Sunday, May 22, 2011

Learning to Smile

The family had an opportunity to spend a week this summer in Sikkim. Experiencing a new place and a new people, we came back richer from that experience. As we traveled through the interiors of that beautiful land, what struck me was the joy that permeated all things, man or nature. Don't get me wrong, it is not an easy life. Life in the mountains, without the robotic luxuries of our sprawling cities, is hard. But finding a purpose, finding the joy seemed to come easy. Finding joy prodded by the little things.....the flutter of the breeze, the swirl of the mist, the gush of meandering rivers, the shades of changing green, the smile of the Lepcha people.  You could hear Thich Nhat Hanh whisper "Smile, breathe and go slowly". 

Like any other vacation, we came back with memories and photographs of a beautiful place this time too. But this time, I came back with one more thing. I came back with a resolve. Inspired by the Lepcha.....A resolve to smile. A resolve to smile more often. A resolve to smile, breathe and go slowly. I know the big city will distract me enough to stray off the path sometimes. But, I 'll take all the help I can...from my daughters, my friends, my family....let's spread the joy through a smile. A simple smile to ease the stress in your life or in someone else's. A simple smile for limitless joy. A simple smile for a peaceful world. There is no other way to do it....count the laugh-lines on each other's face and light up your life with a simple smile.

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy". Experience this Thich Nhat Hanh whisper everyday. I experience it in my daughter's smile. Your troubles melt away. Your world feels lighter. You are ready to face a new day. A simple smile is all it takes to brighten up the day. Relearn....Smile now.