Mirrors have always been a part of my life. When I was a little girl, mirrors were a source of amusement and delight. As I grew older, the mirror became an exacting critic for me to appease as I compared my image with those of women in fashion magazines. One day, I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror and was shocked by how sad and distressed I looked – I hadn’t even realized I felt that way. I had been cultivating an image of myself that was pleasing to other people, and in the process, had lost touch with part of myself. I began to take time to gaze at my reflection to get in touch with my feelings. I found a way to look past the imperfections in my appearance to look deeper into my own eyes with compassion.

As motivational psychologist, I was curious about how this mirror meditation might benefit others. I began facilitating mirror meditation sessions through video conference calls and was amazed by the transformative power of this simple technique. At first, people seemed very awkward and self-conscious; their faces were tense and their eyes harsh and critical as they looked at themselves, adjusting this and that. Then as we talked and shared what they were experiencing, I gently guided them to look more deeply at themselves – beyond surface appearance and stories about their appearance.

The transformations I witnessed in the individual sessions led me to conduct controlled research studies. In the first study, fifty participants look at their image in the mirror for ten minutes in eight sessions over a two-week period. They reported significant reductions in stress, anxiety and depression – as well as increases in self-compassion.

The results are clear: Mirror Meditation is a simple technique that has the power to change how you feel about yourself and your life. It’s an easy way to calm and center yourself, go beneath self-judgments and daily distractions, and discover your innate sense of self-love. From there, you can create the life your most desire for yourself and those who matter most to you.

Are You Objectifying Yourself?

I am facilitating a guided self-reflection session. My client is sitting in front of the mirror in a comfortable meditation posture. She is still, gazing into her own eyes. And, she feels nothing. She doesn’t like her hair and she makes a few other, da …

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How to Stop Criticizing your Appearance

Research finds that eight in 10 women are dissatisfied with their reflection in the mirror.  It’s not surprising. Media images of women retouched to perfection create standards of beauty that are nearly impossible to attain. The pressure to be thin, yo …

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What Are You Looking At?

“What are you looking at?” is not only a famous line from the movies, it’s also an important question to ask yourself. Sensitive souls know that everything we see affects us deeply. Research in neuroscience is continuously gathering more evidence to su …

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See Yourself for the First Time

As we begin our session, I tell her “Wiggle your toes, feel your feet solidly on the floor, and your butt firmly in the chair.” We are preparing for a wild ride – not in an all-terrain vehicle or a rollercoaster. We’re beginning a 50-minute session of …

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Who Sees You Accurately?

Have your ever had someone give you a complement – it sounds nice and you appreciate being noticed, but something about it just doesn’t quite land? The person clearly wants to see the good in you, but their impression of you is a bit off. Sometimes acc …

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Is Self-love Healthy or Narcissistic?

We all know the icon of the narcissist gazing in the mirror. Narcissists seem to love themselves extremely, to the exclusion of others. Mirrors reflect back how we feel about ourselves. Looking at our own image may be a source of delight, or it may tri …

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The Secret to Taming Your Monkey Mind

If you’ve ever tried meditation, you’ve probably encountered the “monkey mind.” It’s that part of your mind that refuses to shut up, can’t just relax and let go, and is always looking for problems, even where there are none. Trying to exert control ove …

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The Naked Truth

When I meet people at parties and they ask me what I do, I tell them “I’m a mirror-gazing expert”. If they don’t immediately turn away, I explain a little more: “Mirror Meditation is a daily practice that involves gazing at your reflection in the mirro …

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