Keep winter at bay; put on a happy face…

November 29, 2017

The Jack’s Winning Words blog had a great quote recently that can apply to everyone – “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”  (Victor Hugo)

People who laugh often and seem to be happy are sometime said to have a “sunny disposition”. The opposite is to be thought of as a dour person, someone who always seems to have a frown on their face. Interestingly enough, many of us might be considered by others to be dour people just because of our “at rest” face. We don’t even realize it, but most of us, when we are relaxed and in a normal, “at rest” state allow our faces to droop a bit and we may end up looking like we are unhappy.

Related imageI’ve used a prime example of the impact of our “at rest” faces in posts a few times – ex-Speaker of the House John Boehner. Most of the time, when you saw Boehner on TV in the background at State of the Union Speeches or in photos taken at the capitol he looked unhappy, or in discomfort – he looked dour. If you Google his name there are tons of pictures that pop up; but, only a few show a smiling John Boehner. He looks like a much more pleasant fellow in those smiling photos.



So how do you look, when your face is at rest. You can get some idea by just standing in front of a mirror and allowing yourself to relax, with no emotions showing. Another way is to look at informal pictures of yourself taken at some event that you attended. Do you like what you see? Is your “at rest” face open friendly and inviting or does it appear to be a dour person who may not wish to be bothered?

What has all of this got to do with today’s theme? Well, while laughter is the sun that drive winter from the human face, we can’t be laughing all of the time. Otherwise they’d cart us away to the funny farm. What we can do is keep in mind some thoughts thatsmiling-sun cause us to smile, so that our “at rest” faces look like that are about to laugh and are more inviting and pleasant.

A nice by-product of having a smile on your face is that people will ask what it is that is making you look so happy. They will want to talk to you and share in your apparent happiness; as opposed to a person with a dour look on their face, who is someone to be avoided. If they ask, perhaps the best answer to give to get the conversation going is to reply, “I was just thinking how nice it is to see you.” You can see how much better that encounter is than one with a dour looking face who replies that he/she looks unhappy because their gall bladder is acting up again.

So start your day today by thinking of something that will put a smile on your face. You don’t have to go around laughing out loud; but, maybe your smile will be the sun in someone else’s life today and drive their winter away. Maybe keep this little song in your mind – Put on  happy face.


Put on a special face…

February 13, 2017

In today’s edition of the Jack’s Winning Words blog there is this little quote – “Without wearing any mask that we’re conscious of, we have a special face for each friend.”  (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Jack went on to write – I’ve read, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still likes you.”  Come to think about it, God is like that!

We tend to use the word friend a bit loosely these days; maybe it’s because of Facebookgirls hugging and the requests that we make for someone to “Friend me”. I don’t think we really put on a special face for each of the people on our “friends” list on Facebook. Those special faces are reserved for people with whom we have a real friendship, such as that described by Aristotle – “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” 

Today we might classify those people as or BFF’s. Do you have friends like Aristotle described; those with whom you share such a bond that it’s like your two bodies share one soul?

We sometimes use the term soul-mate to describe those with whom we share our lives and; indeed, for most those are their best friends as well as beingpraying-together a spouse or partner in life. Marriages (partnerships) that last a lifetime have that longevity because of that ability to share your soul.

There was a term coined for the phenomenon that Oliver Wendell Homes was describing – his/her face lit up when he/she saw her friend. It’s that joy of the shared soul of the friendship that shines through in that moment and becomes the special face that we have for each true friend. For most of us that manifests itself as a smile. It’s an uncontrived and spontaneous display on our faces of the love that we have for that friend.

gods-hands-2In church services there is an oft-used line from Number 6:24-26,  “may God’s face shine upon you.” Perhaps that is what Jack meant when he wrote “God is like that”. When God is your friend, He shares his soul in our bodies and it shines through on our faces. If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, nothing will.

So, put on a special face. God is sharing his soul in your body and that is somethingsmiling-sun to
smile about. How can you not have a great day? Let’s God’s soul that dwells within you shine through on your face.

Put on a happy face…

December 22, 2014

“When I see someone who’s grumpy, or looks like he or she is having an awful day, why not brighten their day with a positive song?”  (Ellis Kalomiris) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I’m not sure that me bursting into song would brighten anyone’s day (maybe after a good laugh); however, I’m pretty sure that putting on a smile and offering a cheery girls hugginggreeting will at least force them to pause from their grumpiness to respond. The same can be said about offering a cheerful “Hello” and your hand to someone who might look lost or afraid at a social gathering. There’s something about seeing someone who is smiling and who looks happy to see you that is disarming and can change your outlook (at least temporarily). So, like Dick Van Dyke in this movie clip, put on your happy face and make someone’s day a little brighter.

If you are the person who is having a bad day, let those in who are trying to help. These are people who love you enough to try to cheer you up, so don’t fight themlistening off; let them help. Drop your defenses and let their smiles or songs and cherry greetings wash over you. Maybe they’ll wash away the thoughts that were making you unhappy.  If nothing else they may be able to get you to look at things from a slightly different perspective and you will realize that you are not alone (which is where being in the grumpy or unhappy dungeon puts you).

Grumpiness, unhappiness, and sadness are all states of mind. Remember this saying from Seneca – A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is.  So, if you can think yourself into misery, you can think yourself out of it, too. Let the people who love you help you find a way out of your unhappy thoughts.

girl with smile pictureA side benefit from sharing your happiness with others is that, the more of it you give away, the more comes back to you. Your happiness will actually increase as you share it with others. Soon you will be surrounded by happy people and what a great place to be. Put on your happy face and share it with others today.

Have a great and happy week ahead!