Mirror, Mirror on the Wall ~ Seeing Your Beauty

eye gazing barbara musser sexy after cancerThe foundation to enhanced intimacy and sexuality is knowing that you are beautiful just as you are. It’s not about losing or gaining that final 10 pounds, or using the right skin care products. We spend billions of dollars on our appearance in this country, all with the goal of being more attractive. Most of these things are working from the outside in. Counter intuitively, we have it backwards. It’s really an inside job. How we feel about ourselves and what we believe is what makes us beautiful.

Many women feel less than beautiful during and after cancer treatments. This is the source of a lot of emotional pain, depression and even isolation. Knowing that you are beautiful, desirable and sexy requires some inner work.

Here’s a practice to get you started. Using the mirror as a healing tool is a powerful aid in coming to terms with yourself and making peace with your body. If you are not at peace with yourself, if you have not accepted yourself, it will be close to impossible for your partner to be at peace as well. Why? Because how we feel about ourselves, is what we project into the world, no matter how beautifully we dress or what we say.

By doing this practice with the mirror, you are changing the structure inside your brain and creating new neuronal pathways. Think of these pathways like grooves and your habits (including habitual thoughts) as the needle that follows those groves, like an old-fashioned vinyl record.  All of our habits exist in these grooves, most of them created unconsciously.   You can create new grooves or pathways consciously. This practice is a conscious way to create pathways in your brain that support you. Research shows that it takes 30 days of consecutive repetition to create a new neuronal pathway.

I call this Mirror Work, and it’s a very powerful spiritual practice. It also works – really works. Here’s the format:

You’ll need:  a full-length mirror, a timer, box of tissues, a calendar to schedule and mark each day, optional soft background music and a journal for writing your experiences.

First, commit to doing this practice for 10 minutes each day for 30 consecutive days per phase.  Make this commitment to you – you are worth it!

Set aside 10 minutes daily to stand in front of the mirror. Doing the practice at the same time every day can make it easier. Think of it as a date with yourself. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Dress up in your favorite clothes and stand in front of the mirror so that you can see your entire body. Look at your entire body with loving eyes and heart and then look into your eyes. Look into your eyes in the mirror and see what you see as you look into your eyes. Call on your compassion for yourself.

As you look into your eyes, say out loud to yourself, “I love you (your name).” Continue to look into your eyes and notice any feelings that come up. Initially it may be thoughts like, “This is stupid” “Oh no I don’t love me” “There’s nothing lovable about me”. Simply notice the thoughts, continue to look into your eyes, and say, “I love you (your name).” You can also say, “You are beautiful (your name).” Pick out three things that you like about yourself and say them out loud to yourself as you look into your eyes. Continue with these words until the timer rings. Take a few minutes and journal about your experiences – thoughts, feelings, anything.

Completing this practice for 30 consecutive days will transform your relationship with yourself. I invite you to take this on and send me an email after you complete it!

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisors or Volunteers.  It is not meant to serve as medical advise of any kind.  Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

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