In his book Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the true value of a smile and goes on to share this:

“At the end of a retreat in California, a friend wrote this poem:

I have lost my smile,
But don’t worry.
The dandelion has it.

 If you have lost your smile and yet are still capable of seeing that a dandelion is keeping it for you, the situation is not too bad. “

There are times in our life when dark clouds appear and our sense of humour is at a low point.  I have found from personal experience that there is always a way to find your smile, even if you’ve briefly lent it to the dandelion!

 

7 Ways To Keep Smiling

There’s plenty to be grateful for and happy about. If you keep a gratitude journal or a happiness jar, now is the time to dive into it and recall all the good stuff in your life. I don’t have either, but I just stop and make a mental list of the abundance that I enjoy. From my experience, nothing brings my smile back quicker than a gratitude list.

train_your_brain_poster (1)
I have loads of unfinished projects – some half-embroidered stuff,  some knitting, and most importantly my blogs (always a work in progress!).  When I have something to look forward to, I have more reason to smile. Keep yourself occupied. Take on a project that would enjoy doing, but have been putting off.

This might sound crazy but allowing myself a day-long pity party works wonders.  This gives me a chance to grieve, to see the unfairness of things and most importantly to own my emotions. But a day is the maximum I allow myself – after that I try hard to call a halt to self-pity.

the punk & the conehead

I believe that comparison is the thief of joy. Everyone has their own problems, even if they don’t seem to. I have learned to never compare myself to anyone else. That’s a sure way to permanently lose a smile! 😉

Sharing with someone who understands me  and my emotions of anger, hurt and grief,  helps me every time. It’s important to surround ourselves with with positive people. There are plenty of people who will pretend to empathize but don’t really care. Or if they find you have a common grouse will jump on to the bandwagon. It’s best to avoid them, in general, and more so at times when you are feeling low.

Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, color, sounds, and work that nourish you. SARK

I open myself to the support that is all around me but I also dig deep into my inner resources. Prayer, meditation and my writing keeps me mindful that everything fits into the Divine Plan for my life.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finally, when I  remember that tomorrow is another day,  my perspective changes.

So when you’re feeling down,  remember that your smile is not lost but being held in temporary custody by the dandelion. That is enough to lift your spirits.

What keeps you smiling?

 

 

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.