Working with a piece of art is always illuminating. If for no other reason, it reminds us that everyone sees things with a unique lens, so people’s reactions are likely to vary greatly…and interestingly.
For example, when this photo appeared in my inbox, it stopped me in my tracks:
“Diana Sitting” Photographer: Alison Jackson.
I immediately smiled and thought, “You go, girl!”
While we can debate about who or what she’s raising her middle finger at, there’s no question that this “Princess Diana” projects confidence, empowerment, pride, and sass through the camera lens.
I associate these qualities with self-love, and in this instance, self-love also became linked with flipping the bird.
While I hope that you’ll share with me your specific reaction to this photograph, for now I am using my interpretation of Her Royal Highness’s message as inspiration to develop a simple (and fun) mind-training practice.
It’s just four steps:
1) Take a moment to reflect on something that your inner critic voice (repeatedly) tells you that you cannot do or be.
2) Harness the truth-telling, “badass Diana” within yourself. (She may be deeply buried but she IS in you and probably longs to be invited out).
3) Adjust your body into a posture that evokes strength, self-respect, and certitude.
4) While maintaining that posture/expression, imagine that your inner critic is standing directly in front you, and with all the energy you can muster, flip the bird (or two) at their rude, sneering face!
WOWZA! Doesn’t that feel good?!
Now that we’re flooded with some powerful, self-affirming energy, let’s turn to the purpose behind this practice— cultivating self-love.
Honestly, the term irks me as my default way of interacting with myself more closely resembles tough-love; self-love is “work-in-progress territory.”
But I am complete in knowing that self-love is a vital ingredient in cooking up something that is very important to me—a life of well-being.
Herein lies how “Diana Sitting” teaches us about self-love: the photograph motivates us to clarify our core personal values.
When we take the time to do this, we can align our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors accordingly. Moving through the world with this type of alignment allows self-love to emerge and flow naturally.
Consequently, we exhibit qualities like confidence, empowerment and pride, and maybe at times even unapologetic sass.
And as a bonus, when we are confronted with situations that could potentially cause us to veer away from our values, we can refer back to our “Flip-the-Bird Practice” to get back into alignment.
My interpretation of “Diana Sitting” may be unusual, but I think it goes a long way to helping ordinary folk feel like they’re sitting pretty as a (bird-flipping) royal.