Joy to the world, Part 1
My Oath to you!
In this 4 part series I want to share with you how it came to be that Love and Humanitarian Clowning became my life’s purpose.
- Part 1 covers the transition period that lead me to leave for Guatemala with Patch Adams.
- Part 2 is deciding for Guatemala and the annual AATH Conference in Indiana
- Part 3 is how my experience in Guatemala turned my life around
- Part 4 is on Citizen Clown in Montréal and my upcoming trip to India
I will conclude this 4 part series with my Oath to you, wishing to inspire more love and growth for all Humanity.
It’s time to move on!
Last spring 2013, I decided to move on from an excellent art teacher position I held for close to twenty years. I am a well respected artist, expert in my field and was all around content with my life, wife and daughter. Still, I felt I could contribute at work my utmost best only 5% of the time. That wasn’t good enough. Then, my father passed away. It changed everything. How could I just go on cruising along in life, my foot off the pedal, accelerating only 5% of the time? Did you ever get that feeling? That was my tipping point, what would yours be? So I dared! I made the jump to go where my heart was, I launched a new career in public speaking. Over the years, I had been singing and giving workshops on the Arts and Music. The participants loved my passionate presentations, full of humor and improvisations. Always desiring to improve my workshops, I decided to invest into more humor; so I became a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and enrolled in a Clown class. What I didn’t know then was that my life was about to forever change!
Clown school wasn’t easy! I had my struggles and moments when tears came to my eyes. I didn’t give up. I figured that if I was going to fail, I would go out in flying colors having given it my all. On the last day of class, suddenly, I got it, I trusted the process. I let go and let it happen. Happy and relieved, I was overjoyed! A Clown was born! Here you see my first clown costume, a 1900’s Golfer, surrounded by my new clown friends.
Toronto here I come!
Come November I went to the first Canadian Laughter Yoga Conference in Toronto. My Inner Clown was still nascent, so I went as another persona; Guy the Shantyman of Les Chants Marins de Montréal. Shanties are amazingly happy and engaging sailor songs; I had started a small group of singers in Montréal. During the Conference I had my Chants Marins t-shirt and cap all the time, and even competed in my first Laughter Championships as Captain Guy. That was amazing fun!
At the Conference I had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Laughter Yoga; Dr Madan Kataria and his beautiful wife Madura. They are wonderfully warm people, like everyone I met at the workshops. As with the many new friendships I was making at the Laughter Clubs in Montréal, the more I got involved in the world of laughter the more I felt like I was coming home. As days went by I felt more and more like Baron Münchhausen. I had pulled myself by the seat of my pants out of my old content life and dropped myself into a new one, full of positive, vibrant and happy people! Welcome Home Guy!
Patch Adams and Guatemala
The deeper I got into the Laughter World, the more trends I uncovered. There was the Katarian style, then Corinne Cosserron’s École Internationale du Rire, Steve Wilson’s World laughter Tour and Sébastien Gendry’s American School of Laughter Yoga, Laughtersize, Rigologie, Laughology, etc. Confusion abounded so I decided to write a book on these different variants, to be titled ”How laughter transforms lives”. This blog Citizen Clown is the first step towards accomplishing this goal! I will talk more about this in the third part of this series. Needless to say I had to talk about Patch Adams in my book! I knew about him from the Robin Williams’ movie and his mission was always very close to my heart. With the magic of YouTube I saw many interviews where he invites you to write him letters. He answers all his correspondence he says. So I did! In Part 2 I’ll recount how my family reacted when I told them I was going on a Humanitarian Mission as a Clown in Guatemala! How my life changed, how my heart opened up, and much much more!
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If telling my story can offer a beacon of hope to those who are locked away behind dark walls of protection, then I feel I have started to accomplish my task.