How much do you like yourself?
No, I’m not talking about narcissism: an inflated sense of self-importance where a person has an excessive need for approval, believes others’ feelings are of no import, is unable to handle criticism, and flaunts personal power and privilege. Rather, I’m talking about how you reveal your over-all well-being and optimism through your energy: feelings, thoughts, words, and actions.
Liking or loving yourself during the holidays can be an incredible morale booster, attitude adjuster, and life “just as it is” acceptor. In general, you need to be your best advocate or cheerleader first, applauding all you are. If you don’t like yourself very much or have times when all you can do is criticize, most likely, you won’t be a glittering advocate. Your heart has grown tight. Think Scrooge! Soften your heart and see the true YOU of love!
Underneath the illusions or stories that your ego wants you to believe, you already are, in this moment, deserving, loving, fantastic, powerful, and amazing. Shifting your thoughts in this way will help you align with a greater energy so that you are clear about the most important qualities of life: love, optimism, and gratitude. You don’t have to bake forty varieties of elaborate cookies and bars (excess), to have the most powerful snowblower (competition), or to be the star community volunteer (glory, so others are aware of your presence) to like or love yourself.
You may not have realized that you have developed certain habits: automatically blaming yourself, jumping into conversations without listening to those around you, or immediately redirecting conversations through self-referencing. If you are having a hard time facing awareness of challenge areas, ask a trusted friend to describe you. Are you someone who is the first to show lovingkindness or a curmudgeon, always raining on someone’s parade? Hearing from someone you trust will help you begin to open to your shadow side. New heart awareness leads to change.
Everything that happens is meant to happen. If you don’t like what is happening or how you think or feel about what is happening, you have the power to invite a different perspective. Louise Hay, founder of Hay House Publishing Inc. and author of eleven plus metaphysical books, talked about this concept in her collaboration with New York Times best-selling author Cheryl Richardson, in You Can Create an Exceptional Life (2011). The degree of liking or loving yourself is key to how you experience life and to the quality of energy that others receive from you. It is up to you.
I decided to try a technique developed by Hay called “mirror work.” The main idea is whenever you pass or see a mirror or any object that reflects your image, gaze into it. The mirror may be permanent or portable. In fact, a portable mirror may be better because you can repeat positive statements at any time, in any location, and when you feel you need the practice most.
Next, say aloud “I love you” with feeling. Say it several times or decide to add other positive statements about yourself. “Hi, Gorgeous—you big hunk! Wink, wink.” Don’t be shy! If you set an intention that your words reflect your truth, all the better; however, you may feel like you are only reciting or offering lip service. That’s fine, too. The main thing is to create a habit of praising yourself (aka your higher Self, one in the same) in front of the mirror. Over and over and over again. Engage in this practice for thirty days.
In the beginning, I felt awkward and a bit self-absorbed yet was determined to give this exercise an honest try. I’m not sure that I believed it would make any difference. Ego kept badgering me: What will people think when you walk by a restaurant window and they see you talking to yourself—and you don’t have earbuds? Or, better yet, walk by a window that reflects outdoor seating, and they HEAR you???
Often I was project-focused and forgot to acknowledge my image, especially when I frequented the bathroom. I dutifully returned to the mirror and made my exclamations (I wasn’t about to sabotage the experiment by not upholding my part!). By the end of the first day, I felt lighter and less prone to restating my thoughts. By the end of the week, I felt more energetic and I smiled more. Paul thought I was more loving and calmer.
I haven’t finished week two yet, but am looking forward to seeing what happens with a greater softening of my heart. How freeing is the feeling of an expansive heart. Who knew? Join me! The process is so simple and costs nothing. Stay tuned.
From a higher vantage: Try a little “mirror work” and see how it changes your life. A bonus is that this work not only raises your personal vibration of love, it augments the overall vibration of the planet. It is the gift that keeps on giving year ‘round.
©2019 in the thick of things