Friday, June 1, 2012

30 Days of Joy: Day 1-Smile

Have you ever noticed how great you feel when someone really smiles at you?  I'm not talking about a fake smile.  I'm talking about a genuine smile.  They make eye contact with you, and you can see it in their eyes.  It is a moment when you have made a connection with another human being.  It's a pretty magical moment.

If you are a parent, that moment when your baby first smiles at you is so powerful.  You can feel the impact of the parent-child bond from this one interaction.  It effects you emotionally and physically.  Your emotions well up, and you smile back.  It is as if you are saying, "Hey, you!  I know you."  The joy that the parent and child feel at this moment is unmistakable.

 I still feel that way as a parent.  My children are grown, but nothing touches me more than when my sons smile at me.  Now that I am a grandmother, I also experience joy when I see my granddaughter.  When she first sees me, she smiles and waves.  Her smile is so precious-it melts my heart!

I make it a point to smile when I interact with people I meet in public-especially with store clerks.  I always ask how they are.  It amazes me how often I take them by surprise.  Sometimes they appear so grumpy when I first approach them, but they light up when they smile and realize that I do see them as a human being.

 I'll never forget when I asked a clerk at ToysRUs how she was doing as I smiled at her.  She looked like she could rip my head off when I first put my purchases on the conveyor belt.  However, when I asked about her day, she started to tell me that she had been working for over 8 hours and that she had been up at night with her baby who was sick.  The more we talked, the more she relaxed.  By the end of that brief encounter, she was smiling again.  I like to think that I made an impact on her for that short amount of time.  I also think that those coming after me encountered a human being who was more relaxed and congenial.

I have a friend who always smiles.  She has a smile that would light up a room.  Since I have known her, she has encountered financial problems and the loss of a loved one.  She has struggled through the trials of raising her children and supporting her husband during unemployment.  She has worked endless hours even when sick.  Yet through it all, she always smiles.  She is truly an inspiration for me.  I believe that she is also an inspiration for many other people.  I know that she is loved by all of us.  If I ever need a pick-me-up, she is the one I would like to see.  I am truly blessed by her loving smile.

Don't forget the power of a smile.  As you find your joy today, take the time to reflect and smile about it.  See if you can start a Circle of Joy today.  If you are meeting other people, be sure to acknowledge them with a smile.  I hope that you will find someone who will return the favor so that you can bask in their smile and feed your joy.  Keep giving and searching...

Have you found your joy today?

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