Mirror, Mirror Work (woo-woo 101)
I love to tell this story because most people assume if you’re into woo-woo stuff, you just absolutely love everything and never second guess or question the weird wellness that is everywhere.
Well, I questioned it. All of it. For a while.
But then, I found myself at the bottom of it. I say “it” because I really have no idea where I was. It was dark, lonely, and foreign to me. I hadn’t been there before.
My LIfe as I knew it
Was falling apart, so I was willing to try anything.
I was in my parents' spare bedroom bathroom and I was talking to myself, in the mirror.
I had heard the term “mirror work” thrown around casually in some of the conversations I was having with my newfound group of spiritually inclined seekers. And almost every person who told me about mirror work always followed it up with Louise Hay’s name.
“She invented mirror work,” one fellow meditation classmate said to me.
Of course, I had heard of Louise Hay before. How couldn’t I have? But I thought she wasn’t my cup of tea. A little too Pollyanna and seriously woo-woo.
Years passed before I ever picked up a copy of her bestselling bible, “You Can Heal Your Life”. It’s funny how different things look at rock bottom. So I went to the local Barnes and Noble and grabbed a copy. I was practically living at the bookstore at this time in my life.
I dove in right away. Right after she talks about loving yourself, she describes the first exercise, the mirror. She warns that a lot of people have trouble picking up a mirror and saying this one simple phrase:
Jodi (your name goes here), I love and I accept you exactly as you are.
Sounds easy, right? WRONG.
I dare you to try it
It took me many tries before I could do it without either feeling stupid or crying. And for a while, I didn't really understand why it was important but the sheer fact that is was so hard to complete proved to me that it was something I had to master.
If I really loved myself, why couldn’t I tell myself? Why did it feel foolish looking into my own eyes and telling myself the exact thing I had told others in my life? Wasn’t I as worthy as they were?
So that’s where my journey into the woo-woo started (I never really counted meditation as woo-woo). I continued to devour the rest of the book and started to fall in love with Louise’s way of making everything seem like it would be alright. I was addicted to her brand of motherly advice and self-love medicine.
I start to purchase audiobooks because her words are even better spoken through her voice.
The more I practiced this exercise, the more I found myself running to public bathrooms when I was crippled by the pain “of not-enoughness”. I would talk to myself in my head if people were around and if they weren’t, I would say it aloud and to my surprise, it felt better every time.
Louise suggests you practice every time you pass a mirror. It feels a little self-indulgent but who cares! I mean, at this point in my life, I’ve finally understood I have to stop putting what others think about my well being.
Now something to be aware of when you try (notice I said “when”, not “if”):
You might not be able to get the words out
You might get angry
You might cry
You might hear a really loud voice shouting, “you suck!’
It’s normal to hear the voices get really loud at a time like this because they sense you’re trying to kick them out. They’ve been living in your head for so long. They don’t know where to go.
Be patient with yourself. Take it a little at a time. I started with just trying to look at my eyes in the mirror. Then I said the statement in my head, then out loud, and then I started to add whatever felt right.
It’s a process
You have to start somewhere. It’s like running a marathon. You aren’t gonna try to run the whole thing on your first day of training, are you?
Treat your mental health the same way you do your physical health.
Meditation is a huge help when it comes to the loud negative voices. It helps slow down the reaction time of the criticism. You start to develop more of an awareness of your thoughts instead of just thinking them out of habit.
All the love,