There is this practice, ritual if you will that I do for myself once a month. I started two years after seeing one of my very close friends do it. Mirror gazing. Should be called goddess gazing in my opinion really. It blew my mind. I remember thinking, my god I have never in all of my years on this earth seen a woman look at herself with such love and tenderness. For a moment, while I watched, it was palpable. I could actually feel it. Not just look upon it with my eyes, but feel her love for herself. 

I remember seeing women in the past who would really look at themselves, and think “jesus christ get a room, you are not the only one, you are not the best”. Cutting women who loved themselves off right at the legs. I would often label them megalomanic’s, thinking they were the best, the be all end all. I know now, what I really wanted was to look at myself like that too. 

This ritual is, well, was one of the hardest things I have ever done on this journey of self love, spirituality, goddess lifestyle…whatever you want to call it. The reward? The biggest gift I have ever given myself. We look in the mirror every single day do we not? Most of us glance because we cant bear to look for too long, afraid of what we will see, or seeing what we are not. We are always immediately drawn to the place where we have fallen short. By whose standards I am still unsure, but it doesn't matter, we have fallen short. When I began really looking at myself through a mirror, like really really looking…I was looking at myself from my heart rather than through clouds of doubt and despair. 

It really is about seeing yourself, without any noise in the background. Forget your stories, but only for a minute. Look at yourself. Then think about the stories, shit are they even true stories? Time for a rewrite don't you think? 

I do two types of mirror gazing, I do just my face, and once a month I do full body nude mirror gazing. When I do just my face, I used to go right to my rosacea, hell sometimes I still do. I would think, this is because you drink coffee too much, it is “stomach heat”, it is because you wear makeup, god you have to wear makeup more , and on and on and on until I couldn't even look at myself for another minute. Now. Well now, I look, and I see it (I don't wear make up that often) but i glaze right over it. I go right to my eyes, god I love my eyes. You can see everything in there (my favorite quality about myself…ok i do really like my big booty too but we are talking face here so focus ok!?). My eyes can tell you what I am feeling right now, how I feel about someone, something, where I would really rather be and all of the heartache and pain I have endured. They sparkle so bright when I am happy, and when I cry, it seems they sparkle brighter. 

So who decided that rosacea was so unsightly? Sure as shit was not me! Media I guess right? Never get a man with those rosy bumpy cheeks. Well. I did. So. Shove it. So how do we change our inner voice? So, I let myself GO THERE. It comes up and I will listen, the voice says “ugh, this rosacea Juli, its pretty bad this month. have you been moisturizing enough or what” and then I CHOOSE, to change the dialogue. I start to look at my face as a whole rather than this one tiny piece. Ah. There are my eyes, that big smile, my strong chin and fearless forehead. Damn. I look..happy. 

I started doing this everyday for awhile until it was so easy to glaze over the negative voices that I was pretty much pulled right to the positive dialogue without any help. I let all the bad dissolve in the glow of my uniqueness, my face is a testimony to all my experiences, wisdom and gifts, and it is looking right back at me. How could I be so cruel to turn her away. 

This gets easier over time I promise, we are all heaven sent individuals. Giving myself the most sacred gift of self love was worth every minute I was uncomfortable. I walk with my head high every day, I show up to pick up my son in crazy pants and no makeup. Thats me. And it feels so so good to be me. Maybe that makes me a megalomaniac, but hell I don't care.