Want to Smile More? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

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A dimple, a crinkle, a twinkle, and a lightness of the spirit equals a genuine smile. A smile has the power to capture hearts around us. I notice that a genuine smile makes me feel vibrantly alive! Smiling is about fulfillment: a sense of meaning, integrity, and satisfaction that fills a moment in time.

Experiencing more genuine smiles means making decisions to support our internal satisfaction. Shaking up the status quo of our lives, if need be, to create more space. When we decide we want more meaning, integrity and satisfaction, we make the necessary changes. During those transitions we often find speed bumps in the road; what we need to genuinely smile feels impossible, bad, scary, guilty, selfish, etc… If this enters your process, don’t fret; simply keep the end result in mind.

Along the journey of life, many of us will experience an empty feeling, when smiles are few and far between; those empty gaps can feel like small ravines or big grand canyons. When we notice those gaps, often, we fill them with tangible things – when in fact what we are searching is an experience to scratch an emotional itch. A desire to feel more congruent in our lives, that we are contributing, giving, receiving, playing, expressing, and being seen for who we are in the world. To satisfy those voids, strengthen your ability to regularly choose experiences that make you feel complete.

To smile more, and bask in being vibrantly alive, try asking yourself:

Where am I selling out on myself?

What thrills me?

What makes me laugh out loud?

Notice what comes to your mind when you ask these questions. Write the answers down, and leave the judgment out. Decide on one small action, relative to above, and take it in the next seven days. Make sure the action makes you feel lighter and it’s not another to-do item. Then call anyone you enjoy sharing your smile with, or email me, and declare your right to smile more today!



How to Weather an Existential Crisis

There comes a time in the lives of many when there is a pause to reflect on the meaning of life. When this moment of Zen turns out to be especially troubling, puzzling, or even discombobulating, we have a name for it — an existential crisis. The symptoms of an existential crisis range from mild wonderment to turning your world on its head and it can feel much more extreme than a prolonged state of confusion or mental health issue.

There are numerous introductions into the potential rabbit hole of an existential crisis, but all of them usually begin with the question “Why am I here?” or “What is the meaning of life?” If you’re going through this, you aren’t alone. 

Philosophers have contemplated the purpose of existence and existential anxiety all the way back through our collective past. Socrates had a prescription: “Know thyself.” The Indian sage Ramana Maharshi suggested asking, “Who am I?”

Why do we humans get caught up in this search for meaning, and why do we fear a meaningless life? Better yet, is there any meaning at all? Some people suggest there is a purpose to life that is bound to a sense of well-being, but the masters of enlightenment have long said that we are looking in the wrong direction — outward instead of inward.

Joseph Campbell taught that it’s better to stop searching for the meaning of life and to begin looking for the meaning in life. In other words, life deals us a certain hand of cards, and we need to find what makes us passionate about them. Campbell summed this up in three immortal words: “Follow your bliss” — and the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said, “Don’t forget to love yourself.”

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