Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome to our first day of group therapy for the Hate-Loss Challenge. Last week we all downloaded a copy of Karen Anderson’s Mirror Exercise. Today, we’ll share our thoughts about it. Also, I’d love to know how your Gratitude Jar challenge is coming along; can you believe we’re 9 days into it already?
If I’d read through this exercise a couple of years ago I would have thought it too simple a task to really change any perception I had about myself. Clearly, I knew nothing about mirror work. Having done quite a bit of self esteem exercises since then, I knew this was definitely going to be a challenge. We’re all so used to seeing our reflections, it’s easy to get disconnected from what’s staring back in the mirror unless we work on it regularly (which personally I haven’t since before my surgery last June).
I have to say, I think it’s interesting that a couple of you opened your eyes and found your mother’s image in the mirror; fascinating. Although this didn’t happen to me, I did have trouble carrying out the exercise the first several times I tried it. Holding onto it and projecting that emotion while gazing at myself was the most difficult part. I was able to gather that warm, safe, powerful feeling deep inside, but when I opened my eyes I’d lose it immediately. Last year at this time I was practicing mirror work every day and getting pretty comfortable doing it, actually. In fact, I continued to do it long after the challenge was over but after surgery, I never really picked it back up. It’s obvious to me how much one can regress in a few short months. I’m now learning to accept this ‘new’ body which has been very challenging at times. I am getting better at it, however as with any exercise – be it training for a half marathon or doing self-esteem work, it all takes practice and diligence in order to see progress.
Other than the exercise itself (to give you a chance to see where you are on the self-acceptance ladder in your life), I felt that it was equally important to understand what physically happens to our bodies when we neglect our mental health. Physiologically, we react negatively to stress – specifically stress that we bring onto ourselves when we direct negative and harmful words inward. We all have the ability to rid ourselves of this kind of self inflicted abuse. We are all worthy of praise and love and acceptance, aren’t we? It is well within our control to change the way we feel about ourselves. I hope you’ll consider using this exercise or other kind of mirror work after today. It really can make a difference.
How did you do?
Did you run into any obstacles when trying to complete this exercise? If so, were you able to work around the obstacle in order to finish it? What are your thoughts on the scientific explanation of why it’s so important to have a healthy attitude?
Remember, Karen is giving away a copy of her book to a lucky participant and in order to enter you must comment in THIS post about your experience in doing the Mirror Exercise. If you have a blog and write a post about today’s exercise, please link your post in the comments section below so that other group members can read and share their thoughts with you. If you don’t own a blog, please use my comments section for this week’s update and you’ll be automatically entered for Karen’s book giveaway. A winner will be announced at random on Monday, January 14th.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting our next exercise for discussion on Thursday, January 17th. Thanks for participating everyone, and have a good session!