How I Discovered My Deepest Passion… How It Changed My Life

Living with Deepest Passion Series-3

Debbie Friend's story

I believe that there are no accidents or coincidences in life. I also have faith that everything happens for a reason and when the time is right, it all makes perfect sense. When thinking about how I discovered my passion and how it changed my life, I had an “aha moment” and realized that all the ups and downs, twists and turns and beginnings and endings I've navigated through over the past several decades were— in actuality — meant to beautifully and meaningfully guide and direct my life’s trajectory to precisely where I am today and where I am meant to be.

After earning my Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation, I spent years working in cardiac rehab, corporate wellness and adult fitness settings. Being passionate about wellness and health, I worked very hard to make a difference in others’ lives.  However, for the most part, I was dismayed to discover that as much as I was enthusiastic about the undertaking, there was considerable resistance at the other end and very little progress was achieved. As much as I tried, I couldn't get people to “get it.” Work became draining and depressing. I took a professional hiatus to stay home and raise my kids. 

Approximately ten years ago, I was invited to attend a Laughter Yoga session. As a yoga practitioner and as someone who has laughed heartily and often throughout my life, I was intrigued by the concept but had no idea what to expect. I wondered if we would be giggling during Downward Facing Dog. That was not the case. Actually, what I experienced was unlike anything I could have possibly imagined, and quite honestly, at the time, I decided that without a doubt, there was no way I would ever do this again. 


But… obviously life had other plans for me.  A few years later, as I was dealing with a number of painful losses and setbacks, I found myself back at another laughter yoga class. This time when the session ended I felt great, found meaning in the practice and decided to train to become a Laughter Yoga Leader.

Today, I have found my purpose and passion in life. I lead laughter yoga sessions for people from all walks of life, circumstances and situations. I work with cancer patients, the developmentally disabled, people out of work and individuals stressed to the max who need some relief. Every time I teach a class I never know what to expect.  Each group is different and brings its own unique energy and dynamics. Miraculously something amazing, memorable and special occurs at each meeting. Being able to laugh with others, bring joy into their lives, take their minds off, of their troubles (even if only for a short time) and witness personalities change before my very eyes, is rewarding beyond belief.  As much as this experience benefits those I teach, I am truly the lucky one as I am blessed to have my life filled with joy and laughter. 
Debbie Friend is a health and wellness educator, certified laughter yoga leader and published writer. To know more visit:-
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