“Smile… be nice!”
What are your first thoughts when you hear those words?
For me, it brings back memories of dining at a restaurant with good friends and selecting an item that I didn’t particularly care for off the menu so that I did not ruin a social moment. Another time, I remember laughing at a friend’s not so humorous joke for the 4th time to remain a good friend. I am sure you have experienced similar scenarios that make you feel uncomfortable or compromised, but what can you do?
Forget the fake smile!
When we are younger, we learn from and are influenced by our parents and other family members. Our expectations are that the adults around us will provide guidance, protect us, and behave appropriately. As we get older, we learn from and are influenced by experiences and our associations. We smile when someone says hello. We smile and say thank you when someone does something nice or compliments us.
But what happens when someone we know and trust suddenly acts in an inappropriate manner?
As a young child, I can think of many times when I said yes to things I was uncomfortable with in order not to cause a conflict or be disrespectful. I wanted to meet expectations and earn approval. I wanted to be the good child! In reality, it was a slow silencing of my voice. My words disappeared and were replaced with a fake smile. After all, that’s what I’d been taught to do to be polite.
Where do you draw the line? When do you stop smiling and finally say what is really on your mind?
In exposing those dark moments, we can discover the road to freedom. We must have the courage to say the things that are outside of our norm if they hold the truth.
Perhaps that old cliché, “the truth hurts”, was born from freedom. Many times, revealing a cruel or manipulative behavior exposes a deeper level of hurt. It is a truth that must be spoken!
Each day let’s live in our truth! It frees the body of stressors that over time can cause health issues and shorten your lifespan!
Let’s be honest, a simple ‘namaste’ will not eliminate stress! However, when you develop a practice of and commit to releasing the stress in your body, it makes a huge difference. Work on setting a daily mindset that reflects your truth.
We must also learn to embrace quiet moments, which affords us the opportunity to hear our own voice. This voice offers us guidance, direction, and freedom to enjoy the things we love. It also protects us from the things that harm us. The ultimate goal is to create a greater version of us that shows up in the world the way we want to be. To do this, we must do the internal work needed to make that happen!
You may ask, does the work ever stop?
As we live and breathe each day, we must continue to maintain a positive and consistent mindset and allow ourselves moments of calm. We may not awake every day with a smile, but we can always stop, reset, and do our best!
So how do we put in the work to get results? Here are a few recommendations to explore:
- Set aside quiet time or time for prayer. Many can attest to the power of the Universe. When you ask for what you want, you are making a claim. Allow yourself the right to go ‘all in’ and ask for help on your journey. It is also a time to reflect. Ask yourself the tough questions and listen for the answers. Embrace the quiet moments and give yourself permission for internal dialogue.
- Set aside time to exercise or move your body. Stress is energy and can remain trapped in the body as toxins. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins, but it is only fully active when you are. Get energized! Move, walk, dance! Do whatever your soul desires.
- Set aside time to organize your thoughts. You can’t move forward without a good assessment of what has occurred in the past and options for moving ahead in the future. Energy is in everything! Scattered thoughts produce scattered actions. Take some time to reset!
- Set aside time for people who support you. We thrive in good social environments. Take command and choose to share your time with people who respect and support your journey. Imagine the boost that you will receive!
Take small steps and keep going! Praise your efforts and accomplishments no matter how big or small!
Finally, just exhale! See how nice that feels… no more fake smile… really SMILE!!
Evie Fleming, LPN
Evie is the founder of Tree Evolution where she provides Reflexology and alternative solutions to empower people to be resilient in their mind, body and spirit. With more that 30 years of experience in taking care of people’s health and wellness, she created Tree Evolution and looks forward to helping you put your best foot forward.
Evie is also host of the Are You Listening? podcast where she helps you learn to hear what your body is trying to tell to you. Listen Now!