Smiling is good for us

Image “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”  - Thich Nhat Hanh

I am not a fan of the acronym KISS or Keep It Simple Stupid. Does it mean keep it so simple it’s stupid or am I being referred to as stupid? I’m probably stupid for even asking this question. Now, now, I know there is no such thing as a stupid question.

I like simple but I don’t like stupid. Maybe we could change it to: Keep It Simple Smiley. Smiling is good and simple. And it makes us feel better and not inadequate. We literally release positive endorphins when we smile so not only does it makes us feel good, but it is also benefits our overall health!

Smiling has been a precursor to some of my favorite moments in life. In fact, I met one of my closest friends in a Starbucks because she smiled at me.

A smile slows us down. A smile connects us to one another. It is an acknowledgement that we are all in the same boat no matter how rough the water is.

Maybe I am feeling nostalgic today as my youngest turns four, but I am really grateful to my mom for showing me how illuminating a smile can be.

She smiles at everyone. That warm grin of hers has been uplifting those around her for years. Her smiles often turn into conversations. Honestly, I didn’t much appreciate this as a teenager when I felt like every shop owner in town knew when I was having my period.

But now I appreciate it deeply.

My son asks me almost daily after I'm done chatting with someone I just met or greeting a stranger with a wave or smile, “Mom did you know that person?” More often than not I say, “Now I do.” And then I silently thank my mom and her contagious smile for having lit the path before me.