Mirror Mirror

Currently, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite.  I use this blog as a forum to share inspiration and positivity, and yet recently I haven’t been practicing what I preach.  I’ve been dwelling in the negative, not thinking with abundance and have been to self-critical.

In order to break out of my funk I do what most people do when they need something.  I talked to my mom.  She has this way of shifting how I’m viewing the world, so I realize that what I’m seeing as problems are easily solved with just a change of thinking.

How do you see yourself?
For the majority of my life I have been either a gymnast or a contemporary dancer.  I am always trying to be perfect: to match someone’s ideals or what the exact image should be/look like.  Just the other day a choreographer I was working with wanted to show us the video of the piece we were going to perform.  Video work is often used in art/sport as a tool for feedback and refinement. I hate it.  I hate seeing myself on the screen.  I dislike mirrors in dance classes.  I prefer to feel things.  When I see myself on video or in a mirror I can only ask myself “Do I really look like that?”, instead of using it as a device to improve.

The trick is – this whole seeing myself issue carries over to other aspects of my life.

I’m here in Oxford, England surrounded by likely some of the most brilliant minds and accomplished people on the planet.  Attending a formal dinner feels like ‘future nobel prize winners’ dinner… seriously!  I often think to myself “one of these things just doesn’t belong here“.

And yet, if I stop and think rationally about it I’m a pretty smart little lady even if I’m not the one currently attending Oxford (Dean’s List in Uni), I was quite accomplished when I was competing (Most Medalled athlete at 98 Commonwealth Games), I was fortunate enough to take some risks and reep some pretty amazing rewards (travelling, working with different dance companies, meeting incredible people).  As it turns out – a lot of the things I admire about other people are things that I have done too!

How do you see yourself now?
The next time I begin to question my value, or I start to diminish my worth and accomplishments I will see myself through someone else’s eyes.  I will imagine how my mother sees me.  I will picture myself through my husband’s love goggles.  I will think of the sweet image my niece has of me, or my best friend.  And if I was a mother I would think of how my children see me – full of love, gratitude, openness, and acceptance.

I’m not saying we should be soft on ourselves, and think everything we do is wonderful.  But a bit of generosity and kindess can enable us to treat OURSELVES as we treat others. Yes you read that right.

Do you ever notice that you forgive others for little things they do.  For being late, for forgetting something.  Like the other night I forgot to turn both knobs on the oven on, and so the lasagna wasn’t cooking.  And because I was not in my happy place, this contributed to me feeling like a failure – simply because we had to wait an extra half hour for dinner… But if my husband would have done it, I would have thought it was no big deal.

We need to show the same compassion for ourselves as we do to those we love (and hopefully to perfect strangers too!)

Perspective creates understanding
As a teacher/coach I have the privilege of guiding other’s to achievement.  The most rewarding aspect is to see what someone is able to overcome.  Knowing someone’s struggles and what they have accomplished in spite of it makes the result seem even greater.  From the outside it may not seem like a big deal but the bunny hill to some is the Everest for others!

See others with this eye of empathy but remember to keep some of that understanding for yourself too!

 

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