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As a woman, I’ve always found myself hyper-conscious of my skin health. One pimple, a few blackheads, and my self confidence would plummet. This is a common, often unspoken feeling shared by most people. It is hard to reprogram our inner voices into positive, encouraging and loving characters, especially when every commercial and advertisement features airbrushed humans with skin so soft and flawless we can basically feel it through the screen.
I want to share my holistic skin care with our readers. These posts aren’t just for women, but are open to all folks interested in improving their self and outer perception. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It doesn’t involve beauty products. It involves inner conversation, loving self care, and acceptance. It involves a nourishing diet, coconut oil, and soothing mornings in a mask. This post will be the first of a series of skin-care posts. Today’s topic? Mirrors!
On the Subject of Mirrors
Our time in front of the mirror is quite a big chunk of our day. How many times do you think you looked at yourself in the mirror today? At home, school, work, your friend’s house, the coffee shop… There are mirrors EVERYWHERE these days. I see this as an awesome opportunity to practice retraining your inner voice, and challenging your other mirror behaviors.
Do you lean over the sink just to get closer to the mirror? Are you thinking things like:
“I look terrible today.”
“That @*#!ing pimple! I am going to have a breakout. I just know it. Why can’t I catch a break?”
Are you popping blackheads or pimples every time you go to the bathroom? Do you find yourself wearing scarves or covering up your blemishes by changing your posture?
I certainly did all of these behaviors. Mirrors can be dangerous enablers of the ego.
I began reshaping my mirror interaction on trips into the backcountry. There are no mirrors on the trail to remind you that you’ve acquired a white head, or your eyebrows are forming a dreaded unibrow. (The horror!!) Your daily routine becomes steadily more about the present moment- about the incredible variety of greens in the forest, or about the delicious simplicity of a cup of tea. I noticed something after these ego breaks in the wild: My self confidence was boosted, and my skin was clearer in the weeks following.
When Riley and I moved into the Grand-Mothership, our converted ’82 shuttle bus, we didn’t have a mirror. And though we have since acquired one, it is not mounted. It lives stored away in a cupboard in case Riley decides to shave at home. Living without a mirror at home has transformed the way that I interact with mirrors elsewhere throughout my day. Instead of leaning in, meticulously scanning my forehead and chin for a possibility of a catastrophic pimple, I look into my reflection and think, “Wow. I am beautiful. I am healthy. My skin is a reflection of my inner love.”
My relationship with the mirror has taken many months to reinvent. I began by recognizing the self-ridiculing conversation inside my head whenever I found my reflection. When I recognized it, I told it to BE NICE! I told myself phrases such as: “I am not defined by my skin. My beauty radiates from within.”
Once I realized that my inner dialogue was directly connected with the health of my skin, I changed my attitude towards blemishes from “OH ewww!”, to “I accept you, dear pimple. You are part of my glorious body. Thank you for communicating that I am stressed.” I am not exaggerating here- these are actual conversations from inside my brain.
This state of self-love is difficult to maintain. It really helps me to not have a mirror at home. But as Riley points out, it is still a tool that can be used to help us practice self acceptance. Less time with my reflection helps make the time that I do spend much more productive. Try covering up one mirror in your home for a weekend. It might change the way you see yourself.
As always, comment below how you nourish your body and the planet! I am very excited for this series. Comment if you have anything in particular you want me to talk about, or have any self care methods you would like to share with the internet audience!
BE WELL! And remember, your radiance comes from within!
Riley & Cece