I was putting on my makeup the other morning when I noticed a matched set of wrinkles around my mouth. Having reached the age where the mirror is can seem like an enemy instead of a friend, I am hyper-vigilant about the stories I tell myself as I gaze at my reflection.
It makes all the difference in what I see.
Allow me to provide two examples to demonstrate my point. Assume both of these scenarios occurred on the same day, at the same time:
Story A: It’s the end of 2015 and I didn’t accomplish all of my goals. I feel time slipping through my fingers like grains of sand and I feel powerless to stop the flow. I don’t particularly like myself right now and the choir of judgment, criticism and frustration is singing at full volume. When I look in the mirror, all I see are wrinkles, gray hairs and a bit of sagging around my jawline. I frown at my image and wonder (rather despondently) why I look so much older.
Story B: It’s the end of 2015 and I made a list of all that I accomplished this year. I have taught courses, given speeches (on a cruise!), appeared on television, been interviewed on radio shows and even created a podcast. It’s been a productive year and I can’t wait for 2016! When I look in the mirror, I see myself as a vibrant woman eager to share her wisdom. The wrinkles, gray hairs and sagging jawline are just the physical evidence that I have lived more than 50 years on this planet. I smile at myself, knowing that I am enough.
What just happened? My physical appearance didn’t change. The mirror’s surface was the same – it reflected back what was before it. The only thing different was the story I told myself as I looked into the mirror. And that story (whether it was positive or negative) caused me to see myself differently.
Instead of reflecting light particles, my mirror actually reflected the stories I told myself! Instead of an inanimate object made of glass and silver, I now call it my “Story Mirror.”
My mirror has become my litmus test. When I see the wrinkles, gray hair and sagging skin, I know I am not telling myself an uplifting story. When I see sparkling eyes and I can smile at myself, my internal story is rocking.
Your Stories Filter What You See
Stories are the meaning you attach to neutral facts. In the examples above, the physical appearance of my face certainly did not change, but I saw different things because of my story filter.
Can you change your limiting stories? Absolutely. Are you willing to become aware of your limiting stories so you can change them? Silence…as crickets chirp in the background.
The inevitable truth is: Only you are in control of your stories. You created them and you can change them. No one is coming to fix it. Only you can decide what stories work for you and which ones need to be changed.
“But how do I change my stories? That’s exactly how I see myself!” I can hear the conversation in your head as you consider my message. I do not have enough space here to explain the how and why of the Story Alchemy™ process, but I can promise you that it works miracles.
When you change your stories, you change your life. The amazing result is that when you change your stories, your view of your world also changes to reflect your new perspective.
Life is a Mirror of your Inner World
One of my favorite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau: It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see. When you begin alchemizing your limiting stories, you begin to see your world differently.
Why? It all starts with your inner world. Change your inner world and the outer world will also change.
We live in a dualistic world of physical form, governed by the laws of time and space. Good and bad co-exist; love and hate can always be seen; joy and despair exist in the same set of circumstances.
It all comes down to which story you choose as your filter. Are you limiting your view because of the choir of judgmental voices singing in your head? Or have you chosen to ignore them and turn toward the light of empowerment?
It is your choice, in every moment. Your choice determines what you see in the mirror, and in the outside world.
Why not choose to stand in front of your mirror with an empowering story about yourself, your life and your value? Commit to seeing the greatest version of the grandest vision of yourself and your world will change…because you have changed it from the inside.
You always have the perfect litmus test to determine whether you are on track. Your mirror. And your life.