This post is based upon the first two exercises in Chapter 3 (pg. 45-49) of “You Can Heal Your Life Companion Book” by Louise Hay. I will share some of my responses to the questions, as well as some of the insights I gained from completing the exercises.
Over the course of my “healing project,” I plan to complete all of the exercises in this book and the original “You Can Heal Your Life” book, but I won’t necessarily do them in order (being the rebel that I am…).
The chapter begins with an affirmation (“I restore and maintain my body at optimum health”), as well as a health issue checklist consisting of eleven items, of which I checked eight. Clearly, addressing my health concerns is a major issue for me in terms of healing my life.
Core Health Principles from Louise Hay
At this point, it is helpful to remind myself and my readers of some of Louise Hay’s core principles surrounding health (click here for a comprehensive review of the key principles of “You Can Heal Your Life”):
* Our bodies are always trying to maintain a state of optimum health, no matter how badly we treat them.
* We contribute to every illness we have, as our bodies mirror our inner thoughts and beliefs.
* Every disease we experience is a teacher, and our illnesses signal false ideas within our consciousness.
* Illness may unconsciously serve as a “legitimate” way of avoiding responsibility or unpleasant situations.
* True healing involves body, mind, and spirit.
I had intended to post much earlier in the week, but you know what they say about good intentions… This has been a difficult week for me, which probably means I should have been devoting more attention to my healing project, instead of virtually ignoring it for a number of days. In getting back on track today, I searched for an exercise from “You Can Heal Your Life” to complete and write about. I was quickly drawn to the most appropriate exercise for me at this particularly point in time, the “Mirror Exercise” on page 35.
Simple Yet Not Easy…
The Mirror Exercise is extremely simple, yet not at all easy. The straightforward instructions are: look in a mirror and into your own eyes, speak your name, and say, “I love and accept you exactly as you are.” Louise Hay asks each of her clients to do this exercise during their initial session with her. She states that she has rarely had a calm reaction to her simple request. On the contrary, some clients were brought to tears, while others became angry and refused to do the exercise. One client even threw the mirror across the room! Needless to say, it isn’t easy to proclaim love and acceptance for ourselves.
If someone were to ask you if you love yourself, how many of you would reply with an enthusiastic “Yes”? How about if you were asked if you love your body? I know that for most of my life, I would have found both questions absurd. I definitely and unequivocally did not love myself or my body.
For years, I was my own worst critic. I would unleash a torrent of criticism upon myself on a daily basis that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. In fact, I was my own worst enemy. Nothing I could do was ever good enough for me; my standards were impossibly high and there was no way I could reach them. While my targets for accomplishment and success were virtually unachievable, my standards for my body and physical appearance surpassed them by leaps and bounds.
I just got back from a doctor’s visit concerning my most recent health challenge. I have a sore and scratchy throat and a cough, and I’m having ever increasing difficulty in swallowing. I feel as if I have a lump in my throat and have had a few experiences of almost choking in recent days. Needless to say, this is both troubling and scary. Unfortunately, my general practitioner could not ascertain the problem or its cause, so I now have an appointment to see a specialist next week to explore the matter further.
This is just the latest in a long litany of health issues for me. I have come to feel that it’s always something. Just when I feel that things are improving, something else seems to crop up! The main reason I started my “healing project” a few months ago was to try to overcome my laundry list of health woes.
Most of us have things about ourselves which we don’t like or even hate, and we often waste a lot of time and energy resisting or fighting these things. For most of my life, one of my “hates” has been my hair. I have very thick hair, so thick that hairstylists have often commented that I had enough hair for two or three people. In addition, my hair is naturally wavy and predisposed to frizz, tendencies which are intensified by the humid Southern California weather.
Resisting What Is
My God-given hair was not the type of hair I wanted. I wanted the straight, sleek hair of a Scandinavian girl – or Jennifer Aniston. I have been fighting my hair texture for as long as I can remember with countless hair products, daily flat-ironing, and a multitude of chemical processes. None of these armaments ever worked to my satisfaction, so I continually searched for the next best thing.