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Your Best Warpaint is Your Smile.

ram dass

Once upon a time several years ago I was walking down the street in Manhattan. I’d just gotten out of my 8 am class and was feeling pretty blurg, ambling and spacing as usual. Out of nowhere a Tibetan Buddhist monk crossed my path on the sidewalk and flashed me the biggest, most genuine smile. I’d never felt such warmth from a stranger– especially walking the streets of NYC. Automatically I grinned right back at him, reciprocating the love if only for a second due to the transitory nature of the experience.

After this brief encounter I found myself unable to inhibit myself from smiling at everyone for several hours. Kinda creepy, yeah. But also a really fun social experiment. Still buzzing in my mini-state of euphoria, I posted up at a coffee shop and indulged in manic writing mode for a couple of hours; suddenly the whole big city- lonely people paradigm started to make some sense to me:

A city saturated by individualistic drive and ambition, it’s easy to get lost in your own head while walking down the street. I-Me-Mine, I-Me-Mine, I-Me-Mine. We confabulate and thus, precipitate our own suffering all day err day. It sucks, but it’s human nature and the whole point is to figure this out. You are free to choose your experience— adjust your focus and take what you want from a situation whether it’s through the lens of love (or fear).

“…Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,
With that sweet moon
Language
What every other eye in this world
Is dying to
Hear.” – Rumi