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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Marcia Epstein writes on Smiles/January 27th 2015 Tiny Resolution

Marcia Epstein/photo by TR
Today’s guest is long-time friend, social worker, radio host, poetry advocate, and mother of two sons, Marcia Epstein.  Marcia, her husband Kyle, and their rescue dog Beau live in an 1880’s Victorian home of many colors in the neighborhood between downtown Lawrence, Kansas and the campus of the University of Kansas.  I met her in the way back when, volunteering for a crisis hotline and domestic shelter where she later served many years as a beloved director, overseeing hassle-free and anonymous 24 hour mental health support.
just do it.

Marcia specializes in suicide prevention and suicide bereavement support.  After decades in the nonprofit sector, she now works for minimal profit in private practice, with several volunteer projects on the side.  She volunteers on the Training Team of the new Trans Lifeline, a national hotline.  She also hosts (for free!) a radio show called “Talk With ME” on www.LawrenceHits.com. Find out more about her work at http://marciaepstein.biz/

Thank you, Marcia, for your words, and your lifetime of love and service.  And these wonderful photos of love in the Kansas streets.  --jls
 “Smile, breathe, and go slowly” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

This one really is a tiny resolution because it’s something you already know how to do.  Just one simple task: share some smiles every day.  You can do it!

good advice
Start your day by smiling at yourself in the mirror.  No judgment.  Just do it. “And if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer,” urges Canadian spoken word poet Shane Koyczan (from To This Day).

When you’re finally out and about, smile at a not-yet friend, someone you see on a sidewalk, in a hallway, in the grocery, on a sidewalk, in an elevator. You won’t know which of those people really needed that caring acknowledgement, but you will be making a big, positive, difference in at least one person’s day.  And that person may “pay it forward.”  Imagine the ripple effect!

As long as you’re out and about looking for people to share a smile with, pay attention to your surroundings and surely you will notice things that bring smiles to your face even if no one is around.

And of course, smile at the people you know!  Because as Maya Angelou said, “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.” 

look at your beautiful self!
I will confess that this smiling thing comes easily to me.  One of the things I’m known for is my laugh, which is big and frequent.  I believe that if we don’t laugh, we will explode.  Which just wouldn’t be pretty.

I also believe in keepin’ it real.  So that also means acknowledging the whole range of emotions that we experience, including the painful ones.  Both 2013 and 2014 included some very traumatic experiences for me, so I’m not always laughing.  But I smile and laugh every day.  And encourage you to as well!  Happiness can only get in when we create an opening.

So… start with a smile!  And then another.  Thanks!      --- :) M.E.

Spoken word poem:
Joe Pound ~ The Art of Kindness

Nat King Cole ~ Smile

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