Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The "Practice" of Smiling

At the end of "Week 3" (i.e. the end of January), I drove east to Arizona to celebrate Super Bowl weekend. Friday evening I ventured downtown with a couple of friends to absorb the pre-game energy reverberating throughout the host city. Although my head hurt (as it often does these days), I found myself smiling like I used to on occasion in New York City, when there was no real reason to smile, but rather you just feel alive, and the smile comes naturally. (And then some man thinks you're smiling at him, and you have to clarify, no, not you buddy, I'm just smiling at life.)
My Qigong instructor recently encouraged us to implement smiling as a practice. She explained to us that she has been on retreats where everyone is instructed to maintain a smile on their face for the duration of the retreat, even if they're not feeling particularly happy. She said by the end of the retreat, everyone felt loved (by the friendly smiles they received) and they felt happy, and wanted to continue to smiling just because, because the practice had become habit over just a few short days.

She encouraged us to smile more to help spread happiness in the world.

But in Phoenix, the smile just came, and then I found myself dancing in the streets, when no one was dancing near me. But there was music - fun dance music - coming from somewhere. Thankfully, Saturday night, I joined a "real" dance party, where others danced the night away with me. Again, I smiled big, and felt grateful that I had made the trek out to AZ just to be goofy with a couple of my old high school friends and the crew from their neighborhood.

And on Super Bowl Sunday, I didn't wake up with a headache.
Migraine headaches tend to make you smile less than the average person. The past 10 days, I've faced a headache EVERY single day, and my migraine medication didn't help. (But thankfully I've had friends that did, help with the smiling, that is...) Today it feels like I won the Lotto; the day is nearly over, and no headache, of any sorts. :)

But on my way home from Phoenix, Monday afternoon, another headache set in, reminding me I had my fun, and now it was time to pay up. At least the gas was cheap. Only $1.90 in AZ, about 2/3 the cost of what it is in California. So before I crossed the border, I stopped to fuel up.

And as I did, I noticed a Dairy Queen - open for business, in the middle of winter.

You have to understand, I have a thing for DQ Butterfinger Blizzards. And you need to understand, the closest Dairy Queen to me in Michigan closes at the end of October and doesn't reopen until the weather warms up above 50, which sometimes takes until the end of April.

As you can imagine, I was thrilled to see a Dairy Queen open for business.

To Be Continued...

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