Laughter brings joy not only to ourselves but to others around us. It’s infectious!
And who better to counsel us on the importance of laughter than the three-time winner of Toronto’s Most Infectious Laughter Competition, Lynn Himmelman?
Lynn has been accelerating the healing and awakening of individuals through the powerful synergy of forgiveness and laughter for decades. A former opera singer, Lynn’s health issues propelled her into her current Great Work: New Decision Therapy.
Inspired by the work of the late Dr. Candace Blakely, Lynn was able to discover the wisdom of her own body and change her mindset to allow her body to heal.
And it worked! Lynn leads us in a poignant discussion on how to ignite our expanded soul expression, and then reignite the most powerful and important connection we human beings can have: the connection with ourselves.
Do you want 2023 to be the year you finally get to your Great Work? Join me on January 17th for Unleashing YOUR Great Work 2023, an online jumpstart to doing the work that matters the most to you without sacrificing everything else.
Here’s the link to register:
About the Guest:
Lynn Himmelman – Life-Transformation Mentor (B.Sc., B.Mus.), has been accelerating the healing & awakening of thousands of individuals & organizations through the powerful synergy of forgiving and laughing for nearly two and a half decades. She is a sought-after expert in resolving trauma, anxiety, and complicated relationship conflicts.
As a seasoned, inspired laughter she has been voted Toronto’s Most Infectious Laughter in three Championships. Laughter became a mainstay in her life when it played a central role in her recovery from a serious brain trauma. That’s when she realized, firsthand, through her own recovery experience, that Laughter Really IS The Best Medicine and, when combined with forgiveness, that it is a powerful pathway to deep and lasting transformation.
Lynn has appeared on various media channels including CBC National News, Global TV News, Rogers TV, Toronto Sun News, The W Network, That Channel, and most recently CTV’s show “The Social”.
For further information visit: http://www.forgiveandlaugh.com
About the Host:
Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author of Great Work, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk: Three Reasons You Aren’t Doing What You Say You Will Do has received more than a million views and has been featured on TED’s Ideas blog and TED Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global. Amanda lives in New Jersey with her husband, two adorable kids, and a remarkable newfiepoo named Ruthie. She spends her days educating future teachers, coaching accidental entrepreneurs, and speaking about how to make progress on Great Work to colleges and corporate teams. To book Dr. Crowell to speak or inquire about coaching, check out amandacrowell.com or email email@example.com.
All of these resilience episodes were recorded during Podapalooza, an event that brings together podcast hosts and podcast guests to record episodes on the spot!
Learn more at https://podapalooza.com/
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Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work on this special 10 episode series, we are focused on resilience. What is it? How do we get it? And if we've lost it, how do we get it back? So listen in, because we know that great work is so much more dependent on your resilience than it is on your hustle.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work on this special holiday episode, we have Lynn Himmelman, she has been accelerating the healing and awakening of 1000s of individuals and organizations through the powerful synergy of forgiving and laughing for nearly two and a half decades. She is a sought after expert in resolving trauma, anxiety and complicated relationship conflicts. Fun fact, Lynn was voted Toronto's most infectious laughter in three championships. Thank you for joining the podcast. Lynn.Lynn Himmelman:
Thank you, I'm really excited to be here.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I'm excited that you're here to. So we're starting where we always do, even though today's episode is really focused on resilience, because we would love to hear a little bit about your great work.Lynn Himmelman:
Okay.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
The big question.Lynn Himmelman:
Yes, indeed, well, I kind of stumbled into this great work that I get to bring out into the world. And simply because I was stumbling and fumbling around in my personal life, I had a career as an opera singer, and I was doing very well in that, wow, particular part of my life. However, your body is your instrument when you're a singer. And my body was rapidly failing, and I was getting thinner and thinner. And all of my Oregon systems were starting to shut down. And I was in my mid 30s When this happened, oh, my goodness. And yeah, it came close to dying. And I was looking for help in so many different directions, and nothing seemed to be shifting. And then, you know, eventually, by trial and error, I came across two awesome things not at the same time, the first thing that I stumbled upon was this really poignant forgiveness process that works through the wisdom of the body. And we were able to untangle why it was that my body was not responding to all these healthy foods, healthy organic foods and, and, you know, cutting out all the crap and, you know, changing my mindset, all of these things. It's like, why was it not computing and why was I just getting sicker and sicker. And so we were able to uncover some really deeply buried things in my unconscious that relate related to some trauma that I actually was not talking about, in my mind I'd had moved on from that. However, the body holds a level of wisdom and knowing that sometimes surpasses while many times surpasses what we believe to be true in our conscious mind, yes, I got to discover some truths about myself my life, and my perspective of what I thought was going on that was actually faulty. And once those faulty perspectives, were corrected, boom, my body came alive. And so in my 30s, I looked, you know, 20 years older than I was, and I just had my 68th birthday. Wow, awesome. incredible energy whereas before, you know, I had chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia. Wow. On and on, you name it. Yeah. Wow. That's Indra. All of that stuff is behind me. All because this remarkable woman named Dr. Candace Blakely created a process called new decision therapy. It is her legacy. She's no longer on the planet and she has passed that baton to me. work forward and keep that legacy alive. And that is my mission. Yes, I love it. You are that that happens because I give full credit to me being still alive and well in this world. Wow. UCS. And so I have great passion.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Sounds like it. Yeah. And rightly so. So you said there were two things that was one. What was the other?Lynn Himmelman:
That was one. Yes. And that all occurred back in 1997. And then in 2004, so we're talking seven years later. I wasn't I got introduced to laughter yoga, laughter yoga. Yes, I was introduced to the laughter guru named Dr. Matan Kataria. And interestingly enough, you know, even though a lot had been cleared up for me, and I was feeling happier and lighter, I was so patterned to. So even though I felt so much better on the inside, and my body was cooperating and so on, I was still was not laughing all that much. I mean, I smiled and edited it out. But I even there was something in crusted in me that even caused me to be somewhat resistant to laughing like you had to like really give me a good reason to lie. Like, yeah, it couldn't be a lame joke and witty and an awesome joke. That was Yeah. Same thing with comedians, you know, like I was very assessing of whether what they had to say was worthy of my laugh, all that sort of thing. And the beauty of laughter yoga, I learned is that you don't need a reason. And as soon as you take all that cognitive reasoning out of the way and you clear it out of your thinking zone, and just laugh to laugh like a painter, starting with a clean slate, you know, like a clean canvas. Yes. You start with a clean canvas and just let the laugh ripple out from the inside. And just make its vocal Mark atmosphere, where there's no thing that it's hooked to and that's actually the purest laugh that you can come into contact with it is the kind of laugh that you hear baby. In messaging, it's so pure and innocent and simple. However, we we we complicate laughter as adults so so yeah, I mean, at first I was I was very resistant to it. And And yet, the more I immersed myself in it, the more awesome I got to understand it is and then I got tested. Of course, the universe will always throw a test at you. Yes.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Absolutely. So I was introducedLynn Himmelman:
in 2004. And then in 2008. By a stroke of interesting circumstances, I got bitten by a spider overDr. Amanda Crowell:
my goodness,Lynn Himmelman:
over your heart, over my heart. Oh, no. And I had a severe reaction it you know, the inflammation took over my whole torso. The inflammation traveled internally, went up into my brain and walked me out. So I was in a coma for three and a half days. Oh, my goodness. And when I came out of the coma, I couldn't read. I couldn't write. I couldn't even remember my own eating regimes no outfit together. Like I was like a child. Wow. It was like a child. And this was highly stressful. I don't have immediate family around me. I was, you know, I felt very alone with it. And the impediment made it difficult for me to communicate because it also affected my speech. So wow, it was like this avalanche had happened in my brain. I was here everybody else was over there. And, but, but because I had learned this way of laughing that doesn't depend on your cognitive abilities. Oh, fascinating. I this is where I really got to put laughter as the best medicine to the test was when ever those stresses came up in my system to the point where like, I felt like I couldn't breathe and, you know, I couldn't explain what I was going through and it's, it was like an invisible and invisible impediment, because I looked the same and people expected the same from me. And and then it was like that I couldn't explain myself why what they say to them seem like such a simple ask. I couldn't accomplish. Yeah. So I began to just laugh. I know it's Wow, strange, but what it did is it just calmed down. Laughter because this is what laughter will do. It will calm down, the, the output of cortisol that comes out, will begin to reduce and then you can access your it also puts you into your right brain into your, your, your creative way of fight, because because Einstein said, you can't solve a problem from the same mind that created it, well, my mind is neatly messed up and all that left brain stuff that I couldn't access. But the laughter put me into that creative place, it reduced my stress levels. And then I actually healed. And that'sDr. Amanda Crowell:
amazing way. That is an amazing story. And it's such a great transition to our focus in these holiday episodes, which is, you know, one of the things I believe deep down in my soul is that great work is way more dependent on our resilience and our ability to bounce back and feel good and be creative and innovative and problem solving. And all of that depends on our resilience. And great work is just way more dependent on that than it is on like hard work and willpower discipline, right? So it feels like, it feels very similar to the story that you're telling. And I'm curious, like, maybe it's, maybe you've already answered it. But tell us again, sort of what do you do now, to rebuild your resilience? If you're having a hard day? Or if you're feeling a little burned out? Or if you want a little too hard at it? What are you doing these days now that you've had these amazing experiences of healing?Lynn Himmelman:
Well, I have many things in my toolkit, but the most immediate and accessible one that I turned to every single day is laughing from the inside out.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Amazing. And what does that look like? Can you laugh for us? Because apparently you have Toronto's most infectious laughterLynn Himmelman:
We're laughing from the inside. Oh, you know, when you're not connecting it here? Yeah, brain, your brain will give you arguments in the beginning. So you kind of have to just go oh, you know, just you just park and you go say thank you for sharing. But you know, a laugh is simply this it's pushing air over your vocal cords in a staccato fashion justDr. Amanda Crowell:
that is an infectious lab.Lynn Himmelman:
And you just let it rip, you know? You might feel like oh my gosh, this is so weird. It's so silly. I don't know.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Does make you feel better. Not that I was feeling bad. But I just you know, you're laughing. I'm laughing. We're laughing like it really just sort of raises the sort of, I don't know, vibration or whatever in in our conversation.Lynn Himmelman:
Absolutely. And that's a really important component of laughing and laughing in this pure way. Which at first seems like you're faking it. But really, you're not your body doesn't know whether you're faking it or not. The part of you that's telling you Oh, this is so fake. Is your brain. Haha. Okay, but the part of you that is connected to your healing wisdom that's encoded within your cells is the body.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Mm hmm. Yes. Yeah. That's so fascinating. And I don't know if you if this is like, too deep a question, but I'm wondering if you have a little, a little bit and then I want to make sure everybody gets to hear about you so they can come and laugh with you like I got to today. But I'm curious. How do you find or what is the relationship between the laughter therapy yoga thing that you're doing? And the was it the new decision therapy? Forgiveness protocols?Lynn Himmelman:
Yes, yes. Yes. So one is all about laughing and the other one is about forgiving and finding compassionate understanding around situations that you may have. Perceived incorrectly. Yes. Oh, I said that was my story. And, you know, there are some things that I might have argued against on a conscious level. But when I, in new decision therapy is behind me, here is a mirror. Yeah, this is my new decision therapy mirror, every client that I work with, stands in front of this mirror of face to face with themselves. So we as individuals, you know, we talk about love and connection, and heart centeredness, and all of these things that we desire, you know, because when we get that connection, we feel like there's more depth more meaning to the things that we're experiencing in life, the most important connection we need to make, in order for all of those other ones to, to really take off in our lives, is the one we're having with ourselves. And it's intimacy that we seek into another where we feel some depth, like at a soul level, where we feel something that resonates within us where it's like, we've known that other person for ever. So I call that our expanded soul expression. And new decision therapy is the pathway that will get you to that place of deep, deep inner soul expression, that feel that allows you to come out into this world, expressing yourself in a more expanded truthful and authentic way where you feel like you can be yourself, yeah, need of apology, or proof or defense. And that doesn't mean you of course, you will always be accountable for your mistakes, or your misdemeanors or, or you know, where you trip over your own two feet. But you don't let that take you down and take you under. Overall, you trust your own belongingness that's suchDr. Amanda Crowell:
a great phrase, you trust your own belongingness. And it feels to me like, if you have that kind of relationship with yourself that kind of acceptance and knowing, then you would not be as resistant to the laughter, it wouldn't be as hard to find that pure laughter. So it seems like a sort of a one two punch, but in a good way, where it's like get to know yourself, and then allow that self to come out in pure laughter. And that would definitely build a ton of resilience.Lynn Himmelman:
Certainly certainly does it certainly, certainly. This new decision therapy, the forgiving the laughing, when you put those two together, I see them like the, the wings of one jet plane, that plane is when you want to get from A to B and you want to get there quickly with you know, you know, like, sometimes the slow journey is fine. But if you've had slow and you're now ready to just get from point A to point B, those two together, they're like the wings of the plane that steer it, I love it destination, not just one, not just the other, you know, because you're gonna have circles with, with one or just with the other. And when you put them, the two of them together,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
you get where you're going. I love it. I love it. What a great interview you've given us here today. I would love for you to share with everybody, anyone who's out there thinking like I need more of this woman in my life. How do they do that? What's your website? What's your, you know, if you have a book or whatever it is you have going on? Well, you can findLynn Himmelman:
the nuts and bolts of what I offer on my website, simply go to www dot for give and laugh.comDr. Amanda Crowell:
Yep. And we'll put that in the show notes for sure.Lynn Himmelman:
All right. The laughter piece, I do run a free what I called stress interrupter every second Tuesday, and I feature those on Eventbrite. So Lynn hillman.eventbrite.com, I think is how you find it sure has that link correctly, but I'll make sure that it's properly featured in the information that I send you.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
That sounds great. All Definitely be their second Tuesday. That sounds like fun.Lynn Himmelman:
So I offer one to one sessions, either in person or online in person. I'm in Toronto, Canada and also deliver these sessions online. And I also train practitioners because of my bigger mission. I'm really keen to find others who want to dive in and and bring this wonderful technique to their clientele.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I love it. That's great. Thank you so much, Lynne. This was an amazing interview. I'm so grateful for your time. I know everyone got a ton out of it.Lynn Himmelman:
Thank you so much, Amanda. This has been wonderful. Thank you. Thank you.