Today is World Smile Day around the World. I am a World Smile Day Ambassador with a mission to give mine away. When I do, I know there is a good chance it will not only come back to me, but be passed on to others.
I wrote about the power of the smile in my book, Smile Awhile years ago when I was noting it’s similar benefit to laughter. It had many of the same benefits, though not the diaphragmatic, nor oxygenated ones that are significant boosts overall. The smile packs a lot of punch for its simplicity and for so little effort changes a multitude of perspective.
In 2009 I made a design using cut out smiley faces at a conference surrounded by the Rocky Mountains in Estes Park, Colorado. I made several labyrinths that weekend, though the smiley face was such a simple thing to do to create such a great reminder of how easy it can be for us to see things a little lighter. As individuals walked into the labyrinth the concept was simply to inhale and notice the walk, as they exhaled the suggestion to form a smile was shared. The idea was to simply exercise it and notice how it felt.
When I went back home to Chicago, I created one again for our Laugh Fest in the Midwest the next year and found it even more delightful. This design is from the handouts I made so people could practice at home with different ways to spread the smile into their lives. I share this with you on the anniversary of tribute to the artist who designed the smiley face, Harvey Ball.
His design was commissioned during a time when people were feeling lackluster in Massachusettes in 1963 for only $45. It worked and has gone on to make people feel better with its simple message for 52 years. His son began a tribute and a World Smile Ball to honor him for his contribution to the world and in this concept of World Smile Day, when you give yours away, you get back another. Become a World Smile Ambassador and see how many you can give away…. practice it in your everyday walk and notice how wonderful it feels on the labyrinth to experience the slow appreciation of how one can simply exhale into a smile at any given time.
With practice we just get better.