It was the first day of school. The teacher surveyed the rag-tag group of students slouched at their
desks while they glanced back at her with varying degrees of disinterest.
Each of the 8
th graders had been categorized as “challenged” through various
batteries of tests, and an assessment of their past classroom behaviors.
Despite what on the surface appeared to be a bleak situation, the veteran
educator knew as long as the students were coming to class, she still
had a chance to get through to them.
“You can be anything you want to be,” she told them. She repeated
that heart-felt message frequently throughout the semester. Years later,
the teacher was attending an evening function at the school when one of
those same students approached her, and gave her a big hug. “Remember
how you were always telling us we could be and do anything we wanted?”
the young woman asked. “I decided I wanted to be a nurse. And now
While a gentle push from someone might help set us on the right path, ultimately
it’s our belief in and love for our self that determines the kind
of life we’ll have. It begins simply, by expressing gratitude for
a new day full of new opportunities when we wake up in the morning. Being
able to look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I love you,”
is a powerful way to start your day.
Don’t swallow your emotions – instead, see them for the gift
they are. Positive emotions – compassion, joy, optimism, love –
actually trigger the body chemistry that creates health, and alkalinity.
Fear-based emotions – worry, shame, guilt, anger – alert us
that something is out of balance. Before you have the emotion, you have
a thought that triggers that emotion. Take a deep breath and “rewind”
to become aware of what that thought was. Then, you have the power to
change the thought into a more positive, constructive one, and immediately
change the emotional charge, too. This is definitely a habit that reinforces
Forgive yourself. Often. Seek out fun opportunities, and laugh. A lot!
Make choices that show how much you respect yourself, and honor your unique
gifts and talents.
Actively nourish your spiritual life. Make time to meditate and journal
often, ideally, every day. Write new affirmations, or repeat favorite
ones, to continue to boost your confidence and reinforce what’s
important in your life.
The poem, “The Friend in Your Mirror” is part of the curriculum
at The Optimum Health Institute (OHI) missions in San Diego and Austin,
Texas, and beautifully illustrates how to create and nurture a healthy
and loving self-awareness.
The Friend in Your Mirror
Speak gently to yourself.
Speak freely in praise of all you are.
Speak clearly with pride in all you’ve been.
Speak bravely with hope for all you may become.
Find in yourself the powers that only you possess,
the pains that only you can overcome
The promises that only you can keep.
Look deeply into the mirror of your life and discover the very special
person that only you can be.
-- Edward Cunningham
Discover the friend in your mirror, and treat this friend to the healthiest
choices for body, mind and spirit, at the OHI missions in San Diego and
Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our
caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration to
kick destructive old lifestyle habits to the curb, and adopt beneficial
and healing new ones. Visit our website at
www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at
(800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.