I can’t help but wonder how much of me I see reflected in my daughter’s behaviour. And if I don’t like the behaviour I see, how much of that is a result of how I have behaved toward her? What about with every other person I interact with? How much of that is simply a reflection of how I behave towards them?
This past weekend I noticed my daughter mimicking me, my husband, and family members when we travelled to visit family. She laughed a second after others laughed and initiated hugs with people she didn’t know after she saw us hugging others. She is definitely going through a monkey-see, monkey-do phase.
But she has always been mimicking, and she always will be. It’s hardwired into her DNA, as it is into all of ours, thanks to cells in our brain called mirror neurons. “When you see someone smile, for example, your mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, creating a sensation in your own mind of the feeling associated with smiling.” Source
(Life mystery of why we smile like ninnies when we watch people posing for photos? Solved.)
It’s these mirrors in others that really give us back what we put out there. For example, I was at coffee the other day and I offered a complementary session to a woman. I was feeling a little insecure while offering this – probably because I could be rejected – and what I noticed is that the person mirrored that insecurity back to me: “Are you sure? You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
I got what I gave.
In order to turn this around, and to get more of what we want and less of what we don’t want, it starts with us. It’s our tone of voice, the way we carry our bodies, and how we interact with others. That’s how it manifests, at any rate. Before that, it begins with our thoughts.
So if you don’t like what you see coming back to you, change how you think about that situation and adjust how you present yourself while in it and see what happens.
This post was inspired by a lovely tea-time conversation this week with Colleen Adrian, who provides conscious parenting workshops and coaching at Crystal Clear Living.
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