LOVE TIP  – Thursday March 15th, 2012

Hello dear FRIENDS,

Sunday 11th we arrived home!! Feeling tired and well travelled and full…….. and feeling so grateful for all the richness of our experiences over the last 5 weeks….so much has happened……such a short time to have packed so much in…..yet thinking back to when we left home feels like eons ago……

Before I ‘leave’ India and come back to this reality…..and thinking……. do we ever go back to who we were before such a journey♥……..I want to pay tribute to and capture an experience I had throughout India. SMILES. Big wide grinning smiles. Smiles that go right up to their eyes. Smiles that shine out of their face and their eyes even when they aren’t even  smiling. And FACES that intrigue and charm and captivate me…….. You would have seen many in the photos that I’ve already posted….I was being continuously nourished and delighted by the smiles and faces of the Indian people….I just have to share some of these with you…I know you will be delighted and infected by them too!

23 year old Priya was one of the girls who massaged me at our Kerala Ayurvedic Resort

a young Indian dancer

our young mahout (person who rides on and directs the elephant) when we were on our elephant ride at Amber Fort

two women who were taking a break from sweeping at the Amber Palace

a Sikh….I was so amazed by the ‘beauty’ – dare I use the word – of the Sikh men – such elegance, such an air about them…..I was intrigued and wanted to stop them and photograph them…….just look intently at them… fact this was a reoccurring impulse in me that I had to keep reigning in…….

one of the gardeners at our Kerala Ayurvedic Resort

Most smiles are started by another smile.  ~Author Unknown

A smile is something you can’t give away; it always comes back to you.  ~Author Unknown

What kept standing out for me is how much the smiles were part of being Indian.  How easy and comfortable and ‘quick’. How second-nature their smiles were. How expressive and filling their whole face. The culture I come from can learn much from such energy.

Just tuning in to how I feel around such energy is enough to convince me of the importance of adopting and practicing such a way of smiling …..but if you want some scientific facts check out the following –

15 Fascinating Facts About Smiling – ……And how important are just these first 4 –

  1. Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.
  2. It boosts your immune system: Smiling really can improve your physical health, too. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
  3. Smiles are contagious: It’s not just a saying: smiling really is contagious, scientists say. In a study conducted in Sweden, people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling, and their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.
  4. Smiles Relieve Stress: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.

Question for you: Does smiling come easy for you♥ In the environment you grew up in did the people around you smile easily and fully – Big wide grinning smiles. Smiles that go right up to their eyes. Smiles that shine out of their face and their eyes even when they aren’t even  smiling…….

LOVE and BIG SMILES to You, gleefully Susie.