A Valentine Gift as Simple as a Smile

Traveling through Asia has been an education. Visiting Shanghai offered perspective. Their buildings are massive in size and there are thousands upon thousands. It makes Los Angeles look like a small town. The old Shanghai streets are fading away bringing the new culture with a positive and passionate generation of young people filled with hopes and dreams. Now they can talk to us openly and we were even invited to a tea class.

Thailand was a different feel altogether. Phuket’s tourism has created enormous positive results for the culture who welcome change and are enjoying the growth of business. Chang Mai was beauty and exquisite natural charm with solid Buddhist traditions uninterrupted by western influence.

While it is difficult to compare apples and oranges landing in Bali brought me to my knees. It was my the third visit in a 33 year span. When I first arrived, emotion welled up and I felt like crying tears of joy. The culture is very special. I met a man named Sentana while walking out of a restaurant and stopped him and asked why he was so happy. I told him that I noticed everyone was smiling wherever we went. He said it was cultural conditioning. We are trained in our early years in school that being open hearted is important and a smile is a way to show our gratitude toward others. He said the rule “treat others as you wish to be treated” is enforced all through their upbringing and is a strong Hindu principle. Another fact he shared was that the whole country of Indonesia shuts down once a year for a day of silence. The hotels are quiet and no activities are encouraged other than meditation, as well as flights are not allowed in or out on that one day. They put spirituality over commercialism and industry.

If the Balinese can make this a priority in greeting others with dignity, we have much to learn from them. It doesn’t mean that there no problems and challenges of loss, financial struggles, insecurities of all kinds but they won’t go away by holding the pain and showing the distress to others. Nor will they go away by smiling and remaining open hearted, but it will make you feel better in the moment and it can make a positive difference in how the day goes.

This Valentine while others are rushing out to support the greeting card industry focus on your smile as a simple way to show your gratitude for others. Whether you are at the check out counter, in the bank, on the street or carpooling kids, or sitting around the table over dinner smile and let yourself know that you are inspired to offer them gratitude even if it never comes back your way.

S sharing
M me
I in
L love to
E everyone

Check out my free meditation link here www.sirahvettese.com or better yet offer my book below in print or kindle as a valentine gift