Today the sun is shining and I can't help but feel glad, even though I know that my thoughts are the things which determine my happiness, it seems undeniable to me that sunshine makes the world look more beautiful.
My challenge therefore is to recognise the beauty of the world when the sun is not shining. I often wonder how that works, the sun adds a dimension to the appearance of the fields, the flowers, the sky, which is so magnificent and magical to me that when it is missing I have to work harder to think happy thoughts, the sun shining feels as though the whole world is smiling.
It seems to me that the only thing I can do is to be the whole world smiling, what do I mean? I mean that when I'm smiling the whole world does smile with me! I remember years ago my dad telling me one day when I was feeling sad that I should smile, and I said why and he said simply because it feels better than not smiling! So I smiled, and now I know that when the sun is not shining I have to make the effort to rearrange my facial muscles and smile!
Smiling has the amazing quality that it does not have to be a response to life, it can be an act all in itself which brings about good feelings. So when the sun is not shining making the whole world smile, then I can smile and be the light in the fields.
This poem is often in my mind, although up until now not in connection with smiling!
The Shine in the Fields by Jalal ad Din Rumi (13th century Persian Sufi Mystic)
The shine in the fields and in the orchard
has become the light of your face. No
home now, no loved occupation, no belongings,
no figuring profits and loss. When this
love comes, it's impossible to worry about
honor or reputation, what the community
gives, the more and the less. There's no
longer any demarcation line between "the
worlds." Hats fly off. A pack of dogs snarl
and bite each other around a carcass. We're
not those dogs. Only God knows our secrets,
and that's enough. We have no more discussions
about God or arguments over doctrine. What is
planted in each person's soul will sprout.
We surrender to however that happens.
Companions used to be magnets that drew us
together to talk. No more. No more even
the sun! It has turned itself into the face
of Shams-i Tabriz, the sanctity and praise.
To me this poem says that when I am filled with love and smiles then God, Spirit, Source or whatever I wish to call the Divine is with me, and that is all I need.
So today I feel simple and sweet, I have the power to smile whenever I want or need to! So I am going to do my best to smile....
Today I am Thankful for the sunshine
I am Thankful for my smile
I am Thankful for my face muscles
I am Thankful for thankfulness
I am Thankful for moving forwards
I am Thankful for simplicity
I am Thankful for the gifts of the Divine
I am Thankful for the coming of summer and the radiant light
I am Thankful for magical feelings
I am Thankful for straws!