The world always looks brighter from behind a smile. (Anonymous)
Start off each day with a smile and watch the butterfly effect ensue. Clear out the negative clutter and make space for happiness to bloom.
I have been trying a sort of social experiment lately. I am not a huge runner, but appreciate jogging the trail on a beautiful day, especially with friends. When I set a time to meet a friend, it motivates me and holds me accountable to actually go. And then, instead of getting bored and glancing at my watch every couple of minutes, the time flies by as we chat while we work our way around the loop. I have actually been enjoying the trail and Austin’s huge run community instead of being completely intimidated by it.
It doesn’t matter that we’re not the fastest or running the farthest – it’s a way of sneaking in exercise and appreciating the outdoors while catching up. As much as I enjoy grabbing a glass of wine after a long day and chatting with friends, this is another great option and way to get in my much needed time with friends, with the added bonus of some exercise and the healing powers of Mother Nature. Friends, exercise endorphins, and fresh air. It’s like free therapy! Everything is easier alongside friends.
A few other times recently, I have grabbed my iPod and even motivated myself to go for a run solo. I don’t view myself as a runner, and as I mentioned, am intimidated by all of the incredibly fit people in Austin and intensity surrounding the fitness community (thank goodness for iGnite and the balance it has provided for me!). Even though I may feel some resistance as I take my initial steps, I have tried to take a deep breath, clear out my negative thoughts, and smile as I run. You would not believe the difference!
Almost everyone on the trail smiles back when I smile at them. Some people have even waved, as if we are great friends passing each other (I have never met these people, mind you). Even when someone looks serious or super focused, when they glance at me and I’m smiling at them, they crack a smile. Suddenly, I am a “runner” on the trail actually enjoying herself and her run. I look the part, out there in my running clothes with my iPod, and it’s as if I’ve tricked myself into enjoying it. And I actually do! The Weekly Intention Guide will help you think through how you can apply this to your life this upcoming week.
Additionally, the people-watching on the trail is fascinating. I am definitely not the fastest or thinnest out there, and even though I do have moments where I find myself staring at the women sprinting by in their sports bras with the rock hard abs, I shift my focus back to whatever upbeat song is playing and slap a smile on my face. It’s hard to stay negative when you’re smiling. Even activities you don’t love to do are far easier with a smile. Everything is easier with a smile.
Then on Thursday, when I showed up to teach the Low-Impact Cross Training Class while Delaine was out of town, people were using the space to film something at the Northshore Overlook and we had to improvise. I was incredibly thankful for everyone’s flexibility and spontaneous spirits as I tossed aside my class plan and we hit the trail for a 3-mile power walk infused with some body weight exercises along the way! We stopped at the “voo doo pew” to admire the lake and do some tricep dips. The purple flowers blooming all around made us stop in our tracks. We found several nooks and crannies to stop and breathe the morning in (and sneak in some pushups!). There is nothing better than friends and smiles on a beautiful day. My morning had been off to a rocky start, and these wonderful women turned that right around for me. Could you use a group of motivated, balanced, and compassionate women in Austin to workout with? Check out our home webpage to sign up for a free week trial!
While this is just one example in my life recently, these same rules can apply to all areas of life. You can go through your daily tasks and the motions of your life dragging your feet, or instead, you can sweep aside the negative thoughts and voices in your head and add some pep to your step, enjoying what you are doing as best you can. Sometimes even when you don’t feel like it, when you start smiling and even fake it at first, often times it really will lift your spirits and turn into a genuine smile after all. And the best part is, while trying to help yourself, you are inevitably helping and touching the lives of those around you, which makes you feel even better!
There are butterflies all around. You just have to make the space and open your eyes to see them. Grab a friend, find a smile, and practice a spring cleaning within yourself. It will improve your health, and can even make your friends friends friends happy! Watch and learn…