I just returned home after a busy “world win” tour to the northeast and midwest that had so many highlights that I couldn’t list them all in a short newsletter. One of the high points was a Course In Laughter weekend workshop at the Rowe Conference Center in Massachusetts.

I want to focus on one breakthrough moment in that workshop, because it offers a helpful, positive direction at a time when negativity fills the news. One of the important intentions of the workshop — which is subtitled “The Art of Situational Comedy” — is to help individuals use the magic of humor to reframe life challenges in an empowering way. One of the participants was a woman who, facing retirement in a few years, was concerned that she might not have the health and financial well being to enjoy it. The way she put it was, “I don’t want to be incapacitated during my declining years.”

Someone else in the workshop then made a suggestion that it might be more helpful to focus on what we do want rather than what we don’t. So we offered her a new intention: “How can I be fully capacitated during my inclining years?” We all had a good hearty laugh, but that was nothing compared to what happened the following morning. The woman performed an entire routine — involving mime, the white board and the spoken word — that evoked laughter, and tears. She was entirely transformed, as she now had a positive intention she was living into.

I knew how she felt because something quite similar happened to me about a month ago. I got a call from a woman named Jacquelyn Aldana who wanted some comedy coaching to spice up her presentation. To give me some background, she sent me her book and her workbook, The 15-Minute Miracle. As I read through this deceptively-simple book, I realized some truths that I had heard many times before but hadn’t integrated.

I realized I had fallen into the habit of basing my mood on external events, rather than choosing an intentional internal state. I began to use gratitude as the “karma fuel” to generate these good feelings within, and quickly began to notice positive changes in all aspects of my life. I had read works by Gregg Braden and others about how feelings provided the energy behind prayers, but this was the first time I actually experienced it myself.

So … when the woman in my workshop offered up the ominously negative projection for her future, I was able to playfully guide her into a positive projection instead. This is not the same as “positive thinking,” which too often involves covering over the negative with an “everything is great” facade, which is merely a form of denial. However, when we acknowledge the negative AND put our emotional energy into a fully-felt representation of what we want instead, we transform the “awful truth” into an “awesome opportunity.”

As a nation and a world, we are facing profound and undeniable challenges. The predicted collapse of our economic house of credit cards has just occurred (with the bail out the dollar is worth slightly less than a dollar in Monopoly money … Swami calls this “homeopathic money” with just ethereal trace elements of actual value), and what a great opportunity this is to recreate it based on real value. (In Spontaneous Evolution, Bruce Lipton and I offer some simple “new rules” for economy, based on the efficient natural economy of nature and the human body.)

More importantly, this is an opportunity for us collectively to face the negative, and at the same time infuse our healthier scenarios with emotional juice. In the next few days, the Department of Heartland Security will make some announcements that will offer new, positive and practical directions for us to take as individuals, as a nation, and as a world.

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