I keep pigs and currently we have 11 piglets and they are a great source of enjoyment and inevitably a reason for me to smile. But what else in life is a source of happiness? The kind of inner happiness that puts a smile on the lips, in the eyes and the heart?
It is said that there are over three hundred muscles in your face and when we are cross or stressed we tense them up creating furrows across our brow or lines around our mouths. But Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh suggests we practice mouth yoga! Just breath in and out and smile… exercise those smiling muscles and soon we feel completely different.
As simple as it sounds it works.
We often make our lives difficult or complicated not believing that simple answers to questions or the simple practice of just smiling can really make a difference, but it does!
Often in the morning as I finish scrubbing out the pig food buckets and preparing their feed for the day I stop and watch them and… smile. And then I just stand a talk to them and they stand and look at me and we are not saying anything sensible but we are communicating. I’m sure they are telling me they want another bucket of food or at least a handful of apples but whatever it is, it makes me smile.