Last night, I waked into my bathroom to begin getting ready for bed. I did what I always do, grabbed my toothbrush and toothpaste and then looked in the mirror. What I saw caught my eye and made me comment to myself, “Wow, I look really pretty today.”
Before you start thinking anything about me and my ego, let me explain something – while I do not often partake in those negative self-deprecating comments many people seem to have, I also rarely tell myself something nice as the first comment. Usually, there’s an observation of some out-of-place thing such as “oh, time to call the aesthetician for a brow wax” or “hey, what did I spill on my shirt? I love this shirt!” Rarely, actually never that I can recollect, has the first thought been a wholly positive thought.
And you know what? I did look pretty. My hair had a fantastic sheen, my grays were all perfectly aligned and almost glittered in the mirror, I was smiling about something, smiling makes my eyes sparkle, and I just generally look very healthy after a month of significant dietary changes.
As I wallowed in the self-compliment, the thought came to me how much I’ve changed in the past two years. Two years ago I would have had to dig for positive commentary. Not that I was all that negative, but positive commentary, especially self-commentary, didn’t come easy. After all, we are cultured from a young age to notice the things that need changed, that need ‘fixed.’ A spill on a shirt or bushy eyebrows, for example.
Let’s change that. Collectively. The feeling of the immediate compliment, even from myself, felt amazing. So powerful. I want all of you to feel that, too.
I don’t normally do this, but I’d like all of us, me too, to practice a visual exercise for a week or so. I’d love it if we each find a jar and two different colors of beads. One color that makes you smile and is happy, maybe this is yellow or some other bright color. The second color should be darker, one that isn’t very pleasing to you. For every positive thing you say to yourself, put one bright colored bead in the jar. For every negative, one dark bead.
You can do this on a piece of paper with different colored pens, too – customize to suit your lifestyle, I prefer the visual but recognize that it isn’t feasible to carry around beads and a jar. Utilize anything you have around the house that will be visual and can symbolize positive comments and negative comments.
Then, pay attention to how you speak to yourself. As I mentioned above, I don’t say things to myself that are openly negative. But comments such as “that’s not my best color” or “that shirt doesn’t fit quite right” can come from a place of negativity, too. They can come from ego.
You have a language that you use only with yourself. You may use words or phrases that could be seen as positive, but you know in your heart that isn’t how you mean them. Only you know your true intention. Count those, too. No one is watching but you. Be open, be honest. Be true to you.
Do this for a few days or a week, whatever you need to do to bring awareness. Awareness will allow you to bring change.
Keep in mind, change doesn’t often happen overnight, you’ve built up habits and behaviors over years. There will be times when you falter, when that rock slides back down the hill. Keep pushing, keep charging, keep growing. It’s amazing how far you can come even by making small changes, by being aware of your thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
Take the time, achieve the peace.
In Light & Love ~