We often hear Image is everything. But is it really who you are or only a very small sliver of who you truly BE?
Is the image people have of you authentically expanding you, or contracting and binding you?
How can you clean up the energy around that?
My mother was a Couturier Designer and Master Tailor. She gave birth to me, an ultra conservative dresser – I could care less about fashion.
My daughter inherited my mother’s flair. Even at ninety-one, my mother still wears her beautiful hats, gloves, and dress pumps to church. She is dubbed “the queen mother” by all our friends. At her petite hight of 4’8″, she has a regal commanding presence. She doesn’t put on airs; it’s just her style, quality of clothes, and her charisma.
However, those who see her in the garden, see a different Ernestine. She trades in her fashionable outfits for a straw hat, shorts, halter tops, and sandals, while not being afraid to get her hands get covered in dirt.
She is at home in both images; however they are but a small breadcrumb of who she truly is. She was an “independent parent”, a single mom, on her own, no relatives in the country to help, and no child support. She worked 2 jobs and proud of it too, but no one ever suspected (neither world collided with the other…
no one knew (that part was hidden in pride. It made her stronger, she didn’t ever want people to percieve her in victim mode).
Most often when we think of “image”, we think of body image and how we portray ourselves to others. But I have found that what people think of me is often not how I see myself at all.
When I left corporate to become a Reiki and BodyTalk practitioner, I traded all my suits for track pants and soft fleece casual wear. I thought I had to look like a massage therapist, but that did not feel right. So I upgraded to white flowy guru type clothes to fit into the image of the clinics I was working out of. That too was incongruent, and people sensed it.
I am a still a corporate no-nonsense type gal, after 25 years in pharmaceutical, I fit in with A-type personalities. I love my pencil skirts, pant suits, and heels. Now I am comfortable again. However, my wardrobe was only a small piece of who I am, or who I am perceived as. As soon as I became comfortable in who I really am, others were too. No matter how I dress, or what title people call me.
When we are out of tune with our truth, we feel uncomfortable in our own skin. The negative chatter we hear in our heads isn’t truth, your soul only speaks with love and supportive thoughts.
So what is it about labels? How much of our own image is due to what others have said we are? How can you refresh your mind and energy field ?
A powerful exercise we use at my Transformational Tuesdays Workshops and that you can do at home to clean up your image is this.
- Write out on individual index cards, every “label” you have ever been given. As many as you can think of, write until you are empty. For instance on one card write: wife. On another write: sister.On the next write:mother, parent, single mom, independentparent, mistress, girlfriend, ex-artist, dancer, b**ch, athlete, ice maiden, strong, weak, needy, confident, fearful, doctor, student, healer, etc. …whatever – you get where I’m coming from . . . Don’t analyze, just write, get it all out!
- Then place the word cards on the floor and stand on them. Notice your body’s reaction! Do you feel tall and expansive, or tired and droopy? Let your body energy decide, this is not a head game. This is about feeling your energy, and what you identify as truth on a soul level. (For those of you who do body dowsing or muscle testing use that; however, if listening to your body that way is new or unknown to you, then just stand on each label for 10 seconds or so and ask “Is this true for me”. )
- Have two bags ready: One for the keepers, and the other for the not really “me” pile. (You get to torch or shred the latter, it is garbage).
You may be pleasantly surprised at who you really are. Do this ritual at least once a year!
In ‘the looking glass theory’ Charles Cooley postulated that a person views himself or herself through others’ perceptions in society and in turn gains ‘an identity‘. This image/identity is NOT our true identity, and not our self; it is merely the result of the concept in which we learn to see ourselves as others do. But that isn’t really who we are.
What other people think of us is none of our business – who said that?
We are not the labels others give us! Play with this … ask yourself
- how many labels have you been saddled with, identified with?
- How many have you grown out of , or actually still reflect who you have grown into?
You’ll feel less stressed once you let go of the ones you no longer identify with. You’ll have more energy and vitality, you’ll be able to sleep more restfully, and surprisingly you’ll be more mindful (rather than having your mind full).
Let me know how this works for you. Enjoy!