8.30.2013

Mind & Body Wellness: No Mirrors

Covering Mirrors
mirror mirror

This past Lent a friend gave me a book called Simplifying the Soul by Paula Huston. In the book, the author uses each day of Lent to explore different ways of simplifying your life. She covers topics such as money, body, mind, space, and relationships.

Each day you read a passage from the book and then perform a short exercise. Some of the exercises were relatively easy like "clean out a junk drawer" or "give to a charity." Others were more difficult for me like "welcome an interruption" or "visit someone in the hospital."

However, it was one of the easiest exercises that opened my eyes to something I didn't even know existed: Cover your mirrors for a whole morning.

At first I thought, "This is a no brainer." I don't wear makeup and many days I don't even wash my hair. Instead I wake up, give it a brush, and start the day.

I only have one mirror in my apartment, and was fairly certain I didn't glance in it very often. I was convinced mirrors were not my thing.

So I covered my mirror.

That day as I walked around my apartment, made trips to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and washed my face, I realized something incredibly insightful: I look at myself in the mirror more than I realize.

And in that looking there is constant scrutiny going on -- a subtle barrage of judgments arriving in the form of whispers that I can barely hear. However, by covering my mirror I noticed the day reverberated in a silence that was absent of all criticism regarding my appearance. 

It was beautiful, relaxing, and freeing. It reminded me of when you go camping, and you don't see yourself in the mirror for days. Instead you are enjoying your relationships with friends, animals, and nature. You feel so much more in tune with yourself and more loving towards your body.

That day I understood why some sacred places don't have mirrors or certain mourning traditions cover mirrors during periods of grieving. In the absence of mirrors, you become more connected from within and let the outside just be at peace.

I hope you find yourself covering your mirrors once and awhile too!

7 comments:

  1. this is fascinating and makes quite a lot of sense. will have to give it a go! should be an interesting experiment having young adults/teens in the house as well. hmmmm ...

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    1. Oh that would be fun to do with kids! Let me know how it turns out :)

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  2. i didn't think i really looked in the mirror,much..it's hard to resist a quick glimpse..and the moment you do..bing..a thought pops into your head..

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    1. It's so surprising! How neat that you see how instantaneously and unconsciously this happens for you too.

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  3. thank you for sharing your experience, it is so interesting and does make sense. Less self conscious perhaps. I only have a mirror in the bathroom and i also don't think i look in it much. sometimes in public i see myself and wish i had looked in the mirror ;-)

    while camping i will go days without even combing my hair, simply pull it back, there is a good freedom to that.

    by the way, you are gorgeous - no make up and all.

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  4. A wonderful idea. I will surely be doing this one day this week, perhaps for the entire day.

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    1. Fun! I'm glad you are going to try it this week. I hope you discover some interesting things, Diane :)

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