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Rural women top up resilience through Laughter Yoga

Imagine being able to predict the future.

With that skill, we could do something tangible to prepare for whatever lay ahead.

Alas few are blessed with such a sixth sense. That’s why we need to work on our resilience.

The word ‘resilience’ comes from the Latin resilio. It literally means ‘to bounce back’.

What does resilience mean to you? Perhaps you equate it with inner strength; an ability to deal with stress; to accept change. Maybe it’s about making sense of what happens around you and living with it.

However you define it, resilience is a process, not a personality trait.

We need resilience to deal with ill-health and relationship breakdowns; natural disasters; economic change; social discrimination; rigid internal rules; organisational upheavals; climate change; government policies that may appear misguided.

Resilience is a strategy for facing life’s challenges, well. And the good news is it can be learned, and it can be strengthened.

Last weekend, I met a group of women on a wellness retreat. They were salt of the earth types, farming women for whom the very idea of a weekend away was a total novelty. They’d been offered the all-expenses-paid time-out by the Sisters of Charity ministry Downs and West Community Support because of what they’d withstood over years: prolonged drought and, for some, floods in between, with the subsequent economic hardships of debt, failed crops and lost stock, and let’s not forget the impact on health and wellbeing. It was time to rejuvenate, restore and boost the resilience bank.

With UnitingCare Community’s  sponsorship of the Dragonfly Retreat, these women enjoyed massages, facials and reflexology treatments, took part in meditation and yoga – and attended to important health checks. Their meals were prepared and served. They had one another’s company. And for my small part, I was able to introduce them to the power of  Laughter Yoga.

Let’s shake hands and laugh. Heather Joy welcomes farmers. Photo courtesy of Downs & West Community Support.
Vibrant, enthused participants after their laughter yoga session. Photo courtesy of Downs & West Community Support.
Vibrant, enthused participants after their Laughter Yoga session. Photo courtesy of Downs & West Community Support.

Hopefully, the resilience message of the Laughter Yoga session will live on along with newly made friendships and they’ll be able to laugh, regularly and heartily, independent of mood or mind or weather.

I’m on a mission, spreading wellness through laugher, seriously. Where will my next regional or rural stop be on the Happydemic? Seeking a speaker for an animated, fun and fresh topic? Interested in a laughter workshop?  Let’s talk Laughter Yoga and its benefits.

(c) Heather Grant-Campbell aka Heather Joy