An epiphany sounds like a deep spiritual awakening, but the definition that has resonated the most with me is this: it is a sudden perception regarding the true essence of something.
Sudden clarity. The essential nature.
I feel like many woman – in fact I know that many women – NEED to have a epiphany while looking in the mirror. They cannot see their true essence and they are judging themselves in such a skewed and lopsided way. I was there for most of my life. But I finally had an epiphany.
What is your true essence? What matters most is invisible to the eye, but can only be seen with the heart…says Antoine de Saint-Exupery in the The Little Prince. Our essence lies beyond our looks, but we spend most of our time focused on that. We think if our reflection looks good, then the inside must be too, right? So we spend so much time and energy trying to look Instagram-perfect. Nails, hair, smoky eyes, the right accessories…it’s almost a full time job.
I used to spend most of my morning routine messing with the outside. That was before I had my epiphany. Now I have found that it has morphed into the complete opposite. I spend 90% of my morning time tending to the inner woman. And a quick 10% on the outside. Maybe this is skewed too, but let me explain what I mean.
We are mind, body, spirit…I have thoughts that create emotions, and these emotions trigger the release of hormones, which in turn create a physiological response in my body which can include anything from anxiety to feelings of blissful peace or a fierce “take-em-on” attitude. My energy levels, clarity and moods then direct my actions and most importantly HOW I show up for my people and my responsibilities that day. My time in prayer and meditation not only centers my mind into thoughts that bring life to my spirit, but it also brings my body into balance, lowering inflammation and blood pressure, increasing my immune system and my working memory. Like a beautiful golden chain, it is all linked together.
The foods I eat also reduce inflammation, bring energy, good bacteria (health starts in the gut we all know that now) and wards off disease. So instead of spending 20 minutes doing my hair, I spend it making my shake and salad. Movement keeps the systems flowing and prevents disease as well, and as a woman I need to constantly be doing some weight bearing activities to guard against osteoporosis. So I fit that into my every morning as well.
Finally the 10 percent is when I pick out clothes I love and fix up my face and hair so that I look presentable. But that is the last 20 minutes before I walk out the door. The other hour and 45 minutes of my morning routine is spent nurturing what I learned makes up the true essence of who I am.
More than my looks.
I am such a beautifully complex design of cells and neurons and energy and love…I have dreams that I want to achieve, and people that I want to love well, and all of this requires – not perfect hair – but the right outlook and the energy and health to do it. So I have created my morning routine to encompass what matters most to me.
And writing is one of those things. I write at 5:30 am every morning. Because it matters to me, and it feeds something deep in my being. Otherwise I go through my day with a longing that is unanswered. I have chosen to NOT allow a need that deep to go ignored any longer. Instead of burying it, I now make room for it. An epiphany!
So look deeper into the mirror today. Learn to see past the make-up and hair and look for your true essence. How can you create a routine – and ultimately a life – that honors your essential nature and provides for what she needs? If the mirror reflects only the top layer then it tells a very shallow story. The sudden realization of your true essence is an epiphany worth waking up to. You have beauty and value and worth NO MATTER what you look like. Your true essence lies in the fact that you are a marvel to behold – a gift to the world from a loving creator with a purpose and a mission. Nurture that gift and you will find that you have been given everything that you need to respond with wisdom to the awakening of your very self.