Joy to the world, Part 2
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.
Writing to Patch Adams
As I was doing more and more research into the history of laughter it became crucial that I get an interview with Dr Adams. Heeding his YouTube invitations I sat down and wrote him a first letter. Meanwhile, I was getting more amazing contacts with beautiful people in the laughter universe such as Corinne, Steve, Sebastien, Linda, Dr Madan Kataria, etc. I felt I was on the right path!
Finally, one day, a postcard arrived in my mailbox. It was from Russia: Dr Adams! I looked in awe and disbelief. I felt I was holding a piece of history in my hands. As I deciphered his handwriting he wrote about his missions and schedule. He loved my project, but was extremely busy travelling from one continent to another. It would be quite impossible to get an interview with him unless, unless….. I joined him on one of his Humanitarian Clowning missions!
Have you ever felt that life was pushing you in one direction and you were the last one to know about it? I was basically clueless…
Oh, oh! Life’s about to change…
In a way it was obvious I had to go. It felt like a childhood dream come true, and yet at the same time, I was full of apprehensions. Doubt, anguish, fright, name it I was feeling it! Who was I to go and live such a venture? How dare I? And what about my wife and daughter? How would this affect them? Us?
I started to ponder the idea and discus with friends. Many of them had a good laugh! ”Are you serious?” In their eyes it was so obvious I would be going! They said it was so ”me”. Clueless as I was, I nevertheless pressed on and talked about it with my wife. Ten days of separation didn’t seemed much to me, but for her, after 15 years of marriage and having never lived by herself, I might as well be going to the moon! Many discussions ensued, at which point, bless her soul, it became obvious even for her that in the grand scheme of things I had to go. I was still the last one not aware of it.
I weighted the pros and cons, the what if this and that? And what about…. and on and on and on… In the end it all boiled down to taking a decision. My father had passed away, I was mourning his absence in our lives, and that was that. Life just was. I started to feel that, in the end, when death comes calling, there are ultimately no good or bad choices: there are just string of events. For once in my life, for no reason whatsoever, I would just have think about myself. What did I want? I didn’t know at that moment that thinking about myself would be the most unselfish act I would ever do!
Dare to dare
So I dared! And I dared to dare! I am going to Guatemala to do Humanitarian Clowning with Dr Patch Adams! And then, suddenly, all sorts of magic coincidences started to happen. As soon as I let go of my fears, hundreds of new loving people connected with my life. My whole aim in life up to that point was to be invisible, never to be seen or heard, never to ask anyone for anything. Now in a 180 degree turn fashion, I decided to set-up a crowdfunding campaign! My sister gave me a hand, and through my Fundraiser I reconnected with friends I hadn’t heard off in years. Love was just pouring in.
You know the expression : When it rains it pours! It couldn’t have been truer! As life would have it, some of these new friends were also members of a humor association called AATH (Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor). Patch used to be one of their members. One thing leading to another, I decided to become a member, then I decided to attend their next Annual Conference, which came just a couple of weeks after my return from Guatemala. Lastly, I decided to enroll in their Humor Academy level 1. All these decisions within a couple of weeks!
Toronto, Guatemala, Indiana… the last time I had traveled was 25 years ago when I studied in The Netherlands, and then Paris where I later met my wife. Suddenly my life was about stepping on the gas at every turn, living fully the gift I had been given. My head was spinning!
Guatemala here I come!
I was scared of flying! To deal with my fear I thought about the orphans and the children I was going to help. I had printed the words of appreciation from my donors and read and reread them. They believed in me more than I did; their words warmed my heart and brought tears of hope. If only they had known how much they were helping me in my journey. I also prepared photos of my wife and daughter and would clutch at them if we hit turbulence. I had to sprint to make my connection, lost my luggage….there are many more stories to tell but I’ll save them for later.
In part 3 I’ll tell you how I had to make due without luggage for three days, about the Posada Belen Inn where we stayed: and heart giving Rob, Emily, Christy, and so many other amazing Humanitarian Clowns….
”May the Farce be with all of us!”
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