About 20 years ago, a wonderful group of ladies at Seabrook United Methodist Church organized a women’s retreat with the goal of reaching out to the young moms of the congregation. They designed the retreat to fill multiple needs of these moms - needs of the body, spirit, and mind. I was one of those young moms (it was over 20 years ago!).
Looking back, I have to admit that I attended that first retreat hoping for spiritual inspiration, but I also attended because I (and all the other young moms) just needed the rest and the fellowship. Yep -- we needed some time for ourselves away from taking care of babies and husbands and some time with other women who can relate to the experiences and challenges we all faced. And those wonderful church ladies knew that getting away for just a weekend would help us recharge in every way! Last weekend, I attended the 20th anniversary of the women’s retreat. I don’t attend that church anymore, so when I walked in and saw so many of those same church ladies and young (well now older) moms, I just couldn’t help but smile. And I spent the weekend doing the same thing that we do at every retreat -- laughing! Wait a minute. Did you think I was going to say filling a spiritual need? Did you think I was going to say taking care of those who are struggling? Did you think I was going to say recharging ourselves? Through laughter, we did ALL of those things! We laughed at Lauri telling us the story of putting just a drop of bubble bath in the jetted tub during a romantic weekend away. We laughed as she described trying to get out of the tub as the bubbles almost covered her head. We laughed as we relived a previous retreat where my aunt was snoring so loudly that no one could sleep. We laughed as many of those same young moms now shared stories of grandchildren. We laughed at stories of husbands and parents and friends. We laughed and laughed and laughed. But you may be thinking -- how is laughter a communication strategy? Research shows that humor builds trust and builds relationships. In a professional setting, humor can help increase productivity as these stronger relationships can better solve problems and create new ideas. More importantly, research also shows that there are physiological, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual benefits to laughter, both professionally and personally. Having a good laugh can relieve stress, elevate your immune system, help in healing, create new perspectives, and much, much more. Wow! All that from a good “Knock, knock” joke? etc Strategies believes that humor can be one of your strongest communication strategies. Don’t worry. You don’t need to run out and buy a joke book. Just take time to find the humor in the world around you -- trust me -- it’s there! And then be willing to share with others. But if all else fails --
Cows go who?
No, silly. Cows go mooooooo!!!