The archetypal clip intimacy manager Amina Peterson took a bully look astatine her ain vulva, it was inspired by Betty Dodson’s signifier of studying her ain genitals successful the mirror. The acquisition reminded Peterson of the precise opening of The Vagina Monologues. In the play, a quality mentions that women mightiness spell years without looking astatine their ain vagina. It’s hidden distant “down there,” hard to spot and sometimes hard to face. What resonated with Peterson was this resistance: We could look, but we don’t.
When she thought of it connected a larger scale, she realized not lone bash we not look astatine ourselves down there, but we often don’t look astatine ourselves astatine all. That’s erstwhile she started doing reflector work, a signifier of spending clip with her assemblage successful the reflector to amended admit and grant herself.
Today, Peterson guides clients done reflector enactment arsenic a signifier of self-intimacy and spouse intimacy. (You tin spot the signifier successful enactment connected our caller Netflix bid Sex, Love & goop.)
The Value of Mirror Work
By Amina Peterson, arsenic told to goop
In our culture, looking astatine yourself successful the reflector with praise and appreciation is considered conceited. There’s astir a connotation of its being vile oregon shameful. Often the lone mentation of looking astatine ourselves that’s considered acceptable is not looking but putting connected constitution oregon doing your hairsbreadth truthful that your quality is each close for different people. If you instrumentality it to different level, wherever you’re honoring yourself—seeing your assemblage arsenic a existent body, arsenic yours, arsenic valuable, arsenic worthy—it’s frowned upon.
When I was archetypal confronted with reflector work—the signifier of looking successful the reflector and truly seeing yourself—it was challenging. It went against everything I’d been told each my beingness astir however I should spot myself and however I should spot others. Mirror enactment moves america retired of this abstraction wherever our quality is for different radical to devour and not for america to realize. That’s particularly existent for women and femmes.
When I speech to radical astir struggles that they person successful intimacy, a batch of it is astir being seen. Intimacy is truthful overmuch astir being witnessed. And a batch of america conflict with being witnessed by others due to the fact that we don’t adjacent let ourselves to witnesser ourselves. If I americium incapable to look astatine myself, however americium I going to let my spouse to look astatine me? How americium I going to get to a abstraction wherever I acquisition existent intimacy with a spouse if I’m terrified of self-intimacy? If I’m frightened that idiosyncratic other volition spot thing that I don’t let myself to see?
That situation tin determination america retired of intimate spaces and forestall america from processing existent intimate ties. Everything stays surface-level. We bash it with the lights off. We anticipation nary 1 notices that we person each these emotions. We privation to beryllium loved conscionable enough, truthful if we could get by with the emotion we get, that’ll beryllium enough.
But erstwhile you commencement doing reflector work, you get to grow your capableness for emotion and intimacy. It becomes a batch much than we different let ourselves to have.
How to Do Mirror Work at Home
There’s 1 happening you indispensable person to bash reflector work: a full-length reflector successful which you tin spot your full self. The remainder is optional but volition assistance you get the astir retired of your practice.
1. Set the space.
Even if you person lone a small spot of time, dainty this arsenic thing important and invaluable by clearing the abstraction physically and energetically. You merit to instrumentality attraction of yourself and grant yourself wrong a temple-like setting.
Make definite that your abstraction is clean. Get your apparel up and enactment them away, oregon immoderate you request to do.
Cleanse the place. I similar to usage fume to assistance wide the air. Use immoderate calls to you. Some radical similar incense oregon resin. Others take yerba santa, sage, oregon palo santo. I similar to pain cinnamon oregon a saccharine incense similar ylang-ylang to telephone successful immoderate feminine energy, particularly if I usage thing with precise masculine energy, similar baccy oregon bluish sage, astatine the opening of the practice.
2. Prepare your body.
Ideally, you’re capable to instrumentality a bath oregon a ablution earlier doing reflector work. Now’s the clip for those ace delicious soaps oregon scrubs that you were talented and were redeeming for thing special. Light a candle. Take your time. Spend immoderate clip afterwards oiling and moisturizing your skin, luxuriating implicit yourself, and allowing yourself to consciousness into the moment. Then enactment your robe on—I similar radical to deterioration a robe oregon a sarong truthful they aren’t struggling with their apparel successful the adjacent measurement but person thing to screen themselves with until they’re ready—and spell basal successful beforehand of the reflector with intention.
3. Step successful beforehand of the mirror.
Disrobe successful beforehand of the mirror. And past simply look astatine and announcement yourself.
Acknowledge yourself without judgment. Acknowledge yourself from caput to toe. The grey curls, the wrinkles, the furrows, the rosacea, the rosiness successful your cheeks, the fullness of your lips, the colour successful your skin. Maybe I’m noticing that 1 of my areolas is larger than the other. I bash that without judgment. I’m conscionable seeing it. You determination done your full assemblage similar that. Not judging, conscionable seeing. Normally, erstwhile we look successful the mirror, we thin to instantly comprehend definite features arsenic bad—especially if it’s thing that’s changed, and adjacent much truthful if it’s thing that’s changed arsenic we’ve gotten older. We announcement what’s saggy oregon dimply, oregon if thing isn’t arsenic afloat arsenic it utilized to be, oregon if there’s a caller wrinkle, and we justice ourselves for that.
Offer yourself immoderate praise and affirmations. It is almighty to region the thought that thing is incorrect with immoderate of what you’re seeing. The archetypal affirmation I usage is: “I spot you.” Like, “I americium witnessing you. I spot myself.” Moving connected from there, it’s astir going with what you feel. When we’re not judging, we tin determination retired of the reasoning encephalon and settee into the feeling caput of the body.
Now I tin witnesser myself and accidental thing kind, praising what I spot successful my tegument and hairsbreadth and teeth, like:
“I’m grateful for these breasts.”
“I’m truthful grateful for this assemblage that has moved maine done childbirth.”
“I emotion my body. My assemblage is strong.”
“This grin is agleam and welcoming.”
“I americium not symmetrical, and it is perfect.”
“I’m here. I’m worthy. This is my acquisition close now, and it’s great.”
4. Extend the practice.
This enactment helps make a much loving, intimate narration with yourself. Sometimes I whitethorn nonstop a lawsuit into this enactment repeatedly, wherever they bash a ritual astir this enactment each week: picking up their area, taking a beauteous bath oregon a luxurious shower, mounting up their candles, and cleansing their abstraction to beryllium precise intentional astir reflector enactment arsenic a project. The assemblage craves ritual. And erstwhile we commencement moving connected ourselves, uncovering spaces wherever we tin ritualize our ain self-care, our ain intimacy enactment helps the assemblage retrieve that this is important to us.
This is an enactment of self-worship. If you look astatine my titles anywhere, it’s ever Goddess Amina. And I notation to my clients arsenic gods and goddesses and divine beings. It’s important for america to beryllium worshipped—by ourselves and by our partners. We conscionable person to larn how. And this signifier helps america larn however our deity aforesaid wants to beryllium affirmed and appreciated and accepted and loved.
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Amina Peterson is simply a healer, a enactment doula, and the laminitis of the Atlanta Institute of Tantra and her backstage healing practice, Fearless Giving. Her enactment focuses connected intimacy coaching, Tantric enactment education, ineffable sex, somatic bodywork, and intersexual gyration and activism.