Lessons from Live Love Laugh

  • By Moira McDougall
  • 01 Nov, 2015
Live Love Laugh Life Lessons
Lessons for Life from Live Love Laugh

Dayle Hunt is a Life Mechanic and he aims to tune your internal Ferrari to reach peak performance. I attended his inaugural one-man show Live Love Laugh , where he combines stories of personal life lessons with humour and humility.

He maintains that we have six basic Human Needs which need to be fulfilled for us to live a meaningful life. He combined stories and anecdotes to illustrate how we go about meeting our individual needs to have certainty, variety, significance, love and connection, growth and contribution in our lives.

It seemed that one hour was way too short a time to settle in and fully engage with his three personas who occupied the stage each in their turn.

Interestingly, for me I guess, my own enjoyment of the evening was marred by the disruptive presence of the young person who sat in the seat behind me. She repeatedly kicked the back of my chair violently, causing the whole row of seats to reverberate, and the man seated in front of me to cast annoyed looks in my direction. Then she explosively crushed her empty plastic cup in my ear. Then she sat with her feet dangling over the back of the empty seat next to me, and proceeded to kick that too.

I had accepted an invitation to Live Love Laugh , and I found myself then pondering whether this young person was actually displaying the effects of NOT having her basic needs met.

Certainty. Had her parents explained that they were attending a public performance where she would be required to sit peacefully for an hour during the performance. Had they outlined the expected format of the evening and told her more or less what she could expect to happen? Were there boundaries in place, should she not behave in an acceptable manner? Are her parents consistent with their discipline? How was her need for Certainty met?
Variety . If the young person in question was attending a live theatre event, no doubt she has attended many other social outings. School, friends’ parties, family gatherings. Perhaps she was just not enamoured with her current set of circumstances – perhaps she had wanted to be somewhere else, doing something of her own choosing.
Significance. Her presence behind me became significant, for all the wrong reasons! I was annoyed, distracted and then heart sore – because I did not want to be frustrated by a child. Her disruptive behaviour made her significant to others that were distracted, and perhaps also to her parents who may have felt annoyed or embarrassed that they needed to ask her to desist. How did her behaviour make her feel significant?
Love and Connection. If she had been my own child or grandchild, how could I have strengthened her feeling of being loved and connected? Perhaps I could have invited her to sit in my lap.
Growth . Perhaps this was a first ever attendance of a live event for our young person. I am hoping there would be many other opportunities for her to have wonderful experiences – and that she will grow into a sociable and friendly young woman.
Contribution . By just being herself, she has contributed to my learning, to my experience. It is up to me to determine the value of the contribution.

I am left pondering the evening. Dayle Hunt and Live Love Laugh will take you to many places. The familiar, the funny, the unexpected, the unexplored corners in your heart. Which brings me to ask:

How have you dealt with the disruptive seat-kicker? Please share your comments with me, so that I can keep learning!


Self Manage Chronic Pain

By Moira McDougall 14 Feb, 2017

I recently visited an elderly woman in her home, in my community therapy role. So much had been happening in her world. During the weeks since my last visit she had experienced some serious health challenges, and her brother had died.

How could I be surprised that she had not managed to continue with the exercise and walking programme we had started?

She was tired, heartbroken and wracked with guilt, describing herself as “full of self-pity” because she was mourning the loss of her dear brother. This had also reminded her of the grief she experienced when her sister died a year previously.

I sat and listened with my Whole Heart.

 I was not there to offer solutions, to slap a band-aid over her aching heart, to make light of her feelings. I told her I believed it was good, right and proper to feel such acute loss and to express it. How else do we recover from our deep wounds?

She told me about her family, her ancestors who had migrated to New Zealand from an Eastern European country, just before the time of the Depression. She spoke of a grandfather who worked many menial jobs to provide for his family of seven children. Her parents also worked hard to raise her and her many siblings – a labour of love which she reflected on with great gratitude. She spoke of one of her sisters who had endured many trials and tribulations only to finally triumph – and she now lives overseas. She spoke with love of her own children – their successes and challenges.

In the telling, she called all of her Ancestors into that small lounge. I could feel them standing around her. I told her that I believed that talking about our Loved ones brings them close.

I can recognise the entrenched belief that being occupied fully, being accountable for every minute spent at the expense of any form of pure relaxation, has been ingrained in our psyches. No wonder, then, that this dear soul believed she was “full of self-pity” because her thoughts kept turning to those she loved dearly who were no longer here, in physical form. Because she could not do it for herself, I offered her the gift of my time, so that she could express what her heart was longing to share.

When it was time for me to leave, she hugged me tightly and thanked me for “just listening”. I feel I was the recipient of the greater gift. I heard her heart sing!

Do you feel taking time to grieve is selfish? Do you believe it is a form of self-pity?

I welcome your comments.

By Moira McDougall 12 Jan, 2017

You are going to win! With these words spurring me on, how could I not be a winner!

This morning I set out on my morning run, and it was hot already. Along the way, I passed and greeted a mum on her early morning walk, pushing her two small children in their stroller. The older child called out to me as I passed them, “you are going to win!”. How could I not honour that proclamation? How could I even consider feeling tired or discouraged with those beautiful words ringing in my ears?

This set me thinking about the many times I feel discouraged, as if I am wading through sludge. I have a strong work ethic, and set myself tasks and deadlines. This works for me when I have a good idea about a desired outcome, because it keeps me on track and I can measure my progress. But what happens when I am not sure about what I want to pursue or produce?

I am marooned in indecision, in not knowing, what my ‘next step’ is. Do you experience this too?

Business and personal coaching works wonders in helping one to define a pathway, helping to break down goals into manageable steps, in order to reach the defined outcome. This supposes that one already KNOWS or at least has an idea of the desired outcome.

One beautiful practice I was invited to participate in, invited us each to choose a Word to define a theme to focus on through the new year ahead, and to choose four Supporting Words to cushion or supplement the Word.

I have chosen SURRENDER.

Nothing works easily when I am pushing uphill, trying to do it all alone. I am not giving up, just practising being present in the moment, experimenting with ‘flowing’ rather than being rigid.

My supporting words are Grace, Gratitude, Courage and Insight – all qualities I will need to call on and include in my daily living.

Which brings me back to the proclamation “You are going to win!” We are all winners when we focus on what inspires us, what gives us meaning, and practice living in the present moment. And when we have others cheering us on!

“You are going to win!” – how does that make YOU feel?

By Moira McDougall 02 Jan, 2017

I have a heavy heart moving into this new year. Endings and more endings, because I am grieving the loss of two people dear to me.

My sister Anne has dementia and she is sliding further into the space between here and there. While she is still physically present, I miss her intellect, her sharp wit, her full presence. She is my older sister. I have known her my whole life. I never imagined that I would not be with her ‘fully’. She was the drawcard for my move to live in Christchurch.

She always looked after my younger brother and I; we looked up to her and trusted her guidance. As the eldest child, she copped the authority of our parents, and she fought hard for her independence. She is super intelligent, and my brother and I had a hard time following after her at school. She chose her own path, and with her husband travelled to places I have only ever dreamt of.

Now, I call on all my parenting and therapy skills as I navigate our relationship. She can’t remember what she ate two minutes ago, or whether she has eaten at all. She can’t dress herself. Her spatial awareness is impaired – steps are a challenge, and she doesn’t recognise familiar objects. Loud noises and busyness upset her, and her tolerance levels are reduced. Soon, she will need to be placed into full time care, which seems like a jail sentence. Excepting, there is no parole to look forwards to.

My heart is breaking. How did her Soul choose this challenge in this Lifetime?


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