I assign ‘mirror work’ a lot. Do you know what that is? I make you sit in front of the mirror and ‘see’ yourself. Why? Because it’s the human condition that we all just want to be seen and heard, but first we must start with ourselves. 

Hear me out…

To acknowledge something means to recognize its existence, to express appreciation for it, and to notice that it’s there. Why is it so hard for me to spell that word by the way? Every time I want to start it ‘a-w-k…’ like awkward. 

Maybe there’s a connection at play here, because sometimes it’s awkward to acknowledge. Sometimes it’s downright uncomfortable. Right!? Who likes to really see themselves? 

Often times we don’t want to acknowledge something about ourselves - good or bad. If there’s a quality or behavior that we want to change or improve, it can be painful to face, so we ignore it all together and go about our ‘numbing’ behaviors. 

On the flip side, if we do something amazing or wonderful we don’t want to give ourselves any recognition or credit because that’s 'selfish and boastful.' So then we block ourselves from feeling authentic joy.

See how we’re stuck? Acknowledgment is healthy. It feels good, if we let it.

When it comes to living a ‘full-filling’ life, we’ve got to practice the art of acknowledgement. Here’s how…

If there’s something you want to shift or change about yourself, approach it with complete compassion and without judgment. Awareness is the first step.

Next, when is the last time you said to someone, ‘I want to acknowledge you for your…. courage, bravery, outstanding performance, ability to listen, strong sense of self, [you fill in the blank]…?  Something unique that only you pick up on.  

It feels good to do that... not only to give acknowledgement, but to receive it. It is a way to deepen your connection with another human being, have conversations that matter, and in my opinion, add a lot of happiness and joy to your life.

Acknowledgement is a way to be more alive. I don’t know about you, but I’m on board for that!

Like all things in life, we must first start with ourselves.

Try standing in front of the mirror and saying ‘I acknowledge you for your…’ and choose 3 things you want to acknowledge yourself for today. Another great practice is writing yourself a love letter. ‘Dear Self, I love because… ‘

Finally, choose 1 person a day for the rest of the week that you want to acknowledge. Call them up, write them an email, or better yet say it directly to their face. Get quiet, and think really deeply about the things you want to acknowledge them for.

Shed your armor. Go right to the core. That equals ‘full-fillment.’

I want to acknowledge you for curiosity for life, your open heart, and your open mind. 

ILYSVM [my new favorite acronym],

P.S. If you need help with any of these practices, especially the self-acknowledgment (I know that one can be tricky!), reply to this email or just grab a free session to chat about it.

Gina Martini is the founder of Full On Happiness. As a Transformational Nutrition Coach, she teaches mindful practices that free the body & spirit from self-destructive cycles. Gina passionately coaches women to heal their relationship with food and their bodies, and finally start living the life they know is possible for them.