A smile has the power to do two major things: it can change your life and it can change the life of another.
When you smile, as you probably know, many miniscule muscles are activated (even when it's a fake smile), that affect your brain and make you feel - even if it's just momentarily - better. But if smiling makes you feel momentarily better, and you keep doing it again and again, what will happen? You will feel better a whole lot of the time - even if things are not so great. (And please don't tell me that you feel - or look - like an idiot smiling so much ... or do you really think you look better frowning or with a worried or sad or depressed expression on your face??) And so, by virtue of smiling more of the time than not, and feeling better more of the time than not, it is also possible that you will begin to see windows and doors of opportunity where before you did not. They were probably right there before as well, but your inner disposition did not allow you to see what you now are able to see. Or they did not allow you to see the potential inherent in those doors and windows. And by examining those windows and doors, you may decide to walk through some of them, and you may find that by doing so you now have the ability to change some of the things in your life that were causing the earlier expressions of dismay, worry or sadness.
And how many times have you walked down the street and smiled at a stranger? Particularly a stranger who was looking morose or upset. If you've never done it, try today! Very, very often, the stranger perks up, as though you had just given them a fistful of cash. We find it quite easy to smile at strangers when we're out jogging or walking the dog, but less so when we're out there on a city street where everyone is rushing and bustling. So imagine this: give someone a smile, and you may change that one moment for them. They may feel better just for a moment. But perhaps because of that, something else changes for them or their way of thinking (you have no way of knowing this, of course), which changes the course of their life. Can you really not afford to smile at strangers if your smile (and mine and everyone else's) has that potential power?
So - just for today - smile for yourself and smile at strangers. See what changes - at least for you.
For much more information about your inner well-being, your thoughts, choice, freedom and bout living a conscious life, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as paperback or e-book for Kindle.
Click here to download the first chapter.
An Early Review (From Amazon):
"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre
Excerpt from an Interview:
Who is the book written for? Rewiring the Soul is written for anybody who suffers and I guess that means just about all of us! It is written for anybody who has not yet experienced enduring happiness and inner well-being; anybody who is reaching for inner peace; anybody whose life is not as they would wish it to be.
What can a reader expect to gain by reading this book? What makes it different from most other transformational or self-help books out there? So many wonderful teachers tell us about working on our spiritual selves. So many other wonderful teachers show us how to work on our psycho-emotional selves. But very few actually integrate the two. And Rewiring the Soul is my response to that challenge. Rewiring the Soul brings together the need to take your daily life in hand with the need to put your spiritual life in order as well. By daily life I mean your personal life, your professional life, the way you do or do not love yourself and all that such an attitude entails: conscious awareness, healthy boundaries, meaning in your life, recognizing you always have a choice, and taking responsibility for all your choices, etc., and by spiritual life I mean the inner connection to your eternal self.
If you have learned how to meditate, or do yoga, or whatever it is that you do, have you also learned how to observe yourself in the middle of an argument with your rebellious teenage son or your angry partner and hence choose to react differently because you have learned to love yourself enough to do so? If you have learned how to communicate more effectively with your children, spouse, friends, colleagues or employees, have you also learned how to be mindful and connect to yourself in meaningful ways to achieve that spiritual balance in your life?
While Rewiring the Soul is about so much more than that, those previous examples give an idea of what my book is about and how it does so in such a way that our psychological and spiritual selves nurture each other.
In a nutshell: neither the spiritual nor the psychological or emotional dimensions of your life will work if you neglect:
- your inner connection to the eternal self while you seek happiness in the outer world
- your happiness in the outer world while you seek the connection to the inner eternal self
It was Goethe who said "If everyone will sweep in front of their own door, soon the entire world will be clean". In Rewiring the Soul 'sweeping in front of your own door' means bringing yourself to the utmost point of inner and outer growth, creating progress in body, mind, and soul. This literally means that you have already begun to change the world because of how you are changing yourself.
Are there many exercises in the book? Not at all. This book does not mean hard work, or spending a lot of time doing specific things. It simply means that as you read - if you so desire - you begin to incorporate small changes into your daily life. And so it begins. And the quality of your life changes...
How did you come to write this book? For years the essential content of Rewiring the Soul was like a small, recurring voice in my head; it was always there, and simply would not leave me alone. I had dozens of excuses for not writing it: I was working on my Ph.D. in psychology, I was teaching at a state university, I had three sons, later I was occupied with moving back to Spain, I was setting up my private practice, I had a monthly newsletter to write in English and Spanish, I had a weekly one-hour radio show to broadcast, I had a daily blog post to write, I facilitated numerous workshops and gave frequent speeches, and apart from all of this busy activity and work, sometimes I even had a life. In short, I told myself the book would simply have to wait. But just as a splinter under your skin eventually needs to be seen to, I ultimately realized that the only way I was going to be able to honor the more and more loudly clamoring voice in my head - and heart - was to sit down and write the book.
And you know, that goes to meaning. We all need meaning in our lives, and although I had many things that gave much significance to my life already, the inner urging and excitement I felt each time I thought about Rewiring the Soul compelled me to write the book. Rumi puts it beautifully: "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy".