What positive impact can one expect when the loving practice of smiling on life is integrated into one’s daily life?
Smiling has many positive physiological and psychological effects on the giver and receiver. Science has shown that smiling lowers the body’s response to stress, by decreasing blood pressure and heart rate in tense situations with the release of the chemical serotonin.
A smile also triggers the release of dopamine which elevates the feeling of happiness. Studies have shown putting on a smiley face actually makes a person feel happier, makes you more likeable and friendly to others which can have a positive effect. Smiling can be contagious and is easily passed on to others because of the firing of mirror neurons in the brain. These neurons enable us to reflect the behavior of others and are linked to the capacity for empathy. The effects of their firing can easily be seen in the smiling exchange of a mother with her new born child. When filled with love and gratitude a smile is filled with a contagious positive energy that radiates to the world around them, making the world look a little brighter.
What if a smile is filled with feelings of gratitude? How does the feeling of gratitude impact the lives of people? Research has found that the more grateful you are, the happier you are. Adopting an attitude of gratefulness in one’s life helps to strengthen relationships, boost positivity, optimism, and resilience. People that have incorporated the practice of gratefulness into all parts of their lives have been shown to be at peace and are happier. Similar to the wide practice of loving-kindness meditation the smiling on life meditation and daily practice brings positive feelings to the self and branches out from there to other parts of life. Such practices help to reinforce a lifestyle that is rooted and anchored in love while bringing about peace and gratitude to the soul.
Along with the positive effects of smiling and gratefulness that the daily practice of smiling on life can have in our lives, the practice has two other aspects. It brings forth our deepest longing of being connected to the ultimate Good and carries forward that which we are ultimately put on this earth to learn: how to love. This vast universe, including ourselves, emerged out of nothingness by some ‘primal kindness’, to quote John O’Donohue. This ‘primal kindness’, this Love, is at the core of our being. Life was gifted to us out of love for love, but we still feel a sense of separation from this ‘primal kindness’. Smiling On Life is a practice that helps to remind us we are not just awareness but ‘loving awareness’ at our core and that we can feel more connected to life by simply gazing on life with loving awareness. Our intention to bring love into our awareness on anything in the present moment aligns us with our truest Self.
The practice of lovingly gazing on life and anchoring it with a smile channels our deepest desire to be more connected to the ground of being and reminds us that we hold a blessing of life to be shared with the world. It reminds us to see more clearly the blessings of life, ours and the world, and acknowledge the touch of the divine and sacredness in all people and things.
How do we begin to change the consciousness of the world into a more kind, just, compassionate, understanding, respectful and loving world?
We begin by transforming the consciousness of the individual by intentional living out of ‘loving awareness’.
Through our intention of gazing on with love and living out of ‘loving awareness’ Smiling On Life becomes a transformative practice. It grounds us in the wisdom of love and empowers us to act from our True Self bringing love, justice, compassion and gratitude to the world around us.
"By Smiling On Life with loving awareness we are only doing what each of us is called to do throughout our daily lives; to say ‘yes’ to life; ‘yes’ to love; and ‘thank you’ for the blessing of sharing in the experience of life."