To Smile or Not to Smile…That is the Question!

A smile.

What a magical device we carry with us in our human toolbox.

A true, embodied smile opens us, connects us and let’s another know that they are seen.

No words needed.

A simple body – heart gesture that has the power to lift the mood and shift our experience of a person or a situation.

That is magical in my books.

However, it only works when it is genuine.

So often, a smile can be perfunctory. The muscles move, but there is no heart connection. The smile does not connect with the creases in the eyes, and there is no emotional uplift. I am sure, you know what I am talking about. That kind of smile is intended to give an impression of connection or receptivity, but in reality, nothing is happening. We may use it in order to be polite, but underneath the mind chatter goes on: “This is boring, I want to leave now, I am not interested in what you have to say, you are annoying, I am in a rush.” etc.

A true smile creates a heart connection in the briefest of moments. There is no chatter.  And the beauty is, when you are the recipient, you can’t help smile back, creating a magical moment of seeing each other for who you are. That experience is nourishing and affirming!

It’s important to allow the spontaneity of a smile arising and then have periods with no smile. You actually want to move between on and off. Yin and Yang.

Some people smile a lot, out of habit, nervousness, wanting to be approachable and polite. However, when something is there all the time, we stop seeing or reacting to it. You may have noticed that when people give talks or workshops and they always smile, you turn off, lose connection to them and what they are sharing. You habituate to the smile, and it loses its effectiveness. Therefore, you want to be aware and alternate between moments of offering a smile and then return to a more serious expression, so that there is contrast.

You want your smile to mean something and be the gift that it is intended to be!

When you have a bit of a gloomy day, try this little experiment:

Stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself.

What happens when you smile with your head? Your heart? Your belly?

Notice that the smiles have a different quality.

However, the outcome is similar. You’ll likely notice some upliftment, a greater openness to life around you, a sense of possibility and curiosity and at the same time less judgment towards yourself and not feeling so trapped in your stories and “woe me”.

Lesson learned:

Smile often and see it as a simple, renewable gift you can offer into the world.

It’s a connector.

No words or explanations needed.

A simple form of: I see you and acknowledge you and that is good enough.

When you share a true smile with people, they can’t help, but smile back.

Now go out there and share your magic!


Let me know in your comments below what you are discovering.

If you find some challenges in creating this change in perspective for yourself, let’s have a conversation and explore how I can support you in making this happen.



Amara’s Musings: Creating Spaciousness - Inside and Out

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