Six months is just flying by and I write to find out how your 2018 has gone so far? Is it as you planned, hoped and expected? Or are you in the same place, same repeating relationships and feeling the blues? I would love to hear your news and find out what you have been up to.
For me, the breakthrough has come that I have started the building works on my home and private practice and it’s progressing well.
Living with the downstairs upstairs has its ups and downs. The children have embraced the opportunity to use the diggers, drills, and play in the sand. And having no bathroom or kitchen, and therefore doing the ‘outdoor thing’ has been interesting – washing in a bucket in the garden is truly a liberating experience.
With the realisation of how fortunate we are to have the simple things in life like hot running water or kitchen facilities to even boil an egg, I know I will be truly grateful and appreciative beyond words when all is returned back to normal. I pray each night for those less fortunate to not even have clean water to quench their thirst.
And in the mist of all the rubble and dust my amazing and wonderful clients have not been deterred from working with me. Despite all that is around, we have done some amazing work together. I cannot be more fortunate than to continue what I love. My passion is to help you make a difference in your life – I am blessed to have this opportunity. Thank you!
No matter what is going on around us we can work through anything life brings, whether of our own making, of another, or natural causes. One of the best ways of finding solutions is by being calm, positive and present in the moment.
I say this from my first-hand experience, and I am sure anyone who has also had building works whilst simultaneously keeping up a full time job and active children will know what I mean.
Just in case you are not quite ready or don’t really fancy working around a building site, I am still at Liverpool Street and can see you there, as well as the Kings Cross office which is now operational.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
In this blog, I would like to share an exercise I have developed a few years ago using a mirror. It’s now ten years and the process is simplified and well tested. I know you may have heard and experienced many mirror exercises from a lot of self help books and therapists you may have worked with previously. This is a unique process and may come as a surprise to many as we will be doing the opposite of being positive. Test it yourself and you will know why, and benefit immensely from the powerful changes you can make working on your own or with a partner.
If you want to work with me, or after trying the mirror exercise you would like to learn more, or if you’re a therapist and would like to offer another tool to your clients I offer a two day training course which you are welcome to book.
The Mirror Excercise
This mirror exercise is very different from all the usual self-help book techniques and recommendations. It uses the negative belief rather than a positive belief whilst you hold and look into the mirror.
If you want to give it a try, before we get started, please read through what you will need and what you need to do during the process.
- First you need a very light weight mirror (usually you can get them from a pound shop). The frame of the mirror must be wood. The mirror needs to have a surround that you can comfortably hold without touching the glass. Mirror size about 30cm x 25cm. It can be slightly bigger or slightly smaller but not too small or too big. You should be able to see your whole face from the top of your head to your neck.
- Pen and paper to write down the belief you would like to work on and list any associated belief related to it e.g. if you decide to work on your belief about anger.
- Water to drink as you may become tired and dehydrated.
The Mirror Process
To begin with you will write what you want to work on or address (for example anger), writing it as “I believe…” e.g. “I believe I am angry”
And write any other associated beliefs for example:
“I believe I always get angry”
“I believe I am unable to control my anger”
“I believe my anger controls me”
“I believe I am uncontrollably angry”
“I believe they make me angry”
“I believe they want me to get angry
“I believe I fear my anger”
“I believe my anger destroys my relationships”
And so on…
Once you have your mirror and are ready with your beliefs, you must ensure you have privacy. Make sure you will not be disturbed for at least 30 to 60 minutes. Turn off your phone and any background noise. Each belief can take from as little as 5 minutes to an hour and a half depending on what emotions, physical symptoms you experience.
Before you start, read the instructions carefully, and if you have a question you are welcome to contact me. It would be really good if you have someone to help you as you go through the exercise because at times when your symptoms, feelings and thoughts come to the surface it can be hard to continue the process. Also make sure you have plenty of water to drink. The more mirror exercises you do to change the issues you have, the less time you will need.
- Stand with your feet a part, like a ballerina stand.
- With both hands hold each side of the mirror in the middle of the frame (do not touch the mirror itself with your fingers, this is really important).
- Have both your elbows slightly bent, making sure your arms are comfortable as you hold the position.
- Look into the mirror and have a good look at your face. Focus on your eyes and keep looking into them.
- Take a few slow deep breaths and allow your face and body to relax.
- Throughout the process no matter what happens you must always keep looking into the mirror, focusing on your eyes.
- When you’re ready, repeat out loud the belief as you continue looking into your eyes in the mirror while breathing slowly and gently. “I believe I am angry”
- After saying the above statement for about 5-6 times you need to simultaneously, recall all the times you have been angry as far back to the past you can remember. Keep stating your belief throughout the process.
- As you continue with the statement and simultaneously recalling the events of the past you will start to experience physical, emotional and mental thoughts arousing in you. Depending on the belief the symptoms get stronger and may become intense as you continue the symptoms will subside.
- During this time at no point can you stop the process. You will continue to repeat your belief and keep recalling. However, you will come to a natural stop, or you will know to stop, when you experience one of the following:
– You either trip over or stumble
– You can’t remember what you’re saying
– It doesn’t mean anything to you anymore
– You’re stammering or not making sense of your words
– It just doesn’t mean anything to you anymore
– You feel an overwhelming peace within you
– Start laughing or don’t know what you are saying
This is when you can STOP – you are done with that belief. Look into the mirror, take a few breaths and sit down.
- You can take a few minutes to reflect on how you feel, what was going on for you and if new thoughts or beliefs came into your mind during the process. Write them down so you can do them next time.
- Relax and have a drink of water. If it was too intense go for a walk, get some fresh air, or simply take a nice hot bath. If there are things that have come up for you, and you need to speak to someone, you can always contact me for sessions or find a local therapist you can work with. It is important to take care of yourself.
- If you have time and your last belief was not as intense you can then start on the next associated belief. e.g. “I believe they always get angry”. Repeat the process from steps 6-10 as above again.
What Can I Use the Mirror Excercise For?
The mirror exercise can be used for any beliefs. Here are few examples and you can add your own. Always starting with “I believe….”
“I believe I am always used”
“I believe I am not confident”
“I believe I am not good enough”
“I believe I am tired”
“I believe they believe I am not confident”
“I believe they think I am not good enough”
“I believe I am always abused”
“I believe I am vulnerable”
“I believe I am always angry”
“I believe they make me angry”
“I believe they are always angry”
“I believe I am poor”
“I believe I can never earn more than xxx”
“I believe opportunities pass me by”
“I believe I am dyslexic”
“I believe I can’t learn”
“I believe I can’t study”
“I believe I can’t focus”
“I believe I can’t write properly”
“I believe I will never meet the right partner”
“I believe I will never have children”
“I believe I am too old”
Here is What Some of My Mirror Users Have Said
I used the mirror exercise to motivate me back to study. It wasn’t easy to do at first. My arms arched as if I was carrying lead when it wasn’t at all. I felt hot and heavy and cried throughout when recalling events at school and my parents comparing me to my siblings. Upon completing the first three beliefs about my studying I was able to revise for my exams easily and was able to make a plan without having to force myself to study. I got my focus and interest back in my work and other areas of my life too. Anisha P – Student
I used the mirror exercise with Vanessa and if it wasn’t for her supporting me I would have given up when the feelings overwhelmed me, but then I wouldn’t have been able to socialise in groups as I have avoided for many years in the past. Phillipa – Marketing
The mirror exercise is a tool I can used at home and it has helped me to understand myself and has given me the opportunity to have something practical to do that is different – initially it was hard to even look at my face, let alone stand looking into my eyes – I would recommend you give it a try – test it for yourself. I am glad I did because now I can look into any mirror and not avoid or hide away from them as I used to. Andrew B.
Copyright: The Mirror Excercise and its process is copyright of Vanessa Emile. If you want to use it with a client, for work or professional needs, or want to publish in anyway, please seek prior written approval.
And, of course there is the important task of addressing GDPR the new data protection regulation came into force 24th May, 2018 and I need to obtain your consent to stay in touch with you. If you wish to stop receiving newsletters/blogs like this one, from me please simply click the unsubscribe button on the bottom of the page. You are who make my world a happy place next to my family and I would hate to lose you, but fully understand and respect if you wish not for me to contact you. As a therapist your confidentiality is completely adhered to, to enable me to meet the requirements of my professional body, The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).
How to Contact Me
I would like to hear from you if you have tried this exercise and how your experience with the process was and what the results have been for you.
As I mentioned at the beginning, if your plans for 2018 are not quite there, you want to de-stress, find a way to break your pattern and live harmoniously with yourself or stuck with a goal you are unable to achieve I would welcome the opportunity to hear from you. I’m contactable for appointments, information, to attend a mirror training workshop on 07985 387 021 / email