Smile: I Wake up Smiling

An Article By Jeanie Marshall

I Wake up Smiling

I love the waking-up smile as a metaphor for enlightenment, and maybe I'll write a song someday, but I do mean literally that I start each day this way. Often I awaken in the very early morning hours to meditate; I wake up smiling. After my meditation, I sometimes return to bed, so I get a second chance to wake up.

In the Morning

Morning Smile

On those mornings when a spontaneous smile is not my first response out of sleep, I make sure that it's my second response, and one that quickly follows the first thought or impulse. It's rewarding when it's spontaneous and I'm a witness to my own process. It's also rewarding when it's a choice, and I choose that expression, and still I'm a witness to my own process.

Usually, my morning joy is subject-free. That's the best kind, because it reminds me that I don't need a specific subject or condition or situation to make me happy. Instead, my natural response is about life which makes my day flow more easily.

Through the Day

Sometimes during the day I experience moments of intensity or frustration. For example, learning a new piece of technology or trying to figure something out that seems totally illogical. Just the other day I heard myself saying to myself, "oh no, not something else I have to learn!" Wow, that was revealing! By nature, I'm a great lover of life-long learning, collecting information in my head and my computer. That "oh, no" was a signal of my feeling overwhelmed, which I could very quickly turn to a smile, and really a laugh — both of which came long before the satisfaction of mastering yet another skill to add to my repertoire.

This age of technology is the impetus for both grins and frowns. Not too long ago I was sputtering about something on the Internet that was not working properly. Darn, gee wiz, heck, and perhaps some other words came to my head or my lips. I stopped myself in mid sputter, let a pleasant expression come over my face and my demeanor, and enjoyed the thought: oh gosh, it's a miracle that any of this works at all!

From time to time I've thought about writing an article entitled "I always know my true attitude in the moment when I observe my reaction to spilling, dropping, or breaking something." Perhaps it's because I haven't been able to come up with a nifty title that the article is unwritten or perhaps this article will stand in its place.

If I laugh or smile when I drop, spill, or break something, I know that I'm in a generally good mood. My reaction to the mishap is only related in part to the mishap; it's a reaction to life. When I react in a more negative way to spilling something, it's only in part related to the mishap and much more an indication of my general attitude.

An Indicator of My Feeling

It's very important to me that I feel good. I attend to my feelings as quickly as I notice that I'm feeling not-good. Smiling is simply one indicator — like smiley stickers or emoticons used widely in Internet communication. Such symbols can either be used to cover up real emotions or to represent real emotions. As with everything, I — we all — get to choose.

Smiling is related to my "feeling barometer," which helps me to know if I'm balanced and feeling good. Balance is an in-the-moment dynamic. I'm not "always" in a state of balance, rather my intention is to move myself back to a state of balance as soon as possible when I get out of balance. To do that, I pay attention to my feelings and measure my smile.

The Butterfly Smiles

When I approach balance in this way, I can more easily find my balance in each situation. A long time ago, I made a decision to feel good. I don't have to figure out all the aspects of every situation in which I find myself, I simply pay attention to how I feel or if I'm beaming, and realign myself when I'm off balance.

Smiling makes everything easier for me. In case it's not obvious in what I've said so far, I'm talking about a genuine, inner expression which usually also shows on my face. I didn't write all this to explain that I put a pretend smile on my face, although if ever I need to start with pretending, I do that gladly. The smile I'm talking about is more than an expression you can view on my face; it's a feeling that I can feel down to the cells in my toes. When my cells smile, I am truly joyous.

What about you?

Do you wake up smiling? You may enjoy the simple exercise in the Quick Tips Section, Activate Your Inner Smile.

Copyright © 2008 Marshall House. All rights reserved. Jeanie Marshall, Personal Development Consultant and Coach, has developed Empowering Personal Development at to encourage you on your path.

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This Article Encourages you to Smile, Especially in the Morning

See Additional Articles in the Self Improvement Articles Section

And the Quick Tip, Activate Your Inner Smile

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