For example, what if we were to measure a day by the number of smiles we send and receive?
Am I really the only person who makes involuntary facial expressions when writing an email? The person I’m talking to can’t see me but here I sit smiling, looking concerned, frowning, showing whatever I’m feeling on my face.
So what if we reverse this, what if we use our facial expressions to change how we feel? What if we smile to lift us up out of the doldrums until we actually feel like smiling. If nothing else we’ll brighten the days of those around us. As I said in my last blog a smile is generally met with a smile, maybe a slightly confused one, but a smile nonetheless. You add to someone else’s day and they add to yours. Perhaps even on a ‘bad day’ these reflected smiles will help you to really feel like smiling.
There’s now scientific evidence that smiling can extend your life. Please enjoy this wonderful and short TED Talk from Ron Gutman called The Hidden Power of Smiling. I promise you it will give you food for thought, it might even change your day.
This meditation is from Thich Nhat Hanh’s wonderful book ‘Peace is Every Step’. Recite this short poem to bring a smile to your face and calm to your body.
Sit comfortably with an upright spine and gradually slow your breath. As you breath mindfully in and out say these words to yourself.
‘Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment.
I know this is a wonderful moment.’
I hope that this practice will bring more smiles to your face and to the faces of those around you. As Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’
Wishing you joy, love and an easeful life.
Jacquelyn is a 500 hour RYT and Reiki Level Two practitioner teaching at Balanced Life Yoga in Uxbridge. Yoga has helped her to overcome paralyzing fears and chronic pain and find her true purpose in life. Her focus is on encouraging those around her to have patience, kindness and compassion for themselves and the courage to stand, fearless, in their own light. Jacquelyn teaches Gentle Yoga, Flow Yoga, Beginners Yoga, Seniors Yoga, Learn to Meditate and a variety of workshops.