When I see you Smile…

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“A Warm Smile Is The Universal Language Of Kindness”—William Arthur Ward

The mood is somber, in this very quiet, cluttery boardroom as staff awaits word on the end-of-month sales quota reports. As staff sits, fidgeting, wondering how they measure on the leaderboard, that almost always affects the ‘talk’ prepared for managers and SDRs, palms are sweaty, brows furrowed for what seems like an eternity—a nail biting moment filled with much unwanted anticipation. Finally, the moment of truth…a senior representative walks into the room, bringing with him: a million-dollar smile. He cracks a joke, taking the edge off removing the stressful tinge of what is known to be such a high intense season. Shoulders relax, everyone in attendance lets out a sigh of relief, as they begin to enjoy the rest of this powerful meeting; a meeting that no doubt will be a positive boosting employee engagement, as all healthy internal competition must be when working and collaborating toward a common goal.

Hello my beautiful souls! April sprung with much unwanted ‘cold’ and May has now arrived hopefully bringing with it some warmer weather. There have been some birthdays that have been celebrated in my family these past few weeks and we hope to finally smell Spring in the air! Although it has been a bit of a cold start, knowing that warmer weather is around the corner, I feel everyone just puts up with the lingering cold weather, in hopes that sunny warmer days are ahead. And with it we will see some warm smiles and oh, how I love to see smiles on peoples’ beautiful faces! It has been quite some time here in Toronto and Vaughan that we have had the good fortune of witnessing some beautiful smiles, as masks become less and less mandatory, and if everyone is being safe as to when to apply mask wearing—it is lovely to see the beautiful smiles once again! Do you agree? Our faces serve to express our many emotions but the most powerful and profound facial expression of them all—the smile.

Smiles are powerful. The scenario I described in my introduction, might resonate with those working or living the corporate life. There are no words needed, once the ‘big boss’ walks in with his / her million-dollar smile; this will certainly set in motion the mood for the kind of meeting it will be, maybe even the week or month ahead. Is this not true? There is something to be said on Julie A. Walker’s quote: “A smile is worth a thousand words.” There are many moments, when only a smile is needed to shift a mood, bring ease, sooth the soul. I can think of a few places where a smile is truly welcomed; hospitals for example is a wonderful place to welcome a smile by caring medical staff, or someone paying a visit to a family or a friend in a hospital setting. Perhaps you are visiting an elderly relative, this is also where a smile is most generous—they are always so eager to catch a glimpse of a smile or a quick hello from anyone; this simple gesture means the world to them. For those working in the service industry, as waiters / waitresses, baristas, reception, customer service—never underestimate the power of a smile, it could be the difference in saving someone’s day, getting that acknowledgement from the higher-ups, and you might even get that once-in-a-lifetime tip by a very caring but very observing patron!  For me, a smile, says a lot about someone, it represents, kindness, love, happiness. It will certainly bring my guard down, in a world currently filled with so much devastation. It is certainly the anecdote to discouragement, the tonic to a stressful day, the sunshine to a gray day; bringing hope to those who are feeling hopeless and defeated.  

For first time mothers: you are about to give birth to your first child, not knowing what to expect, you pace, you lie down, uncomfortably, shaking, failing at any attempt to smile—your doctor walks in; a familiar face, always a good sign in moments under pressure, he flashes you a smile, and calmly tells you to breath further adding: “don’t worry, everything is going to be alright,” just keep breathing, baby is doing fine, in a few minutes you will have your bundle of joy in your arms. You cannot help but to smile at this thought. What happened? Understanding that this is a scary experience for first time parents; the doctor, used his human skills, and remembered to flash a smile, letting you know all is well (even if it might not be), but that kind smile, that soft voice, eases any first-time mother, and helps make the once scary process a little more joyful and less terrifying.

Whatever your profession, remember to tap into that human side of you every now and again—it could make a difference for someone facing medical challenges, or to that would-be top biller in your organization that perhaps had an off week, or that lost soul roaming the streets looking for comfort from anyone willing to offer it. Everyone deserves an opportunity, and a smile might just be what they need to offer that confidence, that support; shift their perspective turning their life around with a single, kind smile. There is a reason why there are many songs and quotes on the topic, because smiles offer kindness and that is what the world needs a lot of today. A smile could be the start to a beautiful romantic relationship. It never disappoints and it needs no translation. You can visit any part of the world, flash that wonderful, kind smile, and you are headed in the right direction. While a smile may open the door to opportunities, offering inspiration; studies also show that a smile may offer your mind and body a variety of positive benefits for your health, your mood—it may even lengthen your overall lifespan. Did you know that the muscles we use when we smile, trigger our brain to produce more endorphins—the chemical that relieves pain and stress? This is yet another reason to smile and while you are it, as you increase your mood-enhancing hormones, it will also decrease stress-enhancing hormones including cortisol and adrenaline—say goodbye to high blood pressure! The benefits are limitless when you choose to smile, I choose to smile often because I simply love smiling, because it makes me feel good and I love that it is contagious! Overall, a smile will make you more attractive, so keep smiling!

My mom has always been and still is my inspiration and the reason why I smile always. I can honestly say, I have never seen my mom, never not smiling. Through hard times, bad times, dark moments in life, she always managed to smile. She was up before dawn, being a single mom, it must have not been easy, but she managed, worked long hours, was a wonderful provider and taught us to laugh and be joyful always. That is how I carry out my life, living by example; having survived the corporate world, after being in it for thirty years, I must say, I faced all challenges with a smile on my face always. One of my top rules in life is to enter my workplace with a smile—ready to greet and tackle, my day. Entering an establishment with a smile is always such a great way to keep the momentum of pleasantness throughout your day. As you greet everyone you meet along the way, with a nice gorgeous smile, you will find your experiences to be more pleasant, conversations uplifting. Yes, of course, it helps making a quick stop at my favorite place for hot cocoa before getting into the office—it is always a nice treat to help ease into a day filled with paperwork and whole lot of mental fatigue. (I hope my barista is there ready to greet me with his friendly smile, letting me know: I matter!) By choosing to smile as I enter my workplace, it lets my colleagues know, it is OK to enter my office and share with me the events of their day, perhaps an opportunity for me to cheer them up! This is our purpose after all: to lift others! I fail to understand why it is so difficult for employers to foster a positive environment by choosing to encourage staff rather than knock them down. Will it motivate staff to be harped on first thing in the morning and have the coffee taken away from them because they faltered this month? Production is all about motivation, a simple gesture such as a smile, a “good morning” drastically improves the attitude in any work environment, it helps motivate others around them, while increasing productivity. Why is this not a standard in ‘TOP leadership 101’? Happiness in a workplace environment is a win-win for everyone as it not only leads to success in a workplace but in the personal lives of all involved as well.

There are so many beautiful songs that include ‘SMILE’ in their title or the lyrics setting the mood for a wonderful positive and inspirational vibe! And who does not want to be inspired? The most infamous song simply titled: ‘SMILE’ was inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s instrumental theme soundtrack to his 1936 film: Modern Times. A beautiful film of a story told by Charlie Chaplin telling his audience to cheer up noting there is always a bright tomorrow just as long as you keep smiling. Although the song was not put into lyrics until 1954 by songwriters John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons—they relied on Charlies beloved spirit and image who often kept us laughing in the face of sorrow. Since its original use, ‘SMILE’ has been recorded by numerous artists, like Michel Jackson, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland and many others. A simple smile let’s that recipient know that everything is OK. Without words, a smile gives someone that confidence, that support to tackle trials in life, allowing them to see light once more. As the song says:” You’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you just…smile.” Believing in the power of smiles, will get you through obstacles, challenges in life, win battles, and influence people to live happy moments in life, in the face of struggles, making life that more beautiful!

“When I see you smile… I can face the world…I can do anything”, ahh, the beautiful lyrics of yet another song, that might be the most popular wedding song back in the day released in 1989 by Bad English titled: ‘When I See You Smile’.  The lyrics speak volumes to how powerful a smile is; a symbol of friendship, peace, kindness, a smile is quite powerful—this simple gesture could influence on so many levels, forever changing the way you look at life—at your future partner in life. A smile will shift a perspective on any situation—by simply making things better, letting you know everything is alright—it is the ultimate remedy! Og Mandino said it best: “A smile remains the most inexpensive gift I (you) can bestow on anyone and yet its powers can vanquish kingdoms.” Perhaps the most beautiful smile is the one on a bride’s face—it is the most beautiful curve on a bride’s face! A beautiful compliment to a wedding gown.

It has been a tough two years, losses suffered, challenges, breakdown in communication from families, businesses, governments, but even with the pandemic as an omnipresent backdrop, life went on; life goes on, if only you would choose to smile; I won’t promise that it will fix everything in your life, but it is a positive start to get you in the right momentum, to getting you to a better tomorrow, one smile, one kind word, one heart beat at a time. The darkness we lived for two years has cracked us wide open, we have lived our most vulnerable moments—for all to watch. Our hurts—our weapons that allowed us to face our next challenge, from this hurt, from this pain our communities were able to draw inspiration—to live our lives the way we intended through the ups and downs—all of it. The dream is the hope that we remain together as survivors in the face of division, as warriors in the face of hatred, to be kinder humans in the face of pain, loss, sorrow. As May draws in, it is my hope and wish that the good weather, and as communities begin to unmask safely, that we do it; one smile at a time, one hug at a time because following in Mother Teresa’s footsteps: “Peace begins with a smile. “

Keep yourself vibrationally in tuned with who you are and remember to smile if you need a little pick-me-up, kindness will always be reflected. If you add a smile to how you think and how you view the world it will only serve, to experience a much kinder, gentler, forgiving world. So, keep smiling, try and keep your head up to the sky, face your challenges with kindness, be contagious with your smile, you never know who might need it more! Always giving yourself the utmost unconditional love along the way!  You deserve to live a brilliant abundant life; your confident smile will only help you feel more empowered and what a wonderful way to feel right now! Remember to stay humble and offer kindness, elevate everyone in your life, and those you have the opportunity and great privilege to meet today, with a simple smile. Be the person you wish to meet—be an excellent example of a human. Offer much love to your family and friends, give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, stay kind and true to yourself.

Celebrating the beautiful powerful you,

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I would be incredibly grateful if you would help it spread by forwarding it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. I am now on IG, come join me there @anaspanowriter! Thank you!

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