Three Essential Mirror Work Techniques
Finding Your Inner Beauty – Three Essential Mirror Work Techniques with Amy Wall
by Kim Dietrich
Known as The Skin Expert’s Expert, Amy Wall was voted Best Esthetician at the 2016 Skin Games – an International Skincare Competition for licensed estheticians. Her brand Love, Amy Skin springs from an approach that sets her apart from traditional beauty experts. And while she does market her own skin care collection – TimeLight Skin Nutrition – her approach also incorporates conscious beauty practices that offer powerful results.
On a recent episode of her Conscious Beauty Talk podcast on the Inspired Choices Network, Amy delved into her use of mirrors to advance beauty consciousness – a technique that grew out of early learnings from self-help guru Louise Hay. Just as Hay used mirror work to comfort 80s AIDS patients coping with cultural shaming and judgement, Amy’s techniques help women step out from under the negative messaging of the beauty industry.
Her show Three Essential Mirror Work Techniques proposed some potent methods for enhancing self-love.
Assessment and Awareness
Because the beauty industry promises to sell you something to fix the flaws in your appearance, that’s often all women see in themselves. Amy acknowledges that looking in the mirror may be a highly vulnerable practice for women who typically focus on their (perceived) appearance flaws. With its emphasis on keeping a neutral mindset, her Assessment approach helps flip that messaging.
With clients, Amy typically starts treatments with a skin evaluation that centers on building awareness. Similarly, she encourages using the Assessment practice in your weekly beauty routine to help get back in touch with your appearance. Amy cautions: before your eyes meet the mirror, be aware that it may feel vulnerable to do so. Staying in a non-judgmental mindset, look at your reflection and scan from the top of your forehead down to your décolletage to simply notice what you see. Is there deepening of a wrinkle or some redness or bumps? Do you notice sun damage or sleep wrinkles? Is there new crepiness or dehydration in your neck fascia? Are your ears a different color or is there increased freckling or new laugh-lines? Look down at your hands as well to see if you have more spots on your left/driving hand, or any cording from loss of collagen and skin thinning.
As judgements come up, Amy suggests pushing them gently aside. Remind yourself that wrinkles and other changes on your face are merely traces of your life events. Tell yourself that nothing needs to be fixed and that you are whole just as you are. Recognize also that if you decide you want to change what you see, that is entirely up to you. Such desires don’t have to come from outside yourself, from the media, or from your partner or family. This practice is all about removing self-judgements, simply noticing, and remembering that everything you see on your face comes from something you’ve done in your past. The power of this practice is that YOU get to decide what YOU want to change – and Amy holds that this slight shift is vital in moving towards feeling genuinely beautiful.
Holding Eye Contact
Drawing on the premise that the eyes are the window to the soul, Amy’s second technique, Holding Eye Contact uses the mirror to activate self-empathy and compassion. The technique involves a slight adjustment to what is likely a current daily practice – applying your skin and beauty products. Amy instructs: while taking a deep breath, look in the mirror and hold your own eye contact. Beginning at the top of your forehead, tap your product into your skin and tell yourself, “I am radiant” or “I am beautiful”. Alternatively, pose a question (also called an afformation) “why is it so easy for me to be radiant?”.
Taking the time to speak to yourself like this regularly, even while brushing your teeth, can help you get in touch with how you feel and you look. And as Amy points out, tapping at a meridian point and adding an “I am” statement can be a powerful conduit for establishing new neural pathways and deepening your conscious connection to your own sense of beauty.
Amy’s third conscious beauty approach, the Loving Kindness technique, is the most involved of the three. With origins in the traditional Buddhist ‘Metta’ meditation, the method focuses on the development of self-compassion. Amy explains: having a mirror in view, sit down comfortably and shift into the energy of meditation with your bottom on the floor and back against a wall. Scan your body to become aware of any tension while taking a few deep breaths, perhaps with an essential oil. Slow your thoughts and calm your mind. Then connect in with yourself by gazing softly into your eyes. Focus on letting go of facial expressions and setting aside any feelings of not-enoughness as you take a moment to get to know yourself in the mirror. Then allow your eye-gaze to soften and let yourself be still as you repeat the words: “May I be safe. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself just as I am. May I give myself all the compassion I need. May I be free from fear, free of sorrow and shame. May I have deep inner peace and ease. May I be loving towards myself and may I be happy.”
The exact wording isn’t important, Amy emphasizes. What’s key is using the meditation to fill your reserves of self-empathy and self-compassion. This LovingKindness method helps activate your three centers: your divine mind, your expanded self, and your spirit and body. As you grow this ability to be at one with yourself, you’ll shift towards the results you seek from your beauty products and practices.
Mind, Body and Spirit
A lifelong seeker, Amy has synergized a lifetime of learning into powerful rituals of her own. Likewise, she encourages women to consider what they learn along the way as a blueprint for their own development. To those struggling to step into their own beauty, she cautions that answers don’t lie solely in lotions and potions (though a great facial formula can be a huge ally!).
It can be equally transformative, Amy promises, to reject the belief that it’s vain to look in the mirror and invite your body, mind and spirit into your beauty practices.
Kim Dietrich is a freelance writer specializing in lifestyle, career and business writing for online and print media. Her work has appeared in Toronto Life magazine, East Coast Living and Saturday Night. Connect with Kim at www.kimdietrich.ca.