• This Christmas gift yourself with the present

• Joy, fun and burning kilojoules with laughter

Gifting yourself with the Present

We are finding ourselves again at the time of the year when I know with my heart that the thing I want most, is what this Christ Festival is supposed to be about: Peace, Love, Joy.

What is happening in my outer reality is far removed from that. And maybe you are experiencing the same?

I am experiencing the world gone mad with noise. The shopping malls are blaring with loud sounds of Christmas music. Cars are rushing by with their sound systems bursting and banging with holiday sounds. While I am experiencing all this, I wonder how to live within my inner goals of a spiritual Christmas.

It seems like when we want to bring the joy, demonstrate our love to those important to us, observe the joy which comes from giving and receiving, we have to move amongst the madness of hurrying shoppers, listen to screaming toddlers and wait in queues at pay points.

Let's talk about the very real possibility of enjoying these beautiful days with calmness, inner focus, deep joy and a centeredness on moment-to-moment Divine inspiration.

Your days may be filled with an outer purpose of doing this, getting that, which implies something happening in the future. But if your destination, or the steps you are going to take to get to that very important event, take up so much of your attention that you are completely there, then you are completely missing the journey's inner purpose. The inner purpose has nothing to do with where you are going or what you are doing, It has everything to do with how.

It has nothing at all to do with future but everything to do with the quality of your consciousness at this moment. The inner purpose is totally about a deepening of your Being and that can only happen in the present moment of NOW.

Whilst your outer journey can have many steps of action to be taken, the inner purpose and journey has only one: the step you are taking right now. You can only take this step when you bring yourself to your core whilst you are busy with the outer journey.

The tools which work for me are to constantly focus on what is beautiful, smells delicious, tastes gorgeous, feeling the vibrancy of the bountiful decorations, observing smiles and laughter, really looking into people's eyes and sharing love. When I am present in the Now like that, I get a taste of Peace, Love and Joy. My heart swells and I know I am home.

Health & Wellbeing

Joy, fun AND burning kilojoules with Laughter

Laughing for 10 minutes each day can burn the same amount of calories as half-an-hour in the gym. Now if that isn't excellent news in this time of abundant, delectable food, then I don't know what is!

A family practitioner at New Jersey's School of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Marvin E. Herring, said, "The diaphragm, thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs and even the liver are given a massage during a hearty laugh."

And Dr. William F. Fry of Stanford University said that "laughter stimulates the production of alertness hormones . These hormones in turn cause the release of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins foster a sense of relaxation and well-being and dull the perception of pain."

Over the years, many physical benefits to laughter have been reported by doctors and health care professionals. Here are just a few:

• Decrease in stress hormone levels

• Strengthening of the immune system • Muscle relaxation

• Pain reduction • Lowering of blood pressure

• Cardiovascular conditioning

• Natural anti-depressant

How to Get your Daily Dose of Laughter Therapy:

Don't Take Life Too Seriously

Remember to focus on the lighter side of life. Take time to enjoy your friends, watch a comedy, read the funnies. We have great fun keeping a whole book of Calvin & Hobbs in the private room (toilet:) )

Spend Time with Children

Being around little ones is the perfect cure for a sad heart. I was watching how our whole family laughed and simply enjoyed giggling with our smallest family member. She is almost a year old and her wobbly little steps and beautiful smile just lifts the spirits! She's in that stage of rapid discovery and she giggles over every new thing she does and sees. Making her smile is pure contagious joy!

Subscribe to a Joke-a-Day Email List

I'm not the best joke-teller, but I love to hear a joke and share one with a friend who might be able to tell it better than me.

So, go on... have some real belly laughs every day!

Until we meet again... may you be so present on your inner journey and in line with your Inner Purpose that you light up the world with the brightness of your inner joy.

May the peace that surpasses all understanding be yours and most of all, may you shine with love.

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Blessings of Peace, Joy and Love