A smile is a beautiful thing. It’s a universal symbol of happiness and a force of nature. Yes, a force of nature. Have you ever observed what happens within you when you smile, or better yet, forced yourself to smile when you’re feeling down?
Give it a try right now. No matter how you’re feeling or what’s going on in your life, close your eyes and smile. Observe the feeling of warmth that wells up in your belly as you do it. Observe the shift in your energy as you turn that frown upside down.
If you’re still not convinced, go in front of a mirror and notice how you look when you’re smiling. Once again, observe how you feel within and how you feel about the reflection looking back at you as your facial expression changes. If you’re feeling particularly cheeky, look yourself in the eyes, smile and say: “You’re awesome!”
I believe that a smile is one of the most powerful and most underrated gifts that we, as humans, possess. It embodies our ability to create and our ability to express the infinite love that is within us. So many of us go through our days dragging our feet, lamenting our struggles, waiting for this or that to happen to cheer us up and we forget that all the while, we have this incredible tool at our disposal to raise our spirits.
When we smile, something lights up inside us; we connect to our Source and we are actually able to alter our mood. What’s even more amazing is that we can share this gift with others. The only thing more powerful than one person smiling is two people smiling at each other. We all know that wonderful feeling we get when we look into someone’s eyes, and with the simple exchange of a smile, a world of meaning is communicated. It can be an expression of love, of joy or of laughter. Smiling is contagious, as is laughter, and the only thing they cost us is whatever suffering we are holding on to.
In the same way that each of us has a unique smile that can bring joy to ourselves and others, we also all have unique creative gifts that were meant to be expressed in the world. Similarly, it is up to us to use these gifts to spread joy, love and inspiration, to pick ourselves up when we’re low and to lift the spirits of those around us when they need a boost.
For one person, that gift could be having a way with words; for another, it’s a knack for creating culinary delights, still another has a gift for photography and another makes beautiful floral arrangements.
There are an infinite number of these little gifts and talents in the world and they live in each and every one of us. If you’re not sure what yours is, take a moment and think about things that you’d really like to do but have never tried. Then pick one, give yourself permission to be a beginner and get busy discovering your gift!
When we use our gifts and share them, much like a smile, our creations move out into the world around us like little bundles of love in motion. They have the power to heal, to move and to inspire. What a shame it would be to let these gifts go to waste.
So today, smile and smile often. Smile at yourself, smile at a loved one and smile at a stranger. And whatever that thing is that you love to do, do it and share it with someone. Play a song for a friend, write a poem for a loved one, paint a landscape for your sibling, photograph your favorite corners of the city, sing your heart out for the birds, pick some flowers for your mom. And do it all with a smile, knowing that you are spreading love, joy and inspiration.
Credit: Chris Assaad Photo: Karolina Grabowska