Have you ever pondered as to why that one kid won’t stop smiling? Almost drives you insane at moments, doesn’t it? He won’t stop smiling about nothing! No worries, I think we’ve all been there once or twice. Yet there is a secret to his smile, and to what will be yours as well. S.M.I.L.E, the fundamentals of all life. It’s more than a quick lift of the lips to express joy, or a photograph hung on a wall. It is the way of a happy, fulfilled life.
What makes a S.M.I.L.E?
A gift so lovely – we do it as children, teens, adults, and elders. Although sometimes the beautiful habit is often forgotten. Do you remember during the winter holidays your parents or grandparents would tell you, “Now, now, dear child. You won’t be truly happy unless you share your new things with others.”? I think we have all heard this in some way. And it is true! The most wonderful happiness comes from sharing what we own and our joys.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Buddha
The second key to a happy life is motivation. We must motivate not only ourselves but those around us. One cannot simply look at a dead branch and say “Grow into a new tree!”, or to a child and expect them to clean their room. You have to give yourself and others a reason. A true, full-blown reason to want to do something. I promise you, once there is a reason – a will – you will feel that smile coming on.
Inspiration and Imagination
We all wish to change the world, yet many do not know where to start. How many times can you count where you were bored? Many times, I sure can imagine! Now take one of those scenes and sprinkle some good ol’ inspiration and imagination on them. If you are bored or tired, your brain is more creative. So take a summer day when you were a child, hot August weather, you are stuck inside and bored. If you had found a dash of creative imagination that day, you could have done something spectacular! The two go hand in hand – the best inspiration comes from our child-like imagination. Isn’t it beautiful?
Everything living thing on Earth shares one characteristic – life. The first breath of a child, the sprouting of a tiny seed, ancient redwood trees, and everything in between. Yet life has a lot of definitions. It means actually living and breathing, but also being satisfied and happy. Life is what you choose. The choices you make, and the love you share. In a sense, you cannot have one without the other. A life is not complete without love, yet love cannot exist without life. So make brilliant choices, love everyone and everything, and I promise you the life in “smile” will improve incredibly!
“Where there is love there is life.” ~ Mahatama Ghandi
Brilliant, moving in every single cell on Earth, energy is always there. Like life, energy has a few meanings as well. It’s that super lively feeling one gets when drinking coffee or tea that makes you want to get up and dance. It is our movements, the sign that we are alive. And finally, energy is this pure, beautiful, unseen thing we all have. It is our joy, wrapped up safely in our life, and brought out by motivation, inspiration, and imagination. In other words, energy is what is formed when the things above are together. It finishes the circle, makes us complete. Energy is our happiness, so if we smile, breathe, give, and love, our lives will be so much happier.
How to live with a S.M.I.L.E?
There are many ways to live a happy life with smiles! Here are some things to help embrace Motivation, Inspiration, Imagination, Life, and Energy:
- Give a Helping Hand: I promise you just helping someone with groceries, holding a door, or assisting with a child’s homework can make all the difference in the day. It really pulls into that energy and life aspect, awakening all your senses of joy.
- Meditation and Yoga: Remember downward dog and plank that you did as a child? Well, if combined particularly, not only will yoga help you physically with strength and balance, but also mentally and emotionally. Both yoga and meditation clear the mind and open doors to inspiration, motivation, and imagination never before seen. In fact, I feel these two activities hit every part of S.M.I.L.E, so give it a shot! If you need any pointers, I have great resources for this.
- “Hello there, lovely you!”: Sometimes we need to give ourselves a boost of confidence. Your self-image is one of the most fundamental things in life. Just take a moment to look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself you are beautiful. Or start a conversation. Talking to yourself is also a great way to open up creative thoughts!
- Take a stroll around: Beauty of the Earth is everywhere if one only learns to see the world with new eyes. From enormous cities to non-existent farm towns, there will always be peace and nature woven in between the cracks of reality. Taking a stroll not only gives you fresh air but really gives you time to think about life. It is the body’s way of saying, “Okay, we are done with the checklist, let us think over today!”
- Simply smile: If there is one thing I know, one thing I can tell you as the last bit of solid advice is smile. Purely smile. Laugh, too, if you feel like it! I can guarantee that if you are upset or mad, and just manage a smile, it makes the whole world change. Did you know it is easier for your muscles to smile than to frown? In fact, smiling actually affects your brain in a positive way, releasing neuropeptides that help fight stress. So stop straining your poor jaw and turn that frown upside down!
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ~ Mother Teresa
Until next time my friends,
Ashlee G., Author of Creative Thinking Well