The SMILE Challenge Results – Part 2

20 Feb

SMILE-Bring Your Own Sunshine_HappyDappyBits

Smile at those you encounter and see what happens. Sounds easy, no? Actually, there were many times when it wasn’t so easy.

I wanted to have a sincere smile that started on the inside and shone on the outside. Just writing and thinking about that now has me smiling naturally. So, why was it so difficult?

I discovered I didn’t always feel smiley…and that surprised me! I knew I didn’t want to have an artificial smile. You know the kind you often see in family albums where the corners of the mouth are turned up, but the smile doesn’t reach the eyes? I knew I wanted to be sincere and open to others. But I didn’t always feel like it. Sometimes I was feeling introspective and not particularly open for friendly encounters. I decided not to push myself to feel differently than I was feeling, but to just observe myself.

Though reluctant, I have to be honest with myself and acknowledge that smiling was not my habit. In yoga classes, we’re often reminded to relax our face. In and out of class, I’ll catch myself holding tension there, especially in my jaw.

If I am often tense and not smiling, then what am I doing? I’m frowning. Oh, no! If a frown is a natural way of being for me, what am I thinking that causes me to frown? Hmmm, it doesn’t sound like this “Pollyanna” is thinking positive thoughts…and I definitely want to change that!

So, do I focus on having more positive thoughts? Or do I focus on cultivating a new smiling habit?

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

–      Thich Nhat

Did you participate in The SMILE Challenge? What was YOUR experience?

(Photo credit: Happy Dappy Bits)

14 Responses to “The SMILE Challenge Results – Part 2”

  1. teresasdreams February 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    You are awesome, Cyndi. 😀

  2. Healthy A-Z February 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Ahhh, Teresa, thanks for the love!

  3. Karen S. Artal February 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I found that it was easy to smile at children. They are so innocent and accepting. Older people also smile easily. It’s the ones in the middle that are not as receptive to a smile from a stranger. There also is alot of talk about “strangers” and to beware of them. This middle group seems to be there, They are wondering what you are up to or some such thought.
    They cannot accept a random smile. They also could be wrapped up in there own thoughts and just don’t see you.
    Bottom line……Juist keep smiling and occasionally do a “random act of kindness” as well. The world will be a better place and you will begin to feel better also.

  4. Healthy A-Z February 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Love your bottom line! I’m all for it!

  5. Alan Freedman February 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    My dear Cyndi: Your transparency and honesty is so refreshing! That’s one of your attributes that I find so endearing! Your beautiful spirit always shines through, regardless of how you might be feeling on the inside. LoveYa sister – at all times!

  6. Christy H February 21, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I tend to smile at people, even if it feels fake. If they smile back at me, my smile becomes real and I feel better. One thing I love about New Orleans is people, strangers, still say good morning or hello or just nob their head when passing each other. It’s nice connecting with your fellow human. 🙂

    • karenartal February 21, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      I agree…..It makes us all feel better…..What a concept!

    • Healthy A-Z February 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

      That actually sounds quite nice. No wonder you like it there so much. 😉

  7. artisticmilestone February 23, 2013 at 1:24 am #

    Cute lovely quote 🙂

  8. heartflow2013 March 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    I love the Thich Nhat Hanh quote, too! This is a wonderful challenge, Cyndi! It is a great thing to initiate, thank you! My first teacher used to say that your smile is like a seat belt in your vehicle – don’t go out in the world without it! and also that a droopy face is like a contagious disease – don’t go out into the world with it! Stay home until you can go out with a smile! 🙂 tomas ♥

    • Healthy A-Z March 11, 2013 at 7:53 am #

      Thanks, Tomas! I like your teacher’s approach. It sounds like a great way to walk out the door and share your day with others.

  9. Patricia Awapara April 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Great challenge! You never know how you will affect others by your smile. Great post!

    • Healthy A-Z April 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Well, thank you very much, Patricia! If you ever have a physical art exhibition, let me know. I would love to see your work…and you…in person. 🙂

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