Worn Path to the Mirror

It was that hour in Vegas when a distinct buzz fills the air and the casino floor and hotel lobby begin to fill with people looking fabulous and sparkley ready for a big night out. We were just finishing my mother’s birthday celebration dinner at the Paris Hotel about to head out when I stopped at the ladies room. As I stood there waiting in a huge line I couldn’t help but notice a tall, thin, gorgeous young women standing at the bank of mirrors. She stood there in front of all of us who were waiting for what felt like an eternity, staring, pulling at her outfit, turning different directions to test out different postures. There was an uncomfortable silence amongst the other women who were waiting in line. After many minutes she finally finished her dance with the mirror and left. One woman waiting expressed out loud, with a tone of clear annoyance; “Could she have looked any longer! Oh my God!!”. Other women joined in the admonishment with their low toned snickers. There was an assumption because of her beauty that she was looking out of vanity.

I had a very different reaction. I felt my heart sink watching this young woman. It seemed to me that her dance with the mirror came from an entirely different place, a place of disapproval and insecurity; a clinging to the only thing that perhaps she thought gave her any worth. I too have walked a well-worn path to a mirror, particularly when I was in my twenties and felt I could only attract love if I could change my body. In fact it wasn’t until I took my own Deeper Cravings journey that I could see my reflection in a mirror and not press my hips in against my body wishing for that smaller frame. So many moments wasted on dissatisfaction with my appearance.

Imagine if it were possible to quantify all the negative thoughts that people on our planet have on a daily basis about their appearance. What if, instead, those people really knew their beauty and understood their worth? Imagine what could happen if all that same energy could be focused on expressing our passions, talents, our individual creativity, our beauty and our boundless love. How different would we all be, would our world be? Learning to be connected in the present moment helps us to experience our life as it is actually happening rather than be caught in the mental trap of wishing we were different.

In Mindful Eating, A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food Jan Chozen Bays says that we can never enter into a wise relationship with the present moment if we cannot accept the moment. This includes our bodies. She writes; “we might miss the actuality of the life that is ours to live because we are so distracted, preoccupied, and driven by attempting to attain some mind-constructed ideal” (2009, p. xii). Connecting with and accepting our bodies, as imperfect as they may feel at times, allows us to fully embrace the moment…and the mirror.

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