Most often we see ourselves through the eyes of others, the way we think others might see us. Gradually we fall into a habitual rut of self-judgment, our life becoming one of continual servitude to a false perception. We don't wear shackles, but our mind is shackled, serving a self-created confinement. Because we can have little self-love or self-esteem when we rely on others’ eyes, our own eyes are not open to Awareness.
The only way we can see ourselves is in a mirror. A mirror gives us the only tool by which we can see our face and also our eyes, which are the index of our mind. A mirror not only reflects our external form, but is also the gateway to enter our inner self through the opening of our eyes. It is indeed the best tool for inner transformation, lifting up the self-esteem from lower levels of excessive self criticism to continual assertion of the truth eternal. Our inner Self is most beautiful as it is beyond any blemishes and scars.
It all starts with our own inner mirror. Until that is clean, nothing is reflected properly!! Meditation is essentially a cleansing process of our mind as it cleanses the mirror that reflects the world we live in. Just as a mirror covered with dust cannot reflect a clear image, so also a mind with its contents of fear, anxiety, jealousy and anger cannot experience the infinite beauty and joy available to us.
Our mind reflects everything from the external world on us. In simple words, the mind is our world. We see or perceive the world only through our mind, and just as glasses with smudges and dust on them distort our ability to see, so also a mind trapped in the groove of negative self-esteem never allows the beauty of our Oneness to be experienced. Once you begin to let go of seeing yourself through the eyes of others, and all of society’s false standards, the smiling image that you see in the mirror through your eyes of Awareness reflects this Universal Oneness.
It all begins with a very simple practice. It may sound rather comical, but you can rest assured that thousands of people all over the world have tried this simple technique and found that it works. Mirror work truly uplifts your low self-esteem or self-image to a higher ground where you understand yourself better. Isn’t it the most important thing in life? You often feel bad if someone underestimates and belittles you, but just reflect in your mind... how many times in your life or how many times in a day do you berate yourself and feel you don’t compare well with others? This mirror work is the tool for uplifting yourself in your own eyes, the beginning of the journey of self-love to self-realization.
Try this practice: When no one is around, and you are doing some simple daily chores of your life, just smile. Recall some pleasant memory and continue to smile. Finish your work then stand before a mirror, and look into your smiling face. You are face to face with yourself! Just affirm that in spite of so many negative things in your life, still you are vibrating with the cosmos in a space shuttle called Earth. In this moment, with glittering eyes and a smile on your lovely face, you are one with God. You are one with Life. You are one with your True Self.
When you look into the mirror with your eyes of appreciation for yourself it truly creates a new channel in your mind, the channel of divine light that flows from your heart and heals all of your ills. If you can begin your daily practice for just 5 minutes, or even 2 minutes, in front of the mirror and affirm all the miracles that you would love to see manifest, then this is the best place to start!! I have personally found it the most effective tool of self-love.
Many people react to this practice in a very negative way when they first start it. A mind which has already grown in frustration and self-condemnation cannot face the mirror and start suggesting the positive words, as they seem to be untrue and repulsive. This is always the initial resistance felt in any practice promoting a complete shift of inner belief and deep-seated subconscious programming. But anyone who wants to see the magic of the human mind needs to persevere through negative mental grooming into the world of light that is the innate quality of the soul within.
As such, mirror work is the self-help tool for coming face to face with one’s own self, which, regrettably, most often people try to avoid. It is a natural tendency of the egoic mind to cling to something outside, something that could make the mind forget the pain and inner negative emotions of hurt or fallen self image. But no painkiller or other drug can be a true help any longer. Neither for the body, nor for the mind and emotions. God has given humans infinite power hidden in the mind to rise and assert the glory of the soul and the spirit of freedom.
I am confident that anyone who can break this initial resistance will be able to move ahead and see the miracle that can happen with this simple and doable practice of standing before the mirror and filling one’s mind with positive thoughts. Let us never forget that the world of science is giving us increasing evidential proof that what we repeat as inner conversations and beliefs tends to create both our inner and outer lives.
Mirror work is thus an act of befriending ourselves. It is like coming closer and closer to our own inner reality of true beauty and goodness. Let us make the mirror not just a part of our life for cosmetic reasons, but more so for the building of a new paradigm for self-realization.
So, please spend some time before the mirror, looking into your own eyes. Affirm that you are a radiant child of eternal light. See the beauty, the goodness, and the Divine love shining in your own eyes. Remind yourself that you come from God, you are showered in God’s love, you share that Divine love with everyone you meet, you love yourself, and others love you. Know that you are a blessing to your family, your friends, and to society. Feel the glow of Divine grace and love in your own heart. Work on the plane of spiritual consciousness as well as on the physical plane. Look into your eyes without blinking and feel the calmness there. Recognize the blessings of God manifesting in your being.
Doing this mirror work regularly will make you more beautiful. It will create miracles. You will grow in self-esteem. You will become more aware of your inner strength and power of mind. Divine grace will manifest miracle after miracle around you. You will become your own, true, orienting centre.
Let this mirror work take you to your deepest level of understanding and practice so that you too can mirror the Universal Consciousness and add to the positive energy field in the shift of Consciousness world over.
Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari (Kolkata, India), is an international motivational and spiritual speaker, author, social advocate and peace maker. Founder of Stress Management Academy, his Simple Art of Managing Stress and Course in Mindfulness are known worldwide, inspiring corporate leadership, students and all seekers of peace and happiness to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Author of the internationally acclaimed Making Your Mind Your Best Friend, Shuddhaanandaa was the recipient of the Man of Peace Award from the World Organisation for Peace in Mexico, 2012. He is recognized as a visionary social advocate for his development of groundbreaking programs that serve thousands of poverty-stricken individuals in slums of Calcutta, India and remote villages of West Bengal. He founded Lokenath Divine Life Mission in 1985.
Please read his new book Cleaning the Mirror of Mind, available on Kindle.
For more information visit http://www.courseinmindfulness.