Yesterday was Send-a-Smile Day and we planned a little experiment where we’d smile at everyone no matter how we felt, who we were with, and what was going on around us.
How’d you do?
I found that several times throughout the day I had to arrange my facial muscles in a smile because I sure didn’t feel like smiling at the time! I noted it was at times when it seemed that others were oblivious to people around them such as slow drivers pulling out in front of me, shoppers blocking the grocery store aisles with their shopping carts, and a person texting (!!) on their phone (!!!!) while driving (!!!!!!!!).
That last example definitely created a potentially dangerous situation. But, the other two examples…it could be argued that the others should be more aware of where they were and what was going on around them, but then again, perhaps I could stand a bit of slowing down and taking things easier….
What did you discover about the day and your reactions and responses? Share with us in the comments section below! Thanks!
I invite you to join me in doing a little experiment today.
Regardless of how you feel–glum, worried, frustrated, or something else–make it a point to smile at EVERYONE today–especially yourself. Scientists say that the arrangement of your facial muscles in the form of a smile is enough to begin the release of endorphins into your system. You don’t have to actually feel the smile or want to smile ; as long as your muscles have formed a smile on your face, the endorphins will be released.
Of course if you feel the smile, if your smile grows out of your cheerfulness and feelings of goodwill toward your fellow humans, then a greater amount of endorphins are released. But just the mere act of putting a smile on your face, whether you want to or not, is enough to press the reset button on your emotions and feelings.
How cool is that?! 🙂
And, I know for myself that if a stranger smiles at me, even if I’m feeling stressed or worried or frustrated, their smile helps take the edge off my emotions just a little bit.
What a wonderful gift a smile can be. And it’s FREE! Free to give and free to receive, although the payoff in helping you and others feel better is priceless! 🙂
So, join me in this little experiment of smiling all day long no matter what you’re feeling or what’s happening or who you’re with. 🙂
Let me know in the comments below how your day went!
Your local library!!
It’s amazing the products and services they offer. The good news is that there are many resources that, with a valid library card, you have FREE access to!! The other great thing about your local library is that they are VERY interested in serving the needs of ALL the members of the community so let them know the resources they have that you like as well as the ones you wish they had. Keeping in touch with them will assist them in continuing to be a relevant information source for your community. Check them out today! And get a library card if you don’t already have one–they’re FREE!!!
Community colleges, universities, and local branches of universities
Of course they offer classes and, naturally, communities of curious people studying variety of subjects that fascinate them. In addition, they offer faculty lectures as well as lectures, discussions, symposiums, conventions, etc., of visiting professors and thought leaders. Also, many offer low-residency programs as well as distance learning programs.
For a partial listing of participating organizations in OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). Many universities and community colleges and communities are affiliated with this program. There’s probably a place near where you live!
Continuing Education and Adult Learning Programs offered by your local community
My town offers programs for kids and adults sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department. Of course they offer sporting programs, but they also offer introduction to Italian and conversational French; cooking; arts and crafts; many types of dance; trips to local museums, professional sporting events, shopping excursions; classes in meditation; how-to invest your money, and more.
Senior Centers, Ethnic organizations, Civic groups
Communities of people who have no intention of getting ready for the rocking chair on the porch of the “old age home”! Your Place of Worship
Although many houses of worship are concerned with attracting young people, they are also very interested in being relevant and helpful to all their parishioners. They’re also a good source of information for other offerings in your local area.
Of course there is the ever-present Internet. I certainly recommend you do searches on the specific information you’re looking for as well as doing searches on topics that interest and fascinate you. Also check out Meetup.com and AARP.com as well.
Checking out these resources ought to keep you busy! If you know of other resources, or come across ones you think can be helpful to us, please let us know in the comments section below. Thanks!
Also, please pass this post along to a friend who you think can be helped by it. Thanks!
Oh my, this is a noisy world…. Real revelation comes through silence. ~Mr. Rogers
Mr. Rogers was soft-spoken, kind and gentle, reflective person. In an interview he had with Charlie Rose, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djoyd46TVVc Mr. Rogers talked about making time for thought, reflection, and contemplation. He even commented that with the written word, there needed to be white space on the page so that the reader has time to think about and digest what she/he just read.
Join me in following Mr. Rogers’ advice today and sit quietly, even if for only a few moments. It’ll help you press the reset button on your day and your week and help you set yourself up for a good finish to the week.
Is your mind racing, though, and you can’t figure out what to contemplate? Here are a few quotes from Mr. Rogers that can help: There’s a special place for you. You have a place that no one else has; there is only one like you. ~Mr. Rogers Would you be mine, could you be mine, won’t you be my neighbor? Won’t you please, won’t you please…please, won’t you be my neighbor? ~Mr. Rogers You always make each day such a special day. You know how–by just your being you! ~Mr. Rogers I like you, right now, just the way you are! ~Mr. Rogers
A few questions have come up about happiness and what it means.
I’m not talking about the kind of happiness that’s related to physical desires or hedonistic passions. The happiness I’m talking about is so much more than that.
The happiness I mean is intensely personal and has its roots deep in the core of you–it’s part of your essence. And through this intensely personal and intimate relationship, it becomes profoundly universal.
It’s the kind and type of happiness that comes from knowing you are doing what you are meant to do–in other words, your mission here on Earth and the reason you were born. Part of this is about your growth as a human being. But this type of happiness is also about soul-growth.
It’s through this deep personal connection that you lose yourself and become much more interested in helping others and being of service for the greater good.
Briefly, to refresh your memory, self-actualization is all about being who you truly are–manifesting YOUR talents, skills, and abilities in service of YOUR destiny, which is the reason why you were born on Earth.
Self-actualization is about feelings; not emotions, necessarily, but rather feelings of ecstasy, joy, fulfillment, gratification, reverence, and the like.
It’s about feeling happy but yet it’s so much deeper, fuller, and richer than that.
Below are a few questions to ask yourself. These are designed to familiarize yourself with your feelings of happiness–exactly what it feels like for YOU–and where in your body you feel happiness. Answering these questions, along with the answers from Friday’s post’s questions, will help you home in on your version of happiness.
What does it feel like when you’re happy?
Perhaps you get a soft, cuddly feeling in your chest when you’re happy, or maybe your whole body feels light enough to float away on the softest of breezes. Perhaps your head feels clear when you’re happy and it’s when you can do your sharpest, most incisive thinking.
Where do you feel it in your body?
Does your head get a fizzy, effervescent feeling? Do your arms, legs, fingers, and toes get all tingly when you’re happy? Do you feel a blooming and opening up of your chest when you feel happy? Get specific with where you feel happiness and your description of that feeling.
What thoughts are you thinking when you’re happy; what are you saying to yourself when you are happy?
Are you saying things like “I’ve got the world by the tail!” or “I can do anything!” or “I’m on fire!” or “Wow!” or “I love how this feels!”
What are the specific shadings of “happy” that you’re feeling?
Here are a few adjectives to help you describe what you’re feeling: elated, ecstatic, empowered, strong, vibrant, powerful, mighty, triumphant, unbeatable. Get out your trusty Thesaurus (or use the online one http://www.thesaurus.com ) to find the exact adjectives that pinpoint your feelings.
What tasks are you doing when you’re happy?
Are you working with your hands or building something? Are you being creative in an artistic sense? Are you problem-solving? Are you using your brain power?
What do you do to show you are happy?
Do you smile; are you cheerful? Are you more gregarious and out-going or do you prefer to sit quietly and bask in the glow of your feelings? Does your happiness energize you to keep going or do more?
Take the time to answer these questions. Let them inspire other questions–or other shadings of these same questions–so that you can pinpoint your unique definition and personal meaning of “being happy”.
Remember: don’t be surprised or feel awkward that your definition is nothing like anyone else’s, and what you feel and where you feel it when you’re happy is also particular to you. It’s supposed to be that way!! You won’t be happy following someone else’s idea of happiness. You want your happiness to be tailor-made to YOU!
In Part 4, we’ll talk about how to apply traditional goal-setting techniques to our intangible goals.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks!