Posted on: Friday, October 22, 2004
Therapist locks into laughter
By Mary Kaye Ritz
Advertiser Religion & Ethics Writer
|Therapist Annette Goodheart says "laughter is universal. I'm a recovering serious person."
Q. As a person who lives to laugh, who has the best laugh you've ever heard?
A. I'm rather enamored of my own. (Laughs.) But I don't rate laughs, I just enjoy them. I love people who snort, because they make me laugh even harder. In Japan, they'd be declared national treasures. Everybody is an individual, and it's very hard to compare laughs.
Q. You're a laughter coach as well as a therapist. Are there people harder to teach to laugh than others?
A. I don't teach them to laugh, I help them relearn. It's an innate characteristic. There are people who have more controls on their laughter, and some people who must cry before they relearn how to laugh.
|Annette Goodheart lecture
• Topic: "Spirituality of Laughter: Laughter and the Lightness of Spirit," part of the Fall 2004 Mackey Marianist Lecture Series
• 4 p.m. Sunday
• Mystical Rose Oratory, on the Chaminade University campus, 3140 Wai'alae Ave.
A. In the Eastern philosophies, it's considered the next step below enlightenment. It's part of our humanness.
It's the experience of reconnecting with ourselves, each other and our environment. It's physiologically necessary. If fear is the lock, laughter is the key.
It's fun. It clears the thinking process, promotes creativity, releases beta-endorphins, which help us have a sense of self-being. It exercises our cardiovascular. Of course, it's contagious, so it's a species survival mechanism, if we allow it to be. I could go on and on.
Q. You spent 13 years living on your boat, which you call the Tee Hee. You're a biker, artist, author. That's pretty funny. What's the funniest thing of all about you?
A. Well, I'm not into funny. There's no agreement on what's funny, but laughter is universal. I'm a recovering serious person. Being an artist was very serious.
As for amusing ... hmm.
Riding a motorcycle was most amusing to me. I used to sing (as I rode), but I deluded myself into thinking that nobody could hear me. I became famous, because I'm not a very good singer. I still hunger after it, even at age 70. I think I'll get a Vespa; it's a poor woman's motorcycle.
Q. Besides being a recovering serious person, you call yourself a recovering intellectual.
So let's get intellectual: What is the nature of reality?
A. I've decided, I don't think anyone knows. If there was (an answer), I would regard it as 'One meaningless moment after another.' Not being an existentialist, regarding that, what do I do with that? If it's correct, it means I have to enjoy each moment, meaningless as it is.
Reach Mary Kaye Ritz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8035.