Are you depending on outside perspectives more than your felt sense?
How many mirrors do you have in your home?
How often are you watching your own reflection in a shop window?
How often does looking at yourself in the mirror really make sense?
I’m not at home right now. And I have noticed that every time I walk from one room to another in the apartment I’m staying at currently, I check myself in the mirror.
There is a huge mirror on the wall in the entrance hall that I need to cross every single time I go to a different room. It is almost impossible to not stop for a second and check if I look OK.
Why is that? And does it support me in any way?
Opportunity makes the thief
Having something placed in front of you, naturally makes you look at it. And mirrors are there for checking how you look. So I do.
But does it make me feel better? Or does it distract me from what I wanted to do?
How much of my time does it eat up if my mind stays busy with what I’ve noticed through the mirror?
Those questions are relevant because they inform my decisions.
Of course, there are many temptations out there bigger than mirrors. Smart phones, tablets and digital billboards are probably the high up in the ranking.
I do find the mirror a good metaphor, however, that I can use to discern whether or not I’m using the mirror as needed – i.e. to not leave the house looking like an idiot because I have a mascara smudge on my face – or if it’s an automatic reaction to check if I’m okay – in all kinds of ways.
Being embodied and trusting my experience
One of the most powerful effects for me of being embodied and present is that I am aware of and can trust my perception and felt sense.
When I get stressed, stuck or feel lost, it has often to do that my attention was for too long on something outside myself that I can’t influence.
Shifting back to myself, and aligning my thoughts, emotional state and physical being allows me to move out of stress or stuckness. That’s my ongoing practice.
I don’t know if we can reduce the temptations and opportunities to feel like an outside observer of ourselves. We have a limited influence on how public spaces are designed and how many flashy lights there are that my eye is trained to follow automatically.
What I do know is that I can consciously choose to come back to my body as my home, check in with how I feel and learn to trust my experience.
Experiment for the day
Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash.com
Whenever you catch yourself in moments when you check for outside confirmation of any kind, choose to take a deep breathe and go with your felt sense.
That’s what I’ll be experimenting with today. Feel invited to join and share what you learn.