“She sprouted love like flowers, grew a garden in her mind, and even on her darkest days, from her smile the sun still shined.” -Erin Hanson
As I approach my 3rd decade on this Earth, I am so grateful that I’ve learned to smile. Truly smile.
Much of my childhood was spent in tears. Bullies tore me down. Family drama broke my self-esteem. Most of my growing up time was spent on my own, hiding my chubby cheeks behind my books. When my family wanted to take my picture, my smile was often forced and broken. Growing up though, has taught me to smile, to laugh, to enjoy my life and to share that light with the world. I no longer hide my face or try to block my emotions. My smiles are real, shining beacons of joy. I look forward to another decade of real, lovely, truly happy smiles.
The events of the past few weeks have left me shaken and saddened. It seems like every time I catch a glimpse of the news or check social media my breath is taken away by a new tragedy. It has become so difficult to handle that all I want to do is curl up in my bed and hide from the world.
But today I got out of bed, put on my running shoes, and went out into the world. As I ran around my little neighborhood I was struck by the fact that everyone I passed stopped what they were doing to give me a wave and a smile. People driving by, watering their lawns, tending their gardens, playing games on their front porches, riding their bikes, taking out their garbage… they all took a moment to acknowledge my existence. It’s a small gesture, and yet, with each new smile and wave my faith in humanity was slowly restored and pieces of my heart were put back together. I began to realize that people are inherently good, decent, and kind. Though the news and social media may lead us to believe otherwise, there is more good out there in the world than bad. The problem is that goodness whispers while evil screams. So maybe it is time for us to speak up a little louder, love a little more, and spread joy instead of fear. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and a wave to change someone’s day and create a ripple affect across the globe. So consider this post a challenge to pass on the love. Share some kindness and you can change the world.
“When was the last time you danced alone just for fun? Do you remember the last time you sang simply because your heart was filled with joy? Or how about when you were so happy that you couldn’t help but smile and laugh a little as you walked down the street alone. What if happiness was our natural state? What if joyful was how we were meant to be?” -Kino MacGregor
Today was a day like any other. I sang. I taught. I drove. I did yoga. I lived. And yet, it was a day unlike any other. On my drive to Los Angeles, I noticed the gentle flicker of sunlight radiating off the sea as the sun rose over the hills. I saw the reeds and grasses growing tall and waving in the wind. I enjoyed belting out tunes and dancing in the driver’s seat. At my voice lesson, I felt the resonance and strength of my voice. I witnessed my breath flowing in and out, awakening my energy and strength and allowing tone to form and grow. In the rehearsal for my upcoming performance with the Lompoc Pops Orchestra, I lost myself in the music. I saw myself not as a person but as an instrument, combining my voice with the other instrumentalists to form a perfect union of sound. Returning home after a long day, I saw the sun setting over the ocean and fill the clouded sky with color. In a day of singing and driving that would usually bring stress and anxiety, I found joy. I was happy. I smiled. I found peace in the everyday mundane. Life is good, so smile and enjoy it.
#alowypblackandwhite: tree pose. Best friends and laughter brighten up even the darkest days. Be happy!