Blog Challenge – Day 27
It’s such a wonderful, beautiful thing.
Pull your lips up on both ends and already you’ve got instant sunshine.
I am totally sincere when I say that if I have like just 10 wishes in this world, one of them would be the ability (the skill) to smile naturally at any person in this world.
It seems like something so simple and easy, but is it?
I want to talk about a few points about smiling I’ve learned through the years, and hopefully when I put them all together it’ll have some form of meaning.
1. Smiling exposes your insecurities.
Smiling is the remote controlled version of offering someone your hand.
If you smile at somebody and that person doesn’t smile back at you, boom! You’ve just been rejected.
You are giving people a chance to reject you, and as we all know once we’ve been rejected we try not to give people a chance to reject us anymore because we don’t like the pain it causes.
But here’s a head scratcher.
If you go to the bathroom right now by yourself, sit down all by and just smile, you still feel somewhat uncomfortable. So, if nobody is looking, why on earth should you be even 0.001% uncomfortable?
Could it be because it is causing you to expose your own insecurities?
2. The art of smiling is all about balance.
Smiling at somebody is a complicated matter.
Smile too little and you are an unkind, cold soul.
But, what about the other end?
What happens when you overly smile at somebody.
Creep! Or at least a superficial, fake person.
There is an adequate amount of smiling suitable for each occasion, and to overly surpass that can also be suboptimal.
3. The art of smiling is about practice.
In the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, she is recommended by an Indonesian wiseman to try a “smiling meditation”, where she meditates with a smile.
I think there is power in that.
Just by practicing the very facial expression of smiling, you can induce feelings of positive energy and also train your brain to be more comfortable with that facial expression.
Actually, as a matter of fact, I’ll even go further and also suggest that the opposite is also true. A meditation with a facial expression of squinted eyebrows and somber seriousness can also help to relieve fear and stress as well. (This I didn’t read from anywhere. Just my thoughts and experiences of meditation)
The point is, by exploring these facial expressions routinely, you can condition yourself to be more comfortable with them.
There is a certain hospitality in rural areas where people are more open to tossing a “hello” or a “how do you do”.
A humane relationship between one person and another.
There is less and less of that in this world today.
Big cities and tough people.
But behind that front lies fear.
You assume fear for what you don’t know under hostile circumstances.
But only by first offering a hand, by first saying “hello”, by first giving a smile can you be a part of bringing back humanity.
Be the change you want to see.