Experiencing a Heart Smile

Photo by Danny De los Reyes on Unsplash

What makes you smile? That was the question we pondered in our listening circle group today. It was an easy question for me. “The better question to ask me is what doesn’t make me smile? I smile all the time. I smile at puppies, kittens, babies, commercials, and my kids, and when I connect with others. I am a smiler.” Is smiler even a word? Well, it is now. 

I smile often. I smile freely. Thinking of something that brings me joy makes me smile and smiling often makes me think of something that brings me joy. It goes both ways. Smiling is a universal language. It is a way to connect without saying a word. It requires no words and it expresses so much. My mom taught me there is a lot of power in a smile.

My wise and wonderful friend, Patti, shared a powerful encounter she witnessed that made her smile. She described witnessing an interaction between two strangers. She called this type of smile a “heart smile”. I wrote the term down right away and drank in what she shared. There is power in the smile we share as we pass a stranger. The physical exchange of energy without words or interaction. There is also a smile that emerges when we bear witness to a beautiful human connection or interaction. This is a smile that grows from the heart and erupts onto our faces. It warms us from the inside and we express the warmth in a smile or grin.

Things that make me HEART SMILE:

  • A babies giggle or smile.
  • When someone takes time to engage and interact with Emily, knowing she will not reciprocate in a way that is expected. They do it anyway.
  • The dentist that wants to ease Emily’s anxiety by doing the exam outside on the grass to make her more comfortable.
  • Justin reading his 3rd grade essay in front of the school about his love and admiration for his younger disabled sister.
  • Todd buying new plants for “my garden” and spends hours toiling in the soil on his only day off to bring me joy.
  • A half-day retreat with 30 We Are Brave Together women connecting, sharing, and giving their souls some much needed love and compassion.
  • Experiencing Emily’s laughter or smile. (Something she does less as she ages.)
  • My dogs’ energy and excitement when I walk into their presence. (Even if I was just there 30 seconds before.)
  • A text or a call from someone I haven’t talked to in a while to tell me they were thinking of me.
  • My husband getting Emily ready for bed so I can write, read, or rest.
  • Live music shared with strangers. Everyone is connected by sound and energy.
  • Justin cheering Emily on as she tries to get something that requires her to crawl.
  • When my friend sees that Emily’s scarf is getting tattered and makes a new one.
  • It is an unexpected card in the mail.
  • It’s a neighbor sharing the bounty from their lemon tree with those walking in the neighborhood.
  • It is the woman who lives a few blocks away that runs out to greet Emily and give her a hair clip or flower.

As I complete this sparse list of heart smile memories and moments, I am smiling. The feelings and energy of these experiences and exchanges are fresh in my mind, in my heart, and reflected in the mirror with a big ‘ole toothy smile.

What makes your heart smile?

Published by bshort1968

I am a self-described caregiver. I love to help and care for others. I have learned the value of caring for myself as well. Now I want to live my life helping others learn to care for others and take care of themselves as well.

2 thoughts on “Experiencing a Heart Smile

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