Ever heard of mirror work? Once you begin this self-love practice you won’t be the same after. In this post I’m going to explain what it is, how to do it and the benefits you’ll gain from it.
What is it?
Mirror work is the spiritual practice of gazing at yourself in the mirror while saying positive affirmations. Essentially you are connecting with yourself in a deep way by communicating with your inner spirit. This practice was popularized by Louise Hay, one of the founders of the self-help movement. She published the book Mirror Work: 21 Days to Heal Your Life in 2016.
If you think about it, we innately have love for ourselves from the moment we are born but the older we get, the more likely we are to absorb other peoples’ fears and attitudes. This can cause us to neglect ourselves and not go within.
As adults, I believe it is up to us to take the necessary steps to evaluate our lives and do what we can to step back to loving ourselves in a deep way. Mirror work is a simple practice that can bring up so much. For instance, if you grew up never being appreciated or didn’t hear the words “I love you,” it can be more difficult to say and mean those words while gazing in the mirror.
How to practice it
It sounds so simple, yet it can be challenging at first. All you need is a mirror and an open mind. The first time(s) you do it, take a moment to fully observe yourself in a non judgmental way. Sometimes our mind tends to look at every imperfection first thing. Take a moment to intentionally look at yourself in an open and accepting way, just as you’d treat a best friend. That’s all you have to do the first time(s) until you’re ready to go deeper.
Instead of starting with saying “I love you,” if that feels like too much at first, you can begin with saying something along the lines of “I’m willing to learn to like you” or “I am open to liking you.” I recommend doing mirror work when you’re alone, undisturbed, so you can be free to feel and be yourself.
- Gazing at yourself for a few minutes
- Saying your name
- Saying the affirmation that feels the most aligned with you
- Taking a moment to take it in
Take a moment to see what comes up for you after. It’s okay if emotions arise from this practice. They can come unexpectedly. You may be triggered especially if this is the first time you’ve spoken to yourself in a loving way. I once witnessed an elderly colleague burst into tears because she had never felt self-love before. It is never too late to start this practice.
Mirror work doesn’t have to take a long time. 3 minutes a day can be enough. In her book, Louise recommends doing it for 21 days in order to feel a shift. Journaling can help tremendously during that time because you can jot down what comes up for you afterwards, which can be a healing experience. You can even read your entries at the end of the 21 days if you like.
One of the ultimate goals is to fully accept yourself in your most vulnerable state. This means getting to the point of observing ALL of you without wearing anything. Looking at yourself including your full body and choosing to accept and love yourself as you are. This is very powerful and may take some time to get there.
What are the benefits?
Some of the benefits you can gain from this practice is self-acceptance for one. By taking the time to really notice yourself in an open way without criticizing, you begin to see yourself in a new way. You begin to acknowledge your inner spirit, your inner child that may have been neglected for so long.
Some other benefits you can gain are the following:
- Improves self-esteem
- Increases self-love
- Increases self-respect
- Raises your vibration
- Builds self-trust
- Enhances healing
- Cultivates love and compassion
You are building a relationship with yourself through mirror work. When you practice this, you are acknowledging yourself as the being you are.
So there you have it. You now know all about the powerful practice of mirror work. You should already know that words are powerful so saying positive phrases to yourself in the mirror will make an impact. I’ll leave you with these few other affirmations you can tell yourself in the mirror: How can I make you happy?, I love you just the way you are, What can I do today to make you happy?, I honor and accept you.
Do this practice every morning or anytime you pass a mirror and with time, you’ll see that it gets easier.
Let’s work together!
- If you’re really ready to create the life you want
- If you want to increase your happiness and feel more confident in who you are
- If you want to trust yourself more and live on purpose