December 23, 2012

Am I Truly Happy? Stare at Your Eyes in a Mirror. ~ Ian Welch

Mirror, mirror to my soul.

Do you want the absolute truth to any question you have?

Look in a mirror, stare into your own eyes and hold the gaze.

When you first start staring, make different faces at yourself. Smile, be gentle. Talk out loud to yourself. It takes a little getting used to. It will take a few minutes to zone in. Amazingly, it is not a natural feeling and your mind will initially have some resistance.

Once you feel focused, dial into your pupils and audibly ask yourself: “Are you happy?”

Relax. Pay attention to how fast your mind is reacting. Your mind is pondering the circumstance of being faced with the fact that you cannot lie to yourself.

We are always looking at our reflection, but generally we look only to confirm how others will see us. We spend the majority of our time shaping our image of  how we wish to be perceived. Rarely do we take the time to make an attempt to contact our inner self, which is the fastest way to get to the heart of an issue.

My realization began at Bikram Yoga, where for 90 minutes a day, I have the opportunity to stare at my body. I see each component separately in different poses. I have the opportunity to appreciate the complexity of the physical mechanics and begin to understand the separation of my mind from my physical body.

Recently, I have begun a long distance staring contest focusing on making direct contact with my eyes in the mirror. The experience is a very positive one and the more I practice it, the more I gain. However, it was not until I tried it in the privacy of my home that I garnered a glimpse of what I was seeking. Not until I put my face a foot away from the mirror and really took a long deep look inside.

Staring at ourselves is an ancient practice that dates back all the way to the beginning of humankind. I imagine our distant ancestors had a deep understanding of their “self.” Modern humans feel we know our place in this universe, but we have moved far away from understanding our own self. Except for elephants, dolphins and certain species of apes, not many animals other than humans have the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror. Some other species can use a mirror as a tool, but not necessarily to find awareness.

The reason for our ability to see ourselves is a primal function of being human. We have an innate ability to think and reason, to recognize ourselves and analyze our actions.

You cannot possibly be truly happy without the ability to look in a mirror and be comfortable with what you see. You have to understand your own self before anything positive can occur.

It has been said that the eyes are the window to the soul. Only by looking deeply into them can you begin to recognize yourself and use that realization to promote your well-being.

It has also been said that you cannot trust someone that will not look you in the eyes. For some of us, the act of starring at ourselves might not be possible. We might not be able to accept the answer; “I am not happy.” It will be at this time that you recognize the disconnect that you will be able to make improvements with the intention that one day you can honestly face yourself in a mirror and smile.


Ian Welch, at the age of 40, Ian underwent quadruple bypass surgery. Ian completely transformed his life, adopting a plant based approach to wellness. Ian is currently writing his book; “Heart Disease Saved My Life: Harness the Power of a Chronic Disease Diagnosis.” His goal is to provide others with a plan of action when faced with difficult circumstances.

Ian lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida with his wife. He is an avid long distance runner & Bikram Yoga practitioner.


Editor: Wendy Keslick

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