Last weekend, we decided to take a walk down memory lane. We pulled out all the old photo albums, brought out the popcorn, chilled lemonade and sprawled on the cool floor, to relive the times captured in those albums.
I noticed that in some pictures I had a glow on my face, absolutely radiating and in some, i looked completely lack- luster. I looked again, a little closer this time, trying to understand what was missing in some pictures, as they were from same time zone. I pointed it out to my children and asked them if they noticed it too. Yes, they too felt that in some pictures they looked so radiant and “Alive” while not so much in others. We flipped through more pictures, trying to get a hold on what was the missing element.
Then it occurred to me, slowly, dimly. I looked back again, to reconfirm. Yes! The answer to our question was: a simple Smile! No, no, not the scientific twisting of the facial muscles when you stretch your lips and cheeks laterally and sometimes, even show some teeth. I am talking about the real, heartfelt smile, coming from the heart, and reaching up to the eyes, lighting them, sending a soft glow on the face; an honest, from-the-heart smile!
You see, its not just a physical movement of the facial muscles or a mask pulled on for the sake of the camera.Its not a pouting of the lips, looking deep into the lens. Its not even about the right angle of the light and turning of the face. It isn’t something you can achieve without feeling the emotion. The smile is a combination of the “happy hormones” (or whatever they are called in science books) triggered in your body by the joy you experience in that moment and this reaction is reflected on the face, in the twinkle of the eyes, the soft hue on the face, the peace in the heart and finally, the U-turning of the lips. Wow! It a chemical-emotional reaction!!
A smile is the best make-up and accessory for the face, turning you into a more beautiful person, in that moment, when you smile with your heart, your being. And you don’t need the camera, to smile. When there is a song in your heart and your mind is flooding with the “happiness hormones”, when you are comfortable with being you, the smile comes spontaneously! sometimes, you may even find yourself smiling into space, at nothing in particular! Here, I must warn you that if people are around, some may look at you with strange curiosity! Do not let it bother you. You just go ahead and smile!!!