The Mirror-Effect – Zoom out

Brené Brown
We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.
Daring Greatly

My most recent trip snapped me out of the urban setting and got me to the beautiful South of France. After returning from this trip, I welcomed a funny little feeling which I like to call the mirror-effect. The mirror-effect is a phenomenon that occurs every time I return from an adventure where I spend most of my time connected. Not to technology. To the real deal. Humans and nature.

The mirror weirdo

Have you ever felt a bit funny and weird about looking into the mirror after spending substantial time in nature, exploring or connecting with others? I did. On multiple occasions. No matter if it was after Brazil, Mexico, Egypt or Scotland, I couldn’t help but feel a tad awkward upon returning to the daily routine at home. This time, arriving from the South of France was no different.

Lucky me, coming home to a hustling city is a joyful experience. Yet, it felt refreshing to turn my back on my mirror for a while. Why, so? After giving it some thought, I am positive, the reason goes deeper than my love for not having to put on jeans in the morning. Neither is it about me happily forgetting to brush my hair. Nor is it about my willingness to give up perfect command of my eyebrows from time to time.

I believe the mirror-effect is a kind reminder to recognise all the good things that come to us when we turn our focus to listening and learning instead of chasing after our self-obsessed goals. Playfully. Lovingly. The South of France allowed me just that.

In a world of non-stop comparisons and self-obsessive tendencies it’s restorative to change the scene, flip the script and hit pause on the noise. Breaking the circle of false validations and unnecessary material purchases is ours for the taking. In times where instant gratification is at our fingertips it takes serious self-discipline to stay away from fleeting hits of happiness. So, how do we not get lost in the capital Bullsh.t?

Gateway drugs

Travelling is one of the most straightforward ways of accessing a state where I feel humble and connected. It’s easy to be present when everything is new. However, not all have the privilege to take trips in a heartbeat. Neither do I think that slaying waves on my surfboard is the only prescription to being present.

Savouring a fantastic meal, experiencing the kindness of strangers, sharing meaningful conversations with people we love, helping others without an agenda are all speed tracks to genuine connectedness. Provided we are willing to put self-advancement on hold.

The mirror-effect reminds me to strive for novelty, wonder and awe in my everyday life. To play and laugh. To listen and learn. To see feelingly. To connect. To fight for lasting positive change. To put an end to scrolling and to turn my back on the mirror from time to time. Cause baby, things that truly matter won’t reveal themselves in isolation.