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Laughter IS Definitely the BEST Medicine – Become a Professional Laugher & Ignite that Fire in Your Belly!

Dancing in Peru

Me laughing and dancing the night away with Amaru our Shaman guide in Cusco, Peru.

Today was definitely one of those days when my personal humor came in handy, not to mention a small piece of cacao! 🙂 A lot of crazy and spontaneous things keep happening these days with the swirling energies abound and they can be both wonderful and seem chaotic all at once. Woah horsies!

I always remind myself of one of my favorite personal mottos, “peace within chaos,” then I get a hold of myself, try to center my thoughts and feelings, so I can better move forward with clarity and focus and let nothing interfere. That’s usually about the time that silliness takes a hold of me and I crack an irresistible smile on my face and burst out in a good laugh at myself or at anything ridiculous around me. Afterall, we DO choose the way we experience things. In that moment I have the ability to alter my experience. And if at first I don’t succeed, I regroup and try again and find the humor in it along the way.

This is something I’ve learned to do much quicker, efficiently, and more naturally as of late. Everything takes practice, but right now everything is possible to be experienced instantly.

Amantani Island, Peru

Amy and me laughing it up on Amantani Island, Peru in our outrageously fun Peruvian hats!

As always my ability to laugh at myself, to laugh easily, and to amuse and entertain myself are gifts I’m grateful to have and go hand-in-hand with my child-like nature. People would find spending a day as a faery or elf on my shoulder, quite entertaining. weeeeeeeeeeeeee LOL!

Laughter is something I grew up with in abundance. Having a very close knit family, my brother, dad, mom, and I would laugh for hours some times and so hysterically and fully that when our laughing fits hit out in public, we would actually get people come over to our table, if at dinner, and thank us for bringing joy to them. They would share how nice it was to see people truly being happy and not afraid to share it, and they couldn’t help but to start laughing themselves, even without being in on the joke.

To this day, we continue to laugh like little kids, joke and play. It’s one of the things I am grateful for in my family. We all just have never taken to heart the statement, “grow up!” Isn’t it more like, “grow out!” as in letting out your energy as big as it can be so it overflows in joyful, vulnerable, and uncontainable bursts of contagious energy? Well, at least that’s how I see it.

Laughter is definitely infectious and so healthy for over-all well-being – heart, body, and soul. Plus, it keeps you human and sane! LOL!

But seriously, the vulnerability of opening yourself to a good hearty, deep solar plexus laugh that shakes your tummy like a bowl full of jelly – just like Santa! – really has alchemical effects that can create magick in your life.

Here are some great insights from on the health benefits of humor and laughter, which include boosting your immune system, lowering stress hormones, easing fear, enhancing resiliency, strengthening relationships, attracting others, and more!

Read about it here: Laughter is the Best Medicine

I thought you might find these quotes on laughter to help cultivate more lightness and joy into your life.

Love and Faery giggles to you!! And remember to laugh, just because!

Dancing in Cusco, Peru

Amaru and I playing up our dance with a little humorous drama in Cusco, Peru – gotta laugh at yourself!

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” ~Jean Houston

“The first half of life is learning to be an adult—the second half is learning to be a child.” ~Pablo Picasso

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~Victor Borge

“With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.” ~Abraham Lincoln

“I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher.” ~The Dalai Lama

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” ~e.e. cummings

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from a human face.” ~Victor Hugo

“Earth laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Laugh because that is the purest sound.” ~Hafiz

“In some respects, if I had to choose just one (virtue on the spiritual path), I’d feel safest with a sense of humor.  We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, have a good laugh about human nature, and get on with our journeys.” ~Bo Lozoff 

“Sometimes when I am alone in my room in the dark, I practice smiling to myself.  I do this to be kind to myself, to take good care of myself, to love myself.  I know that if I cannot take care of myself, I cannot take care of anyone else.” ~Thich Nhat Han

“In a few Zen monasteries, every monk has to start his morning with laughter, and has to end his night with laughter — the first thing and the last thing! You try it. . . For no reason!  Because there is no reason.  Simply, you are again there, still alive — it is a miracle!” ~Osho

“Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods.” ~Japanese proverb

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” ~Buddha

“If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing — trees and stones and stars with you.” ~Osho

“The point is seeing that THIS — the immediate, everyday and present experience — is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe.  I believe that if this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter…” ~Alan Watts

“I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes; nor would I be content with converting my tears, invited by my agonized self, into calm.  It is my fervent hope that my whole life on this earth will ever be tears and laughter.  Tears that purify my heart and reveal to me the secret of life and its mystery, Laughter that brings me closer to my fellow men; Tears with which I join the broken-hearted, Laugher that symbolizes joy over my very existence.” ~Kahlil Gibran

“Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being.” ~Stella & Blake

“What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!” ~Hafiz

“Be inwardly ever newly joyous, like the ever-fresh laughing waters of a gurgling brook.” ~Paramahaa Yogananda

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” ~Yiddish Proverb

“When you laugh, aside from the endorphin rush, there’s also a spiritual opening.  You’re not so tight inside yourself.  That opening I’ve found to be a real gift, in people being able to absorb spirituality.” ~Rabbi Sydney Mintz

Holy Cacao Balls and Bars! – Grenadian Organic Chocolate Bliss

On my trip to Grenada I discovered why it is world-renowned as The Isle of Spice! The spices produced organically from this beautiful island are prevalent in the Grenadian’s foods, drinks, ointments and even things like soap and herbal teas – all of which you will be able to experience when you visit. You also have opportunity, like we did, to visit, have lunch, or even stay at the plantations and get a first-hand glimpse of how all of the savory spices and delicious cocoa/cacao are harvested, processed and transformed.

Grenada is home to ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, mace, pimento/allspice, turmeric, lemon grass, vanilla, and cocoa/cacao to name but a few. There are more spices per square mile than any other place on the planet. Grenada produces one third of the world’s nutmeg and is the second largest producer. When you visit and taste all of the wonderful gifts this little island has to offer, you soon come to see why Grenada nutmeg and cacao are some of the best on the planet!

But for purposes of this post, it’s all about the cacao!! We learned and of course taste-tested Grenada’s “best quality cocoa on the planet,” as it is known to be. The key being the rich volcanic soil and being 12 degrees North of the Equator. We picked up several bags of pure organic cocoa balls that can be dropped in hot water for a quick chocolatey warm, liquid treat!

As you see, I keep interchanging the words cacao and cocoa simply because people are more familiar with the more generic word, cocoa – myself preferring to say cacao. There are some variations in its use, which you can learn about in this post I found by Chocolate In Context. It’s very insightful on the use of either word and you can choose for yourself: Chocolate Linguistics: You Say Cocoa, I Say Cacao

At the Belmonte Estate plantation we got a chance to see what is called “trampling or dancing of the cocoa” done by turning it with bare feet. We also enjoyed a lovely 3 course lunch overlooking the beautiful plantation vista, concluded with vegan chocolate cake straight from the cacao! And after, we had fun sampling and purchasing the famous “The Grenada Chocolate Company” chocolate. I took home 6 bars – basically every bar they make – including 100% pure organic, vegan dark chocolate!

It was very interesting to see and learn about the cocoa plantations, topped only by actually tasting the yummy stuff!

We also picked up their amazing cocoa balls, which I got to enjoy yesterday morning in a giant mug, organic and pure, by just popping into hot water and then stirring with my Grenadian cinnamon stick. It was savory bliss to warm the tummy on a chilly morning. I’m looking forward to enjoying more as the fall and winter seasons continue.

In many cacao-producing countries the cacao beans are locally used for making “cocoa tea”. The ground cocoa is rolled into balls or cubes, and sometimes sticks. We found cubes and balls in Grenada. These balls (or cubes or sticks) are used for making “cocoa tea”, which in other countries is called a “hot cup of chocolate”.

The cocoa balls contain both the cocoa powder and the cocoa butter which is naturally present in the cacao beans (the cacao beans contain approximately 50% cocoa butter) which means that the flavor of the final “tea” is very rich and similar to making hot chocolate using a dark chocolate bar dissolved in hot water.

You can add anything you like to your hot cocoa, but I enjoy mine pure and the hint of cinnamon was great. You could also add nutmeg, vanilla, or maybe even a dash of cayenne to spice it up! mmmm. Those that like a more creamy consistency could add a nut or coconut milk and of course the sweet tooths out there could add a touch of agave. I find that your taste buds change over time when you welcome in new ways of experiencing food and you come to really savor and enjoy the natural delicacy that things have in their pure forms.

I posted about my cocoa/cacao balls yesterday on Facebook and one of my friends was interested in acquiring some, since she likely wouldn’t make it to Grenada any time soon. I only knew how you could order The Grenada Chocolate Company organic, vegan dark chocolate bars, but didn’t know where the balls might be available. So I encouraged her to do a Google search and she found and shared a great source where anyone can enjoy these yummy balls at a reasonable price: Grenada Market. On the island you could get 6 bars on their own for $2 or $6 balls with nutmeg, bay leaf and cinnamon for $3. So the $5.99 isn’t bad considering. I’ll definitely be looking into getting more after my stash is out. 🙂

So, if you can’t get out on an exotic trip to The Isle of Spice, but still want to bring a little bit of the exotic into your life, you can still enjoy cacao delicacies such as these shared, straight from the island.

~ The title of this blog is dedicated to my best faery sister and friend, Laura Bruno, as I always get a giggly kick every time she says “Holy ____!” LOL! Love you Laura! It also brings back memories of our raw feasting in Northern California that included cacao bliss.

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