Life is like a mirror, smile at it, and it smiles back at you. -Peace Pilgrim
I am working on a new exercise. It’s one for the face called a smile. I am cursed with the Miller frown. I don’t even realize most of the time that I’m doing it, so if you see me frowning smile at me and I’ll give you one back. I certainly don’t frown because I’m unhappy or miserable at least most of the time I can say that. I think I have a combination of things going on here one came from an unhappy childhood when I had something to frown about, then there’s genetics, and now age, when everything begins to sage including the face. Even now, as I write this, I catch myself going into that frown that comes about when I’m concentrating on something.
I remember the day I married Tom. I was smiling so much that by the end of the day, my face hurt. As with all exercises, no pain, no gain as they say. So, I read that the best way to do this exercise is to have a mirror nearby so you can catch yourself at a glance. It’s a kind of hard to do that. So, I’ve decided to let life be my mirror reflection. My smile is the practice, and your smile is the strength I gain!
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“The sun, without intent or will or plan or sense of principle, just shines, thoroughly and constantly. By being itself, the sun warms with its light, never withholding or warming only certain things of Earth. Rather, the sun emanates in all directions all the time, and things grow. In the same way, when we are authentic, expressing our warmth and light in all directions, we cause things around us to grow.” -Mark Nepo *
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about being authentic. Being human we’re much more complicated than the sun and the flowers. They are what they were created to be without wondering what they have to offer. They simple do what they do best. The very question of authenticity takes us outside ourselves looking in comparison at others. Thinking I’ll never be as good as so and so, all the while missing out on who we are and what we have to offer the world. How can I shine my light on others? How can I be the expression of Love in which I come from? How can I wrap that warmth around others and help them grow? The sun and the flower show us by example and in their nonverbal language tell us…just be.
How? By looking within and recognizing what makes you feel the most alive when you’re doing it. Maybe you enjoy singing, playing an instrument, cooking, gardening, making crafty things, giving massages, doing Reiki, or writing, just to name a few. Anything we love to do can be used to warm someone’s else’s heart, light their day and help them grow into their own authentic self just by being who we are. There’s nothing more affective then showing rather than telling just as Mark Nepo’s does with his beautiful metaphoric writing about the sun and its intent. I wonder, can you see the picture he draws with his words?
*A Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo March 30 reading
“Sunday’s With Ollie”
As I’m sitting nested in my favorite spot upon the couch I see everything and everyone who passes by. Being a dog, I bark because my first reaction is to protect my tribe. I don’t see people outside the window by what kind of human they are. My animal instinct simple goes into over drive and I’m ready for the attack is necessary. My Connie comes in to tell me to stop as my bark is very load and sometimes hurts her ears. She sits down beside me, and with her calming voice says, “they’re not hurting anyone Ollie. They have as much right to walk by our house as the next person because we live in a country that respects the rights of all humans.”
Being a dog I have no idea what that means, but I feel better because her voice is soothing, and her touch is gentle.
“I know you don’t understand Ollie. You see as humans unlike animals we’ve been given a wonderful mind to think with. So when we look out our windows, we are better able to articulate with clarity what we see. But we don’t just think with the “ego” mind that limits our thinking. We have a heart and soul in which to sieve our thoughts through. That ability brings kindness and love into view, so that there is no room for judgement without probable cause.”
It’s true as an animal the dog God made me less complicate then the human. All I can say is arf arf, that means “thank you” in people words. You know we learn from our people same as a child does by what we see and sense. As a dog, I can use my powerful senses to asses the situation for better or worse if given the chance. But it really depends on what we learn from our human friends that makes us like one kind over another.
All in all I feel safe, loved and understood for what I am, and I’m a dog. I think that makes me a pretty lucky dog indeed!
Every parent and grandparent knows the moment when this innocent child begins to be influenced by those around them, and all the things that exist in our own little world. We say and do things in front of the children without even thinking how it sinks into their psyches. It’s just another example of the responsibility we each have. That responsibility begins with our own changed heart, and what we try to understand and make better will be reflected in our own actions. As a grandparent, I ask myself what can I do to leave behind a better world for my grandchildren. I’m reminded of the St. Francis prayer once again. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” In wanting to change the world for the better, than I have to change myself first. I must become the example by the way I live my life. So it means a real examination of conscious. What is it that I need to weed out of my beliefs and thoughts that stands in the way of the better good for all?
Do what you gotta do,
but be the example.
Stop preaching to the chore,
they have their own path to follow.
Practice what you preach,
do what ya gotta do to live it.
Be the example,
accomplish your dreams.
Just do what ya gotta do,
to become the best you.
And in so doing,
You become a beckon of light,
A sense of direction
giving possibility and hope.
Be the example!
And watch others ignite.