Practice Your Inner Smile

Thanks again to all of you who commented for or emailed me during
the blog contest.

In case you were wondering, I did not make it to the top 10
finalists. (sad face.) Oh well. Fact is, I did this somewhat on a
whim, to see what would happen and to experience the process. And
I have to say, I learned some good stuff from it.

First off, I was overwhelmed with the response and with the lovely
and uplifting comments and emails. It’s gratifying to hear that
the information and perspectives I share through these emails
and my programs have helped and benefited people. I feel grateful
to have such caring, supportive readers and customers as you.
(smiley face.)

I also learned that a lot of people are on Facebook.

Well, duh Karen, ya think?

Yes, I know Facebook has something like a bazillion gazillion
users, or some such incredible number. I just wasn’t sure how
many of my readers and customers were using it. Now I have the
sense that a fair percentage are on Facebook, I realize I need
to do there, such as adding more content and updating my page.

It’s yet another mechanism to share and communicate, which is
a good thing.

Now….on to our day.

A little while ago, I completed my morning exercise routine. One
part of my routine involves performing my Inner Smile. This is a
Taoist practice, although I have encountered it in a few western
breathing and energy practices as well.

Since you’ve made me smile, I would like to teach you a quick n’
easy version of the Inner Smile.

First, here’s the scoop on how you can make this work for you.

One part of Taoist energy practices includes smiling into the
body, and into specific body parts, to help promote positive
energy and emotions, as well as healing.

We know from Western science and medicine that the physical act
of smiling can actually help improve your mood. Try it. Sit
up (don’t slouch), head erect and shoulders back a little
(postural change), and smile.

I mean a real smile: show your teeth, crinkle your eyes a little.

Now…..feel a difference?

You can even smile at yourself in a mirror. Next time you are
feeling tense from concerns about work, a negative interaction
with a coworker or client or child, or worried about some
meeting or presentation, look in the mirror and smile.

(Make sure you are alone if at work, or your coworkers may
think you’re losing it.)

Ok, so we know that smiling can make us feel better. But how
do we smile inwardly?

It’s pretty easy. But you do have to focus.

So relax, get into a good upright standing or sitting posture,
and calm yourself with some gentle, full breathing. Put a
little smile on your face. Not a huge smile or grin (unless
that feels natural to you) – more like a Mona Lisa smile,
with the corners of your mouth turned up.

As your breath gets longer and more relaxed, breathe in (see
and feel this) gentle, golden, loving light, filling your
entire body. Feel this positive energy hum and vibrate inside
you. Continue smiling.

Next, breathe into your heart. With every breath in, picture
your heart getting redder and brighter. It’s a red rose,
slowly opening and getting fuller and bigger.

With every breath out, picture exhaling stale, grayish red
colored energy out through the soles of your feet. You are
exhaling flat red color (or negative, stale energy), and
breathing in bright red color into your heart.

Smile into your heart. Picture your heart smiling back at

Do this for 8 to 10 breaths, then relax and breathe gently
into your lower abdomen, to help consolidate the energy
you have generated.

The heart is associated with the emotions of love, joy
and happiness. So, as you smile and breathe, allow yourself
to feel these emotions. Relax and enjoy them.

Then take them with you into your day.

There is a color and smile associated with other organs,
such as your lungs, kidneys and liver. In your next tip,
I’ll share with you the color and emotions for each of

In the meantime, practice smiling inwardly and smiling
into your heart. It only takes a few minutes, and it’s a
wonderful way to transform stress or worries into positive
emotion and energy.

You Can Do It!

Karen Van Ness
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind & Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise”

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011

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