This week our beloved cat of 18 years, Jersey, passed away. The next few days we took our 21 & 19 year-old sons to college. Basically aside from the sadness and feeling of two people gone from our usual 6 person and 5 pets house and our cat passing away, I was feeling just crappy. It definitely has been a transition week for us. I could feel myself sad, negative and so to top it off, this morning, as I was getting ready, I caught myself looking in the mirror and saying to myself, "Should I have my hair this long at my age?" and "I've got some wrinkles really showing this morning." Now, in fairness, I didn't have my contacts on yet and that one was a huge giant bed sheet mark... but still. I even told my mirrored-self I need to lose 10 more pounds this morning. There was one point where my sarcastic side was strongly considering wearing my husband's jeans instead of my own. :) Yikes! So, to top off the week of transition, I caught myself picking on myself this morning. So it got me wondering....does everyone do this? Not the bit about the husband's pants, but do we pick on ourselves in the mirror? Do you do ever catch yourself compounding sadness with more negative thinking? Today was a moment where I'm glad I caught myself and took myself for a peaceful walk and then to my computer to write - things that make me happy and some solid self-care. It got me thinking about people and behavior though. Look in the bathroom mirror. What do you see? When you look in the bathroom mirror, what is your perception of yourself? Do you see beautiful? Do you see a perfect body? Do you see a gorgeous face? How’s your beautiful smile? Do you see a smart and capable person? Do you see someone eager to learn? Do you see all you’ve accomplished thus far? Do you see what I see? Do you see love? Do you see peace? Do you see happiness? What exactly do you see? Some say they see an ugly person. Some say their smile is bad. Some say they are fat and don’t have as good of a body as someone else. Some say they aren’t very smart. Some say they aren’t loved. Some say that aren’t happy. When I look at you, I don’t see anything but a beautiful person. When I speak with you, I don’t hear anything but a beautiful person. When you look at you and talk to you, what do you see and hear? We're always wondering what other people think of us, but what exactly do you think about yourself? Grab and pen and paper and head to your mirror. Look in the mirror. What do you see? Write down your first ten thoughts. If you can, sit at a table with another person and have then look at you and write down their first ten thoughts. Ask them to write down their first ten thoughts about you. Do not instruct them to write either negative or positive. Just ask them to write down their first ten thoughts when they look at you. Maybe have a few of your friends do this and see what they say about you. Compare notes. What did you discover? You may even discover a few things about your friends along the way! Are they positive or negative thinkers? Most of us have some combination of positive and negative things we say. On any given day, who knows you may reach for bigger pants too. But try to bring yourself to a point, and perhaps this is deliberate and practiced for a while, where when you come to a bathroom or full length mirror, you say positive things to yourself. If you are a negative, mirror, chat-with-yourself type, here are 10 ways to turn your thinking around. 1. Change the, “I hate my…” talk to Is there anything about me today that would make me be better? How can I best my best? 2. Be aware of negative thoughts and the messages they send to you throughout your body, organs and functions. It’s a journaling exercise to capture the negative thoughts and think about how you can replace them with positive ones, redirect or work on what is negative. 3. When you say, “I’m fat… or I need to lose…” remind yourself that you are in control of you. You got yourself this way and it’s you who changes yourself. No one can make you put down the cupcake really. You are in control of you. 4. When you look in the mirror, have you lost yourself? Have you abandoned yourself? Are you brushing your teeth, washing your face, putting on your makeup, fixing up your hair, putting on your clothes, etc… or are you throwing your hair up in a ponytail and walking around in sweats. I’m not saying every waking moment you have to be “put together” but make it a practice to care about your appearance. 5. Are you in pain? If so, whether emotional or physical, seek assistance. Often this contributes to our self-talk. You also may need to ease up off the mirror if you are in real pain at this moment, for example, a death in the family or something not within your control. 6. Change up your environment. Where are you looking in the mirror? I recently realized that everything around my mirror was such a mess. My cosmetics, hair curler, stand by make up, hair brushes and everything had just taken over my side of the sink. I took the time to clean up, throw up, put away, etc.. and create a clear area that was clutter free and now much more clear. 7. How’s your naked self? Do you like your clothed self or naked self better? I’m much more critical of my naked self. I don’t know about you, but my clothed self has nice shoes. So now I stand naked with my shoes on. Ok, I’m kidding. I don’t. but could be a good idea... 8. Ladies – How are your earrings? Earrings are such a source of sparkle and joy around your face. Choose your earrings with love, peace, joy, sparkle and fun. 9. Are you old? Are you getting old? I’ve recently caught myself saying “Wow, ok, so I’m starting to look old now.” A wrinkle here and wrinkle there. I see it in pictures. Media trains us to need to stay young. Well guess what… embrace your age, wrinkles and gray. 10. Embrace yourself. You are unique. You are loved. You give love. You are peaceful. Say good-bye to negative chatter and hello to a positive, peaceful you. Percolate Peace :) Percolate Change :)
About Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is a best-selling author, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur and a recognized leader in personal development and optimal mindset strategies. For more than 20 years, she’s been teaching entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, and people from all walks of life how to illuminate their light within and help them reach their highest, best potential. As an expert in mentoring people to market their strengths and achieve brand excellence, Fast Company magazine, in 2011, named Elizabeth a "Top influencer," and The Shorty Awards recognized her in 2013 as "Top 3 - Best in Social Media". Elizabeth has been ranked in the Top 50 Social CEO's to follow on Twitter by Strategic Objectives since 2013. (@BestEverYou)
As the founder of the Best Ever You Network, she created a brand with more than a million followers in social media and is on a mission to inspire you, to raise awareness and to promote greater excellence within each of us and in the world.