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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Find Your Laughing Place

Back in the 90s, before I left the states, I included an M.D. in my circle of friends. Richard was an incredibly fun guy, but he was also an incredibly good family physician.

One day (over wine, I think) we were chatting about this and that, and I told him that right in the middle of something, my mind would suddenly slam me to a time and place far away, where I felt happy and relaxed.

"Wow," he said, "you must be under a lot of stress."

I was surprised. I hadn't realized I was stressed. But sure enough, upon reflection I realized that the sudden "mental excursions" were my mind's way of dealing with the fact that I was in trouble.

Since then, I've learned the story of Br'er Rabbit in Disney's Song of the South.

Br'er Fox had him tied up and was about to roast him when the trickster Rabbit started laughing. And laughing. And laughing.

When the wicked Br'er Fox asked him what was so funny, he replied that he couldn't help it: At times like that he just naturally went to his "Laughing Place."

And (along with some cleverness) it was this "Laughing Place" that got him out of his fix.

So: Find your "Laughing Place." Br'er Rabbit says everybody has one, and he implies that each person's place is different.

Find it. Memorize the directions. And next time trouble strikes, go there in a hurry.

You'll be happier.

[By the way: By my count, we have reached number 100 of our "365 Secrets of Happiness." Only 265 more to go!]

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