Pressing RESET with any of the Big 5 (breathing, head nodding, rolling, rocking, crawling) can change a person’s life. Each reset has the potential and power to begin the restoration process in a body, and a mind. They can help heal, repair and keep a healthy nervous system, which means they can help heal, repair and keep a healthy person. Practiced daily, or lived through daily, the resets keep a person strong and able to live their life better.
But there is another reset, another movement, that may have more power than any of the Big 5. I’ve even written about this reset before, but through some recent promptings of some friends, Hal and Sarah – unbeknownst to each other – I think I’m supposed to mention this movement again.
Before I mention this reset, I should probably tell the whole story about how I passed the RKC Certification without training with kettlebells. Everything I said was true, but I left one thing out, that may have had a great deal to do with the ease in which I passed the physical challenges. During the physical testing portion of the RKC, I began purposefully smiling before I would pick up the kettlebells. Seriously, I would place my hands on the bells, look down so others couldn’t easily see my face, and I would smile from ear to ear. And what I noticed when doing this, and what I also forgot until now, is that I would start to feel amazing. And then, I would EASILY perform whatever movements I was being tested on. I know this sounds crazy, but smiling made the kettlebell lifts easy, at least it certainly made me feel good before I would perform the lifts. And here is the sad part: I “forgot” that – I didn’t completely lose it from my memory, but I allowed that little bit of information to be distracted away from me, so it kind of got buried…
Fortunately, last week my friend, Sarah Young, asked me if I noticed that smiling made breathing easier and frowning made breathing harder. Well dang, I knew that, but I didn’t because I forgot it. So, I tried it, while hanging from a pull-up bar. I breathed deep into my belly while I was completely stretched out from hanging (this makes it much more difficult to tap into the diaphragm fully), and then I breathed deeply while smiling. And yes, it was tremendously easier to breathe deeply as I was hanging, while smiling.
After that, and remembering how easy the testing procedure was during the RKC certification, I started experimenting with smiling while performing other movements, like pull-ups, squats, etc… They too were easier, just like they were when I was performing the RKC tests. But more importantly than that, I felt good, I simply felt better, “brighter.” So naturally, I took this smiling experiment further. I began smiling at random throughout the day. Consequently, I began feeling amazing, not just good, but GOOD. This also reinforced my deep rooted belief/principle that it feels good to feel good. It really does…
But here is my point to all of this: I don’t smile enough. You don’t either. Smiling not only makes movement easier and more efficient, but it makes us “easier,” it lightens our eyes and our countenance. It lifts our souls and warms our hearts. It also lifts the countenance and souls of others around us as well. A simple smile has the power to brighten the entire world around you.
If you use it.
Smiling is just like crawling, or rocking. It is a choice. Just like you might choose to get down on the floor to crawl, you also choose whether or not you smile. Interestingly enough, I have noticed it is often easier for me to choose to get down on the floor to rock or crawl than it is to chose to smile.
Why is that? Maybe I take myself too seriously. Maybe I see all the “mess” going on in the world and there just doesn’t seem to be much to smile about. Maybe it’s both. Maybe it’s a use or lose it issue like all the other movements and processes of the body. Let’s imagine all of those are true. Even if they are, they are all also an excuse. But if they are an excuse, they can’t really be true because excuses are self-deceptive clouds of darkness. We allow them. They are like invited shadows that creep in just to keep us from shining, or smiling in this case.
Anyway, my second point is this: Smiling is a reset. It makes everything easier and it makes your world better. It is also a choice. And it must be exercised, or engaged in regularly, to become reflexive. Once it’s a natural reflexive part of you, it fully optimizes your living potential – it simply makes your life better.
You were made to move AND smile. Your movements, how well you move, influences your emotions and your mental state. But your emotions, and your mental state also influence how you move. Smiling, though an expression of emotion, is also a movement of choice. When chosen, smiling amplifies how you move and it boosts your emotions and mental state. It can legitimately take you to a good, better, best kind of life, physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s powerful.
I challenge you to choose to smile. To practice smiling daily, just as you would practice breathing, rolling, or rocking. Smile while you press reset. Learn how it feels differently from when you don’t smile. Smile when you’re alone. See how much brighter your mood and body start to become. Smile when you see your spouse. Notice how they light up and smile back (or think you’re up to something). Need structure? Practice sets and reps of smiling for 30 seconds at a time, 10 times a day.
You need to experiment and experience the potential this has for your life and for the lives of those around you. Don’t just read this. See if what I’m saying is real or not. Make your life better. It’s yours… And, it’s your choice…
Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” Be the medicine the world needs.