Laughing Out Loud (A How-To Guide)

[NOTE to my beloved die-hard daily readers: I’m going to switch to a weekly post delivered every Monday, so I can work on some longer pieces that I will surely let you know about. Thanks for welcoming me into your in-box this past year and sharing your support and epiphanies. I will keep the good stuff coming. Have an inspired week!]

We all want to be that person who walks down the street so full of joy that they can’t always contain it and so, at times, laugh out loud coming out of the bagel shop.

Chances are the thoughts that are making them laugh are about people: something someone said, an unexpected meeting, a slapstick accident, a flash image of someone being hilariously vulnerable. These are the memories that stick, and come back.

Why wait for them? Why not consciously conjure them? What an easy GPS route to joy: thinking of someone you love (including yourself!) doing something silly/kind/selfless/genuine…

They’re always there for you: these well-earned moments as vivid and sacred as oil paintings, ready to be pulled from the archives. We all have collections.

And the beautiful thing about memories is you can alter them. You can exaggerate the colors, intensify the expressions, beautify the setting. You own the palette and hold the brushes.

And don’t worry about talent because you have imagination. You already know what they should look like. Believe it or not, you’re already doing this – making the memories how you want them. You’re already changing things, but now that you know you have this power so you can use it, like becoming the master of your dreams.

Memories are not about the images themselves but about the feelings they create. Call up a memory to create a feeling, to put something in your body that wasn’t there before, to live and re-live the life you want to have.

Before you know it, you’ll be the envy of everyone on the street — a keeper of the most sacred of secrets — walking out of the bagel shop, tossing your head back, and laughing out loud.