Smile out Loud Saturday #SOLSaturday

I firmly believe that we are surrounded by wonder. As well as grand sights, renown sites and natural marvels, we are also surrounded by tiny details which can be missed if we blink, or are looking the other way. Or are scrolling down our phones.

Recently, I posted a photo of a sight which make me smile out loud, while I was sitting in Yangon’s traffic.

As the early days of 2016 settle under our feet, I thought it would be a feisty feature to add to this space – a “smile out loud Saturday” moment where these kind of images can be shared. The intent of this is purely and simply to prompt a smile out loud.

Here is my first #SOLSaturday post.

Sitting in traffic (too many hours are spent in Yangon in this way, these days), I noticed that a man had set up a stall at the roadside, next to a construction site (another frequent Yangon sight). He was selling fish, neatly arranged in plastic bags on an impromptu table. Fish as in goldfish, not fish for eating which would be a far more common sight. Or at least more expected goods for sale.

sol 5

A sight which made me smile out loud. A gentle smile of appreciation and respect.

sol 4

sol 1

Sometime back, late in 2012, Marie of Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer threw down a challenge for us to celebrate the ordinary in our everyday surroundings. The challenge involved us posting a single photograph which captured wonder in the “ordinary” details all around us. Many bloggeristas around the globe were inspired and motivated by this, and we shared all manner of moments. More than the week of pictures though, was the constant reminder for us to really look at what was around us and be reminded of the extraordinary within the ordinary.

Hence, my motivation to share smiles. A smile costs nothing, and is easy to share. Smiles are infectious. Smiles are a balance to some of the tough stuff in the world around us.

This is an encouragement to me to keep my eyes and heart open and see what is around me. And to share the prompt to smile out loud.

Smile Out Loud Saturday!
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Smile out loud! #SOL :)

How often are we encouraged or to LOL, to Laugh out Loud? How often are we told by others that they have laughed out loud?  How often are we taken unwittingly by an involuntary snort of laughter, by some amusing message, moment or Facebook meme?

I realise that there are many more moments, though. Moments which might not prompt that laugh deep from the gut, but ones which bring a smile to a face which was previously frowning or simply unthinking. Those tiny moments when you spot a little dog launching herself into the air, only to land with a surprised thud, when the birds she is chasing scatter in flight; or when you see a sweet (as opposed to an extremely annoying) mis-translation or spelling mistake; or watching a man trying to not to fall over while he combines riding his bicycle with balancing a dozen squawking chickens tied by their feet to his handlebars.

Or when you are stuck in traffic and you spot a guy in the taxi next to yours who is leaning out of his window, concentrating very carefully on clipping his fingernails.

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Smile out Loud 🙂

This happened to me just a few days ago, and happily my phone was handy so I could capture the moment. I realised that I was Smiling Out Loud. Not laughing, but I had a broad grin on my face. Now I can Smile Out Loud every time I look at this photo.

And when I scroll back through my images, I realise that so many are Smile Out Loud moments. Like this little frog who made me smile when we surprised each other one morning.

frog on a bike

We are surrounded by Smiles Out Loud but I am not sure that we see many of them. So I have resolved to keep my eyes open and seek out these moments.

More than ever I need to smile.

We all do.

Smiles are free and abundant.

Smile Out Loud!