Sunday, January 31, 2010

Your Smile Is Always A Step Ahead of You

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"Your smile is always a step ahead of you." ~zenshine
Characteristic hands-raised anjali greeting
Buddhist monks will tell you that their smile is a meditation, a sort of mantra of the facial muscles. The Dalai Lama is never seen without his smile. Science will tell you that it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown, or that smiling releases endorphins that make you believe you're happy whether you are or not.

Almost every morning, I walk my dog Tonka down to the beach, setting my intentions for the day. One of my first intentions is always "to uplift ourselves and all others around us", a very useful intention I got from studying Abraham-Hicks. I like to include Tonka in that because he always has a great big 'goofy dog' smile on his face and gentle eyes that make all the dog lovers want to say hi to him before they even notice I'm there. I can't help but smile.

But when I set that intention, I feel myself warming up to the world, and the corners of my mouth just want to turn up, kind of like Tonka. And I notice as we pass people on our walk, they light up as we get closer. Almost everyone smiles at least a little, but they light up, like a bulb being turned on, and I feel their warmth. It's a very real connection whether we say good morning or not, whether we talk or not.

That's when I started to feel those words, "your smile is always a step ahead of you", because it literally lights the way, connecting the hearts of each person we pass with our own. My day begins with so much joy no matter what the day's challenges bring, all because of a basic, simple smile connecting me to the smiles and the hidden joys in each person we see.

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