What’s the last thing we check before leaving home? What’s the last thought on our minds before stepping out of home? It’s a very subconscious action, but I recently observed that I always brush my hair with hand as I am stepping out of home. If there was a mirror at the door, I would definitely have checked if I was ‘looking’ fine.
The first thing we look into after a shower? The mirror. And so was the case on my first day my in Uttarakhand. After having a bath, I was searching for a mirror everywhere in SNC. After a futile search, I let it be. Brushed my hair with hand and went on with my maths classes. The kids didn’t care how I looked. They cared about what I was teaching. After a couple of days I wasn’t even looking for a mirror. Days passed, work was happening and one day I came across a mirror. It was almost after 20 days. As I looked into my reflection, it suddenly struck – how liberating it is when I don’t care about how I look! It was almost like discovering a new source of joy! A new sense of freedom. I can’t really put it down in words but being able to let go of the ‘need’ to look in the mirror was almost like being free.
It also reflected on how I judge myself just on appearance. How I make assumptions on how other people will judge me. “What will they think of me if I wear the same shirt as yesterday… I am having a bad hair day! These shoes don’t match…” And as I was judging myself; was I also subconsciously judging others? How wrong that would be!
The 40 days without a mirror helped me overcome these thoughts that seemed to have occupied so much part of my brain!
Coming back into the city and regular lifestyle, mirror has again come back into my life. I no longer brush my teeth in the waterfall, but in a basin and there is a big mirror right there. But what has changed is the importance I give to that mirror. How do I look? – It stopped to matter. What I did and how I did it; mattered.
Just as an experiment, try to go without looking into a mirror for some days and discover a new freedom!