Learning to Smile Again

Learning to Smile Again

“Peace begins with a smile.” —Mother Teresa


When was the last time you studied every piece of your identity, and with each new discovery made, found you could not stop smiling? Take some time today to notice yourself. Appreciate your every feature. Love your imperfections. Cherish all of the parts of your beautiful being. Encourage your body and mind to heal from depression by showering in compliments, loving energy, and positive thoughts. Fuel yourself with raw, organic fruits and vegetables. Hydrate with pure water and fresh green juices. Keep your internal organs clean. Exercise your body, mind, and spirit. Let go of all fears, insecurities, and worries. See yourself as an opportunistic optimist. Recognize your limitless potential. Always remember to smile, even when you are hurting inside. What you may notice is your mood will improve, your body will look more appealing, your skin will start glowing, and your face will shine. You make the world a more peaceful place when you respect yourself and everything around you.

I once cared for a houseplant that was in poor health from spending too much time in direct sunlight. A friend of mine told me there was no hope in rescuing her but I refused to accept this and nurtured her back to life. I paid attention to the entirety of her body, from the roots to the edges of her leaves. I nourished her with water, massages and song. I complimented her, and assured her she would heal. I am not a botanist, or a green thumb by any means, but I knew deep down there was still life in this plant friend of mine. With each new day she gained vibrancy, and within one month she was in good spirits. By means of encouragement, I found a way to nurse a plant back to life that was labeled, a dead plant corpse, by my friend who had far more experience with plants than I did. If I was able to successfully revive this plant from what ailed her, I believe we can heal ourselves from what is bringing us down using a similar strategy. We can water our spirits with compliments and encouraging words. Massage our bodies with loving touch. Nourish the fabrics of our identity with exercise, optimal fuel sources, and real food. Sing, or listen to happy melodies that will satisfy our souls. Most importantly, practice smiling frequently, and know deep down inside that we are capable of being truly happy.

            “If we continue to practice smiling, even in difficult situations, many people, animals, and plants will benefit from our way of doing things. Are you massaging our Mother Earth every time your foot touches her? Are you planting seeds of joy and peace?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

When I walk barefoot through the forests, I imagine I am massaging the rich redwood soil every time my foot touches down. Perhaps this plants seeds of joy and peace. I smile so often people must wonder what I am so happy about. I recognize the importance of smiling, so I smile at the wildlife, plants, trees, and especially banana slugs I find in the forest. I smile at people who pass me on busy city streets. I smile at myself in the mirror. My hope is for other people, as well as animals and plants, to benefit in some way from this gesture. I aim to spread happiness wherever I go. Will you join me?

I often think of the saying, “Let your smile change the world, but do not let the world change your smile.” We live in a polluted society where there is an abundance of anger, confusion, discrimination, greed, hatred, ignorance, jealousy, and separation swirling around us. If we allow this negativity to penetrate our fields of infinite possibilities, we soon stop radiating positivity, and the result is that we permit the world to convert our smile to another grim face that does not say hello when passing by. This book is a source of encouragement and inspiration for us all to rearrange the adversity and hostility, plant seeds of laughter and peace of mind, and massage the Mother Earth with each step or leap we take in our happy lives.

“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

We can no longer exist in a shell of the world captured by uncertainty. We have to branch out and expand our horizons. Therefore I encourage you to read books that capture your interest, observe nature, sing, dance, write, struggle, and overcome adversity in order to understand the big picture circulating around this Universe is always working in our favor. We must question everything we think we know. Our mission should be eradicating anger, and transmuting poor thoughts into unforgettable smiles; clearing up confusions and shaping them into dazzling expressions; discriminating only against hatred and negativity so we can celebrate in an abundance of positive energy; unearthing confidence to wash off the jealousy attached to discontent; and erasing separation so we can all be happy as one unit.

            As George Carlin suggested, “Everyone smiles in the same language.” If we walk through a park filled with people from a multitude of cultures and ethnicities, we will feel accepted and at peace provided everyone is wearing a smile to go along with their unique identity. We could say hello through harmonious body language, kind eyes, and compassionate intentions. Nothing is stopping us from creating this balanced environment, aside from our refusal to be accepting of difference. We must learn to live with tranquility and be receptive to change. By elevating our consciousness, raising awareness, practicing compassion, being loving, and doing our part to ease the suffering in the world, we can achieve this goal.