...who's the fairest of them all? Queen Grimhilde in the fairy tale, "Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs," had no problem looking right into her magical mirror, expecting to hear that she, indeed, was the fairest of all the land. Yet, over the years that I've taught classes and facilitated workshops on "The Language of Passion & Purpose," my students find mirror work to be one of their most challenging assignments.
What is it about looking in the mirror that has them "all shook up"? One would think that finding good things about ourselves in our own reflections would be a cinch, a piece 'a cake. It's actually not the expectation that we'll hear we're the fairest in all the land that makes us nervous. Quite the opposite. Most all of us have been so programmed--by nearly everyone in our world and almost every aspect of the media--we've been so brainwashed that we hear only the echoes of judgments when we stand in front of a mirror.
The echoes are so well-rehearsed (and, likely, well-believed) that we can't remember when they originated or from whom we first heard them. We go along with them so blindly that we think it's just our voices up in our heads telling us we're too much of something (too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall) or too little of something (not pretty enough, not fit enough, not young enough, not old enough). Our lists of too-much-too-little are endless!
So, to stand in front of the mirror is to come face-to-face with how we don't measure up. Rarely do we put the brakes on the nonstop babbling that comes from our thoughts to change the direction of their flow. We don't tell the judgments to sit down and hush up. Nor do we give the little voices in our hearts who know we're a-okay a chance to get a word in edgewise.
That is, until now. Take a minute to stand in front of the mirror sometime today. Look for the beauty of who you really are (or, Who You Really Are). See for yourself what other people see in you. Look back to see who is really looking back at you (♫♪ Listen to the Browns sing, "I was looking...").
Speak out loud the non-judgmental observations you can make about what you see. If it helps, just state the facts. For example,"I have round, dark eyes." "I have wide, curvy hips." "My tummy is soft."
Once you've gifted yourself with factual, nonjudgmental statements, see if you can follow them with some silent, loving gazes. Look at yourself and notice details as you send every part of your body some nonjudgmental love. Imagine all the work, all the fun, all the challenges your body has undertaken throughout your life.
Send all of your body gratitude as you stand looking at yourself in the mirror. If judgmental thoughts begin to creep into your head, just shoo them away. It's not their turn!
Take a few minutes today to face yourself in the mirror without judgment and without rejection. Don't be shy! If Queen Grimhilde can expect to be called the fairest in the land, what's a few minutes of sending yourself loving gazes?
And, if you want to learn more mirror exercises, go to Day 1 in my book, "Me, Myself, and I ~ 28 Days of Creative Self-Love." I'd love to see you there!