Monday, January 16, 2006

The practice of smiling

Yesterday, I took Yuki to the beach at Asilomar. It was cold and windy with a few clouds and some sunshine. Yuki got to run with the wind and sniff big piles of tangled seaweed where swarms of fleas hang out. I saw a pelican dive bomb straight down into the water for a fish. A pod of dolphins were out there, too, playing in the waves.
During this colder, grey time of year, thoughts of Tucson sunshine and blue skies creep in. I wonder how anyone can live in places where it is truly dark and dismal for many months on end. Here in Monterey, we'll have several days of rainy weather followed by a spectacularly sunshine-y day. My body likes sunshine.
So, these little nature trips to the beach with Yuki rouse my body with sea energy, a sunshine substitute. There, I watch Yuki running joyfully, I feel the cold snappy wind on my body, I look at waves, and notice sea otters enjoying this ocean world, despite the cold and grey. Seeing the sea otters play always brings a smile to my face.
And smiling, while breathing in and out, gently and naturally, relaxes my entire mind and body. Laughing and smiling--even consciously, as a practice--frees my mind and soothes my body. Simply playing and being aware (breathing in and out, not attaching to my thoughts) allows space for my inherent joy to surface. This inherent joy is my true nature.

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