I’ve spent a lot of time in front of mirrors. As a willPower Method® student, I’m watching my form and alignment. As an instructor, I use the mirror as a tool to connect with and observe those in my class. And as a girl-grown-to-woman, well, mirrors have been a big part of that journey, too.
Most of the time looking at my own reflection meant scrutinizing myself, and picking out the things that I didn’t like. This might be the shape of my body, or my complexion, or how my eyes looked tired that day. For years, when I looked in the mirror, my first instinct was to look for all the things that were wrong.
And as an instructor, it occurred to me that my students might also have this tendency. A big part of my teaching philosophy is about becoming better friends with yourself. It’s something I’ve come to practice for myself, especially when the inner-critic gets loud.
So here are some guidelines I’ve started to practice myself, and implement in my class. It’s all about how to look in the mirror.
1. Look at your reflection as though you are looking at a good friend.
In fact, you are looking at your life partner. The body you have today is the body that brought you here, and it’s doing it’s very best for you. So smile to it. Show it a little love. Instead of picking yourself apart and looking for all the things you don’t like, look at your reflection like you’re looking at someone you care about. Look like you’re happy to see this person, and happy to be in this life together. Also, your body is constantly changing, so take a good look and enjoy the current version of you’ve got.
Bonus points if you smile.
2. Notice three things that you really dig about yourself.
It can be something like, “I love the shape of my earlobes!” or “I love how strong my quads feel.” Or even, “I’m a beautiful mess when I’m sweaty.” If you feel stuck, just say to yourself, “Hello, beautiful.” It might feel silly, and that’s ok.
Bonus points if you notice more than three things.
3. Remember: It’s all good.
You don’t have a bad knee. You don’t have a bad back. Sorry, that’s just not accurate. You have an amazing body that is doing it’s best to be there for you. The truth is, you might have challenges or injuries. That doesn’t make your body bad. Your poochy belly? Love it. The flesh of your thighs? Love it. The shape of your calves, hips, bum, chest, chin, or biceps? Be willing to love the body you’ve got, as it is, right now. Because it’s going to change. You have a good body. You have an ally, a friend, that lets you breathe, move, sweat, and feel alive. There is nothing bad about it. It’s all good.
Bonus points if you bring this practice into your post-workout shower. Say to yourself, “Good _____,” as you soap up and touch each body part. For instance: “Good arm. . . good shoulder. . . good armpit. . . good chest. . . good belly. . .”
Try these whenever you catch yourself looking at your reflection. At home, in the studio, at work, or at school. . . Seeing yourself in the mirror is a chance to become better friends with yourself. So look at yourself as you’d look at a beloved friend you haven’t seen in a while. With love, happiness, and a sincere desire to reconnect. Give that kindness to yourself. And see what happens.