December 9th, 2009
My friend Amanda Lerner is one of those people that just "gets it”. Not only is she always committed to bettering herself, she possesses this magnetic energy and deep compassion that is beautifully contagious. If you look closely,you might just see a divine light around her.
She is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. We were introduced in 2006 and her influence was a major springboard for me taking some big risks, trusting my gut and having the courage to carve my own path. Here is a testimonial that I wrote for her website:
“Amanda is a true gift, a kindred spirit with a beautiful and healing energy. I pride myself in seeing the world in an open way but Amanda's soulful and honest perspectives about true well-being reached me in a major way. Since meeting Amanda, my diet, career and outlook on life have changed for the better. I am blessed to have her in my life.”
So yeah, I kind of love this girl. She emailed me the other night and posed this question to me:
What is the purpose of work? My immediate response was: "Live to work. Don’t work to live." Although there is wisdom in this, I was disappointed that I gave such a cliché hasty response that sounded like something Oprah would preach. I’m better than that. Most of the time.
The next day I was inspired to spend a good portion of my day marketing my “Humor for Health and Self Discovery” workshop that I’ve taught at the Omega institute, the Deepak Chopra Center and various other wellness centers over the years. Below is the description of this class.
HUMOR FOR HEALTH AND SELF DISCOVERY
"In this uproariously fun workshop, we soothe our spirit and reenergize ourselves with laughter.
Guided by comedy improv pro Jacqueline Kabat, we learn the basic principles of comedy improvisation to tap into deeper dimensions and learn how to use them to develop our personal potential in everyday life. Working together as a group to eliminate any individual fear, we participate and cheer for each other in a safe environment—and have fun doing it. Comedy improv exercises result in a significant amount of self discovery and insight. Participants end up becoming incredibly empowered because they are given the unique opportunity to feel the positive shifts through nurturing creativity and collaboration. When we’re having fun, we’re relaxed.
When we’re relaxed, we’re listening and communicating, and that’s when we’re able to overcome insecurities and express our full capabilities. By applying the central improv lesson of being completely present and open to whatever happens, we increase our confidence, improve our relationship skills, and learn to creatively deal with ambiguous and constantly changing circumstances.
As we continue to practice the tenets of comedy improv upon our return home, we discover we can tap into the best within ourselves in any given situation with the healing power of laughter."
In the spirit of networking, I spoke to a helpful contact who suggested that I offer my program at “The Wounded Warrior Project”. This is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "honor and empower wounded warriors" of the United States Armed Forces. According to their website, their purpose is the following:
• To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women,
• To help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and
• To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members. to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs."
I immediately resonated with the idea of reaching out to this project. If you’ve been following my blog, you probably already know that I have pretty strong feelings that the philosophy of comedy improv can pretty much save the world.
This leads me back to Amanda. She was instrumental in helping me visualize where I wanted to go a few years ago. Then the other night she asked the purpose of work question at a particular moment where I was feeling a little rudderless as to where I wanted to go next with this work. Then the universe, a coincidence or just a very good networking contact made me aware of The Wounded Warrior Project. Why was my interest immediately piqued? Because this type of endeavor taps into what I now can articulate is the purpose of work. So Amanda, I want a second try to answer your question. The 5 words below are the core values of the Wounded Warrior Project. Synonymously, I feel the purpose of work is to be involved in something true to yourself that involves:
In an ideal world, I would hope my work would encompass all of these. Even if I can just check one off, I’m on the right track. I’ll just think of you telling me that the rest are possible once I believe it. Thank you.