Mirror obsessions

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“What are you doing?”, asked the white haired teacher who had been brought back from retirement as our school for girls couldn’t find a history teacher. We tricked her into telling anecdotes from her youth nobody was interested in. She fell for our begging each time; her flights into her child hood gave us the chance to read magazines under the table, to dream, to sleep, ‘cause who wants to learn about “real” history? This old stuff was so boring…

I was a mostly nice Catholic teenager in the 60’s not allowed to sing with Mick Jagger, the devil, or daring to hold hands with a boy. In a time of cultural rebellions I tried hard to be what my parents expected from me but I knew that there was something wrong, this wasn’t me. I wasn’t seen, heard or understood, neither by them or by my self. I felt like one huge question mark, an Alien probably found in a trashcan. I looked into the mirror when and wherever I could or found one. It was vanity, sure, but on a deeper level it was

“Am I really HERE?”

“Is this really me?”

My history teacher caught me looking into a small hand mirror i had under my desk just in case I felt lost. The girls in the class giggled. I was the weird one, a girl attached to her mirror who had an A in math.

Looking at myself was my obsession through all my life, controlling my looks, dreading imperfection, loving style; hoping to proof that I was good enough.

I was searching for more than the shiny reflections of my outside.

Mirror, mirror, who am I?

Two decades later I yelled at the amazing star studded night sky of Portugal’s Algarve,

“I do anything to know what life is all about.”

The Universe answered manifold and repeated its messages many, many times until my tears had wiped away the dust and I could see. In my many spiritual, shamanic and self exploring journeys I found the bigger mirror, the one quantum physics calls Schroedinger’s cat. Reality exists because we see it. If we close our eyes there’s nothing out there but our imagination.

What if when we open our eyes all we see is our imagination?

What if we can’t see our Self in others because we are too afraid to face the truth? What if that’s why we are slapped over and over again? Because our soul wants us to wake up?

When my life coach told me to write “I love you” on my mirror a few years ago I found it super silly but did. I looked at it and at my wrinkled face and grinned.

“Fat chance.”

I did not love myself. Why should I? Because of some inner values? Everybody had them. I wasn’t special enough to deserve my love.

My coach gave me another one of her silly exercises; I took a deep breath and decided it couldn’t hurt, ridiculous or not.

I walked my dog. Instead of allowing my brain to bubble its usual comments like “Wow, he looks grumpy” “Gosh, look at that ugly dress…” I focused on finding people’s eyes. I looked at everybody I passed, no matter if they smiled, were absent minded or seemed unfriendly.

“I see you. I love you. I wish you all the best,” I thought. It must have been a hundred times.

When I came home an hour later something had clicked. I loved the world. I saw its people. Some had looked back at me recognizing something deeper.

For the first time I looked at my mirror image and saw more than my skin; I saw my soul.

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I saw everything I was, all of ME. When I said “I love you” I felt pieces of my armor crashing to the floor.

I had seen my Self in the many people I met, in the essence behind all their personas.

Writing my memoir, the story of my rebellions and resistance, the stories of No let me dive into the people in my life; a mind boggling and heart expanding revelation of the love I received from my friends and foes alike; they were there for me to let me see; they were guides, teachers, messengers and even the guardian angels I did not believe existed. Each and every one of them was a mirror of my hopes and fears. Because I did not believe I was worthy I let the fears win and ran away.

I ran away with with my son, far away from Europe to the US, an ocean away from my past.

Giving my son everything I had missed out on and loving him without conditions I created the first mirror in which I could see my beauty; my son is the most loving, balanced, generous, smart and funny being I know. It just dawns on me now that he is a manifestation of every I hold dear and a mirror of the best in me.

The concept of seeing ourselves in others can easily be misinterpreted and misunderstood. It doesn’t mean that we are as bad as the murderer we see on TV, that we want the husband to hit us, are narcissists or actually aspire to be broke.

What we see are our fears, beliefs, judgments as much as our dream, hopes and desires.

Our judgments are our prisons but can be our guides to freedom; what we think about others often has nothing to do with their reality but is a “truth” interpreted by the grid of our own beliefs. We assume intentions where there aren’t any.

The answer is to ask “What does this have to do with me?” “What do I really see?”

You and me we are messengers from our souls, supporting actors showing each us our deeper truth.

Prompts from the Soul Sister Journal

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Truth and Dare

Be brave. Fess up. See yourself in the mirror of others.

Take off your personas like robes that don’t fit anymore.

Attract like-minded women, your soul sister tribe, when you walk your truth.

Don’t fear your Self, be radically honest.

Helpful questions to ask

What was my relationship to women in the past and what is it today? 


How do I feel towards women and in women groups?


How would I like to feel?


What are my main reasons to connect with women?

- Develop my business to make more money

- To connect with opportunities

- Achieve a common goal

- Support and be supported

- Give and receive love

- Sell my products or services

- Joined partnerships

- Create a better world together

- Feel sisterhood

Create magic and rituals

- Connect to ancient knowing

- Women empowerment

- Feel that I belong

- Create a revolution 

- Other


What do I love or hate in my women friends?

What do I judge? (Fear)

What do I love about them?


Who and what inspires and attracts me?

Who are my deeper connections on Facebook?


Who are my girls on Instagram?


What do they have in common?


What do I see of myself in them?


What can I learn from them?


How can I be of assistance to them?


What’s my unique contribution, my gift to them?

I see you. I love you. I wish you all the best.

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We are amazing in our nastiness

The words memorial and memories were still in the air during my morning ritual today. After exercising some heartfelt compassion for everybody who had to take part in wars all over the world I thought of war without guns; the fight for freedom women went through for thousands of years.

Oppress what threatens you is a millennia-old game; our female virtues, love, compassion, caring and understanding were deprecated, passion vilified and our amazing power to give life was beaten into us as a duty, and our only value. The dark ages were pretty damn dark for everybody but especially gruesome for women and in that respect they lasted much longer than history accounts for.

With a few lucky exceptions women didn’t have any rights as respected members of society for centuries.

Famous philosopher Aristotle propagated that women were evil, disorderly, "utterly useless and caused more confusion than the enemy." Because of this, Aristotle thought keeping women separate from the rest of the society was an enlightening idea.

1200 AD theologian Jacques de Vitry described women as being "slippery, weak, untrustworthy, devious, deceitful and stubborn" - just to name two influential men shaping the opinion of their time.

The “weak and irrational” female had to be controlled; our fathers and husbands would keep us silent and powerless. We were disregarded in the worst ways, abducted or sold to men “in marriage”, raped and insulted on all human levels; worldwide slaves.

The most obvious hands-on control was the practice of foot binding in China, which literally crippled women’s activities from the tenth to the early 20th century.

Suppression was, with a few exceptions like Spartan and Viking women, rampant in the ancient world and later fortified by the story of Adam and Eve; an interpretation painting Eve as the disobedient, lustful heretic who was to be punished forever after.

That we are nasty and worthless is deeply ingrained in our genes.

"Yes," she said, "I'll join you." And then sat back on her chair in front of the biker shop waiting for her bike to be repaired.

"Yes," she said, "I'll join you." And then sat back on her chair in front of the biker shop waiting for her bike to be repaired.

But in our shared cosmic data bank are also stories of matriarchal societies, goddesses and Amazones; a rich passionate world of female power mostly described as myth.

There are those few who were revered, like priestesses and oracles and those incredibly brave who resisted, who wanted their freedom no matter what.

Rebel queens and conniving noble women, women fighters and beautiful tricksters, educated courtesans and fierce prostitutes left fear and shame aside and took what was not given freely. Autonomy. Their self worth was defined by rebellion.

Medicine women, witches and sorceresses, artists and gypsies, wild women and troubairitz, many of them punished for standing up for their beliefs are the colorful and fierce minority keeping our true female heritage alive.

From Hildegard von Bingen’s mystical writing to Elizabeth Cady Stanton who wrote the "Women’s Bible," or Wild West Rebel Helen Jackson who stirred up public outrage with "A Century of Dishonor", her book about the mistreatment of Native Americans, the occasional poet and writer brought light into the mess of their societies. 

Many of them are forgotten. Their resistance is barely talked about.

Remembering, honoring and celebrating our history is part of our power.

We also have the memories of our greatness in our genes.

Let's celebrate our foremothers. And remember that this was just about 150 years ago

"Stanton’s version read, “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.” Then it went into specifics:

  • Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
  • Women were not allowed to vote
  • Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
  • Married women had no property rights
  • Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
  • Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
  • Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
  • Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
  • Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
  • Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
  • With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
  • Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men

Excerpt from:
Elizabeth Stanton's Declaration of Sentiments

For more detailed information:

The woman’s bible

Women’s rights

Female outlaws