“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa.
This past summer I went through two very challenging and stressful months due to unforeseen losses in both my family and business life. It seemed that every day presented a new overwhelming professional hurtle or bout of grief to overcome. I’m sure most people can relate to these moments where everything that could go wrong does go wrong. And while these human experiences are a part of life and growing, they can sometimes wear down our spirits when we’re in the thick of it. That’s exactly what happened to me about a month into my swirling storm of life lessons.
I remember one morning dragging myself to the gym in hopes that it would help me positively face the day and clear my head. I had an hour-long swim and competed a weight training circuit and I did feel much better afterwards. In fact, I felt as if I could conquer the world. Initially I attributed this change in mood and outlook entirely to the workout, but what I realized was that my good vibes started way before I got my heart rate going.
The good feels of this day began with an understanding smile in the parking lot from one of the elderly Chinese women I knew from the pool. As we didn’t speak each other’s language, a smile was all we’d ever shared as our way of saying hello or goodbye. The smile went warmly to her eyes, and without a word she connected with me. Once inside the gym, when I realized I’d forgotten my membership card, I was gifted with another beautiful toothy smile from the gym manager. Lisa who runs the front desk from her wheelchair is always upbeat and happy. I smiled back and immediately felt lighter, happier, and stronger. Then, as I was walking towards the locker room, I was surrounded by a bunch of little kids from summer swim camp. They were laughing, chattering, and skipping; one of them caught my eye with a twinkly gap-toothed smile.
It wasn’t the workout that made my day, it was the shared smiles and kindness that had worked their magic! Smiling is a miracle of love we can all share with each other every day. Smiles have a chain reaction effect of goodness. When someone smiles at us, we relax and smile back; this in turn releases endorphins and relieves stress. When we’re feeling down or negative about life a smile can turn the day around. In fact, try smiling as you’re reading this and then maintain the smile while trying to think of something negative. Pretty impossible, right? That’s because when we smile even when we don’t feel like it, we’re sending our brain the message that life is going well and we’re going to be okay. The best part is that smiles are contagious! They are the universal sign of happiness no matter what language we speak. A beautiful smile is love, peace, and connection. And you never know whose day you may change by sharing your love with a smile.
Guest Author: Becci Goodall