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collecting smiles

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Today is World Smile Day! Smiling is infectious, contagious. Do you agree? When we smile at someone, they automatically smile back at us. Well, most people, that is. Smiling definitely feels good; there’s a rush of endorphins-dopamine-serotonin—all of which are responsible for making us feel good. And of course, the more often you smile, the better, eh? While helping us connect with others, smiling also has health benefits. Your heart stays healthier, and you feel less stressed. We know that a number of health issues stem from stress. Smiling strengthens the immune system and boosts overall health. It seems those who smile a lot live longer. It goes without saying that someone who’s smiling appears more approachable. Smiling also reduces negativity, which leads to better motivation to do the things we need to do and be more productive. Have you noticed how people who smile seem youthful? So smile as…

The Chinese have a phrase:  Xìng fú which means stable and lasting happiness—happiness that is not dependent upon conditions. 幸福 In today’s world, happiness relies on a number of conditions. Topping the list are: the state of our finances and our connectedness to technology. Hectic lifestyles dictate that we’re always connected, always on the go, and always wish we could, should, or would.  And don’t tell me money cannot buy happiness. It can. And even if it cannot, it helps one enjoy misery in comfort. Okay, so are there ways to actually find happiness? Dumb question! Of course there are. I recall how, when my son got his first email address at the age of seven, he’d sign off saying, “self-help is the best help”. And I used to think, what does he know about self-help? I asked him, and he answered, “Grandma said it is easy to be happy.…

The A to Z Challenge is just around the corner I’d so love to do it I swear upon my honor This is my fifth year Laughing from A to Z How could I not be here And set my words free? I have no computer Nor is my internet stable My work is all but gone Morose, I sit at the table I couldn’t access my blog I sought my friend’s help To keep up with my editorial log Or else I’d only yelp I felt so listless I thought, is this the end I cried, I agonized Almost went around the bend Then came a ray of hope In the form of my son Mom, don’t you mope He said, you’re the original cool ‘un I’d love to believe him And his words that heal But no matter how hard I try I can’t help how I feel…

Nothing speaks of happiness and compassion better than doing things for others. In fact, I’d be surprised to find a better way of collecting smiles. Of course you know that World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of October every year, thanks to the creator of the smiley, Harvey Ball. What a lovely symbol of kindness and affection, eh! As we celebrate the ten-day Dussera festival, also known as Navratri, the city is full of joyous events marked by cultural programs, delicious food, new clothes and loads of shopping. And during this festival, we are also celebrating Daan Utsav, or the Joy of Giving Week from October 2-8. I did not write this post in time for World Smile Day, as I was outside, busy collecting smiles. There used to be a time when our family planned weeks ahead, made budgets for the shopping and outings to enjoy during the 10-day festival.…

I turned a full deck of cards today, except the entire pack is hearts. Yes. I must confess that I believe that age is only a number and I love my life the way it is. I believe I don’t grow old…I just grow. So last week I was contemplating on how to make this birthday memorable and I had an idea. I thought, why not celebrate by creating an ebook with posts from my blogger friends? I decided on the theme, predictably, “Collecting Smiles.” And so, I announced it, inviting those interested to send me their favorite post from their blog in line with the theme. I wanted something that would make the reader smile, inspire a smile and generally feel good. The response was overwhelming, far exceeding my expectations. I reveled in the love that poured in. My goal was to have the book ready today, in time…

Dealing with life’s learning curve, I simply haven’t had the time to actually write a post, although there’s a lot going on in my life and … head. I haven’t been online as much as I’d like. The last month brought a completely unexpected and new situation that involved a lot of re-organizing, learning and adjusting. I am so grateful I was able to ride that learning curve comfortably. And yes. Everyone smiled. Cruising Along the Learning Curve I became caregiver to my 80-year old father in law who was brought home directly to Bangalore from Chennai, following an emergency hospitalization. He collapsed after dental surgery removing all his teeth and that upset his system. Without going into the details, here’s what was involved: He is diabetic, so two blood tests a day An insulin shot once a day Mashed food every couple of hours to maintain the sugar levels…

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