Parked at the red light, I looked out my driver’s window at the passenger seated in the car to my left. An older woman. I only ever saw her profile and just for a few seconds. But those seconds changed my life. Permeating from her, nearly palpably, was her serenity, her composure. She was not beaming. She was not laughing. She was exuding happiness with a slight, obviously habitual yet genuine smile. In those seconds I observed, she was still. Yet she moved me. I decided right then and there that more important than anything else in my life, I wanted to exude that same air of gratitude, that all is right in my world (no matter how fractious the temporary moment might seem). I wanted to change the world, even silently and while waiting at a red light… with my smile.
So, in answer to the question, “what are some life changing or even world changing answers that are right under our noses?” Literally: The smile. The sincere, gentle, lit from within smile. Yet, the truest, most genuine smile is not only right under our noses, but are signaled from within our heart and are found right above our noses, in the eyes.
When I gazed on the elderly woman sitting still in the car, smiling, *I* felt better. Because of my “mirror neurons,” seeing her and sub-consciously seeing the light radiating from her, elicited activation in the reward system in my own brain. Seeing HER in a peaceful, happy state created happiness in me, causing ME to feel good, to smile, and to radiate out that same happy state to others… and on and on.
Smiling has three major functions:
- it neutralizes and reverses negative emotions (below 200 on the Human Consciousness Scale),
- it creates positive feeling which heals the physical body, uplifts further the emotions, and tunes the thought antennae to a higher frequency,
- and it bonds people together socially.
Again, smiling is not just done with the lips, but is combined with other facial features. Even more important than an upturned mouth is what you do with your eyes. Indeed, the “eyes are the window to the soul” and are more reliable in their expression of the inner world. Often people put on the smile (like their shoes or jacket) when they go out in public. Human smiling, is just “something you do” when you’re out with others. Yet, often, smiling does not reflect one’s true ‘friendly’ feelings. Think of politicians and children posing for photographers. How often are lips in the “smiling” position while F.A.K.E. is written all over the face?
Intriguingly, you do not have to learn to smile. We are preprogrammed to smile. We respond to good feeling through certain subtle muscle contractions upon our face known as the smile. Even children born blind, who never see anybody smile, show the same kinds of smiles under the same situations as sighted people.
Primates also have two gestures which resemble the human smile. With lips stretched back, teeth showing and apart, they show the aggressor face. With lips more relaxed and teeth together, they show the submissive face.
Though dogs wag their tails, cats purr, and primates show capacity to respond to situations with a rudimentary smile, only humans can smile just because; through self-will, to affect (change) their own life and even outward into the world around them. This genuine CONSCIOUSLY-contrived smile is what makes us human.
Yet, though children inherently smile, and even gently giggle, society has often taught them to be fake. Contrived feelings go hand-in-hand with counterfeit gestures. Loud and boisterous laughter is NOT inherent in our make up and does NOT indicate high emotional maturity, though it might be socially bonding for those who are insecure and seek validation from others.
Like most everything else that we have learned through a fallen social network, we must unlearn and then relearn how to make something as simple as a genuine smile.
The “Say Cheese Smile” is controlled by the motor cortex, and is the conscious “I’m supposed to smile now” smile. This is the smile that arises from the thought that has moved the lips, but left the eyes un-done. When studied, one can learn to understand the motive behind the smile. The lop-sided grin arises from “double-minded thoughts.” The smirk is often a show of inner smugness and arrogance or when feeling under attack. Various levels of tight-lipped smiles arise in compliance to the social situation, signifying varying degrees of pleasure.
In contrast, there are two types of smiles that arise from the heart. These genuine, heart-instigated, smiles by-pass the motor cortex because they are not prompted as a conscious reaction to others. One is the smile that arises from conscious choice: “Oh, I feeeel gooood and want to exude that good-feeling to others, too!” This is the “Just beCAUSE smile.” This was the smile on the face of the lady who unknowingly changed my life.
Then, there is the smile that arises as an unconscious response (an EFFECT) to an outside stimulus that makes one feel good. It is genuine, emotion-related, and has been called the “Duchenne Smile,” after the French physician (Guillaume Duchenne) who studied the physiological facial expressions in the nineteenth century.
The genuine (Duchenne) smile involves both voluntary and involuntary contraction from two muscles: the zygomatic major (raising the corners of the mouth) and the orbicularis oculi (raising the cheeks and producing crow’s feet around the eyes).
This unfeigned, controlled-by-the-limbic system (the emotional center of the brain) smile induces good feeling within that radiates out to others because it is genuine, arising from a HAPPY heart. Thus, both genuine and fake smiling can be conscious; the difference lies in the root of the smile. Is the smile from the heart (conscious or unconscious), or from the motor cortex? When in the presence of an authentic smile, the observer is moved to good feeling as well. This smile has power. Pure, gentle, yet real power to change the world.
Leonardo da Vinci was mentored by an Advanced Being who interacted with him as a “vagabond” he referred to as “Honore.” Honore’s purpose in these interactions was to give da Vinci “hints of inspiration” and direct his thoughts and actions without affecting his free will. This was done so that Da Vinci would give the world what he did to assist mankind’s further development. One important gift da Vinci left us was the encoded secrets to advancing one’s consciousness he painted into the enigmatic “Mona Lisa.”
Notice the soft eyes. The closed, gently upturned mouth. The calmness. The poise. The Mona Lisa was intended to assist each one of us, as we were prepared, to internalize those same qualities. This is a true, humane smile. With no teeth showing, there is no sign of predation. Only acceptance and validation, for herself, first, and for all viewers as well.
The Taoist practice called the “Inner Smile” is intended to assist an individual in similar ways as contemplating upon the Mona Lisa. Simply, its intention is to guide the individual to smile inwardly to each of the major organs of our body, activating within us the energy of loving-kindness, and waking up the higher capacities of the body. Either sitting comfortably and tall, or lying relaxed yet straight and long, with the tongue gently resting on the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth, one smiles gently (how we might smile… mostly to ourselves… if we had just gotten a joke that someone told us several days ago). This smile relaxes our entire face and head, and brings good, warm feeling and acceptance inside.
With sincere desire and practice, one can take this “Inner Smile” throughout the day, no matter one’s experiences. It is essential to remember to maintain the quality of a gentle, genuine smile… infused with the energy of loving-kindness and compassion… into each relationship and activity within one’s day. As one then becomes aware of tightness or stress within any part of the body OR outward within a relationship or even into a world issue, they can take a couple deep breaths and then project that smile of loving kindness and compassion into whatever situation of which they become aware.
As this empowered peaceful energy is far more powerful than any frustration, anger, fear, or judgment, the “Inner Smile” can literally cleanse, dissipate, and heal the former injury, regardless of the level.
This gentle, genuine Smile is one of the most simple yet empowering even FREE choices one can make, for self and all others. Smiling from the grateful heart to make one’s self happy, radiates out and creates further happiness in the world.
In my pursuit of Real Truth, I have given up everything. Crawling through the “eye of the needle,” I have learned the *mysteries* and am now giving my life to assist YOU to dis-cover Who *YOU* really are, along with your unique gift to offer humanity. As you learn to seek (in the right place and with purified intent), you WILL find treasures of lasting value, along with every promised reward. Together, we will establish a society of humane beings and live life ALIVE, on PURPOSE, and with a sociality unequaled… because we will each BE and view each other as equally and profoundly DIVINE! Please… catch this Hope and Vision and join with me.