When is the last time you said something nice to yourself? Paid yourself a compliment, congratulated yourself on a job well done or on getting through a tough situation? Now, when is the last time you did any of that while looking yourself in the face?
The thing is that when most of us take a passing glance in the mirror, we more likely than not think or say something pretty crappy to ourselves.
“Ugh, why is my hair doing that today?”
“I look so tired!”
“Why would someone pick me for that job/date?”
We are often far meaner and more critical of ourselves physically and emotionally than we would ever dream of being with a stranger. We punish ourselves verbally when something goes wrong… “Well that was a stupid move.” We forget to praise ourselves when things go right. We criticize, demand, ignore and brush off.
When is the last time you sat for five minutes in front of a mirror looking yourself directly in the eyes?
Louise Hay, one of our favorite motivational authors, started a practice called mirror work. It’s become one of the more powerful daily practices we’ve adopted for a little kindness one on one with ourselves.
The idea is simple. You sit in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and take a few breaths. It’s an interesting feeling and very powerful to just sit and observe yourself from a place of compassion and kindness. You can be in this space for as long as it feels good to you. We’ve been in a place where three breaths felt great and also in a place where 20 minutes went by in a flash. We’ve shed tears and laughed…and it’s all OK.
It’s a form of meditation with a partner, and that partner is you. Take time to really look at yourself through kind eyes. In your mind point out the things that stand out, that make you unique. Smile at yourself. Give yourself a look of approval. Remember that when you interact with other humans every single day you respond to the visual cues you see in their faces…both bad and good. When someone on the street smiles at you it feels good, right? When you do a great job at work and you see the approval in your boss’s face, it feels pretty awesome. Give yourself that same mental high five. You’ve made it this far and you deserve it. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can and that you are exactly where you need to be. People perform better at life when they feel appreciated and respected. Why not give yourself that treat?
Have a chat with yourself. Think it’s weird? Who cares. We know you do it in your car anyway. We do. Tell yourself you appreciate yourself. Tell your body you appreciate everything it does for you. Tell yourself you respect yourself, you love yourself. Tell yourself you are proud of who you are and everything you’ve made it through. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made and let them go. We’re all learning here and we can’t learn without falling face first in the mud sometimes. Isn’t that what you would tell a child? A friend?
Remember that at the end of the day no one will ever spend as much time with you as you do. Not a parent, not a lover, not a best friend.You showed up on this planet alone and you leave alone. YOU are your ride or die. You are also the one who sets the bar for how others see and treat you. The energy you put into yourself is the same energy you will receive from those around you. You set your value. You set the tone for your interactions with others. What you put out is what you receive back. Take yourself off the sale rack of life and put yourself on the exclusive waiting list. Only you can determine your worth. No person, no situation, no job, no paycheck can do that for you.
Remind yourself that today you will do the best you can at life. Encourage yourself to have fun, to be lighthearted and to enjoy the day. Tell yourself that you deserve the best this life has to offer and that is what you will be accepting today.
If something good happen that day, acknowledge that and congratulate yourself. If something didn’t work out, tell yourself it’s OK and let it go. Give yourself permission to rest and relax because you made it through another day. You deserve some well earned peace.
When you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, smile like the two of you are in it together, like you’re in cahoots in the game of life and you have your own back. Avoid any negative thoughts or scowls. Mentally compliment yourself.
Remember in Labyrinth when Sarah finally says to Jareth, “You have no power over me.” It’s the pivotal shift in the movie when she realizes the power was always hers. That is how we need to walk through every situation in life. Only we have power over ourselves. We exert that power by treating ourselves with kindness and establishing that we are worthy of magic and nothing less.
Beauty Coach Team