In one of my early episodes, I shared a bit about how I like to try and capture joyful core memories by taking a snapshot of a moment in my head. I think of it as a way to keep a hold of the joy I feel in an individual moment. I remember taking one as I watched Paul McCartney sing at the Berkeley Bowl as we sat way above on the hills, having stumbled upon the scene and been surprised by the magic. I remember the view in Positano, Italy, one morning as I sat on my balcony, sipping strong Italian coffee and admiring the sunrise and the bouganvilla. I remember looking down at my son as I held him after he was born, and seeing a tiny wrinkle in his ear.
I love these little snapshots and love that I can hold on to them. Here’s what I know: if you start taking note of those little moments that you feel great joy, you can go back to that feeling any time you want. You just slow down time, visualize the moment, and slip into the feeling.
Maybe one of the sweetest things about these moments is that you never quite know when they will appear. You can bet money on them happening at weddings (Pam and Jim on The Office actually talk about taking mental pictures on the way to their wedding). You don’t always know when you’re going to happen upon a moment that you wish you could hold onto, and those unexpected ones are often the sweetest.
When I attended She Podcasts, I found myself capturing some of those sweet mental pictures. Dancing my butt off Saturday night with a room full of other women podcasters, I looked around. The diversity in the room was notable, the courage in the room of women who share their voice because it is their passion and purpose was undeniable. The love and altruism and celebration in the room was overwhelming. When I recorded my first episode over 5 years ago, I would never have guessed that it would lead to that moment. And so I closed my eyes and soaked it up. I’ve never been so surrounded by my people in my life, and all of us noticed it, felt it, and were amazed by it. In that moment, I was capturing another one of my joyful core memories.
This episode, about “The Six Most Joyful Things We Experienced at She Podcasts” is all about that magic. My assistant producer and I recorded it from the conference and I think you’ll love hearing our awe of it all in the moment.
How can you go about capturing these joyful core memories, so you can return to them whenever you want?
Inspiration: “A million tomorrows may all pass away, ‘ere I forget all the joys that are mine, today.” This is from a song I learned at camp, and it reminds me to slow down and take notice of things that are joyful, right now. For you – take my moment of being so present to notice that I was experiencing joy as inspiration if you want, or, pull from Jim and Pam’s silly exchange of taking mental snapshots. The trick here is to note that you are aware of wanting to capture these tiny moments for later.
Intention and Choice: Set the intention to catch yourself in the moment of experiencing joy and choose to pay attention. This practice is all about the “gap moment” between where you realize your thought, and you take action.
Action: When you notice you’re feeling joy, look around. Notice the sounds, the smells, the people, the scene. Make mental notes. What is the sky like, what is the temperature, is there a breeze blowing? And then close your eyes, breathe, and tell yourself you’ll remember it. Think through the reasons you want to remember it, and commit yourself to it. Once you’ve gotten the memory, you can go back to that moment whenever you want.
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