What do you see when you look in the mirror? How to be Gorgeous, Happy, Free.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? I’m talking of course about what you see inside of yourself, but I know that mostly what we do when we look in the mirror is see a mess of parts that we don’t like; things we are not satisfied with.
We instantly cut and separate our different bits, taking less than a moment to label various areas as too round, too big, too wobbly, too weird, too noticeable, or just plain yuck. And even if we do manage to find an outfit we are relatively happy with, or even if we are able to acknowledge an improvement in weight, in tone or in body composition we continue to pick apart. “Yes”, we say to ourselves. “yes, I guess my stomach is a bit flatter today but how bout those side pockets on my hips. Disgusting!”
If you’re the kind who likes a never ending challenge, then your female brain ont let you down. Physically you’ll always find something to work on. Probably you will never have time to even celebrate any wins you do achieve; you’ll be too busy moving on to the next step.
Imagine if you were able to look in the mirror and look past the sum of your parts and properly into your soul or heart. What would you see?
Fear, perhaps? Dissatisfaction? Anxiety? The worry that you’ll never be good enough, never be accepted?
Or would you see love and compassion?
If each of us were able to spend even a few minutes each day looking properly within and finding true self love, do you think we would struggle as much with addictions to food? With emotional eating? With self sabotaging behaviour?
Sometimes I wonder if the answer to getting the body you want is not so much about what to eat and how to exercise but rather about learning to love ourselves. What do you think? If you’re not sure, then answer me this –
How do you imagine a person who truly loves themselves (I don’t mean arrogantly) would approach food? Would they alternate between dieting, sacrificing, trying to follow the rules and then caving in and falling into old patterns? Or would they perhaps eat foods that provide them with energy and vitality but also make them feel good? Do you think they’d measure their food? Would they jump from hopeful fad to fad? Or would nutrition be little more than nourishment and pleasure without the guilt?
How about exercise?
If you truly loved yourself would you start exercising regularly in a way that you enjoyed and that worked for you? But would you also be fine with skipping a workout here and there, with prioritising fun, adventure and who knows what else above the ‘must do’ workout on occasion?
For 5 years now I’ve been going to Bikram Yoga. I’d say I’m pretty much addicted. It’s the one form of exercise that I consistently do because it makes me feel amazing rather than because I (also) think it will help me stay in shape.
If you’ve been to Bikram, or perhaps other forms of yoga, you’ll know that an important element is looking into your own eyes in the mirror most of the time. Your eyes are the eyes of your teacher, but they are also they eyes of despair for many people. Personally I would say it took me up to two years to be able to comfortably stare into my own eyes for a whole class. Now I’m pretty good at it but if I am feeling bad about my body for whatever reason it is SO hard to stare into my soul that way.
And sometimes my attention just wanders, and I notice all the other women avoiding their own gaze. Gazing instead at the floor, or the ceiling, or just flickering from place to place. It’s easy to make a judgement on who is happy being them and on who is despairing, judging themselves, worrying about how other people are judging them. and I know, perhaps my judgement is off in some cases but for the most part I’d say it’s pretty accurate. I know because I can almost see my own previous (ad sometimes current) thoughts running through the minds of these women.
I’m not skinny enough. My stomach is too big. I wish. I’ll never get there. I’m a failure.
The underlying issue is a lack of love for the self.
And really, why should any of us automatically be great at loving ourselves? We’re never taught such a concept in school! If anything we are taught not too be too big for our boots, not to acknowledge our wins too obviously. We are taught to questions ourselves and highlight lack rather than sufficiency.
Can you go and stand in front of the mirror right now, look into your own eyes, and say “I love you”? Perhaps, right? But can you say it and mean it? And here’s the real challenge – even if you can look into your eyes and say that, can you look at one specific body part – like your stomach – and say “I love you”?
I don’t blame you if you don’t think you could do that las part and mean it. How can an of us love the parts were working so hard to get rid of? It’s ridiculous!
Perhaps it’s not ridiculous after all. Perhaps it’s even a missing link. Perhaps by learning to love every last part of yourself you would more naturally take those daily steps that would see you achieve your goals. You would care enough not to continue to self sabotage.
How do you love yourself?
In large part, you just decide. But as with anything you also have to take action on what you decide, don’t you? Oe simple action might be to stare into your eyes once a day at least – the eyes of your teacher – and say those 3 simple words.
And who knows? Perhaps if you say them often enough you’ll start to believe it.
Don’t forget –
Life is Now. Press Play.