A soft glimpse of a smile – Frank Liddy


A soft glimpse of a smile

When life seems to be going well—the sun is shining, things are happening on time, and we’re surrounded by friends—being kind to ourselves is often a piece of cake. Finally, we think, it’s all going my way! But when something wicked (or even somewhat inconvenient) our way comes, more often than not, we fixate on changing it or getting rid of what we don’t like, often blaming ourselves.

Our brain’s normal negativity bias can get into overdrive, and it’s a surprisingly short leap from “Something difficult happened to me,” to “This is awful; why do I always make these dumb mistakes?

When we cling to our likes and dislikes, they can become barriers that prevent us from more fully experiencing ourselves, each other, and the ever-changing riot of life. Next time you notice your inner critic getting loud over something deemed less than “perfect,” see if you can breathe deeply and consider this simple practice.

Begin by bringing your attention to your breath and take a moment to notice the quality of your breath, without judging, analysing, or interpreting. Bring your attention just beneath your nostrils to what is called, Cupid’s bow. Observe your breath and let go as you exhale.

When breathing in, say mentally, I am breathing in, and when you’re exhaling say mentally I am letting go. Try this for ten in and out breaths and notice how you suddenly find yourself back in the zone.

Bring your attention to your lips and you’ll notice a soft glimpse of a smile. Allow your attention to rest on your lips and sense your smile.

Frank Liddy

Frank Liddy, Lead Mindfulness Practitioner for Inspire Professional Services | B.A, A.Dip.

About Frank Liddy

Frank has worked in the community care voluntary mental health sector for over twenty-five years and currently delivers Mindfulness Programmes for Inspire.

He is the founding Director of the Belfast Mindfulness Centre, co-founder of Compassion City Belfast and Northern Ireland’s representative for The Mindfulness Initiative.

Frank studied mindfulness at the University of Wales and is a qualified integrative humanistic Counsellor and holds certificate of registration for NI social care Council.

As well as teaching mindfulness compassion through the life-long learning programme at Queen’s University Belfast, he has also successfully delivered experiential and practice-based training programmes to mental health and allied professionals working in psychiatry, nursing, social work and the criminal justice system.


This series of #MindfulnessMonday is kindly supported by Inspire Wellbeing.
Inspire Wellbeing is an all-island charity and social enterprise and their aim is Wellbeing for all. They work together with people living with mental ill health, intellectual disability, autism and addictions to ensure they live with dignity and realise their full potential.