One of the challenges I've been struggling with in these COVID times is the lack of facial expressions and subtle cues (not to mention the hard to hear, muffled snatches of conversation) that come along with wearing a mask. The irony is not lost on me that these past months have also presented a revolving door initiation of stripping away our identification and attachment to aspects of ourselves and our lives that once was, but is no longer.
In mindful practices we’re taught how to harness the power of our breath, our energetic light, our awareness, our intentions or our physical body, as pathways for inviting harmony and healing into our mind, body and spirit.
Research points to a slew of benefits for smiling such as reducing stress and anxiety, boosting positivity, motivation and morale, enhancing your approachability, and its highly contagious (but in a good way). As hugging and handshaking greetings have become pause for awkward moments at best, consider meeting others, your self and our world with your beautiful smile. Personally, I believe its the truly simple things in life that behold the most power. You never know just how magical your smiling face may meet someone in a moment of absolute need.
I began playing with using my smile as a way to bring more LOVE to what ever was needed. And, in the interest of sharing what is working for me in the hopes that others may find it useful; here are a few findings from my smiling experiment. I’ll also add that it didn’t matter if I was actually physically smiling outwardly, or inwardly, the effect was the same. The slightest suggestion of an inward smile delivered a softening of the heart, a calming of the mind, and a relaxing of the body, ultimately bringing more love to what ever was present for me.
Send a loving smile to your hands as they create, bake, knit, write a love note, hold another’s hand. Our hands are an extension of our giving heart.
Send an allowing, judgment-free smile to your mind to bring calm to fears, worrisome thoughts or noisy mind chatter.
Send a healing balm smile to sensations of discomfort, tightness, pain or disharmony in the physical body.
Send a patient smile to your Self as a reminder that you’re doing the best you can.
Send a grateful smile to the bounty of nature, birdsong, wise trees, nourishing sun, life sustaining water, or simply to the beauty and miracle of it all.
Send a trusting smile into hope and faith in moments of despair, helplessness or uncertainty.
Send a compassionate smile to your heart (and the hearts of others) as a gentle reminder that beneath the surface of our reactions, default habits and conditioning we are all sacred beings.
And above all, send a ha-ha smile to the absurdity, the ridiculous, the drama and the cuckoo moments, because in addition to LOVE and kindness, levity and humor will help keep us all smiling.
Sending big LOVE and this “masking tape” art smile to luminous hearts one and all.