Mirror Mirror on the wall…

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you generally positive about your appearance or do you think ‘only if I was slimmer, prettier, little bit more toner etc’ or all together ‘I wish I was someone else?!’ I would be lying if I hadn’t felt the latter lot of the times in when I look in the mirror. Our insecurities, all the things that are wrong with our face, body, the way we act or something we said wrong, all seem to be somehow exaggerated when we look in the mirror. In the modern world that we live in, comparing ourselves and judging ourselves against others is often too easy. This goes deeper than just appearances; often our self-worth is based on what we see in the mirror, rightly or wrongly.

How you feel about yourself, and you can catch a glimpse of that when you look in the mirror, is the key your relationships and everything about you. In the personal development, self-improvement arena, there is more and more focus on using mirror as one of the tools to build self-esteem. One of the techniques I came across is by Robert Holden, who advocates standing in front of a mirror and using positive affirmations to overcome your ego and reach self-acceptance.

Over the years, I have come to the realisation that loving yourself, not just your appearance, but loving truly who you are one of the main keys to eternal happiness. This means forgiving yourself when you make a mistake, being kind to yourself when you look in the mirror and generally treating yourself like how you would treat the person who hold close to your heart. After does it not make sense to fill yourself with love before loving others?!

So starting today, why don’t you try being a little bit kinder to yourself when you see yourself in the mirror. Start with little acknowledgments; little things you like about yourself and perhaps an affirmation or two; ‘I am loved’ or ‘I am enough’. Being kind to yourself in the mirror does not take too long or need much effort, but results can actually be quite surprising.

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Have a Laugh! Yes, Seriously, have a Laugh!

‘Success is about a happy life; happy life is just a string of happy moments; most people don’t allow happy moments because they are so busy getting a happy life.’ Ester & Jerry Hicks

I have a confession to make; since I have been writing, reading and attending online courses on all things happiness and law of attraction, I have come to the realisation that I have taken the pursuit of law of attraction a bit too seriously. Sometimes I forget to enjoy the little moments, like when my daughter comes running to me or my cats want a little stroke or even just going out and enjoying the sunshine in the garden. Sometimes I am too absorbed in my self-improvement, too goal orientated, too attached to my smart phone or thinking of what my next life goals should be that I am not really paying attention to little moments of happiness right in front of me.

So I have decided to have a ‘joyous week’ where I focus my attention on enjoying the little things in life; enjoying time I spend with family, listening to my favorite music, playing with my cats, even reading a trashy magazine or two and watching some quality TV that I really enjoy.

Day 1-2

The pursuit of happiness can really be very stressful and more that, what I have realised is that, it is very thought consuming. By focusing on joyous week, I have realised the amount of time I spend thinking about what I can do next to be happy; rather than just BE happy. My starting point is being mindful of my thoughts where I remind myself to enjoy the moment, whatever it may bring.  No one better to bring this message home to me than my 2 year old daughter, who constantly lives in the moment. She laughs when she is happy; plays when she wants to; she cries when she is sad; and genuinely cheers up the next moment if the circumstances warrant it. So the first few days, I focused on trying to live like my 2 year old; laugh when something is funny, even it is it silly in adult terms and learn the art of playing. The highlight of one of the days was definitely painting with water colours, paint brushes, sponges and hands, messy but loads of fun.

Day 3-5

Relaxing came a bit more naturally as the week went on, but I was having to ask myself hard questions such as is my weekly meditation practice taking life too seriously or can I incorporate it into my joyous week?! After some thought, I decided to carry on with my meditation, but goal of my meditation has been to purely relax, rather than visualise my future goals.

Day 4-7

I had few days of work stress and once I left work, physically walked out the building, I was trying very hard to leave my work thoughts behind and even if I couldn’t think of something cheerful, I tried to be calm and think of something else other than work! One thing that has helped me with taking my mind off work was my music and listening to it on my way home on the commute really helped me to do this.

Some of the highlights of the last few days of my joyous week included watching my favourite episodes of the Mindy Project and the Big Bang Theory and let myself have a laugh out loud laughs. I also had the pleasure of going shopping which used to be one of my old time favourite past time, but often ridden with guilt for buying one too many purchases, but difference now is that I try and do this mindfully; I only buy things which I need or really really like, not just because something is on sale or I could use next summer (given its autumn now!).

My final day in my focus week was a Sunday and I had the pleasure of spending more time with my husband, daughter,  my parents and of course my cats. It has been really nice to actually sit around the home and do virtually nothing. I cannot think of one productive thing we did together, but being together, having conversations, eating some food and just generally spending time together was the perfect end to joyous week.

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