article by Don Colburn in The Washington Post, Oct. 21, 1986)

When we approach all with gentleness, as we discovered in an earlier post, we open ourselves to peace. It is the same with laughter.  When we are ready and willing to laugh, we open ourselves to inner joy that breeds and nurtures peace.  Laughter is a powerful tool as an energetic shifter for yourself and others as it helps us focus on the lusciousness of life.  It can arise organically within or be cultivated on dark days by simply thinking how lovely it would be to giggle or laugh and doing it!  The act itself is a declaration of hope and an affirmation of the splendor and joy of life. 

As the title of Bill Thetford’s biography by Carol M Howe urges: “Never forget to laugh!” 


May we be channels of





Reflections: This very topic seems an oxymoron for me because from all I can tell, I was born serious.  I was happy, but always looking around, aware, curious, and trying to make sense of the world.  This particular topic would have been a natural for Mother who loved and lived to laugh and was a consummate joke teller.  Her timing was excellent, and she had new jokes every day. 

Mother called me “imp.”  Certainly, there were plenty of times I earned the title, but in hindsight, I suspect it was part of her way of encouraging me to be sillier, to laugh more.  Despite the title which I loved, I grew into a serious woman who could be very silly at times, but mostly was focused on raising two marvelous children.

I don’t remember the exact age I was, but I do remember the circumstances of my conversion to laughter.  My tendency has always been to consider myself “short of the mark,” on most things.  After years of studying ACIM,[1] I was able to let go of the harsh self-criticism and on one glorious day, I realized that undoubtedly, I looked mighty silly from the Divine perspective and that God was no doubt laughing at me and saying: “Look at her trying so hard, isn’t she cute, isn’t she silly?”  Then and there I vowed if God can laugh at me, I can too!  A most miraculous discovery followed:  laughing at myself felt good.  No need to chastise myself as before, I simply joined God in laughing at silly, silly me.  It felt good to laugh and I felt peaceful. 

[1] A Course in Miracles


Your turn to reflect – Have you ever experienced relief from laughter?  Joy?  A shift in your mood?  How might you incorporate more laughter in your life?


Thank you for being a vital part of Peace on Earth by nurturing peace in your heart, in your life.  The more that you embody peace, the more peace there is.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.  (Click on the blue link below.)

Jean Victor Balin Dove


“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds.

We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil.

Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back.

And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy.

 Sri S. Satchidananda




Wydler's dancing-lady orchid (Oncidium altissimum)

I love this orchid,

Wydler's dancing-lady orchid (Oncidium altissimum)

because it is so beautiful and funny at the same time.

To me it is a happy clown stretching its arms out

to give the world a hug!





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