Turn that frown upside down…Smile!

Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” I blogged about faces yesterday, and have continued to think about the power of our expressions. So, today I want to explore a bit more…

Don’t you just love it when someone smiles at you? Smiles are like the bubbles in a soda – they make your face sparkle! When someone smiles at me, I just automatically smile back. And then, as I walk away, that happy feeling follows me. 

One of the first things a baby learns to do is to recognize the important faces in their lives – momma, daddy, grandma or grandpa, brother, sister. Remember the first time your baby smiled up at you and you knew they recognized you?  That is such a special memory, isn’t it?  Smiles never lose their value; they are important to you and to your child.

Now, let’s do a reality check.  You work all day and afternoons are terrible for working moms. I remember when my son was little, I referred to the time between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. as “Arsenic Hours”. There were days when taking poison seemed like a good alternative…kids crying, homework battles, dinner burning on the stove, phone ringing, toys all over the floor.  You know the drill. Looking back, I got so caught up in “getting things done”, I forgot to stop and enjoy my time with my child.  Before I could really relax, it was bath and bedtime and a new round of arguing began.  I mean, how many times do you really have to remind your child to use soap?

So, what is my message today?  I guess it is that I want to encourage you to welcome your child home each day with a genuine “I’m so glad to see you!” smile.  Focus on the positive.  The toys won’t be littering the floor forever; and I promise there are days when I can’t wait to have a grandchild so I can spend time stepping over toys again.

I was watching TV one afternoon and heard Dr. Phil say that we teach others how to treat us.  In other words, we create the atmosphere we live in.   Smiling makes that atmosphere so much more pleasant.  When we smile, people smile back.  We can’t resist; it’s human nature.  Maya Angelou said, “If you only have one smile in you, give it to the people you love.” So promise me you’ll take a second to give your child a big grin and see what happens.

Change…

self

┬áNo one likes change but a wet baby…Why? Change is hard. However, in order to change ourselves, we have to change our thinking. We need to rescript our self-image. For many of us, when we hit record on our self-talk and then play back the recording, what do we hear? Too often it is negative: “My skin is bad”…”My thighs have cellulite”…”My feet are too wide for pretty shoes”…”I am plain…I am …I am…I am…”

The list of negative descriptors goes on and on. So, the first challenge is how to rewrite the messages we send ourselves. Why? Because everything that follows, ” I am…” is manifested in our lives. What are some positive statements? “I am capable”… “I am organized”… “I am trustworthy”… “I am kind”…”I am efficient”.

Hmmm…closer, but still not on target. These are more about what we do than who we are. Let’s try again. “I am lovable”…”I am smart”…”I am pretty”. Okay…those sound better. Problem is, we struggle to believe the positive about ourselves. So, what is the solution? Make these statements a mantra. Repeat them until they become part of our emotional “muscle memory”. Like an athlete, we must keep practicing until it becomes the norm. ┬áCheers!

Show and Tell for Adults

When I was a little girl I used to love Show and Tell; Show and Tell was on Friday and I couldn’t wait to see what everyone would bring. Meanwhile, I would worry all week about what I should pack up and lug off to school that day.
The kids in my class brought in lots of cool stuff…stuffed animals missing an ear, dolls with hideous hair sticking up or falling out, shiny new galoshes, a rhinestone necklace from the carnival, a gerbil that bit somebody, a hideous lime green sweater knitted by someone’s grandma…the list goes on and on.
In spite of all the ridiculous stuff, we just loved getting a sneak peak into the lives of our friends. And at the same time we loved deciding what little tidbit of our lives we would share each week.

Travel forward fifty years…here I am doing the same exact thing! Yup, Facebook is really just Show and Tell for adults. Admit it, you love looking at the pictures and videos of what’s going on in your friends’ lives. You love reading and commenting about what’s going on with everybody. And I bet I’m right…you like deciding what to share on Facebook.

We are social animals and our connections are so important. Those connections reassure us that we are “okay”. So, to all my friends on Facebook…keep sharing. I love feeling close to you even though so many of you are far away!