3. The Smile – and How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love’ Marcus Aurelius 

Spread that light within!

I know what you are thinking now. You are probably mumbling that not all good things are wild and free and we cannot possibly start each day with a smile. That in spite of anything, you keep reaching the same moment when you stop and be like ‘Hey there universe – this is so annoying! How come this is happening to me? how come I have to deal with this again when I thought I was over it already ???’

Before you say anything know that I and still am there too ( hahah although my monologue is rather ‘hah – there you are again – tell me everything!’ Then, again, it is still me that basically corner myself and talk me over – ‘you have to change your thoughts before looking for results, girl!’ Because there is one thing to repeat stuff you despise doing and there’s a totally different thing to actually become aware and actively look for a solution.

Doesn’t it make sense? How can you change something in your life when you are on repeat all the time? There has to be a switch that you press on and change your choices – starting with your morning and all the way till that moment when you decide to victimize over not being enough and ‘I’ll never get there, do that, etc’. Get what I am saying, right?

Previously I wrote about the power of meditation and breath – and from my experience here ( mind you – I am just sharing here, from a ‘soul speaking to soul’ perspective!) – facing difficult moments, when you find yourself down in the dumps – makes it damn difficult to see the lesson, to Look for the breath or staying put for minutes to connect with your inner you. Yes – it feels like a joke – a whole different story when you are in THAT critical moment – and we all know it.

What helped me here is to take my attention at that inner dialogue, the capacity to be stern with yourself yet accepting, know that nobody is perfect, that life is a long process of learning and last but not least, to be kind, which – if we put it in other words as many don’t really dig what being kind with oneself is if not taking a bubble bath or a hot chocolate or some quick shopping treat – no. What I mean here is to try and seek always your highest potential. (If you KNOW you have a bad habit that you KNOW its bad for you – but you indulge in doing it because it gives you confort – that is not being kind with yourself.)

Secondly, stop and ask yourself if you are present with this feeling, this emotion that takes hold of you now. Do you allow space and time to solve this or you are just in search for a quick fix – a cigarette, a glass of wine, a good movie or something that could take your mind off it? Because that will not do.

Once you will do that, once you will address it sincerely – you will see that meditation is actually crucial for this – as well as introspection. For me this all happened in a moment of crisis when I reached a point that I fought for and found that I was constantly unhappy. I basically sat with myself and asked – ‘what is it that I lack? What am I doing wrong? How can I improve my situation? ‘

Garfield – definitely he lacks nothing :DD

And Hocus pocus – out of nowhere the answer came- Gratitude. I forgot to be grateful. I took myself too seriously and slowly I stopped enjoying what I was doing. I immediately took a book I recommend if you are interested in the subject – The Magic – by Rhonda Byrne – and introduced gratefulness in my life. With it – smiling. More often. Smiling at adversity. Smiling when shit breaks the fan. Smiling like stupid – but smiling. Sounds a bit too much but it works – believe me. Why not try? How difficult can it be?

I want you to please ask yourself now – what can this present moment, this awareness of your breath can bring if not gratitude and humbleness? And if you skipped the breath awareness then just go ahead and put a Smile on your face. It will work the same. Because our brain cannot tell whether you have a good reason to smile or you are sitting in your cubical totally annoyed by your boss, job and completely out of hope. 

At the end of the day, gratitude is strongly connected to the well-know aspect of impermanence– we are here now yet we don’t know what tomorrow might bring. Stop taking your life for granted and just open your eyes again and again till you understand it! Till you internalize it and put it into practice. Learn to see as it would be your first time.

Look around and make yourself see that everything that you come in contact with has the potential to be your teacher – you can learn from everything that surrounds you. Forget about books, movies, courses, degrees. Take a deep breath and feel the autumn’s breeze. Rejoince at the sun and its blissful light. Hear the birds singing and if that sweet coffee makes you wake up and get out of bed – well hold it for a minute and be thankful for the fact that it is now in your house, on your table and in your palms warming up your face this morning. Everyone can be your teacher if you learn how to see, if you have that humbleness to accept that you are part of the whole.

Let us never forget about the power of the Smile in our life. I choose gratitude and smiling at life as the nr. 3 instrument ahead of anything else because I believe that I first need to change my attitude in order to move my ass out of bed, or house, or wherever I might be that I am stuck at the moment and cannot seem to find a way out. I choose smiling and gratefulness as the easiest and at hand practice that you can introduce in your daily life. Start now! 😀

I am a spiritual nomad looking for trouble! I love travelling, writing is my favourite form of expression and I will never say no to coffee! I dedicate my free time in practicing yoga and meditation as well as learning more about transformative education and development. I also love dancing and I could talk forever about love. :)

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