How often have you caught a glance of yourself in a mirror or reflective surface and allowed a negative thought to take over? Have you judged some parts of yourself more harshly than others? These thoughts become patterns and slowly erode away your mood, your energy, your confidence. Too often we are bombarded with messages from media about some beauty ideal that is completely unattainable and leaves us feeling not good enough. Well I’ve got news for you! You are beautiful just the way you are and it is high time you start seeing that for yourself.
Mirror work is a deliberate practice of looking at yourself and seeing the goodness and beauty that already exists inside of you. This is a practice of loving and appreciating your body for all of the wonderful gifts that it has for you. Start by looking at your face in the mirror and noticing the details. If negative thoughts arise, acknowledge their existence but say “Now is not the time for that. I choose to see the positive now.” Consciously look for the good things and verbalize them. Say out loud what you love and appreciate. “I love my beautiful green eyes and the way they sparkle when I smile. I appreciate that my eyes allow me to see the world around me.” “I love my beautiful pink tongue and the way that it caresses my teeth. I appreciate that my tongue can taste the yummy flavors of fruits and chocolate.” Continue through every part and feature, seeing all of the positive things. Being grateful for them and what they do for you.
Excellent job! Now take a few minutes to journal about this experience. Write down several appreciations you verbalized about your face, hair and neck. Revisit this exercise each day this week, seeing all of the additional good things you notice… spoiler alert! It gets easier every day!
On day 4 or 5, get brave, get naked! Stand in front of a full-length mirror and look at your whole body, noticing all of the good things that your body has for you. Start with the areas that are easiest for you. Verbalize out loud all of the love and appreciation for those body parts. “I love my strong legs. I appreciate that they allow me to walk around freely.” Then move on to the body parts that you have judged… they too are worthy of your love. “I love my curvy tummy. I appreciate that it carried my babies allowing them to grow strong.”
You are doing great! Keep it up! Really notice and feel all of the gratitude for each and every part. Appreciate how it serves you and how blessed you are to have it. Write these appreciations into your journal also. Revisit the mirror and add to the list regularly. This is a practice. Some days will be easier than others but on the whole, when you appreciate what you have, everything improves.
Or are you holding back from diving in? If this seemed overwhelming, start small… set a timer for 5 minutes and just do the mirror work practice for those 5 minutes and celebrate that win. Then increase to 10 minutes and celebrate that win. It may feel uncomfortable at first because it is different that what you may have been unconsciously taught. Loving and appreciating yourself is a radical act.
Mirror Work by Louise Hay