In 2010 I did a year-long ongoing Five Rhythms programme. Every two months, a group of about 40 people got together for a long weekend and danced (we had meals and chats in between). It was a powerful experience. A lot had shifted in my life in the course of five weekends. I finished my PhD, got engaged, moved into a beautiful four-bedroom rented house, got a job. All within eight months of this programme.
We did many exercises and rituals along with dancing. But one of those exercises had a profound effect on me.
I was pared up with a gorgeous young man. I do not exaggerate it. He’s the most good-looking man I’ve ever known (no, he’s not available, and no, he’s not interested in women). Anyway, I sat opposite him, and followed the teacher’s instructions. We had to look in the eyes of this person and say:
‘In the mirror of you, I see….’
What I saw was ‘beauty, courage, strength, power, charisma’ and a lot of other goodness.
And then it was his turn to look me in the eye and say what he saw in the mirror of me.
As he completed the sentence with ‘self-doubt, hesitation, fear, judgment’, my heart sank. It couldn’t be more different to what I saw in him.
Having said that two things stand out for me today. First, although I said all those nice things, they were about him. I saw his beauty, courage, strength, etc., but I didn’t own mine. I completely missed the point of the exercise and used it to convey to him my admiration. Second, what he saw in me wasn’t necessarily about me; those were things he was grappling with in life; he was in a relationship which filled him with doubt and hesitation.
So, I have two suggestions for you today.
1. When you admire someone for a particular quality, own it in yourself too. You simply wouldn’t notice someone’s beauty, if you don’t embody it yourself.
2. When you feel triggered by someone else’s behaviour, check in with yourself. Maybe there are parts of yourself you struggle to accept.
And while you do this, please, be kind to yourself.
If you struggle with self-acceptance, I’m here to help. Register for my next free call on ‘Self Acceptance’. where we’ll dive in at the deep end and heal the limiting beliefs you may have around this issue.
It’s on on friday 15 march at 10 am UK time.
P.S. Don’t want to wait that long? you can find out how you can work with me straight away. Then check out how you can work with me