The Seven Day Mirror Challenge Results (For REAL This Time)

skindeepstory.com i hate how i look

Hello Beauties,

Geez it’s been a while since my last post.  Nearly a month!  Sorry.  I just haven’t felt the inspiration to write this post and I don’t want this blog to ever feel like a chore.  It just wouldn’t be authentic.

So, I finally did the Seven Day Mirror Challenge!

As you may know, I kind of failed the last time I tried.  I felt so bad about my appearance that I literally didn’t want to look in the mirror, much less look in it and say nice things about myself.  But I followed through with my promise and you know what?  I was right.  A huge shift happened.

skindeepstory.com how to love the mirrorThe hard part the first few days was being genuine.  I’d look into the mirror and say “Sierra, you are beautiful” but my ego would shout back at me “Liar!”  I kind of felt bipolar in the beginning of the challenge, so I decided I wouldn’t say things if I didn’t really mean them.  So those first few days I said things like “I am really smart,” or “I’m a very loyal friend,” or “I can cook up a delicious stack of pancakes.”  I believed these compliments wholeheartedly and was happy to look myself in the eyes and point them out.

After a few days, I started to get more comfortable with the exercise and found myself saying things like “I have really pretty  hands” or “I love the color of my eyes.”  I started playing around with the idea that maybe I have physical traits that are…gulp…actually BEAUTIFUL!

By the end of the week I started to look forward to my daily mirror ritual.  Finding new qualities about myself that I could actually be proud of was really eye opening.  I have spent so much time focusing on all the imperfections that I wasn’t seeing the beauty.  It was like tunnel vision.  The last day I found myself listing even more than 5 positive traits – and they were both physical and non physical compliments.  I have great cheekbones and a warm smile.  I’m very creative and I love making people feel good about themselves.  And yes, I do make a mean pancake breakfast 🙂

When it was all done, I could actually look into the mirror, red dry pimple-filled skin and all, and genuinely say “I am beautiful, inside and out.”  Such a huge shift in thinking…I still look into the mirror on occasion and repeat that affirmation.  The trick is to really mean it!

skindeepstory.com keep calm and love yourselfThere’s one more thing I wanted to share…and this is the best part!  As the week progressed I noticed a dramatic change in my skin.  I went from having three new cystic pimples a day, to literally NO NEW ACNE!  I remembered a documentary I watched recently called “What The Bleep Do We Know” (which you can watch for free HERE).  It’s all about how our mind creates our own reality.  Not just how we feel about ourselves, but actual physical changes that occur solely from a change in thinking.

Full disclosure: I have been on spironolactone, birth control and medical grade topicals for several months and it’s certainly possible that the change in my skin was simply the medications finally starting to work on my acne.  But, I like to think there’s more to it.  I finally saw my own beauty even through my pimples.  I think that may have been the lesson the universe was trying to give me.  It’s like a twisted version of Beauty and the Beast.  I had to first find the inner beauty to achieve the outer beauty.  Cheesy?  Maybe.  But it’s the honest to goodness truth.

It’s been a few weeks since the challenge and I really haven’t looked back.  My skin continues to improve in strides, but more importantly, I like myself again.  I haven’t felt that way in ages.  I’m so happy I completed the Seven Day Mirror Challenge and I really hope you try it too.

xo

Sierra

Daily Affirmation:  I am beautiful, inside and out.

Advertisements

The 7 Day Mirror Challenge

acne and the mirror

Sorry I have been absent for so long.  Reflecting is something I’ve been avoiding lately.  Emotionally, and physically as well.

When did the mirror become my enemy?  As a woman, I feel this innate need to be feminine and beautiful.  I used to admire my own reflection.  Now when I catch myself in the mirror I obsess, picking out every flaw, especially my acne.

mirror mirror on the wallI have given an inanimate object all the power.  The mirror can completely make or break my day, and more often than not lately, it has been the latter.  I am preoccupied with a physical perfection that is high by any standards, and I know that any time I see what I look like I am just going to feel disappointed and hopeless.

At this point I’ve started avoiding mirrors altogether.  I will consciously keep my head down when I am in a room with one.  Even just knowing that my reflection exists makes me anxious, whether I see it or not.

This is true on another level as well.  I have really been avoiding looking within to face all of my negative feelings.  I try to preoccupy myself during all waking hours, but my thoughts always seem to find me.

Unfortunately, I just can’t keep hiding from myself.  It’s impossible.

What I realize is that in order to truly face the mirror, I must look past my inner critic – my ego.  When I look into the mirror I am not seeing the real me.  My ego takes over and all I can perceive are my insecurities.  It’s time to take the power back because when it comes down to it, I get to choose how I feel about myself.

Take a stand with me and try The 7 Day Mirror Challenge.  For one week, I am going to look in the mirror every morning and list five things I admire about myself, physical or otherwise.  It’s one small shift that I’m betting will have a big impact!

happy without acne

I’ll let you know how the challenge goes in a week, and I hope you do the same.  Comment below and let me know 5 things you really admire about yourself! 

Affirmation: I am beautiful, inside and out.

New Year’s Resolution

2013 New Year's Resolution - SkinDeepStory.Blogspot.com

I’ve been ODing on The Love Vitamin videos (I really love this girl – see below for more info) and feeling guilty about all the poor diet decisions I’ve made these last few days just waiting for inspiration to kick in so I could write this New Year’s Resolution post.  I don’t want to make the same old “I’ll eat better” or “I’ll exercise every day” resolution.  This type of restriction causes more harm than good and ultimately implodes on itself.  So…how do I make a powerful resolution that I can actually keep?

By simplifying.  With all of the challenges I am facing trying to change my lifestyle, my mindset, my physical and emotional health, and, of course, my skin, I found one simple tool that I can implement to really make a difference in ALL of these areas.

I am always able to see the big picture after I’ve done the damage.  I’ll binge on a bunch of sugar or go overboard with exercise or procrastinate at work until I just end up stressed and working late.  Later on I can see that I made a poor decision based on emotional stress, but at the time I can’t stop myself.  But this is exactly it.  I need to STOP.  If I can just recognize in the moment when I am about to do something I might regret and then, here’s the best part – STEP AWAY FOR A MINUTE – then I can lose that negative momentum and make a better choice.

So my resolution this year is to hit the pause button. Whenever my actions are not reflecting my goals I will literally STOP in my tracks, walk out of the room if necessary, and pick up my journal, breathe, pour a mug of hot tea, or do something else that will calm, soothe and bring perspective into my decisions.  I might decide not to eat that extra slice of cake OR I might decide that it is okay.  Either way, I am at least doing so mindfully.

That’s it!  It sounds simple, but I know it is an incredibly powerful resolution.  I’m truly excited to put this into practice.

What’s your resolution?

P.S. Here’s my favorite Love Vitamin video – this girl has been such an inspiration for me on my journey and I really appreciate all of her tips and encouragement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-KDbq2psZE

Plan B

free happy woman holistic cure for acne

These last few days I’ve been relaxing, just enjoying life, not worrying about my diet like crazy – in fact I’ve eaten things I would NEVER have before.  I just let go.  I gave myself permission to do this and I didn’t punish myself.  And…my skin is looking much better.  Proof that my anxiety has a huge toll on my skin.  Sure, physical things like diet, sleep and exercise make a difference – but the biggest improvement always comes from just relaxing.  Managing my stress and enjoying life.

I listened to a lot of Eckart Tolle yesterday and I am realizing it’s imperative that I learn to take quiet time and be more present.  Right now these distractions are possible because it’s a holiday and I don’t have to work.  But when the time comes when I must be present, when there is an issue at work or I have to accomplish a lot in a small amount of time, I need to prepare myself to be totally present and at ease.

Eckart’s whole strategy is when you find your mind wandering and the anxiety creeping in, it’s only because you are not being fully present.  Just allow yourself to be aware of these thoughts, recognize that they exist but that they are not you, and bring yourself back into the present moment because “in the now” no problem can possibly exist.

So, plan B.  I thought I could just “be more present” in my life, but now I think I need to kind of schedule it.  Now, I don’t want to create any rules the way I always do, but I am aiming to get at least 10 minutes a day of being fully present.  Every day.  I can fit this in whenever.

And in general, I am just going to pay attention to my thoughts and notice when the anxiety comes in.  It’s true that it is always about something I am worried about in the future (or sometimes the past) and never the present moment.  If I’m not living for the present moment, I am not living.

Intention: To become aware of thoughts that do not serve me, and to live right now, in the present.  This is my Christmas gift to myself.

Affirmation: I have the power to heal myself.