Introduction

BIG SMILES

BIG SMILES

This might not be my most flattering shot but isn't that just the biggest smile you've ever seen?!
This might not be my most flattering shot but isn't that just the biggest smile you've ever seen?!

Guess what Upbeaters? I’m totally high…on life right now! I just had a birthday and thanks to Facebook and hand held cellular devices (and email and phone calls and snail mails)…my incredible community of friends and family made me feel on top of the world! The birthday lovin’ gun hit me and I think it penetrated my core cause I’ve been radiating ever since! What happens when you radiate? Well for me, I smile a heck of a lot more…at squirrels, at trees, even at the CN Tower!

Okay, I know my standard posts revolve around some sort of exercise, but this one will too! Like what if we all exercised our right to be kind to each other?! Or exercised our face muscles until they were totally jacked? (Less attractive or more attractive? You decide.) A smile might use fewer muscles than a frown, but this sort of exercise could just improve your cardio recovery when you’re feeling down and can make you feel better!

The best advice I ever received was in the 9th grade, from my older bro. I was struggling with the whole new school/new friends/few friends conflict that many of you can relate to. I was pretty upset. Fine, I was really upset, in tears as a matter of fact. My clever bro somehow knew to tell me to smile and then tricked me into laughing. I suppose it brought on an onslaught of fresh tears (unintentionally) but it also provided some comic relief. Try it! Next time you watch “The Notebook” or listen to Adele’s “Someone Like You” (SNL skit) and get all choked-up, turn that sob into a smile – you may cry harder at first, but don’t let up, it will surely subside!

Maybe you need to actually get out there and have some fun to break a smile. Tonight, head out for Skate Date, though no date is required, you’re most welcome to bring some loved ones! There will be tunes, free skate rentals, free hot chocolate and if you really want to make a night of it, come in time to catch the Blues men’s hockey game right before (7pm). Al the cheering will be sure to boost your mood and create a few smiles with each goal!

Think about how easy this exercise is to do. I know you probably haven’t been reaching Canada’s recommended exercise guidelines, but smiling at people? It’s so easy! I don’t care how old you are, where you are or what you’re doing. I am going to smile at you. You might actually get so stunned because you’ve been walking around the “cold streets” of Toronto  (and let’s face it – we’re not known as a “hug and love” kind of street crowd) – but… if you’ll humour me and try to return the smile before I stroll past, we might change that.

Perhaps this will be hard for you, perhaps it won’t. If you offer up a smile to a stranger though you could really change a day. I don’t play dominoes but I trust that something as simple as a smile can put positivity in motion.

So I challenge you, to give a smile (or a nod) to the next 5 strangers you see. I say strangers because I expect you to smile at your friends and family every time you see them! See if you feel better, see if they smile back, let me know if you think frowning would be a better use of your face.

Happy days are coming, so get giddy!

p.s. keep your eyes peeled for the Joy at U of T campaign! Write me back and tell me what makes it easier for you to smile!

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