Saturday, July 01, 2006

communicable ease

in the face of current events on the planet, i am making myself smile. exercising my smile in order to feel better in the midst. i am praying this simple act will cause entrainment, activiting the mirroring neurons of those around me, pumping us all with endorphins of happiness. communicable ease! could this become an epidemic...a pandemic. lawd! lawd! then let it make it's way to my heart and the middle east too!

i have been reading and listening to work by dr paul ekman, a professor of psychology, who has become the world’s most famous face reader.

it is known that the simple act of smiling releases endorphins and makes us feel better. one of dr ekman’s key findings is that if a person merely arranges his face into a certain expression, he will actually feel the corresponding emotion - in other words, emotions work from the outside in as well as the inside out. "in a real smile, the eyebrows and the skin between the upper eyelid and the eyebrow come down very slightly. the muscle involved is the orbicularis oculi, pars lateralis."
crucial to how we feel is being aware of how we are feeling in the moment. "the sine qua non of that is to realise that you are being emotional in the first place. the earlier you recognise an emotion, the more choice you will have in dealing with it. buddhist terms, it’s recognising the spark before the flame." in times like these, we can go through the back door, so to speak. practicing the physical and spiritual discipline of smiling to get to happiness.

things that have made me smile this week:

the laughing church
i saw a video of it in the airport, couldn't hear the minister's message but no matter, i just loved the idea of it. laughing uncontrollably in church, sacred unabashed joy.

the street guy in toronto in the worn suit jacket talking loudly palm to ear, as if he were on a cell phone amid people in their spiffy bus - y - ness suits scurrying by doing bus-i-ness on their actual cell phones. it was a moment of beautiful real performance art, a statement on our wacky society!

climbing trees with a 5yr old girlfriend, swinging on branches and flipping off onto the ground!

the article about the new implant that reads the brain's electrical impulses to allow paralized folks to operate computers, thoughts making things happen! july 13th edition of the seattle times ("chip helps turn thoughts to action")

face of unseen things! a friend, karen telford photographs magical nature art.
her tag reads: "to be a part of something one doesn’t in the least understand is, I think, one of the most intriguing things
about life. -- dame agatha christie

playing tag with my cat pixxel in the yard

the newsweek special addition called "giving back awards" (july 10 2006) about people who use fame, fortune, heart and soul to help others.

august 2006 popular science magazine....or any past publications for that matter. i love reading about the new inventions!!!
in this issue check out the 10 breakthroughs in science. by 2010 scientists hope to perfect nano knitters a technique of helping nerve cells regrow to bridge the gaps left by injuries.

and even simpler:
baths, sweet peas and radishes from the garden, coffee, hugs, sunshine, sleep

hope you'll notice what makes you smile and or decide to practice the art of smiling.

i love this practice: just for a moment, close your eyes and smile gently at yourself. i like to stretch and breath deep while i do this!

insight incite endorphins.

notice the hub cap angel with the saw blade wings above. she is smiling a rusty but full smile.
see the article on mirroring neurons and art

may you empathize!


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