Today’s post is in participation of a writing challenge hosted by the blog Me My Magnificent Self (http://memymagnificentself.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/challenge-2014-my-awakening-experience-and-moving-forward/ ).
It will also be a chapter in an upcoming free e-book! I hope you enjoy my piece.
Wake up and Smile at Life
It was late November and I was taking a class on Energy Medicine. As part of the class we were guided through an Inner Smile Meditation. I had never practiced this meditation before but was open to the experience. The instructor gently led us through the first step: thinking of something that makes us smile. It could be anything as long as it induced a genuine smile to our face. Instantly I thought of my children and their bright and smiling faces appeared in my mind. It was easy to smile back at them and to feel my heart lighten with joy. The next step was to then drop the smile triggering thought and to just feel. And I mean literally just feel. To shift our attention to our body and really take notice of what our body felt like in that state of inner smiling. It felt great! And for a short blip of time my mind was actually silent because my attention was not in my mind but in my body. The instructor continued to lead us through the meditation guiding us to think of the trigger when our smile had faded and to repeat the process over and over for 10 minutes. I found the meditation to be easy enough to remember and enjoyable so I took his suggested challenge of making it a daily practice.
On day two I found myself at home setting a timer and sitting in the rocking chair in our family sunroom. I began with the same smile triggering thought of my children and continued the repetitive cycle going from thought to smile to feeling and back again for 10 minutes. On day three I started to venture out a little and now was switching up my triggering thoughts to being able to smile at the thought of other people and to memories as well. Each time my smile would fade it became easier to think of a new trigger that genuinely elicited the response of smiling brightly to myself. I realized that a smile is not just an emotional response but it is a gateway to the opening of the heart to experience more joy and presence in one’s life. Spending a simple 10 minutes a day focusing on smiling and feeling my inner smile was balancing me out to be more present in other parts of the day. I wasn’t only feeling its benefit I was living it.
I continued on through day four and five but it wasn’t until day six that I had a spontaneous shift in opening my heart to the simple and the mundane as being worthy smile triggers. As I sat in the rocking chair in the sunroom I prepared to quiet my mind and illicit a trigger thought only this time as I became present in the moment and aware of my surroundings I heard a noise in the background. It was the noise of water running. In fact it was water running into my washing machine. Only moments before I had loaded it mindlessly thinking of something else as I shoved the clothes in, added the detergent, turned and pulled the knob, and closed the lid. Just going through the motions and then walking away ironically to go and be present in meditation. So here I sit having this beautiful and rewarding time to myself as my lovely and tireless washing machine works away for me. The thought made me smile. And in that moment I felt such genuine joy and appreciation for my washing machine. I even giggled out loud a little bit in amusement thinking, “Really, is this really happening? I’m smiling because of my washing machine.” But as I felt into the moment it was undeniably true. The thought of my washing machine working was indeed raising a sense of joy within me and causing me to smile. In moments like this life really is so simple and so beautiful.
I continued on and in the next moment as my smile faded I needed another trigger. This time I focused on feeling the sunshine on my face. A smile came easily to my lips. What a beautiful and simple feeling I thought…sunshine. And then I dropped the thought and just felt my body. My heart felt so open and so happy as I just breathed and sat there. I continued on for the remainder of the 10 minutes focusing on the simple and the mundane, the blue sky, the chair I sat in, and my house in general. All of these thoughts were able to transcend to feelings of love, joy, and appreciation. No doubt my heart felt full upon completing the 10 minutes that day because I had consciously shifted to being ‘awake’ in viewing the beauty of the world that I was immersed in. It wasn’t the thought of the people who weren’t there, or the memories that had already happened, or even the dreams for the future. It was just me being in the space that I was in. In the space of beautiful, simple, and overflowing life.
When we stop from the normal rush of the day and practice presence, like in the Inner Smile Meditation, we open to allowing a new state of being in little by little. This is true because awakening, in truth, is not a solitary occurrence but it is an unfolding that deepens over time. It is cyclical in nature in that an opening of consciousness occurs and then each time we come around to that same opening we are able to make it a little bigger and a little bigger letting more awareness in. You see it is not the body that limits us as human beings it is the mind. And even though the inner smile first teaches you to use your mind to feel your body and open your heart it is actually training you to eventually feel that state of joy without any thought needed. It is actually priming you for a more transcendental relationship of using your heart to open your mind. In the shifting of human consciousness it is the heart that will open the mind as we move from being mind-centered beings to becoming heart-centered beings. The Inner Smile Meditation is a great place to begin deepening your own unfolding. Through it you too will connect with the potential for joy held in every moment, by smiling at life.
My name is Korinn S. Hawkins I am an author, illustrator, and Energy Healing Practitioner. Please visit my website and my blog at www.Korinn.com and follow me at www.facebook.com/korinnbooks as I continue on my own unfolding journey towards awakening.
Here is a different version of the Inner Smile Meditation. One you can listen to if you prefer guided meditation:
Also, the blog challenge continues throughout the month of January. Here is a listing of all of the contributors. I have put in bold the one that appears after mine if you would like to continue by reading a blog a day about awakening. Enjoy!
January Challenge Schedule…
1st Barbara – http://memymagnificentself.wordpress.com
2nd Paddy – http://paddypicasso.wordpress.com
3rd Emanuel- http://emantable.com/musings-of-a-table/
6th Julianne – http://juliannevictoria.com
7th Sarah – http://rayoflight7777.wordpress.com
8th Shree – http://heartsongsblog.wordpress.com
9th Dace – http://mywaytotruth.wordpress.com
10th Korinn – http://www.korinn.com
11th Sindy – http://bluebutterfliesandme.wordpress.com
12th Stefenie – http://dancingwithstefanie.com
13th Mick – http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com
14th Joss – http://ccwow.wordpress.com
15th Megan – http://mychroniclifejourney.wordpress.com
16th Pat – http://patinspire.org
17th Marga – http://lifeasimprov.com
18th Kimberley – http://kimberlyharding.wordpress.com
19th Becki – http://isurvivedamurderattackmyfamilydidnt.com
20th Serena – http://beingmefromatoz.com
21st Heather – http://wildflowerwomen.wordpress.com
22nd PurpleRay – http://purplerays.wordpress.com
23rd Sue – http://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com
24th M… – http://seeingm.wordpress.com
25th Brian G – http://middlepane.com
26th Dotta – http://dottaraphels.wordpress.com
27th CW – http://sunflowerrosecw.wordpress.com
28th Laurie – http://lauriesnotes.wordpress.com
29th Debra – http://ptero9.com
30th Linda – http://lindalitebeing.wordpress.com
31th Michael – http://navigator1965.wordpress.com