Find Your Way to Embodied Joy

You don’t need to laugh large to feel joy from your head to your toes—though it doesn’t hurt. Start with a smile—and notice where it takes you.


I am a big laugher. I’ve been told that even in a room of a thousand people, you can always hear me laughing over the crowd. For me, laughter is the ultimate form of embodied joy. And by “embodied,” I mean that my whole body is involved when I laugh. On the inside, it’s like a bubbling fountain of joy spilling out all over the place.

But what is joy, anyway? Life can feel grim, but if you decide to follow the sound of the joy-fountain, you will find joy showing up in all kinds of places: kittens playfully bouncing around, the first day of parole, kindness, cuddling up to a big old oak tree, or even in nothingness.

Unexpectedly, I have felt embodied joy after sitting in a silent meditation retreat for hours and hours. I frequently enter raging against the silence, but as it engulfs me, I notice joy emerging as though my inner being was a large, lazy lion stretching and warming itself in a sunbeam.

The Joy in Everyday Life

How else can you find your way to joy? A friend moved into a new apartment and needed some help, so I…