by Richard P. Johnson

The best medicine for healing the emotional and spiritual “insult” of our current pandemic

Starting today, and for the next 35 days I’m sending you a “Smile Message.” This is my little way of bringing the holy humor of God into our hearts in the hopes of fortifying you, and our community to ‘stand tall in the Lord’ during this travail. After these 35 days of smiling I will pick-up the piece on ‘Spiritual Leadership’ I stared yesterday. THANK YOU!

Of all the tools in positive psychology’s toolbox, smiling is perhaps the easiest to perform, the quickest acting, and the most effective in bringing about the tremendously uplifting effects discovered by positive psychology research… and one that is sorely needed throughout this ugly pandemic.

Day One

When I smile, I remember my spiritual strengths.

God has invested “power and might” in me uniquely.

My job is to come to a clearer understanding of these most purposeful strengths and to do my very best to express them out to the world.

Smiling gives me pause to remember that indeed I have been endowed by God; I have been given God’s “power and might” right here right now.

Smiling serves as my behavioral cue that I am continuously called to “be” in my spiritual strengths – to immerse myself in them and to saturate my personality with them.

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness,
making everything in its vicinity
freshen into smiles.
Washington Irving

From The Power of Smiling: Using Positive Psychology For Optimal Health & Healing by Richard P. Johnson, PhD


About the author

Dr. Johnson is nationally recognized for his pioneering work in Healing and Medical Behavioral Sciences. As Director of Behavioral Medicine at a large teaching medical center, Dr. Johnson was responsible for teaching medical interns and residents the “art” of medicine. He has taught hundreds of persons interested in healing. His fresh ideas and enthusiasm for the spiritual aspects of adult development and healing have inspired scores of maturing adults to follow their hearts and live more abundant lives. He is a dynamic, engaging, and compassionate teacher who delights in seeing his students grow personally and spiritually. He has written many articles and over 40 books all focused upon God’s expansive grace. Dr. Johnson is a devoted Catholic Christian; he and his wife Sandra live in St. Louis, they have three grown children and six grandchildren. Dr. Johnson holds a doctorate degree in clinical counseling from the University of Florida; he was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Indiana in 2010.

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