Smile often and dream big

Not long ago, I sent a postcard to a friend for her 40th birthday. It said ‘a good life is when you smile often and dream BIG.’ It made me wonder about my own life. I can smile, but I do not know how to dream big.

I sometimes dream about a trip to Amsterdam by train. In this fantasy I cannot walk to the train station (about twenty minutes), nor can I get there by bike (less than ten minutes in real life). But I can make it on my imaginary scooter, and then I see myself waiting for the train and arriving at the capital. A tram takes me to a museum or art gallery and I picture myself sitting on a bench, immersed by a piece of art in front of me. On my way back, I might have a nice chat with a stranger on the train.
This is the best I can do, and the weird thing is that in this fantasy I cannot unthink my compression stockings. They might be grey or black, so not obviously recognizable as compression stockings. Apart from that, I cannot picture myself in another situation. For instance, taking the train to the airport and board a plane together with my partner to have a vacation on a sunny location. I just can’t.
But smiling is far easier. Did you know that it is scientifically proven that when you fake your smile, you still release some happy hormones in your head? Just as you would when you were smiling for real. I cannot recall the source of this information, so if you want to know the details, try finding it online (and let us know below!). Apparently, all you have to do is move the corners of your mouth and there your go. It is supposed to even help you concentrate.
I can do that. I can smile. I can smile when my partner gives me a kiss before leaving for work, when I get the chance to sunbathe if only for a quarter of an hour – feeling the sun shining on my face, or when a bird sings a song from a tree in our garden. Ha, I am right now smiling while writing this article. So perhaps I cannot dream big, I can smile. I can even smile BIG.

May is the Month of Meditation. I would love to read your response regarding meditation, smiling or dreaming!

Recently, a new and private community started on Google+: Being matters.
A mindfulness group for the chronically ill. Forget symptoms, instead embrace your soul and inner calm. Just breathe and be… You are not alone.
Life can be hard or may look turned upside down when being ill for years. Let us help each other out by sharing thoughts and trying to find peace. We are not human doings, we are human beings.
>> Please, feel free to join or share <<

This post is also available in: Dutch

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