17 responses to “shine day 8: Spark Self-Acceptance with a Smile”

  1. Sarah

    I am being totally honest here, but this one freaks me out because tomorrow I will be in a room with 40+ new teachers, most of whom I’ve never met before EVER. Smiling at people is natural for me, but I’m so going to be that creepy smiley lady tomorrow! I will report back!

  2. LadyEm

    This is something that I’ve been doing more of lately and find very effective. I went through a phase of being so disengaged from myself and the world that I shrank away and feared interacting with others. I would never have had the confidence to smile at a stranger, I would have wondered what they were thinking of me; I was strange, ugly…

    That’s changed. A smile is simple gift. I use the word ‘gift’ because of the way it makes me feel and, hopefully, the way it makes somebody else feel. Today, I smiled (and waved!) at my neighbor, at a gentleman I passed on the pavement who was walking with his children and at an elderly man waiting at the bus stop.

    How did I feel? Buoyed-up, lighter, more relaxed and a little bit more confident with each smile I received in return. I didn’t wonder what they thought of me. I felt confident enough in myself not to care! Responses are varied and I notice some people smile and quickly look away to the ground, as if holding my gaze too long is too much, too personal?

    We’re all more insular nowadays; walking along looking down with our earphones in, or talking on the phone. But there really isn’t any harm in reaching out to somebody else and simply sharing a smile with them. What’s even better is that if they don’t respond, you’re still left with the remnants of a wonderful smile on your face!

    The more I smiled at people today the more I felt that my facial muscles relax and my mouth rest more upturned. My forehead isn’t furrowed and my lips aren’t pursed. 🙂

  3. Amanda @ Click. The Good News

    Loved this- I smiled at lots of people & said Good Morning on my jog. There are always people that avoid eye contact, but it always makes me a bit happier when others respond. I learned that you have to give people the benefit of the doubt, even if you think they may not respond, it’s still worth the effort to try to connect.

  4. Ann Becker-Schutte

    This is one of my favorite ways of being in the world. I try to greet most people that I pass with a smile. So far today, I’ve gotten to greet a new trainee & our office contractors. I’ll welcome each patient into my office with a smile. I hope that each of you is filled with light.


  5. Jamie English

    I had fun with this one. The only response I got was, “What are you smiling about?” and my answer was from Elf, “Smiling’s my favorite”…and they’d smile or laugh a little. Some didn’t seem to notice…not sure if that is good or bad.

  6. Cassie Virgin

    This caused me to find out that no matter what mood my husband happens to be in, if I start beaming at him, he can’t help but to smile back 🙂

  7. Susannah

    1.  How did it go today?  Who did you smile at?

    It went went OK, I’m not smiling as much as I’d want, but I’ve been feeling sad. I smiled at the girl who sold me tea at the station, and she gave me a lovely smile back. So did my yoga teacher.

    2.  How did it feel to smile so freely?  How did people  respond?  How did you respond?

    At some point, when I smiled at someone who didn’t smile back at me, I felt a bit silly. But then I decided it was her choice not to smile, and I did everything I could to get her to smile, so I just kept smiling.

    3.  What did you learn?

    I like making people smile, I usually do it by saying something silly or funny, but I didn’t know I could do it just by smiling at them, I’ll keep this up tomorrow!

  8. Kip DeForest

    I’ve always loved that expression…”Smile – it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to.” It’s true! I’ve been combining my efforts to make eye contact with my natural inclination to smile… And it is pretty rewarding! (and you have such a special boy in Happy! He does have the BEST smile!)

  9. Cindy

    This was easy because school started today and nothing is easier than smiling at 450 happy elementary students. They were as happy to see us as we were them. If only all smiles were so easy!

  10. Chibi Jeebs

    1. How did it go today? Who did you smile at?
    This is second nature to me (not sure why – maybe due to 10 years in retail?) – I will offer almost everyone a smile.

    2. How did it feel to smile so freely? How did people respond? How did you respond?
    It felt normal! 🙂 Most people return smiles.

    3. What did you learn?
    I’m learning to keep my head up to see if my smiles are returned, thanks to Day 2. 😉

  11. Valerie

    I work in an optical department, so I try to smile at everyone who walks by my store. I also smile at all my customers. And believe it or not, I smile when I talk to people on the phone. I think they can hear it.

    It is hard for me to smile freely sometimes, but I always feel better when I do. And usually it not only makes my day better, it makes those who are around me seem to have a better day too.

    I’m surprised that there are some people who will not make eye contact and who will not smile. But you know what? That is their choice. I cannot take it as a personal attack on me. Who knows what kind of day they are having. And the fact that I smiled at them might be the very thing they needed to make their day better whether they smiled back or not.

  12. jenn

    My main job is in a nursing home. smiling is definitely required. Still it’s always a bit gratifying to see an elderly person’s face light up when i give her/him a smile as i pass by.

  13. Faith

    This was even harder than looking people in the eye! Now I have to smile at them! Lol I did find that as I was looking people in the eye if I smiled then it actually relaxed me and made me feel like I was more approachable so I feel like I started doing this and today I accomplished this many times! It makes me feel great and confident I am loving this!

  14. Marie

    Smiling to people? Easy! I’m on vacation, totaly relaxed. I remember a peculiar moment, 3 days ago. I spent time with friends, next to a river, in the mountain (the Pyrénées in the South of France). A group of three old persons tried to cross the river, walking carefuly on the stones, trying not to slide. Finaly, when they reached the other side, I realized I was watching them, smiling. Then, they smiled me back and said something in Catalan, a language I don’t understand. Conclusion : smiling is the easiest language in the world. 🙂

  15. Tami - Teacher Goes Back to School

    1. How did it go today? Who did you smile at? I smiled (and said good morning to) every single person Little Girl and I encountered. I have done this every single day since we picked her up last October. I think I’m getting used to it and on some level find it refreshing. It’s nice to be friendly.

    2. How did it feel to smile so freely? How did people respond? How did you respond?

    9 out of 10 people are THRILLED to be chatted up by Mrs. Cutie Pie and her mama. I’m feeling pretty good about these interactions and yet since she doesn’t differentiate (much – ever so slightly) between friends and strangers, it kind of stresses me out. I feel like I’m having awkward conversations with strangers about please don’t get so friendly with my daughter. Yes, I know she just asked to be picked up. PLEASE DON’T.

    ….I’ve been meaning to ask you if you all experienced this and if so, how you dealt with it.

    3. What did you learn? In this experience with talking to EVERYONE, I’ve learned that I was kind of a grump living a singular experience before Little Girl came home. Now I’ve learned a lot of strangers are downright delightful and some have boundary issues. I’ve enjoyed the first part immensely and have been completely tense and stressed out about the later.

  16. Nancy Horn

    I try to be conscious of others around me and remember I have no idea what is going on in their life and maybe something as small as a smile will be what makes their day. I know there have been times that just a smile has made a difference in my whole day.

  17. Cecile

    Today I smiled (amongst others) at women who went with us into the same lift. We were pretty closely spaced! Lifts are usually a place where people try to avoid looking at each other (I too), so I consciously smiled, and I joked that this close space was not a problem for all of us being such slim women. I usually don’t joke with people I don’t know at all, especially in a lift. It felt good, we became cooler, not defending a physical territory, but linked to each other by a kind of complicity. Few meters after it, it occured that we shared again a lift! One of the woman told to her older friend: See, the same company! And the older woman answered jokingly: Ah, all slim women together again! It was such a lovely moment.

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