Man in the mirror (1)
I write a lot about self-talk and self-kindness. I think this is very much one of our weakest points: humans are not kind to themselves. We use a harsh tone with our self-talk and we are highly critical, far more than we would ever be with another person, be they friend or Joe Blow on the street. Why? The airplane mask analogy alone should tell us the importance of being kind first to ourselves and then to all: if you don't put the mask on yourself first, and do it properly, you will not be available to contribute to the wellness of others.
This year, at least two posts a month, I will be sharing with you ideas of how to be a little more compassionate towards yourself.
First suggestion: Find a few moments when you will not be interrupted and go stand in front of a mirror. If you have to, lock the door. Take 5 minutes to simply observe your reflection in the mirror. I know, 5 minutes will seem like a long time, but it will take a bit to get comfortable with the exercise before you will fall into a quiet mind, so ... trust me. Just observe your reflection. The rules: you are NOT allowed to think any critical or negative thoughts. You may observe only. You can take the time to observe your face, your hair, your neck. Look closely at your eyes. Look at the arch of your eyebrows. Those laugh lines? You earned them with your good humor. Look at the freckles on your nose, the curve of your lips. Look at how your hair falls. Maybe you can connect parts of your face that mirror that of your parents or of your kids. Maybe you can note a different fleck color in your irises. Maybe you see the length and curl of your eyelashes.
After 5 minutes, you are free to unlock the door. And still, no negative or critical thoughts. This is an opportunity to just reframe your thoughts, quiet your inner critic. Just observe the face others see.