Want to Smile More? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself
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 Does an HSP Cope With All the Suffering in the World?
If you’re not familiar with the term HSP, please see the definition for “Highly Sensitive Person” from Dr. Elaine Aron.
With no simple answer, I’m afraid. I’ve pondered my own answer to this question for several years. The following Meditation of Hope and Love came to me during one of my own meditations a few years ago. I use it often…and lately, that means almost daily!
A Meditation of Hope and Love
Find a meditation time – at least 30 minutes, or longer, if possible. You know the criteria – quiet, uninterrupted time and space, preferably your own special place that may have candles or a special feeling of comfort and security for you.
Sit or lie down in a very comfortable position. (I prefer lying, with something light and soft to cover me.)
- Begin slow, deep breathing, focusing on blowing all your breath out – as if blowing out a candle.
- Breathe in deeply, through your nose, to a count of 8 or 10. Hold for a count of four.
- Breathe out, again as if blowing out a candle, to a count of ten.
You want to create a very deep cleansing breath. Notice: You might begin yawning, or drifting off to sleep. Go with whatever feels best for you. There is no ‘doing it wrong’ here. Just keep practicing until eventually you can complete the whole meditation. Now here comes the harder, yet important part.
Begin to allow your mind to go ahead and focus on all the things you have been concerned or worrying about. Like many of you, I have been close to tears each day as I hear about all the suffering in the world.
Lovingly ask each individual concern to patiently wait in line — assuring them they will all have a chance to be heard. In your relaxed state, begin to see each entity forming a line, waiting patiently. As they come up to be heard, assign them a name like Robin Williams, Gaza/Palenstine conflict, Nigerian girls or maybe for you it might be lost job, finances, or whatever else evolves as an appropriate and loving way to remember and honor your concerns.
As an HSP, these kinds of images tend to burrow deep into my inner world and I can begin to feel burdened, lethargic, and sometimes hopeless. Cognitively, I know there is really nothing I can (concretely) do about these tragedies, yet my yearnings for a better world keep my mind occupied.
Now comes the next step in your meditation.