Appreciation and a True Smile Back

Have you noticed how many parents instruct their children to smile back or say ‘hello’ when you first meet them?

In my part-time work at a supermarket checkout many families come through every day and I enjoy looking into the eyes of the babies and children because I find that in the way they look at me they are truly seeing me and feeling who I am, exploring who or what is there to be felt. So I look at them and sometimes I can feel that we are truly connected in that moment and nothing more needs to be said or done.

But the parents, wanting their child to ‘be polite’, often instruct the child to smile back or say hello: it feels like they are being asked to perform on behalf of their parents.

In reflecting on my own childhood, and that perhaps I was brought up in the same way, I wondered if I sometimes smile to be polite too?

I know that in my work it is expected of me to smile and be nice, and I can switch that on really easily, but it feels so much lovelier when the smile is a genuine one from deep inside, one that arises because I am enjoying the experience of truly meeting another person – be they adult or child – and my inner playfulness simply and naturally bubbles up, and I naturally smile back in response.

I feel a true smile like this also comes from appreciation. For example, I was recently in a conversation with two beautiful ladies who were expressing their appreciation of me and as I felt what they were saying, my whole body responded with a delicious warm feeling and I began to smile because it felt great. As they watched me, I noticed that they were smiling back in response and our smiles simply grew and grew with the gorgeous feeling of harmony that was developing between the three of us – they appreciated me and I appreciated them in that moment.

And that is what I am learning – to appreciate – both with others and myself.

I was on a course run by Universal Medicine recently where we did a practical exercise on listening to others with appreciation: it showed me how much I listen with judgment, and that judgment of another is impossible if we listen with appreciation… and when we express that appreciation, the true smile cannot help but be there too.

I have found that truly connecting with and deeply appreciating another human being is a heart-warming experience.

Inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

By Carmel Reid

793 thoughts on “Appreciation and a True Smile Back

  1. I will have to try the exercise of listening with appreciation. I am so interested to see what I find. We don’t know if we are judgemental till we choose to shine a spotlight on our own behaviour.

  2. I agree Carmel truly appreciating each other is a heart warming experience and when we are able to open up and connect deeply with each other and feel the equality within us both we cannot but truly smile from our heart with the joy of connecting in this way with each another.

  3. ‘Listening with appreciation’…..as I read you blog Carmel, I could feel how much I also listen in judgement, not from the appreciation first. I just had such an aha moment and that others would feel that is how I listen. I will be looking at how I listen going forward and more importantly, listening with appreciation first.

  4. Recently, I have been in judgement of another and was not listening with appreciation. But the reflection was in how much I still judge myself ( an ingrained pattern of mine). Time to let that old habit go…..

  5. Thank you Carmel for spelling this out so clearly as often I get caught in going into judgement or reaction to others and to hold them in appreciation feels like a simple and great way to undo this pattern. I guess when we appreciate someone we are connecting with their essence and their qualities and seeing that first before anything else including any behaviours or traits that we may find disturbing.

  6. .”And that is what I am learning – to appreciate – both with others and myself.” Gorgeous Carmel. We are so quick to judge and condemn. Appreciation serves everyone and then those who receive it go on to appreciate others……

  7. Recently I was writing an email on what I felt might be a difficult subject and I had no idea how the recipient was going to respond. I went through all sorts of drafts, it took hours, and the one I truly clocked was the one in which I was trying to be ‘nice’. It was long and complicated and didn’t feel great. It’s funny how we feel the need to apologise, justify, and weasel our way out of problems we’ve created… all so that other people will ‘like’ us. In the end I made it polite and short, just saying what I needed to say with no fluff – and had a beautiful response back. We can waste a lot of time being ‘nice’ and it is not necessary.

  8. Doing what we are told instead of doing what we feel, is a sure way of learning to disconnect from our innate ability to read, feel and respond to energy i.e our clairsentience.

  9. When we listen with absolute presence, we are given everything that needs to be said in that moment without a moments thought.

  10. I also know the smile we can put on to get us somewhere. To do nice to people because we know they are useful in our plan. We can be very manipulative with our smile. The best smile I know is the one which is making the belly move or shake. That we laugh from the inside out. That smile from within.

  11. This is beautiful Carmel: “I have found that truly connecting with and deeply appreciating another human being is a heart-warming experience”.
    By this one sentence, and the addition of this one life – it is known that through loving appreciation of oneself, appreciating another is just simply a heart-warming growth, just like loving yourself!

  12. There is no need to be ‘nice’ because that has a horrid, sticky energy, that can feel draining. It’s far better to simply be open to feeling what is needed in each moment and express from there, with no imposition.

  13. Truly listening and observing others is an art that we appear to have lost in the hustle and bustle of modern day life. But it is an art we definitely all need to all resurrect to revitalise our quality of relationships we have with each other.

  14. From the other side of the counter as a customer I also find connecting to people, who appreciate a smile and being connected to, in a way so that they can be open and natural in their conversations. This brings a joy and smile to faces on every occasion.

  15. Carmel the insidious nature of being polite is something that you’ve clearly exposed deeply harms our children, in many ways it is abusive to ask someone to smile or say hello when they don’t truly feel to do so. Asking someone to do this because we are wanting to be polite further compounds the issue, the problem and the child soon learns that what they feel is less important than playing the game.

  16. What a sweet blog Carmel. You remind me how so often I make conversation not because there is something to say, but to relieve a tension. That tension seems to come simply from what I feel. Sometimes I sense that if I just cleared this conversational junk out of the way, I would not be able to stop myself from feeling the love and care that is there and the connection that is possible with everyone around. Rather than choosing to fill in life with obstacles and verbal walls, today I am inspired to experience and feel and appreciate.Thank you.

    1. This is a great comment, Joseph, to talk in order to relieve tension, yes, I think I do that too – the silence feels awkward because in the silence we are feeling and the talking stops us from feeling, as you say, the love and connection that is naturally there. Perhaps the tension is us not living and expressing the love that we naturally are.

  17. I love the concept of connecting deeply to another and listening with appreciation rather than any form of judgment… this is something the world is truly lacking and as such is suffering from.

  18. When parents carry a picture of how they and their children have to be in the world, we have to play certain games to fit in and be accepted, to appear good and nice. Living according to pictures keeps the world in a comfort zone, where truth is being hidden and reflections for evolution are not lived.

  19. Reading this blog Carmel has allowed me to appreciate the little moments I have at work with the many customers who come my way. I have one little baby girl who comes in with her mum quite often and we always have a deep look into each others eyes. Her mum always wonders why she does this and I simply tell her she is admiring the beauty she knows she is. We always have a laugh and a chat and it feels so lovely to note that we don’t have to hold this for just children but we can have these moments of connection with everyone. A very cool way to spend a day at work.

  20. I was just walking into my house when I felt it was time to slow down and be present with myself and my movements and how much I appreciate being with others and the smile that connection brings.

  21. Your words today leave me reflecting Carmel, how much of our lives are tainted by reciprocation. If we see someone offer something we offer it back. We listen to tales of woe and say ‘oh yes that happened to me too’. Like a multiple choice quiz we know exactly the answer that should be supplied, in each situation and happily fill in the blanks. But is it true, is this how we really feel? Is this what we actually had to say? For when a connection is there, there’s no need for this game of energetic ping pong at all.

    1. ‘…this game of energetic ping pong’ what a great expression! Yes we do follow up stories with more stories or swap experiences, this is so true! It’s like sharing a brotherhood but in a false way.

  22. The quality that is felt, of a smile that is naturally shared as the result of a loving and honouring connection with another, is a deep confirmation of the oneness that we are from, appreciated and known as such in the moment. With this quality of smile there is a divine richness that is shared, in our being together in Soulfulness.

  23. From very young, I have had this belief that I looked angry/miserable/serious without a smile and that was repelling people away, and there have been some periods when I was very conscious to smile to show that I am not angry/miserable/serious. But the truth is I WAS angry/miserable/serious and I don’t think putting on a smile changed anything.

    1. Well said, Fumiyo, the rest of our body language will tell the truth and our put on smile will only generate a feeling of mistrust. That’s why we may feel that certain sales people are untrustworthy because their smile is laced with a need to close the sale.

  24. I love observing children they are some of our greatest teachers. I know if I have any expectation from them in either returning a smile or saying something they just look at me slightly bemused and walk away. Children can feel if there is anything other than truth being presented to them.

  25. Reading this I felt like smiling, and it is true what you have written Carmel, when we genuinely smile it comes with a different quality than smiling because we have to, and is infectious.

  26. Your words remind me Carmel of looking at a stunning sunset and how there’s a warm feeling inside that just rises up. It is like you can’t help but feel connected to nature and wonder and so it’s almost impossible not to smile, even if it is just on the inside. This morning I went walking in a market and practiced feeling the connection that was there between me and everyone else. The more I did this, the more I found people just started to open up and be with me. From here the smiles we shared felt amazing, confirming, instead of looking for, the beauty we are.

  27. Reading through some of the comments above reminds me how we often adapt our behaviour to give off a certain image, to please others, or to keep the peace, but that is not a true representation of who we are. When we let ourselves be fully seen, warts and all, and we are open to truly seeing and feeling others, there is a whole different level of communication that feels amazing.

  28. I so loved that blog Carmel, it’s so simple. When we appreciate another nothing but love flows through our body. Appreciation being the key to living the love we are.

  29. In the appreciation of oneself there is a confirmation or a reminder if you like of all that we are, so when we appreciate others we are also confirming them which they can feel and their sweet smile shines through.

  30. “Listening to others with appreciation.” These words really stood out for me Carmel and with it the realisation that the more we build a consistency in listening to ourselves with understanding, care and true appreciation the more we naturally appreciate everyone equally in the same way.

  31. Agree Carmel, sometimes we smile just because but I have also found that a smile can actually confirm the joy that I hold within me but are not always accepted and being let out so the smile can also be at least for me a rewiring of the picture I hold myself restricted by.

  32. Appreciation can not be played down for how powerful it truly is. Learning to appreciate myself has had a huge impact on all my relationships as I am develop more love and acceptance of myself this has naturally extended to everyone I now connect with.

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