When a baby smiles it transforms the whole room. Even the most cranky of souls is swept up in a wave of love and joy that flows through the space. It’s amazing.
When YOU smile major internal and external shifts happen. On an internal level smiling relieves stress and makes you feel good. When you smile you send a message to your body saying, “Everything’s good and life is beautiful.”
And smiling has the added benenfit of making you more attractive as well. I read a study recently that compared women wearing makeup to women who didn’t wear makeup but were smiling. The vast majority of people agreed that the smiling ladies were way more beautiful.
Buddha’s cousin Ananda once asked him, “Oh wise and venerable Buddha, is there one particular quality one should cultivate that would best bring one to full awakening?”
And the Buddha answered him saying, “Be mindful of your breathing.”
The Buddha then shared this story, “There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.”
Sounds pretty easy to me. Like anyone can do it.
And in case you missed it the Buddha said that this simple technique can lead to Awakening. Wow.
As it turns out, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it’s been proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes.
On Saturday night I went out to a Persian lounge in the west end of Toronto. While I was there my beautiful and amazing friend Sara talked me into having some Persian tea. I’m so glad that she did.