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Photo Challenge: SMILE – YOU Matter!

04/04/2018
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“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.” Anthony J. D’Angelo

Photo Challenge: SMILE - YOU Matter!

Photo Challenge: SMILE – YOU Matter!


Logic – 1-800-273-8255 (LIVE From The 60th GRAMMYs ®) ft. Alessia Cara, Khalid

Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things. Kenneth Branagh
Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life. Yoko Ono
Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts. Paramahansa Yogananda

SMILE … a loaded word and a powerful act. I was sifting through some old files yesterday and came across a set of photos I took a while back. Looking at them brought back a flood of memories of a time when what was behind the smile was not quite what one would expect. The photos represented an important chapter in my journey through life, and I am grateful I took the leap to jump in feet first. At the time, my marriage had ended, another important relationship had gone south, and I was at my wits end. Truthfully, I was suicidal and had considered a number of ways to put an end to the unbearable emotional pain I was carrying. On a visit to my doctor for a routine check up, I blurted out how down I felt and how I wanted to end it all. He could hear the desperation in my voice, and immediately stopped everything and counseled me to reconsider. At different points in our lives, we might walk through the valley of the shadow of death and it takes the presence of God’s grace and angels in human form to rein us back in… I was fortunate.

I knew I needed help and it showed up. With the encouragement of my doctor, family and friends, I checked myself into a hospital and was under a suicide watch for 10 days. I was in great pain and needed a place to regroup and recover… my cry for help brought a lot of grace and revelations into a very dark period of my life and I fought the demons with every ounce left in my being.  I had to do it for my kids and for myself. The doctors and nursing staff were compassionate and attentive, and I stayed committed to my recovery plan. On my release from the hospital, I cut all my hair off… Shedding our hair is symbolic of a cleansing and a release in West African culture; it is done for funerals and recoveries and the inner prompting to shed the weave felt right. Sharing this also feels right and liberating as I come from a culture where such conversations are frowned on. Truth is that by telling our stories, we can save lives and inspire others to step back from the precipice. I wish I could turn back the clock on Andrew’s death. I wish I could stop another person from crossing that divide that separates life from death. If you or anyone you know is in desperate need of help, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255 Your life matters.

 

“If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.” Maya Angelou

Photo Challenge: SMILE - YOU Matter!

Photo Challenge: SMILE – YOU Matter!


Walking Trophy (Official Video) by HoodCelebrityy

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. Henri Nouwen

As I started to rebuild my life, one of my best friends, Diahann, gave me fortuitous advice. “Go do something fun to lift your spirit and put a smile on your face,” she said. I was baffled. What could I possibly do when I had just pulled myself back from the brink and needed all my energy to figure out my what next? I contemplated it for a few days and the answer came. Go take some upbeat fashion photos and wear your favorite clothes, including that aubergine Azzedine Alaïa jacket you’ve been holding onto forever. I shared my idea with Diahann and she thought it was terrific. I did some searches online, found a photographer in Queens and reached out to her. When I shared my intention with her, to do something fun that would put a smile back on my face, she was all in. We set a date and I was stoked. She suggested I get professional make up done to ensure the entire experience was special… so I did. I found a makeup artist locally and scheduled an appointment for the morning of my photo shoot day.

On the fateful day, I believe it was early summer, I drove out to the studio in Queens and had a fantastic time. Initially, I was tentative and self conscious but, as the day progressed, I got very comfortable and my mood shifted. At one point, her beautiful dog got in on the act and I took one of my most favorite photos holding him in my arms. It was also a reminder of the healing love we experience from pets. Their intuitive love is unconditional. After the photo shoot, as I drove back home, I felt something heavy shift inside of me, and it was replaced with a great sense of joy, gratitude and relief. How could I have even considered ending it all? How do I move forward with a sense of purpose? The emotions flowed and I knew somehow, that everything was going to work out… it would take time but, the healing had begun. I look at the photos above and below and they still put a smile on my face. When we empty ourselves of our emotional baggage and pain, and leave them at the doorstep of faith, all that is left is grace and healing light. Make peace with your pain and find a way to put that smile back on your face. You matter. Your life matters.

Phenomenal Woman BY MAYA ANGELOU
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me. Contd Below via Poetryfoundation.org

 

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” Mother Teresa

Photo Challenge: SMILE - YOU Matter!

Photo Challenge: SMILE – YOU Matter!


Rae Sremmurd, Swae Lee, Slim Jxmmi – Powerglide ft. Juicy J


Tonight Is The Night – Betty Wright (1978)

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful. Thich Nhat Hanh
The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. Thomas Paine
Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace. Christie Brinkley
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. Dr. Seuss

 

What is my Intention you may ask? If my story can help someone choose life over demise, find a way to add joy and laughter over sadness, and add a smile to your face in a difficult period, then my wish is complete. Today is Dr. Maya Angelou’s 90th birthday and her writings have always fed my soul in good and bad times. So I honor her memory too with her poem, Phenomenal Woman. I honor the memory of all those lost to pain and suicide. You know, some of us sit around waiting for the perfect time to share our story. We want our lives to be perfect first and our worries to evaporate so we can tell a championship story… but that is not necessary. Tell your story when your heart prompts you to do so, for it could shine a light in the dark for someone else. If you read my blog, you’d know I am not one for confessionals… blame it on my African/British upbringing. However, something in me felt right today and I felt compelled to share the story behind the photos shared here. I share this for my fellow sisters and brothers out there who are suffering in silence and in pain.

I write this blog not because I have answers but because as I journal my thoughts in this public arena, I get glimpses of insights that help me and hopefully help you. I write to encourage others and by doing so, I also encourage myself. As a woman of color, I feel that there are unrealistic expectations of us in society; we are expected be the strong ones, long suffering, chin up, bear it, martyr yourself for XYZ. We are human first and we hurt and bleed like everyone else. To be vulnerable and speak our fears is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage to stand in your pain, own your stuff and work through it. I have nothing to prove. I aim to be present in my life and live with gratitude and purpose. To be mindful, purposeful and grateful is to be abundantly blessed. Hold unto those qualities with both hands.

Another great lesson I’ve learned over the years is that we need the grace of good people in our lives. We can be an angel to someone by our actions. Don’t wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting, brighten a life too. We often forget that the internet is a search engine for joy and info seekers, for lost and found souls, and for capturing moments that might matter to others. So go on then, SMILE… You Matter. Your Life Matters!

Phenomenal Woman Contd
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Have a Happy, Healthy 2018!

 

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post:  – SMILE –  This week, show us a smile (yours or someone else’s), make us smile, or both. Share a photo of something that has brought a moment of joy into your life recently, or focus on the outcome of that joy. If you’re not feeling particularly cheerful at the moment — it’s still 2018, after all — no need to fake your way into the challenge, either. Smiles come in all shades and flavors, including the half-hearted, tired, bitter, and resigned (to name a few). So whether the emotions you channel in your photo are full of cheer or not, I can’t wait to see your take on this theme.

 

Positive Motivation Tip:  To smile is to touch heaven and spread joy on earth. SMILE!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

177 Comments leave one →
  1. Gladys Parker permalink
    04/04/2018 8:03 pm

    I love that poem and your beautiful pictures! I always feel like I am not good enough because I have this mental health problem, because I am sad, depressed not happy or excited like everyone else. Thank-you for being open today. If you could feel that way at one point then it isn’t just my sometimes worthless self. Maybe I can change to to the joyful side.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      04/04/2018 10:03 pm

      I believe a lot more of us have those experiences but many remain quiet about it. Life’s challenges force us to reach for our higher self to help us grow… It is life long. Sending hugs and love. <3

    • Jenn Pereira for EasyBlog Themes permalink
      06/04/2018 10:27 pm

      OMG @Gladys Parker, I have suffered that too. But the more I am accepting myself for that I am and for having that mental health problem, I have learned to alleviate those depression by focusing on my creative side. I always forgot sadness by doing things that can make me happy. Even simply drinking coffee while reading books could help. Or by writing, singing or dancing. Whatever simple things that makes you happy. Think of the positive thoughts. It’s quite impossible in the beginning, but keep on practicing. It helps a lot.

      By the way, I also love the thoughts of smiling with strangers (even if they don’t smile back). It feels so good. Fortunately, I think I mastered the art of smiling:)

      • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
        22/04/2018 2:36 am

        We try everything that works for us… true. 🙂

  2. Pujarini Mitra permalink
    05/04/2018 1:00 am

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience. You have inspired me to do better and you are right a smile does make a difference.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:38 am

      Appreciated

  3. Goz permalink
    05/04/2018 2:45 am

    Gorgeous woman, inside and out! Your best years are ahead of you..n

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:40 am

      God dey. You are a blessing Goz! 🙂

  4. kumamonjeng permalink
    05/04/2018 3:00 am

    The smile in these pictures are just so beautiful! It is so peaceful and yet powerful. When I see these pictures, it reminds me to smile back immediately. Thanks for reminding people to smile, many of times, we have forgotten to smile. It is a easy and simple gesture and yet we tend to overlook.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:38 am

      True… frowning takes more effort. 🙂

  5. Zobelloindia permalink
    05/04/2018 4:39 am

    Yes smile always matter..

  6. wanderlustbykelley permalink
    05/04/2018 4:49 am

    Thank you for being so raw and honest about your experience. Mental health can be so isolating, so it is important to spread awareness and to help create a supportive and caring community/environment. The poem is so beautiful, and I love your images. You have a really pretty smile and it makes it even more beautiful knowing your story and how you pushed through the hard times and came out on top.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:37 am

      Thank you… the work continues.

  7. kanishka permalink
    05/04/2018 5:19 am

    I always have believed in the power of smiling! I know how I love when strangers give me a smile and I feel we are all part of something grander! and so i have always made sure that I keep a smile on my face for all!

  8. Lee permalink
    05/04/2018 5:58 am

    I love this! You have a beautiful smile and such a wonderful message. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Emily Fata permalink
    05/04/2018 6:07 am

    I love the pictures — you look so beautiful in them, and it’s so nice to see someone happy and smiling. 🙂

  10. Shruti permalink
    05/04/2018 7:02 am

    I love these pictures, they are breathtaking. You are a stunning woman! Love that quote by Thich Nhat Hanh

  11. Steph permalink
    05/04/2018 7:05 am

    Your smile radiates so much positivity! Love the poems from Maya Angelou. She is such an inspiration! Love this post and your words are so uplifting especially this one –> Don’t wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting, brighten a life too. You just did with those beautiful pictures of yours!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:35 am

      Ahh Thank you! 🙂

  12. Kristy B permalink
    05/04/2018 8:02 am

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s true that everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle. I know I’ve dealt with my own battles in life and felt like life wasn’t worth living, but I’m so thankful that I kept going! I ended up with a beautiful family. My life is not perfect but it’s pretty great!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:35 am

      Same here… perfection is not required.

  13. leahashley85 permalink
    05/04/2018 8:54 am

    Oh, hun!! You have no idea of how much I needed to hear this! No I am not just saying that. A few weeks ago my husband lost his job and with the job went the medical coverage for my special needs (ASD) kid. I left my career in the dental field a few years ago to shuffle her to and from her appointments which is how I became a blogger. Lately I feel like I can’t give her what she truly needs I force a smile and later in the day cry myself to sleep. Then today is my birthday I never thought this would be my life at 33. But this too shall pass we will get through we always do. However I want to thank you for encouraging me to do something today that will make me smile, maybe lose focus on the issues I face just for a moment. I also love that poem is there any MAYA ANGELOU books you would recommend? Thank you again! YOU ARE AMAZING!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:34 am

      Wishing you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY with ABUNDANT BLESSINGS! Have courage and faith, you will make it and your hubby and family will be fine. Sending love and grace!

  14. Alison Rost permalink
    05/04/2018 9:02 am

    I think it’s amazing how you came out, ready to take on the world and bring that smile back. It takes a lot for a person to rebuild everything she has lost and you did that and more. The photoshoot was an awesome idea and I just love how confident and empowered you look!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:39 am

      Thank you Alison. At the time, it was a bit daunting but now I appreciate the advice even more. TY!

  15. Ann F. Snook-Moreau permalink
    05/04/2018 11:20 am

    I’m sorry you went through such a hard time but glad to hear you recovered well. I always try to give people a smile on the street . . . you never know what they’re going through and it may make their day!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:32 am

      It can save a life.

  16. Amanda permalink
    05/04/2018 11:55 am

    It’s true that a picture is worth a 1000 words, but at the same time you don’t fully know what is going behind the smile. You proved that here. You are awfully strong to share a post like this. I hope that life is much better for you know. You deserve it!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:32 am

      Everyday is a process and I am grateful.

  17. Ithfifi Williams / IthinityBeauty permalink
    05/04/2018 11:58 am

    Oh Eliz, you are such a beautiful woman and so so brave for sharing such a personal experience – thank you for sharing it with us. I am glad things are better now, from those pictures I don’t think I could get that things had gotten so bad – but I know how it is, I also suffered mental health/depression and I had perfected the art of a false smile around my loved ones so they wouldn’t be concerned. I am so glad you came through it, you are a very inspiring woman. The power of a smile is immense and we must not overlook it <3

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:31 am

      I’m grateful for the opportunity to share an important message.

  18. Patricia Conte permalink
    05/04/2018 12:16 pm

    So glad you got the help that you needed it WHEN you needed it! You have a fabulous smile, and your post is a great reminder that I can and should smile more, too!

  19. tanviidotcom permalink
    05/04/2018 12:35 pm

    You look lovely in these shots. That poem by MAYA ANGELOU is lovely. A simple smile can change the course of our day. Great message in this post.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:30 am

      Definitely helps…

  20. Esme Sy permalink
    05/04/2018 1:57 pm

    That quote above is the right way to celebrate life, which is to “lift your spirits while putting a smile on faces”. Perfect in all ways. Sometimes, you won’t even care about the personal side just so you can make someone happy.

  21. Lisa Rios permalink
    05/04/2018 7:49 pm

    I believe smiles change the world – it is such a powerful expression! Sometimes smiles from strangers totally make my day better

  22. Emily permalink
    05/04/2018 9:44 pm

    I love everything about this! It is very empowering and beautiful.

  23. 05/04/2018 10:36 pm

    You are PHENOMENAL too Eliz, I love this post, the photos are fab and the poem goes without saying!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:27 am

      And so are you Gilly! Thank you. 🙂

  24. lucicoo permalink
    06/04/2018 1:00 am

    That is relevant even more now because what is going on in the world. Our mental help is key to take care of even if we need to take a few steps back. Beautiful photographs.

  25. Ronnie Epsi permalink
    06/04/2018 3:50 am

    First of all, you look absolutely stunning in those photos and you are glowing. Secondly, I’m sorry you had to go through a difficult time. I’m a strong believer that shedding bad relationships, even being an extremely painful and lonely experience at first, help us blossom into happier people. I have gone through similar experiences to you and looking back at it, it was the right decision and I’m happier now than I ever was then.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:27 am

      True… moving forward demands such changes.

  26. eliza permalink
    06/04/2018 4:45 am

    Simple yet powerful article, I love your poems too. as we know, just few muscles will take for us to smile yet a lot of hearts and life can move because of this small act. Spread the word, let’s greet each other with smile.

  27. sue-Tanya permalink
    06/04/2018 5:25 am

    I like the quote you had there by Kenneth Branagh, ” Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.” I am going to make an effort to smile more. Loving your pictures btw.

  28. Carrie permalink
    06/04/2018 7:04 am

    This post has just made me feel so much better today, thank you!

  29. Summer Mitch Ryan permalink
    06/04/2018 7:32 am

    A smile could launch a thousand ships. In Thai culture, showing a happy face even if you’re sad deep inside or having a bad day, is a way of showing positivism, of hope, and encouragement. This way you’re uplifting the spirit of whoever you mingle with.

  30. Megan permalink
    06/04/2018 9:38 am

    This poem is so nice! Exactly what I needed today. I love these photos as well, what a beautiful smile 🙂 Happy Friday! xx

  31. Evelyn, PathofPresence permalink
    06/04/2018 9:56 am

    You are beautiful, Elizabeth. Your courage to share your story is a testament of your inner strength and the amazing unfolding path you’ve traveled. Your Light paves the way for many, and your story gives me great strength and inspiration. 💗

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:25 am

      Amen to that… Grateful

  32. NatAlie permalink
    06/04/2018 10:52 am

    This is all SO beautiful and so are you !! It’s amazing what just a smile can do for yourself and those around you ❤️

  33. Nicole permalink
    06/04/2018 12:00 pm

    I applaud your openness in this post, and I’m so very glad for you that you were able to work through this dark patch in your life. A very powerful message to smile because you matter. Beautiful photos!

  34. Nati permalink
    06/04/2018 12:40 pm

    I’m glad you shared the story behind the photos, that is very important, it also a way to show the wounds are healing or have healed completely, which is a huge encouragement for those who are wounded now. You are a phenomenal woman, and you have a phenomenal smile 🙂

  35. Daisy permalink
    06/04/2018 2:28 pm

    I absolutely adore the poetry!!!! I absolutely agree… let’s always greet each other with a smile 🙂 I believe strongly in the power of positivity!!!!

  36. Noelle Lynne permalink
    06/04/2018 5:15 pm

    Love this comment, such positive and beautiful words “If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.” Maya Angelou”

  37. hillcitybride permalink
    06/04/2018 7:36 pm

    Smiles always do brighten a face. So lovely! And I adore anything by Maya Angelou – she was an inspiration to women everywhere. What a legacy she left!

  38. Patricia G. permalink
    06/04/2018 8:36 pm

    Awesome pictures! I can relate to having been depressed and suicidal. For years, I have struggled with depression. However, now I can finally say that I am at a point in my life where I have the most joy and a reason to smile everyday! Praise God! 🙂

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:37 am

      Amen. I am in a good place too.

  39. Marielle Altenor permalink
    06/04/2018 11:03 pm

    You are very brave for sharing this story with us. I grew up in a religious home and mental health was always blamed on bad /evil spirits. Praying was the only “solutions” I’ve seen many relative suffer in silence and never getting the help they needed. Glad to hear that you were brave enough to get help for yourself.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:35 am

      I know your story very well… So true! 🙂

  40. Jen permalink
    07/04/2018 1:14 am

    I love that Maya Angelou poem. A wonderful post to honour her on her 90th birthday. You sound so strong.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:35 am

      Me too… love it

  41. Archana Singh permalink
    07/04/2018 3:32 am

    There is nothing more important and beautiful than smile.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:34 am

      True… 🙂

  42. Aditi permalink
    07/04/2018 4:13 am

    We have a piece of artwork in our family room that I helped my daughters work on a few years ago. It says- Happy girls are the prettiest! Cheers to our best makeup- our smile!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:34 am

      How lovely. 🙂

  43. Karla permalink
    07/04/2018 5:26 am

    I really love the poem. I wish I could smile as you. Life has been so tough for me. I always try to look at the positve side of life, but there were times that I feel defeated with my fear because I always worry of my future. Thank you for sharing this post! 🙂

  44. Monique Elise permalink
    07/04/2018 5:31 am

    I love the poem and overall message of this post. Smiling really is therapeutic!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:30 am

      Thank you!

  45. Indu Indra permalink
    07/04/2018 11:28 am

    Smile makes everything look so beautiful. Not only it brightens up facial expressions but makes us feel in bliss of joy that we pass to others as well.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:29 am

      It does have a chemical reaction in our bodies

  46. chewoutloud permalink
    07/04/2018 11:28 am

    You’ve got a beautiful smile! Such a great way to show it off 🙂 It’s so true that a genuine smile at someone each day can brighten their spirits. I know it does mine when someone takes the time to smile and say hello. During dark seasons of my life, just being able to slowly walk around outdoors, under the sunshine and trees… it does wonders.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:29 am

      Helps a lot… I concur

  47. Corina permalink
    07/04/2018 11:29 am

    I guess…I’ve been smiling all my life, when I was happy as well as when I was strong…

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:28 am

      Good for you!

  48. Ayana Nell permalink
    07/04/2018 11:39 am

    You have such a beautiful smile!! It’s funny that people can so easily hide traumatic events or stressful situations behind a smile and have people just think everything is peachy. Thanks for sharing your story…I’m glad you’re recovering and growing from your tough times!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:28 am

      Many thanks Ayana!

  49. twinspirational permalink
    07/04/2018 12:25 pm

    We love Maya Angelou poems. This post just makes us want to smile.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:28 am

      I’m glad… 🙂

  50. Leigh Anne permalink
    07/04/2018 1:13 pm

    I think it is so important to smile at others. When you choose to smiles it helps to boost your mood. You can wake up each day and choose to live in your misery or rise above it. Smiling is a way to rise above it. It helps you tremendously!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:27 am

      Sure… it’s a choice. 🙂

  51. Vian permalink
    07/04/2018 1:55 pm

    oh wow! your smile is simple but mysterious. You look like Halle Berry on the movie The Call.. Beautiful and elegant! I’m also a lover of poem, I made lots of them for my mom. I love what you’ve said “I’m a woman phenomenally. True!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:27 am

      It’s a Maya Angelou poem and i love the message. Share some of yours.

  52. Nicole permalink
    07/04/2018 5:01 pm

    Ah, I love this so much! Sometimes we forget that taking a break, even for five minutes, to put a smile on our face is priceless! As women we tend to worry and fret about not only ourselves but everyone else in our lives that we are always overthinking and not smiling. I’ve learned that just five minutes of dance, my favorite song or a funny video can change my attitude completely!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:26 am

      It’s magical..

  53. jplagens permalink
    07/04/2018 6:00 pm

    I appreciate your honesty and your willingness to share your pain with others. I know it is hard to bare your soul to a blog. Your life is precious and you are beautiful. What a wonderful smile you have. I am so glad you are in a better place, and you are now helping other people with your story.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:26 am

      Thanks again… It was worth the effort.

  54. Steven & Ana Rose (@Roads_and_Pages) permalink
    08/04/2018 4:51 am

    Thank you for this uplifting post. This certainly brightens my day. It also makes me more positive about life. And I know having a peace inside is more important. Its the happiness and peace inside that bring the true beauty of a person.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:25 am

      It does shine through…

  55. mikaesque permalink
    08/04/2018 9:36 am

    This was such a deep and touching post, it must have took a lot of courage to share so glad you did though. You have a beautiful and powerful smile. Keep smiling, the world needs to see more of that from you!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:24 am

      Thanks so much Mika, it took a lot of effort.

  56. Anna C. permalink
    08/04/2018 10:37 am

    Maya Angelou had so much knowledge, inspiration, and very blunt way of putting a smile on your face. I need to learn how to smile more. Between bi-polar, anxiety, OCD and other medical problems, I often fake smile and you can tell…

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:24 am

      Don’t worry about others thinking, smile for yourself first

  57. kage2015 permalink
    08/04/2018 12:55 pm

    All your photos are beautiful. We all have many different smiles if we study them. Enjoyed reading the poem.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:23 am

      Indeed. we do. 🙂

  58. kidcongeniality permalink
    08/04/2018 1:37 pm

    What a beautiful, uplifting post. Thank you for the positivity.
    My favorite quote: Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. (Dr. Seuss).

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:22 am

      I love that quote too

  59. steph dorworth permalink
    08/04/2018 2:12 pm

    Wow thanks for being so open and sharing your story. I love why you shaved off your hair. You seem like a beautiful person inside and out. Love that Dr Seuss quote too!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:22 am

      Glad you read the post… it was an act of healing

  60. scrapbookadventures365 permalink
    08/04/2018 2:16 pm

    Love this! All the pictures are gorgeous! A smile can say so many things and actually make us feel so much better!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:21 am

      Smiles are healing. Yes

  61. waitingforrain28 permalink
    08/04/2018 3:41 pm

    I needed this reminder today. I am really struggling now that I am sort of inbetween jobs. My temporary position right now has a boss that doesn’t like me at all. :/ I’m really struggling to feel worth much at all. So thank you! <3<3

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:21 am

      Please take care of yourself. Look for another job if need be.

  62. Ana Ojha permalink
    08/04/2018 4:01 pm

    A beautiful smile can make anyone’s day. One shouldn’t stop smiling, no matter how tough the circumstances are! At one point of time, everything is going to be okay!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:20 am

      It helps….

  63. blogthirtyminusone permalink
    08/04/2018 8:29 pm

    This is a motivational post. And the photos are fabulous.
    Xx, Nailil

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:20 am

      Thanks Nailil!

  64. Ophelia T permalink
    08/04/2018 8:46 pm

    I love your post. I think smiling is always a great medicine. Thanks for sharing.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:19 am

      A smile can heal. TRUE

  65. jossynana permalink
    08/04/2018 9:07 pm

    This is jut so motivational and really what i needed his morning.Thanks for sharing

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:19 am

      I’m glad it spoke to you

  66. Preet@thevelvetlife permalink
    08/04/2018 9:17 pm

    What an amazing post and the poem. Smile is such small but a powerful act. I believe a smile has the power to brighten up someone’s day, it costs nothing to smile. It is great to see all the pictures, your smile is so beautiful.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:18 am

      A smile is a powerful act… YES

  67. mjchristine permalink
    08/04/2018 10:17 pm

    An uplifting life story, you have conquered one of you hardest struggles and smiled into it as the sign of you moving forward for the bright and happy future. I was inspired by your story, ma you keep those smiles everyday of your life.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:18 am

      Thank you so much for our blessings… an likewise to you

  68. tina grant permalink
    09/04/2018 12:09 am

    When I have been down in the past looking at old photos of happier times often brought me out of my slump. Reflecting back on those memories made me smile. Loving ourselves and surrounding ourselves with positive people also helps.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:17 am

      Definitely a great help for me too.

  69. Ana Vukosavljevic permalink
    09/04/2018 3:33 am

    I loved to see this side of you! I was so suprised when I saw that this was a confession! I’m so happy you did it because I have a feeling that now I really know you!

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, I believe it wasn’t easy for you at all! You are such a strong person. I’m so happy you got over everyhing and OH MY these photos are just gorgeous. They look like they are from magazine! You are so beautiful and your smile is gorgeous.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:17 am

      Thank you Ana. It wasn’t easy but it felt right. 🙂

  70. Ashley 🍯🌲 (@ashleyfromHP) permalink
    09/04/2018 7:08 am

    Such a beautiful smile and such great encouragement. It’s been a hard few weeks for me and I really needed something like this today. 🙂

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:16 am

      I do hope it helped you. TY!

  71. Christie Moeller permalink
    09/04/2018 8:34 am

    I think the best thing you can give someone is a smile. Thank you for sharing this very personal story. There are so many people who can connect with it and know they they arent alone in how they feel.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:15 am

      Thank you. I pray so.

  72. Yeah Lifestyle permalink
    09/04/2018 11:32 am

    Sometimes when I am in a strange place or country, I find a smile breaks the ice and connects people. Just like a hug does. Your smile is amazing and you are so wonderful to create such a blog to help others and learn more about yourself in the process.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:15 am

      I enjoy the process of sharing posts that help me too.

  73. Joyce permalink
    09/04/2018 4:33 pm

    You were never selfish you thought about your kids and your life and decided to talk a turn, that was so brave of you. For sure you did put a smile on someone’s face who cared about you and was worried. You do look cute either way.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:14 am

      Thank you Joyce…

  74. kylie cre8tone (@cre8tone) permalink
    10/04/2018 2:14 am

    Smile is the most gorgeous.. Smile more and our problems will slip away… Love all the smiles in the photos..

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:12 am

      A smile helps take the edge off even if all doesn’t slip away.

  75. Chuck Vargas permalink
    10/04/2018 3:41 am

    Love you words and photos as always. Very inspirational. Lets all try to be happy

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:11 am

      Hahaha! That made me laugh. 🙂

  76. Cassandra Rose permalink
    10/04/2018 4:32 pm

    I’m so sorry that you went through such hard times but I think it’s brave that you managed to turn negative experiences into a positive one!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:11 am

      Still a work in progress… TY! 🙂

  77. Mira permalink
    10/04/2018 6:11 pm

    Interesting that you say to just be kind and gracious to those around us. So often we are so wrapped up in our own mind our goal or our expectations that even though we may still be kind, we don’t necessarily go out of our way to show kindness to those near us. Personally I love the pay it forward challenges… sometimes, you don’t even know who you showed the kindness to, but by doing something nice you may have just made their day and put a smile on their face 🙂

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:10 am

      True… we are human and we all have our version of a bad day. Kindness and a smile help

  78. adventuregirleliana permalink
    11/04/2018 3:35 am

    It’s great that you are sharing your experience. That is also a great reminder, to smile, even when things get rough. That is a beautiful poem you shared! Love all these pictures!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:09 am

      It helps us all to share our stories.

  79. Arunas permalink
    11/04/2018 4:33 am

    Your smile looks beautiful and warm. Nice photos.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:08 am

      Thank you!

  80. Corinne 🍒 (@WhatCorinneDid) permalink
    11/04/2018 8:41 am

    I find it always so hard to smile in a photo. Not because I am not happy or don’t want too. It’s just that my face turns out odd when I smile sometimes! I do however smile even when things don’t go very well for me. it’s hard but i don’t want to worry everyone around

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:08 am

      Please don’t worry so much…

  81. morganmike55 permalink
    11/04/2018 5:49 pm

    I love that poem and your post is great! Definitely sharing!

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:07 am

      Appreciated.

  82. Leigh Anne Borders permalink
    11/04/2018 8:56 pm

    Finding the joy in the things around you and within yourself is so important. You have to know you are worth more. Smiling is a great way to make yourself get into the right frame of mind.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:06 am

      We are all worthy in a world that views some as unworthy.

  83. nadaliebardo permalink
    12/04/2018 7:38 am

    Loving pets’ affection is genuine and brightens my mood instantly. I totally agree, they do have unconditional love and their happiness is infectious. Anytime I have one of those moments that stirs my emotions in a positive way, I make sure to write about it so I can look back on it one day and relive the moment.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:05 am

      Good for you. We should all do it

  84. lex permalink
    12/04/2018 8:56 am

    Good post. Good pictures. Theme on the smiles are real. Your smile can change the world right from the first person next to you. Shine bright with your smiles and the world is at peace.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 2:04 am

      Our smiles can brighten others lives.

  85. Feira permalink
    12/04/2018 7:23 pm

    You are truly an inspiring and a strong person. With such tribulation and hardship it is hard to put on a smile. But, if one manages to get through life’s storms, that is truly a reason to smile. I would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:59 am

      I appreciate the sincere feedback. It took great effort and courage.

  86. Tee permalink
    13/04/2018 9:36 pm

    Very beautiful models and highly inspirational post! Based on what you shared you had the right intentions in sharing this post! Thank you and * cheers*

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:58 am

      Thank you Tee… all the photos are of me

  87. Daria permalink
    13/04/2018 10:11 pm

    You included some beautiful pictures here and the poem is really nice.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:58 am

      Merci. 🙂

  88. Marya The BeauTraveler permalink
    14/04/2018 3:06 am

    smile is contagious, so even on the worst day, i always try to laugh it off just so it wouldn’t grow into a burden of my life. thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:57 am

      It does take effort.

  89. flora_the_sweaterist permalink
    14/04/2018 8:07 am

    We’re so grateful that you shared your story with us! I’m glad that you managed to fight all those problems and hardships with help from your family and friends. Your smile has a power, it’s lovely to see it <3

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:57 am

      Grateful for your feedback

  90. Msddah permalink
    15/04/2018 6:48 pm

    Love everything about this post. Yes, smiling is everything and everyone could smile more. I adore the quotes sprinkled all over this post, adore Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman and I just added Walking Throphy to my “Caz I am Happy Playlist” which was inpired by your post a few weeks back with Pharell’s I’m Happy. Keep it coming! Xoxoxo

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:56 am

      I’m glad you are enjoying the music too. It’s a like saver.

  91. Thelittlelai: Beyond limits permalink
    17/04/2018 3:39 pm

    This is truly a reminder that despite the struggles that we are facing everyday, there should always be a reason to smile to lighten up our day. Truly, it is such a contagious act that would change others perspective. Thank you so much for this.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:54 am

      We should remember that. True…

  92. DEJUAN SHORTER permalink
    17/04/2018 4:03 pm

    There is nothing like a great smile. Love the opening quote to this piece. Thanks for sharing.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:53 am

      Thank you

  93. 조이 Czjai (@RebelSweetHrt) permalink
    19/04/2018 6:05 am

    Love your photos, Elizabeth! You have a stunning smile, and your cheekbones are to die for! 🙂

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      22/04/2018 1:53 am

      Hopefully not to die for…

  94. iamunbothered permalink
    23/04/2018 10:39 am

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. As an African, I know putting yourself out here like this is frowned upon but by writing this, I hope other people are motivated to seek help during depression. You look amazing in the pictures.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:24 am

      Exactly… and I held back for that reason but finally, something inside shifted.

  95. Abigail Kathleen permalink
    23/04/2018 12:42 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I have genuinely had a awful day where my own relationship broke down today, reading your story and and the way you saw help and over come it all is inspiring.

  96. Nina permalink
    23/04/2018 12:48 pm

    It takes a lot of courage to write this on the internet. I love that a fashion shoot was what was needed. Everyone has something different that would make them happy. I suppose a fashion shoot would do the same for me.

  97. Jessica permalink
    23/04/2018 5:09 pm

    You have a very pretty smile! I loved the poem. Very lovely and such an inspiration.

  98. Chelsea Leigh permalink
    24/04/2018 5:22 pm

    Elizabeth, I am so happy for you! God’s presence is definitely shining light on you. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it really makes your smile THAT much more vibrant and beautiful.

    • Eliz@MirthandMotivation permalink*
      26/04/2018 1:23 am

      Thanks for the blessings!

  99. Geraline Batarra permalink
    25/04/2018 4:58 am

    This is such a good post and I love your photo, you look beautiful. Smiles can have a big impact to our lives. Smile even though it hurts and hard, and smile even if you have heartbreaks and troubles.

  100. acupofassamtea permalink
    25/04/2018 7:33 am

    Insightful post. We always go finding happiness elsewhere then own within. You have great smile .

  101. Pat permalink
    25/04/2018 1:21 pm

    When you smile when you greet someone, it can cheer other people up and make you feel better too.

  102. Aseky Bonnaire permalink
    25/04/2018 6:39 pm

    I love smiling!! You never know who you’re going to touch just by a simple smile. And plus I hate the new fad of “RBFS”. Why would you want To look mean?
    Great post!!

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