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Paint your mirror

"I paint with my back to the world"

---- Agnes Martin

It’s been roughly three months since I moved to Auckland. As appreciated as I am, these three months meant a great deal for me. I was able to pause, to regain and to reflect on who I am and who I wanted to be.

I mentioned "self-reflection" a lot with regards to leadership and self-developments. However, people focused on the outcomes that self-reflection could deliver rather than how it worked. I had been pulling some information together to represent this concept understandably in the last couple of days.

A memory tickled me, and it gave me the answer. My grandparents used to take me to the mall very often during the weekend. And there was a time that there were several distorting mirrors standing in the main hall for children to have fun while looking at their own reflections. I was too young to recognise the difference between the image in the mirror and the reality. Then, the "mirror" became today's leading topic.

Each individual is different. Imagine yourself as a mirror or a lake, and it reflects everything around you. As hard as it is for us to admit, the image shown in the reflection is the reality you believe, whether true or not. Moreover, we also use this mirror as a means of representing ourselves to the world.

Sea bubbles丨Kun Lu

The mirror is our awareness. Awareness, is a state or an ability to perceive, feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, or sensory patterns. We paint our world on the canvas of awareness with mind, thoughts, personality and feelings. Yet, the ultimate reality does not exist because we all see the world around us through different lenses. And how we paint the canvas, the reflections on our lenses, determines our bias, attitudes, and decision-making process.

Organisations and countries have been dedicated to make the living environment much healthier for human beings. But the happiness we have probably isn't that much more significant than our ancestors. Hence, it has to start with ourselves. Our awareness, to be specific.

Here are three points that may influence how we carry out awareness. Especially when if you’re not feeling well about your current situation.

Firstly, read books. Each book is a mirror. The more you read, the more mirrors you have in front of you, the clearer you will see who you are. An emperor in Song Dynasty said: "In the book, there is a house of gold; On the book, there is a shade of jade". If you are sad, read. If you are bored, read. It will never be a waste of time.

Secondly, non-judgmental. Look at the world with a pair of fresh eyes, like a newborn. Please don't jump into conclusions because we see the world differently. And when we are more tolerant of things that are different from us, the more tolerant we will be to ourselves. Pause if you can. Pause is gold.

Finally, set up a routine. Design what your daily life would be and follow it as much as you can. We constantly get distracted by work and other temptations. A routine will help you to get back to track quickly when you are off orbit. Living one day at a time, because our life is an accumulation of "todays".


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