Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

I have developed this bad habit.  I could blame it on long dark winters.  I could use the excuse that the majority of my days are spent under gray, overcast skies that often leak down raindrops.  I am sure I could blame a number of things...but I won't.  The truth is, it is of my choosing.  And if it is going to be undone, I will need to change this habit.

I have become grumpy.  Sometimes, I think my native tongue is called "complain-mouth".  I am really good at seeing what is wrong with the situation in front of me.  I furrow my brow and my lips remain pinched in a flat line.  I forget to laugh.  There...I've said it.  (Now doesn't that entice you to spend time with me??)

Mother Teresa was once approached by a big group of professors from the United States.  "Tell us something that will help us," they said.  And she said to them, "Smile at each other."

Smile at each other...

Smile at each other....

A smile changes everything doesn't it?  When I smile in the middle of my bad habit (see above), it causes the gremlins of that habit to scatter and run for cover.  Smiling spreads a sunshine first in my soul and then to those around me.  Smiling is such a little gesture, needing no great effort, but reaps massive rewards.

However, the truth is, I don't often smile at other people.  I forget to smile at my kids...instead, I shout orders at them.  I don't smile at people in the grocery store...I have learned not to make eye contact.  I don't even smile at myself in the mirror...for lots of reasons!  

But is is possible that this little action - a smile - could begin to change my grumpiness habit?  Just moving the muscles around my mouth somehow change the attitude of my heart.  AND when I choose to smile at another, I see them differently, almost in a much more tender and rejoicing way.  (I guess smiling changes my eyes too!)

So I'd like to start a new habit...hopefully to replace the old one.  I want to smile more.  Smile at my family, smile at myself, smile at the situation in front of me, smile at other people, and smile at the future!  Want to join me in this new habit??  (I am quite sure some of you are already way ahead of me on this journey!)

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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