Smile.

I feel restless and a bit heavy. Maybe it’s the heat that’s getting to me? But for the most part,  I just don’t feel light. Last Monday I attended a soul singing workshop that my friend was giving. Mostly she talked about the kinds of beings we are and how we always ought to live as our authentic  selves. I went home after that feeling extremely giddy like someone just told me who among my friends they fancied. I thought the high would last but then, I suppose these things take time.

My current sleeping companions are all masters. I take Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg and Thich Nhat Hanh to bed with me because I find that their humming soothes me. All those insights and calls to a more quiet, thoughtful life feel right. Just the other day I was telling a friend that I really would appreciate slowing down and having the patience to sit with myself. Lately, there hasn’t been any of that good quality time for me and I’m beginning to feel the effects of that.

So, I’m going to try and do something about that. I haven’t really found a Lenten sacrifice either but this may be the one I’ve been looking for. I will try to do what Natalie Goldberg did and make writing my practice. I’ll also  put up a picture of Buddha on my wall as a reminder–despite my mother’s averse reaction–that one must smile.

Thich Nhat Hanh has a beautiful passage in his book, Being Peace. He talks about smiling even when you’d rather frown or scowl. He says, “A smile makes you master of yourself. That is why the Buddhas and bodhisattvas are always smiling. When you smile, you realize the wonder of the smile.” I am inclined to agree. We ought to be worth more than how we feel and most of the time I feel less like my cup is full, at least when I’m not thinking about it. So, here’s to smiling and being peaceful.

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