I remember coming across the idea of your heart smiling in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love, at the time it really lit me up. I’d long forgotten it and was reminded this last week, just at a moment when it was useful.
We usually think of smiling being facial, and a response, we smile when we feel happy or something makes us laugh. I am drawn to the idea that actually smiling can come from within, and can be a deliberate choice. What a difference it can make when feeling tense or tight to open up to a smile.
As someone known for my beaming smile and infectious laugh it seems to me there are many different qualities to smiling. Sometimes it’s a joyful expression of our pleasure. Sometimes it’s a benevolent smile of love. Sometimes it’s a blessing, a wish to cheer and share lightness to lift another. What they all have in common is a sense of connection, a transmission of energy, a moving towards those and that that we smile with.
Making smiling a deliberate part of your self-care rituals is worth considering. How would it be to wake, and before getting out of bed, to smile to welcome the day? What difference would it make to smile with your heart before a challenging meeting or a difficult task? What would the quality of your interactions be like if you come to them with your heart smiling?
I’m enjoying adding conscious smiling to my fairly abundant spontaneous smiles. Why not give it a try, and notice the difference in your well-being, and your connections with others, as you do?