Hello my fellow human Beings:
Runny nose blows, sneezes and coughs create a cacophony of sounds as you travel about these days. It’s cold and flu season here north of the Tropic of Cancer. With it, you find sullen faces, red noses and down spirits.
We’ve all been reminded of the sleeve sneeze and cough, proper hand washing techniques, and numerous other ways to stop the spread of these infectious cold and flu viruses. But it’s at this time, when we want to avoid getting too close to a sick traveler, that we ought to think about infecting others with our smiles.
I experimented with consciously smiling at people I encountered – family, friends and strangers alike. There were mixed responses:
- smiles back;
- averted gazes;
- “Is she OK?” looks; and
- “she must be crazy” glances.
It was more likely that I received a smile back when the person knew me. Nevertheless, I persisted with my conscious smiles – smiling at strangers on the subway and buses, as I walked down the street, and as I visited shops … and if I caught my reflection in a mirror, I smiled at me too!
The more I continued my conscious smiling, the more I noticed gloomy faces brightening a little, friendly conversations starting and, within me, a warmth of spirit growing stronger and deeper.
Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Zen Master, poet and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hahn wrote:
“When we practice smiling peacefully and calmly, our peace can permeate the entire universe.”
By consciously smiling, we can create a feeling of cheerfulness within us and with those we infect with our smiles.
So why not start your morning off right with a conscious smile at yourself in the mirror. Give yourself a BIG TOOTHY (or toothless) SMILE. Admire that beautiful smile of yours in the reflected glass with that gorgeous bed head hairdo and crusty bits in the corners of your eyes.
Yes, you have a beautiful smile and it comes from that source of beauty within you!
When you genuinely smile at yourself, you’ll see and feel that source of love, peace and joy emanating from deep within. Continue the practice of consciously and genuinely smiling for a while and you’ll feel your face muscles relax and the warmth of your smile fill your body knowing that it comes from the knowledge of your magnificence and oneness with Life.
Thich Nhat Hahn also said:
“The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.”
So let’s take some time each day this week to be still and consciously smile at ourselves, our loved ones, our not-so-loved ones and strangers alike. Infect everyone you meet with your smile bringing a bit of your peace, love and happiness to the universe … and as you do you’ll live more fully and abundantly!