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"He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger."
—Japanese proverb.

"Is life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves?"
—Friedrich Nietzsche.

"There is only one real failure in life that is possible, and that is not to be true to the best one knows."
—John Farrar.

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, but to live gratitude is to touch heaven."
—Johannes AGaertner.

"The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand."
Irene C. Kassorla.

A Smile is More than Just a Smile! .

Smiles have the ability to completely change your mood, your outer appearance, and the impact you have on others: possibly even more so than positive words of affirmation and encouragement!

They can change your inner world - and your outer world - almost instantly!

Mother Teresa once said, "Peace starts with a smile."

A little bit of theory: In looking at emotional expression, what is behind the anatomy of a smile?

We know that emotional expression requires some sort of physical actionWhether it's a sigh, a sob, a smile, or a dash for safety: in order for we humans to express emotions, some outward physical change must occurIf we suppress or hide our emotions, what actually results are physical changes on the inside. Our blood pressure starts to rise, digestion is disrupted, and ultimately blood circulation tends to diminish resulting in fatigue, inability to concentrate, and an overall decreased sense of well being.  Stress is with us, and depression may not be too far away either!

That's it - the theory's over, but it is worth knowing nonetheless: Now back to the smiling stuff ...

How we show our emotions as facial expressions is universally the same, regardless of what part of the world we are from. This does suggest that we as humans are hard-wired to express and respond to emotions in a particular way, rather that it being brought about through our cultural learning.   The social smile is quite different from what is a genuine smile of pleasure.

Facial expressions can also transmit and trigger emotions in others too.

The sight of a person smiling triggers the observer's brain area associated with feelings of happiness or pleasure.

Remember this old saying: "If you smile, the whole world does indeed smile with you"!

Experiments in which tiny sensors have been attached to the actual smile muscles of another person looking at smiling faces, showed that the sight of another person smiling triggers an automatic response to smile back at them. In other words, when we see others smile we can't help but smile ourselves.

Peace with others really does start with a smile!

If ever you're feeling low, or life seems to be handing you just a bit more than you can handle, a very good place to begin feeling better is in your very own bathroom mirror.  Practice smiling at yourself early in the day, or before you leave the house, because it can change how you're feeling, and therefore your whole day may change because of it.  This does work, so for your own sake try it if ever you need to.

Even if you aren't near a mirror, and you're feeling less than average, learn to become aware of the smile process, and practice smiling and actually feeling the difference in your inner feelings.  The difference may only be small at first, but it may be enough to change your day, and more.

Like everything in life: If at first you don't succeed, then fake it 'til you make it!
Regardless of how you're feeling right now, please smile - go on, just for the heck of it: try it!

And keep smiling as often as you can - 'cos it does suit you, you know - it really does!   ###

Inch Time Foot Gem

A lord asked Takuan, a Zen teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.

Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

Not twice this day

Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.

Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

Susan Jeffers

Who Is Susan Jeffers?
Susan Jeffers, PhD, is considered one of the top self-help authors in the world. The Times (London) named Susan “The Queen of Self-Help.” Her first book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, launched her career as a bestselling author. Seventeen more books have followed, the latest being The Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting LoveHer books have been published in over one hundred countries and have been translated into thirty-six languages. Susan recently created a publishing company, Jeffers Press, to publish her own books and those of other inspirational writers.

Five of Susan’s favorite books:
Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
Chop Wood, Carry Water, Rick Fields
We’re All Doing Time, Bo Lozoff
Still Here, Ram Dass
Awakening the Buddha Within, Lama Surya Das

Insight by Susan Jeffers
It’s all in your perception. If you see your tasks in life as drudgery, then they are drudgery. On the other hand, if you see them as gifts of the universe manifest through you, then your tasks are done in the spirit of love and generosity. You step out of your ordinary life and make it extraordinary. Little by little, you realize that your life truly makes a difference and you are filled with a wondrous sense of gratitude and abundant flow. A heavenly feeling, indeed! Yes, it’s all in your perception.
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