Like it or not, most women you know, including the one in the mirror, has an ‘Innner Mean Girl’. She’s the one who yammers at you; editorializing about everything from the way you look, to the friends who have more success, better jobs, cars, partners,…heck, lives! There are some of us, myself included, who have raised it to an art form. We bully ourselves in ways that we would never in a million years, treat someone else. In walks, Amy Ahlers; certified life coach, media darling and the cofounder; with Christine Arylo, of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School, with her book entitled Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch Your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar. Her intention was to provide, not only a wake up, but a shake up of all of the entrenched beliefs and limitations we hold onto that are holding onto us.
Amy opens the book with the ultimate truth: “The most important relationship in your life is your relationship with you.” The sad accompanying truth is that we are not very good friends to ourselves as often as we need be, in order to maintain a healthy balance. She goes on to say that according to The National Science Foundation, approximately 60,000 thoughts cross our minds daily and most are harshly self critical. Our very being reacts to that consistent flow of negativity as if we are fed poison. That kills off an awareness of our worthiness and thus our happiness and well being. Much like Dr. Emoto’s Messages From Water (which she references), we react on an unconscious level, taking on the mantle of parts of ourselves that we despise. It twists and distorts our psyche’ in the way that the water crystals were damaged by toxic words and thoughts.
From that launch pad, Ahlers reveals 59 lies we tell ourselves in various and sundry combinations. The book breaks them into categories such as:
Worth- “I’m damaged goods.” “I don’t belong.” “I’m a total fraud.”
Money- “I’ll never have enough.” “Money is the root of all evil.” “I am one of the have-nots”
Love and Relationships- “I need another to complete me.” “If you really loved me, you would know exactly what I need.” “If I forgive, I condone.”
Ahlers then counters each of the lies with the truth; offered with humor and grace and a strong dash of a loving kick in the tush to move forward. Following that comes what she calls a challenge, which are grow it yourself exercises to stretch your perceptions. One of the exercises which I did many years ago, was suggested by SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) and it is a wedding ceremony in which you marry yourself. The truth is, until you can fully embrace yourself, how can you allow someone else to fully embrace you? At the end of each lie section is an affirmation and inspirational quote. Kind of like a Happy Meal with a toy inside to make your Inner Mean Girl take a break from her torturous tasks of beating you up.
I particularly enjoyed her observation of her three year old daughter Annabella admiring herself in her ballet tutu and wistfully wondering what it would take for women to remember the little girls that we were, free of self loathing and deprecation.
Ahlers encourages the reader to allow her Inner Wisdom to shine forth in what she calls The Three Step Process
1. Ask yourself what your Inner Mean Girl is saying. (Really let her rant)
2. Close your eyes and ask what your Inner Wisdom knows. (Let this be your truth barometer)
3. Lock in that truth by using a physical gesture such as placing a hand on your belly or heart . (This is a kinesthetic experience that helps embody the feeling)
By the end of the book, the reader is likely to feel elevated and inspired to confront the lies that have been running/ruining her life. Armed with a candle to shine the light of truth, will make it easier to call out the erroneous thoughts, offer them compassion and send them on their way.