What is Mirror Work?

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“The mirror reflects back to you the feelings you have about yourself. It makes you immediately aware of where you are resisting and where you are open and flowing. It clearly shows you what thoughts you will need to change if you want to have a joyous, fulfilling life.” – Louise Hay

Now….. I’m a big believer in the spirit of radical honesty, so let me tell you…

The first time I tried intentional mirror work, I  did NOT want to do it!

I had finished my Masters of Nutrition & Clinical Health Psychology and was on my healing journey with celiac disease… and I just remember feeling so frustrated and angry.  I felt like I had just climbed a huge mountain to only start at the bottom of another huge mountain.

At one point, it just felt like I didn’t have control over my own life anymore and I realized that if I wanted to grow into who I knew I was meant to be, it was time to make some hard decisions and do things that felt uncomfortable.

It was after my best friend Jen passed away, and I was feeling incredibly low, that I went to see an intuitive healer and medium who first introduced me to mirror work.

Standing in front of the mirror with the intention for inner connection was the first time in a looooong time that I was really present with myself, which allowed emotions that needed to be released to come up to the surface.

Looking at myself through the mirror, I felt like I was looking into the uncertain future and the past and feeling a lot of discontent. That was where the anger and frustration came up.

In the spirit of radical honesty, I wanted to punch the mirror because I didn’t like what I saw.

But it was an opportunity for me to change and transform what I was seeing,

That first few minutes felt like a key turning that opened new possibilities for me to grow to love myself more deeply than ever before.

I asked myself the question: What did I really want to be seeing? And how can I start empowering myself to move towards that?

The answer I heard was that I deeply desired to fully love myself, all parts of myself; and that if I want to receive myself in this way, it all starts with the thoughts I allow through my conscious mind.

I became hooked on giving myself mirror love and pep talks… all of the words that I say to myself in the mirror are filled with beautiful intention, love, and compassion for ME.

It also became one of my most powerful tools  for for finding what needs to be released and healed (by working with the resistance, which I’ll give you some tips around a bit later).

My first time at the mirror, feeling that anger and frustration with myself, taught me that things are bound to come up.

Sometimes this part of the process can feel like lifting up an bandaid and uncovering old wounds.

It also reinforced for me the importance of having a strong support system in place so that I can process the emotions and memories that come up.

Mirror work was originally created by Louise Hay as a way to find deep connection with your inner self and although Hay has created a beautiful 21-day guide for this process, there really are no strict rules (which makes me love it even more!)

Doing this work can sometimes mean confronting some really gnarly stuff, and the most important thing to remember is to love and care for yourself throughout this process and to seek support if you feel like you need it.

Before you stand and look at yourself in the mirror, it can be helpful to center yourself, breathe, and ground into your body.

Doing this will help really bring you into the present moment and release thoughts about whatever was on your mind before you started.

Don’t underestimate the power of the mind-body connection here!

The body is just a reflection of what’s going on within us.

Our bodies are amazing machines that are intuitive and tell us what’s going on, if we will only listen.  

If we can start to change the way we think and what we believe about our bodies, we can begin to see them changing –  they listen to us just as much as we need to listen to them.

Every cell in our body responds to the thoughts we think about it.  

For example – think for a moment – if you were to constantly be telling your body how fat it is and how disgusting it is and you can’t stand it or even look at it… your body on a cellular level is responding to that… and not in a positive way.

That is the beauty of intentional mirror work: it gives you the opportunity to fill yourself up with positive thoughts and affirmations that are in alignment with how you want to feel (physically AND emotionally).

Here are my 6 Top Tips for Making your own Mirror Magic:

  • Make it a part of your morning ritual. This doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes and is a great way to start the day…

Start by saying to yourself, “I love you.” “I love you just as you are.” “You deserve to be loved.”

Then you can ask yourself, “What do you need today?” “What can I do for you today?”

Say 3 affirmations to yourself into the mirror. Allow them to begin with “You are…” These work best when you say affirmations that feel in alignment with you and your values, so it will likely feel the most powerful when you choose or write your own affirmations. One of my favorite journal prompts to find soul aligned affirmations for myself is: What does the highest version of Elyse (use your name here) tell herself every day? What does she believe about herself?

  • Make it a regular practice. Once you get into a regular practice with mirror work, you will find that you can send yourself love and affirmations anytime you see your reflection!
  • Keep going even if it feels silly at first. It can feel totally awkward to look at yourself in the mirror and talk to yourself. You may even have a partner around who overhears you talking to yourself in the mirror… but fear not, transforming your self doubt, negative self talk into self acceptance and loving affirmations is the BEST PAY OFF EVER!!!
  • Lean into the feelings. Let yourself really feel the feelings that are coming up to the surface, without judgement. This is about really receiving yourself, so don’t be afraid of being with your emotions.
  • Write it down. Keep a journal for your mirror work and take note of the thoughts and feelings that come up so that you can process any energy, memories, or emotions that need to be released.
  • Get the support you need. I’ve mentioned this one a few times throughout the blog because I truly believe in the power of a support system. It’s possible that you may find that some things are just too much process on your own… instead of suffering, find some good support that you resonates with you (such as a therapist, a coach, or a wellness expert).

It’s funny to think back to when I was so resistant to trying mirror work because it has become such an integral part of my personal healing process and allowed me to create so many breakthroughs by changing my perspective.

Now  I am able to look at these mountains to climb as the opportunity for BIG acts of self-love and I know that anything is possible for me and YOU!

I am so grateful to be sharing Mirror Magic with you here on the blog, and would LOVE to hear what affirmations you will be sharing with yourself… let me know in the comments below!

As always, thank you so much for reading and participating — AND if you know someone who would absolutely love to read to hear this message – send it with love!