When it hurts to smile ...

you know it’s been too long since you experienced this particular joy!

Solo.  Acryiic on panel. Lynne Cameron, 2010.

Solo. Acryiic on panel. Lynne Cameron, 2010.

I realised this a few years back when I went to watch a ballet performance in London. As the music swept the dancers up and across the stage, my stomach leapt too, and my face smiled of its own accord. I felt its strangeness. I noticed the slight ache of smiling muscles too long unused.

That surprise smile shocked me into action. I resolved to see as much dance as I could. I found friends who wanted to share the experience, booked tickets, found places to stay over in the city when performances ended late.

And it gave me a maxim that helped move into a more poetic life: Follow the smile…

Open-hearted  . Acrylic on paper. Lynne Cameron, 2015.

Open-hearted . Acrylic on paper. Lynne Cameron, 2015.

It influenced my art practice - I drew and painted dancers in motion for a while, which in turn made my abstract paintings more dynamic. I discovered that the Royal Opera House has backstage tours where you can see dancers rehearsing and costumes being made, and that the London Coliseum opens its morning ballet class to artists who want to draw dancers at the barre.

I started paying attention to what made me smile, and choosing to do more of it.

What might you do more of if you followed your smile? tell us in the Comments below.

I’m working on an online course for those with a wild edge who are living a full life and yet still yearn for something more beautiful, more exciting, more moving, more soulful, more poetic. I want to support you in finding ways to experience the world more deeply and more consciously, to explore lost or dormant artistic or poetic passions so that you can make conscious choices to create and carry out poetic projects that bring joy and deep satisfaction.  

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