Teaching Smiling

Reading Being Peace has been a real help to me, in my personal life, with my family, and at work. I now practice deep breathing and smiling instead of talking when I am upset or angry about delays, or arguments between the children or with my husband, and I can see that I become more empathetic during that time. When my children and I are acting tense, upset, or frustrated, I start breathing and smiling and say, "Let's all do some deep breathing and smiling." The children start laughing, and we all feel better. When one of the children is acting disrespectful towards others or property, I used to tell them to take a "time-out," which meant to go to their room. Now I say, "I want you to go to the breathing room and do some breathing and have some calming time." I recently heard Jacob, who is 5-1/2 years old, tell two of his friends, "Will you act calmer please?"

I teach childbirth classes at a local hospital. During our breathing practice sessions for labor preparation, I offer the verse, "Calming, Smiling, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment," to demonstrate conscious release of tension. The participants have responded very positively, with great feelings of relaxation and peacefulness about their childbirth. I also teach Nursing, and I use the same methods, especially smiling and calming, when I talk about effective, therapeutic communication with patients, especially during stressful procedures such as first-time injections. I encourage the students to teach their patients smiling and breathing to cope with stress, and I encourage them to do the same when interacting with other health professionals.

Cathy Irwin Fayetteville, Arkansas

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