It’s common to believe that the greater ecosystem around us is more important than we are as individuals.
We prioritize kids, coworkers, and friends over ourselves. We say yes too often. We say “I’ve got this,” and pile on more responsibilities.
The effort is in remembering: I am just as important as my child/my partner/my client. The effort is in saying: I do have needs. I’m not superhuman. The fear is that we will falter or fail ourselves, and others, if we show our humanity. But really, this is what connects us, and connections are what make us more stable, happier, and less stressed.
This is a visualization to acknowledge that yes, sometimes you do need to put on a superhero costume. There’s nothing wrong with that! However, your ability to connect with others resides beneath that superhero layer. This exercise will activate a deeper awareness of how much stronger you can feel without that layer.
Close your eyes.
Imagine you are in a superhero costume. Really think about the details — the mask, the cape, the whole outfit.
Look at yourself in this costume. Engage with how powerful it makes you feel.
Imagine yourself standing on top of a summit in your costume.
Now take off your costume.
Feel the fresh air on your skin.
It’s a little scary.
But now you can move. It’s like the difference between wearing a swimsuit in the water and skinny dipping. Removing this thin layer made a difference. Now you are free.
And now you can really feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. As it glows on you, you feel your own core heating up, and a glow emits from your heart.
Place your hand on your heart and feel it.
Breathe into your heart space. Your heart may be beating faster as this feeling of being naked and allowing your internal energy to radiate is thrilling.
This is your true, glorious self.
Now put your hands on your lap and feel the gentle glow in your heart as you start to focus on your breath. The glow is always there.
Breathe with this for a few minutes. If it’s helpful, redirect your attention to the soft glow of your heart. Say: I am light. I am strength.
When you’re ready, open your eyes, arch your chest up towards the sky, and continue on with your day with this renewed sense of internal power.
Nicole Centeno is a French Culinary Institute–trained chef and the founder and CEO of Splendid Spoon, the online business transforming how we approach wellness and everyday nutrition. At Boston College, she studied diet therapies as treatment for illness and has taught cooking and nutrition courses at Columbia University. Centeno has cooked in New York City restaurants, managed a catering business and worked in media strategy at Conde Nast. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her two sons.