Your face is the map of your life. But, if you're anything like me, you don't necessarily enjoy all the stories it tells the world. If it was all up to you, you might have chosen to highlight some stories and brush the others off as if they never happened. This incongruity between your imaginary and actual physical body can be one of the reasons why you might want to give the mirror meditation a shot.
Mirror meditation benefits
We are used to catch our reflection many times throughout our day. I'll allow myself to guess, though, that you use it not to give yourself with a smile, but to adjust your make-up, your clothes, your hair, and whatnot. Not to mention the thorough examination of your face while doing your morning and evening beauty routines.
Or is it just me?
Mirror meditation is a unique and powerful way to promote self-love, self-respect, the feeling of comfort in your own body, and self-esteem.
From a very early age, we are programmed to seek perfection in the way we look. Even more so if you happen to be a girl. No matter how you personally define perfection, it makes you accentuate the things you don't like in yourself in order to make them better until it becomes a constant subconscious self-evaluation.
This can (and often does) easily lead to a vast range of psychological issues. In a society with such unrealistic beauty standards and the persistent pressure to look a certain way, it's hard to keep a respectful and loving relationship with your own body. But here's where mirror gazing meditation comes in.
As any other mindfulness meditation, it stands on three major pillars:
- Attention to the present moment;
- Open awareness of the present moment;
- Kind intentions towards yourself and others.
This practice makes your face (or your whole body) your focal point. Squeezing it into your daily schedule can prevent or significantly reduce already existing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, and eating disorders.
Mirror meditation is a unique and powerful way to promote self-love, self-respect, the feeling of comfort in your own body, and self-esteem. Do you think it's narcissistic? Well, perhaps it kind of is, in a way. But have you ever heard the saying that you can only love someone else when you learn to love yourself first?
Thinking that it's somewhat abnormal or even freaky to love yourself only shows how much you need it. Not only for your own sake but for those around you too.
The mirror meditation experience
There are several ways you can practice this. Adjust the time frame and your focal point according to the nature of your relationship with your own face and body. But commit to doing this every day for at least a week. If you're brave enough and want bigger changes in the way you see yourself and your life, go with a month-long experiment.
For an easier start, try setting aside 10 minutes each day to look at the reflection of your face. It's a great way to start your day.
This is a great way to start your day. You can also make it a part of your general meditation practice. If you decide to continue with it, try adding 5-10 minutes each week.
If you wish to go all-in and immerse yourself into this challenge, try gazing at your own naked reflection in a body-length mirror. Again, start with 10 minutes per day and add 5-10 minutes each week, if you decide to continue for a month.
This may sound pretty simple, but only until you try it. The thing is that this activity will inevitably evoke a flood of emotions. Everything that you think about and feel for yourself will emerge into the surface. Be aware of the nature of your emotions, don't hide them from yourself.
When you start feeling overwhelmed or you catch your attention drifting away, it's advisable to use a mantra that you prepared beforehand. Openness, kindness, and compassion directed to yourself should be the keystones of your mantra and the goal of your whole experience.
Create a setting that makes you feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe. It's better to do this at your home. Adjust the lighting so that it's not too dark and not too bright, just the way you like it. Use candles and burn incense sticks, if you like.
If the silence is unsettling for you, you can prepare a playlist of relaxing instrumental music. I, for instance, like to listen to my favorite music, especially the albums that I used to absolutely love in the years when I was my happiest and most confident. I can assure you that's a very powerful way to reconnect with your past self.
The last piece of advice – don't be afraid. And don't be skeptical either. Remember that it's only you, the only thing you truly have in this world. Try this meditation if not for yourself then for that lovely woman or man in your mirror reflection.