Arrow-right Camera
News >  Features >  Washington Voices

Author finds laughs are best medicine

Deanna Davis brings her “Womanhood: The Divine Comedy” Blue Flip Flop Tour to the Spokane Masonic Temple Oct. 9.Courtesy of Deanna Davis (Courtesy of Deanna Davis / The Spokesman-Review)
Deanna Davis brings her “Womanhood: The Divine Comedy” Blue Flip Flop Tour to the Spokane Masonic Temple Oct. 9.Courtesy of Deanna Davis (Courtesy of Deanna Davis / The Spokesman-Review)

Speaking tour comes to Spokane on Oct. 9

Local author and speaker Deanna Davis was having one of those days. Her baby had spiked a fever and had all the symptoms of a nasty ear infection. Then her toddler daughter came into the room crying and holding her nose. “What’s happened?” Davis asked. “I got a flip-flop up my nose,” wailed her daughter. “A Polly Pocket flip-flop.”

When Davis tells that story to standing-room-only crowds during her “Womanhood: the Divine Comedy” events, the audience roars with laughter. Because those kinds of days are practically universal to women across the globe. While you may not have had to cope with a child with a tiny plastic shoe wedged in her nostril, chances are you’ve endured minor mishaps and major catastrophes.

“No comedy could be written that’s funnier than a woman’s daily life,” Davis said.

On Oct. 9, Davis, the author of “The Law of Attraction in Action” and “Living With Intention,” will appear the Spokane Masonic Center as part of her Blue Flip Flop Tour. Proceeds from the Spokane event will support RiteCare Spokane, a nonprofit organization providing free speech therapy services for area children.

So how did a former public health educator with a Ph.D in leadership from Gonzaga University end up on stage? For Davis it seems like destiny. “In fifth grade I saw my first professional speaker,” she recalled. “I knew that would be me someday.”

As a public health educator, she began doing presentations about stress and quality-of-life issues. Her humorous anecdotes struck a chord with audiences. And Davis realized numerous scientific studies have proven the health benefits of laughter – especially during times of stress.

“Laughter reduces pain, reduces stress and improves our immune system,” Davis said. She pulled together the material she’d been presenting at workshops and crafted an entertainment show. “It’s a message of hope,” she said.

Her target audience is women of all ages. “Because, well, I’m a woman,” she said, laughing. However, audiences won’t hear any caustic man-bashing during her shows. Though she shares anecdotes from her married life, she adds this disclaimer: “No husbands were harmed in the telling of this story.”

Davis said her shows provide three components necessary to the health and well-being of women: laughter, connection with other women and helping others. A large portion of the proceeds generated from her performances are donated to nonprofit organizations such as RiteCare. According to Davis, that added piece of helping others gives women permission to enjoy a guilt-free girls’ night out.

And women need that more than ever. Bonding with other women is a healthy way to manage the stress of daily living. Yet the multiple pressures of work and family make it difficult for many women to make time to nurture and maintain friendships. “We are hard-wired to connect with other women in times of crisis or stress,” Davis said.

She related a conversation she had with a legislator in Hawaii. The woman told her, “We cry until we laugh, or we laugh until we cry, but when we’re in the presence of other women, we laugh until we sigh.”

Davis paused. “The pace of our lives makes us so we don’t reach out and connect.” She hopes women in the Spokane area will use the Oct. 9 event to enjoy longtime friendships and perhaps create new ones.

“Come and relax and laugh and be present in the moment,” she said. “It’s powerful medicine.”