The Happy Wrinkle Project
The Vintage Mirror
You know that Buddy quote from the movie Elf where he yells "I love smiling, smiling is my favorite!" Yeah that tends to be me. I love smiling. When I was young, I used to go into my grandma Nanny's, room while she was putting on her makeup. She had this vintage plastic light-up mirror which made everything look a little too magnified. It had green and pink lights that framed the sides to make it feel very 'Hollywood Glam.' Only a few lights worked ( and she still uses that mirror to this day!) When I saw her putting on her makeup in this mirror she would say, "Just putting on my clown-face to cover my happy wrinkles." I asked her, "What are happy wrinkles?" She would reply, "They are from smiling too much as I get older." I liked this idea (although I didn't understand why she needed the clown-face to cover it up.)
I vividly remember staring out the backseat car window and smiling at absolutely nothing watching the trees go by for long stretches of time. Even at a young age, I craved to have the happy wrinkles that lived on my Grandma's face. It wasn't because I wanted to get older, or to make my wrinkles look better so that I was attractive, but because the smile that was on my grandma's face was almost permanent. Even in her saddest moments, her happy wrinkles displayed the stories of joy in her life. They weren't forced, but they were sculptured into her face from experience and hard work. It was a constant reminder to choose a smile and make it beautiful.
There is that saying that the eyes are the window to the soul. You can tell a lot about a person by their eyes. They see the world, take in the world, make connections, and translate the environment around us. They hold on to our stories. I believe that we have an opportunity to create happy or sad wrinkles in our life. I personally can feel in moments of doubt, stress, and conflict, the wrinkles in my forehead tensing up and creating stories that do not serve me. The good news about stories, is that most of the time they are just that. Stories. We have a chance in moments of chaos to rewrite the chapters and sentences that are deposited in our mind-field.
Where can you declare a Happy Wrinkle Project in your life? Can you begin to pinpoint what or who does not bring you joy?Where can you find an opportunity to live your values and truths more abundantly in order to create the happy wrinkles that you envision in 10-80 years?
Example: You know the stories-the "I am too tired." "I am not good enough." Instead, try an exercise in rephrasing. Like a new pair of pants, you may need to try on different sizes and colors until the right one fits. How about-- "I am abundant in my time." "I practice self-care." "I honor my energy level today." "I work toward my goals at the pace that suits me." "I am worthy." "I am experienced and alive."
How do those feel? Maybe the upturned corners of your lips turns that frown upside down. Now, I'm not saying that I'm trying to turn the world into a bunch of Buddy the Elves with constant smiles that may appear phony on faces. This work is hard, but worth it. There is an energetic lightness to a person when there is an element of a smile. It is contagious and effective toward your personal and professional goals. These happy wrinkles do not have to only come from puppies and rainbows and amazing experiences. I can tell you that not everything in my life has been a scene from Pleasantville or Elf. Honor your sad days. They have the ability to show you a balanced scale in your life and lead to even more definitive happy wrinkles. I only ask that you do the work. Where can you show up for you today? Smile on and rock out those wrinkles ;)