Hey fellow passengers, “Frown and you frown alone,” , “but smile and the whole world seems to smile with you.” Well, almost.Â Anyway, the whole world? Well, let’s think about this.Â Not just any smile will do. Here’s my thoughts on how to develop a genuine, infectious smile that can make a bad date turn good, seal a business deal, and help you make friends wherever you go.
When we think of smiling, we think of the mouth, but the eyes may actually be more essential to a warm, genuine smile. Smiling with your eyes is difficult to describe–in general your checkbonesÂ lift slightly and yourÂ eyebrws dip a little–but when you see it, you know it: it’s that look of your eyes “lighting up” or “twinkling.” To get a feel for how to make your eyes smile, get in front of a mirrior and practice smiling, but concentrate only on your eyes. You may find it helpful to cover the lower part of your face with a piece of paper. Play around with it a bit, and you’ll find that you can make your mouth smile when your eyes aren’t smiling, and you can also smile only with your eyes. When your eyes do smile, remember how it feels, which muscles are working and how. With practice, you’ll be able to smile with your eyes at will.
Top of the morning to you fellow passengers.Â Glad you hopped the train today, really I am.Â I’d hate to think I am all alone in a world so cold.
I want to share something with you.Â I have a friend who says, “Situations aren’t difficult, people are difficult”.Â I think that is true on one level.Â Sometimes, it seems like it would be a whole lot easier if we didn’t have to deal with anyone but ourselves.Â I sometimes think I understand Howard Hughes.Â Figure that one out.
Think about the number of relationships in our lives. Not just the romantic definition of relationship, but any relationship between ourselves and another person at home, work or school. The sheer number of relationships is amazing, isn’t it?Â And with this number of relationships, there are bound to be problems. Difficult neighbors, failed romances and jealous co-workers.
Anyway, I think that it’s our relationships with others that brings us the most amazing experiences.Â Whether they’re positive or negative, they manage to teach us not only about the world around us but we discover who we truly are through our dealings with others.Â No matter what the relationship and no matter what the problem, a little self-confidence helps it all come together nicely.
So, my fellow passengers I guess the only way to truly know if we have developed self confidence is to interact with others.
Hey passengers, one of the things I did this past weekend was check out the “The Secret Life of Bees”.Â In this movie I found pain, humor, tragedy, and celebration weaved into this remarkable story. The casting director deserves a great deal of credit in assembling an incredible cast.Â Dakota Fanning, simply put, a phenom! Bees gives a glimpse of what she’s capable. Likewise,Â Alicia Keys did a great job.Â I never should have broken up with her. Queen Latifah was good at blending sensitive warmth and charm into her role. To me it seemed like it was written with her in mind.Â Jennifer Hudson up to the task in this role.Â My deepest condolences to her concerning her recent tragedy.
The Secret Life of Bees stands out as a wonderful little film with incredibly strong roles for performances by the mostly female cast.Â One thing I felt was a tad bit weak in this film was a certain predictability that emerged due to fairly intense foreshadowing. On the whole, however, great film…for a date.Â This is definitely not a film I would call my boyz up and say let’s go see the bees dudes!
Final word:Â There was one moment where my allergies almost started acting up, but I remained the LION that I am…The cinematography was awesome!Â Perfect for date night…with your gurl!Â Out of five stars 3.5.
I have never been contained except that I made the prison. â€”Mari Evans
When I first started blogging I had some doubts. Doubts if I wanted to share myself in such a public forum, doubts if I could make a difference by doing this, and doubts if I even had the talent or skills to write in a manner that would be in any small way coherent. My conclusion and ultimate decision to step out is based on the following:
When we concern ourselves with doing only what others â€œthinkâ€ we can do, we lay the floor of our prisons. When we conform our activities based on what others might say, we put the bars around our own personal prison. When we allow what others have done or are doing to determine what we can do, we build the roof of our own prisons. When we allow fear, competition or greed to guide our actions we lock ourselves up and throw away the key. It is our concern over what others say, do and think about us that imprisons our mind, body and spirit.
I’ve concluded that What other people think about me is not my concern…
In case you haven’t noticed fellow passengers, we are surrounded by graceful surrender.Â The geese surrender to the first autumn chills, and think of flying south. The flower surrenders to the night and shuts up shop as the setting sun surrenders to the horizon of another day.Â A mother surrenders to the needs of her baby, and the child surrenders to the wisdom of the father.Â
These kinds of surrender are natural.Â They are graceful movements in a dance to the subtle symphony of life here on the LiFeTrain.Â While we may find moments to surrender to such grace and beauty, I’ ve foundÂ that ifÂ we areÂ not careful,Â we mightÂ tend to allowÂ ourselves to surrender toÂ appetites like,Â envy,Â greed and then to a self centred lifestyle in whichÂ we might tendÂ serve only ourselves.Â No grace there – only the disgrace of self-inflicted slavery.Â Â
WhateverÂ we surrender our minds to, will eventually shape our character and define the quality of our life.Â Let’s strive to be careful what ywe surrender our minds to, even if it’s only for a day, or an hour.
Just a mirror moment for me…what about chew, I mean you?
This is something that I am having to learn as I try to relax more in my personal life; my quest to be at peace with myself.Â Outside of Godâ€¦who should really care but me/youâ€¦about you?
I pulled the emergency brake on the Train today to sayâ€¦â€œStop caring about how people perceive you!â€. The fact is, it really doesnâ€™t matter.Â Itâ€™s impossible to be yourself when youâ€™re caught up in wondering â€œDo they think Iâ€™m funny? Does she think Iâ€™m fat?Â Does she think Iâ€™m stupid?â€Â To be yourself, youâ€™ve got to let go of these concerns and just let your behavior flow, with only your consideration of others as a filterâ€”not their consideration of you.
Iâ€™m finding such freedom in realizing that I am a quirky kinda cat; and learning to accept that like everyone elseâ€¦I am differentâ€¦God made me that way. Let me explainâ€¦I write this stuff and think dangâ€¦I wish I hadnâ€™t written thatâ€¦my Kimono was wide open on that. Folks need to think I am Freakin PERFECT! Iâ€™m the conductor of this here trainâ€¦I gotta always be on my â€œAâ€ game! But thenâ€¦I realizeâ€¦What have I got to hide? Iâ€™m an imperfect, growing, learning human being. â€¦And fellow passengersâ€¦like it or notâ€¦so are you. If you feel ashamed or insecure about any aspect of yourselfâ€”and you feel you have to hide those parts of you, whether physically or emotionallyâ€”then you have to come to terms with that and learn to convert your so-called flaws into individualistic quirks.
Nowâ€¦I know thereâ€™s a difference between being myself and being inappropriately unrestrained. I have my opinions, dreams, and preferences, but that doesnâ€™t mean I knowingly have to disrespect others by forcing them to acknowledge my views.Â Thatâ€™s why I love the comments left on the Trainâ€¦we are all different and can agree to disagreeâ€¦and still have a group hugâ€¦Right Miss Geriâ€¦you scoundrel!
So the next time I am on the dance floorâ€¦Iâ€™ma (new wordâ€¦Iâ€™ma) do the Chuckie with the coolest of attitude cause Iâ€™m a straight up, all man, quirky, imperfect kinda (Who just happens to love Jesus and cares not who knows) cool type guy like thatâ€¦And so are you!
Hey passengers, have you ever asked yourself…Who am I? When I received a severance notice a few years back I had the weirdest revelation. I did not know who I was. I believed what the bible says, and the two shall become one; so I immersed myself in that effort thinking that nothing would bring asunder…
After the typical pity party, I decided to set a course to find out who I really am. The man I was had been lost for years trying to make something work that just was not meant to be I guess. Anyway, I found out a few things in my quest to find Little Chuckie again…First, it’s not easy to be yourself. Suddenly thrust into a world all alone I thought, how could I be myself if I didn’t even know myself? Can anyone relate? I suddenly realized that I was not truly connected to who I was. Well, if this has struck a nerve with you as well, read on as I hope I came into some knowledge that may help you or at least spark a few comments on the Train today.
First, I had to forget about what everyone else thought I should do with my new found freedom. I found that the biggest obstacle to finding myself was feeling like I had to mold myself to other people’s expectations. I knew that I didn’t want to further disappoint the people closest to me having failed at one of life’s most trying thing, I remembered that if they really cared about me, they’d want me to be happy–and who finds happiness as a puppet? I knew that as long as I continued to exist to fulfill other people’s ideas of who I should be, I’d never know who I wanted to be. I think Raymond Hull put it very well “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”
I found “Solitude!”. I realized that loneliness and solitude are two unrelated things. As I came into the awareness of myself again, I found that I was/am totally cool with me, being me, and understanding that the two aforementioned things are in-fact different. The more I understood solitude, in-part by an AWESOME sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley on solitude, I started to get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. I learned to take some time each day to go for a long walk and think….and LOL lose weight, now how cool is THAT!…a double positive! As corney as this may sound I learned to plant myself on a park bench and look. Dang, am I getting old? Am I now one of those old guys with the newspaper, an old sweater and hat, a tuna fish sammich, smelling like Ben Gay sitting in the park? Well, anyway as I said earlier in the week, “WHO CARES!”. Most importantly, I learned that it is NOT un-manly to put my thoughts on paper..I mean screen…and share “Lil Chuckie” with the world! Boy, am I glad I did, what a wonderful group of friends have resulted from this effort; You, my fellow passengers here on the LiFeTrain!
I realized that whatever I was going to do, I needed to move away from anything that distracted me from contemplating my life and where it was now required to go, all alone in a world so cold… Thank God for Jesus and comforter…The Holy Spirit…I now know that even though it was hard…I was never, nor am I ever….alone. I now have to laugh, Because reflecting back…I had to buy some sun glasses and lie about allergies and red eyes for awhile.
Afterwards, I had to act upon my new-found self-knowledge. I picked up those watercolors. Wrote some short stories (as heard and seen on this blog). And…I FOUND MY SMILE AGAIN! I even started cracking jokes again. I learned to open up. I started to tell the truth. “Dear world” I am NOT perfect”. Simply put, I decided what I wanted to be, a writer…And I started doing it! I am so excited because my book project (“The Profile”) is coming together with the help of my manager, Ms. Michelle, an angel on earth and the proud owner of Life Radio Network (CLICK), we are doing the dang thang!
Oh… and why find Little Chuckie. Well this cat had a good and soft heart. He was fun loving, innocent, a bit of a jokester. This dude had no shame; no problems running down the street with a towel tied around his neck, “S” on his chest and saving damsels in distress. Suddenly though, he looked up, he was old, fat, broke and all alone. Suddenly he had a hard heart; and worst of all…lost his smile.
Finally, I have concluded that I had to be ready for dead ends. Finding Little Chuckie is now my journey, not my destination. A lot has been, and will be trial and error. That’s the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, I’ve learned that you WILL hit a bump in the road, and sometimes fall flat on your face. The key for me (hopefully us) is to be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over. It’s not easy–it never has been for anybody – but I’m learning to see that as a chance to prove how much I want to find myself, I’ll find fulfillment and security in my pursuit.
I hope you understood all this and will join me in finding the little you that “is” you…