Smiling is a simple, magical gesture that expresses peace and happiness. It is a gift we can easily give. When we give it away to others, we clearly get the benefit of the energy of the smile moving through us. I remember 'hearing on a stress management video many years ago that it takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown. So it involves much less effort than a scowl, and in the words of a Ziggy cartoon, "A smile is a facelift that's in everyone's price range!!"
I have noticed the power of a smile to change my experience in the moment. I have recently returned to practicing yoga. Usually once or twice during our class, the instructor Arni KaIfayan, will say, "Turn up the comers of your mouth. Yoga is meant to be joyful." I follow her instructions, and immediately I experience a lightness of being. As I do this, my eyes are usually closed, and I feel the power of my smile embracing me. I have also noticed the power of a smile when I am paying a cashier. Words may not even be exchanged and magic immediately happens. A connection is made, and the present moment becomes a precious present. I am also aware that I have another smile. It's the sourpuss smile, and behind this smile a judge is holding court, doling out judgments, and communicating to others what I may be thinking I am hiding.
This week, get to know your smiles and use your smiles to share your love and be a gateway to moving your experience from sad to glad. Play and smile and imagine all the peace and happiness we would experience each and every day if we let a smile lead our way.