Looking into the mirror.

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Photo Credit: Georgie James Photography

When you look into the mirror…

What do you see? What do you believe? What do you feel?

For many of us, the mirror is an uncomfortable place and we seek to avoid it. (I am not immune to this – I do love that my dance class has no mirrors, so in my mind I am Beyoncé).

The mirror is a place where our real authentic self is shown back to us, right now in the moment. But when we look, we often see the past and the future simultaneously, and a distorted view at that. When we look at the mirror, we also hear the story we hold about ourselves that is not always so forgiving.  It rises up to narrate to us a tale about our failings, our weaknesses, our fears and our flaws.

It is a challenge for us to be visible and fully present every day, and to accept ourselves as we are.

My wish for you …

Look into the mirror and wait. Breathe and wait. You may feel uncomfortable, irritated or silly. Keep breathing deeply.

Notice what you see. Notice what you believe. Notice what you feel.

Allow whatever comes up to be present. Keep breathing. Keep waiting. Keep looking.

Looking at yourself now: Notice your strength. Your courage. Your compassion. Your tenacity. Your hope. Your humour. Your faith. Your curiosity. Your adventurous spirit. Your purpose. Your passion.

That may have felt difficult, or it may have come easy. You may have noticed the shadows too. The shadows may show up as uncertainties, anxieties, doubts, irritations, rages, jealousies, pettiness, fears, hurts, pains, frustrations, selfishness, greed and vanity. Shadows are part of the human experience. They are inevitable. To be self-compassionate is to acknowledge both your light and shadow, and allow them space to co-exist.

Give yourself permission to be a learning, growing and imperfect human being. Release your grip on the pursuit of perfection, the relentless search for happiness – and create a generous safe space for light and shadow to co-exist.

Living a life that is full of juicy, interesting and rich experience necessitates jumping in wholeheartedly with a degree of openness and curiosity about what will meet you. Trying to deny, minimise or completely avoid the shadow side risks cutting yourself off from the full magnificence of life. Reflected light from a mirror is always more startlingly bright against the darkness.

© Naomi Morrow, 2016.