Art, from zendictive, posted this story, “Reflections of Self,” in December. I thought that it was such a powerful story that I decided to try to create some of my own variety of “pages”… to attempt to illustrate the ideas.
I originally made the pages to use with the kids in my class, to try to help them to relate to the importance of the ideas in the story. The kids really did get the impact of the choice… “What do you want to see in the mirror?”
Some ideas and questions I asked myself and them…
What do you want to see in that mirror?
Your reflection will, or might, come back to you, so try to choose carefully.
When you find yourself in that grumpy House of Mirrors,
can you pause,notice that it doesn’t feel good
and choose to come back to the positive House?
The following pages provide a progression through the ideas….and like all pages I create, whether initially for children or myself…I learned a lot as I created and reflected on them…
The mirrors themselves don’t necessarily hold a particular image, other than what one might project onto them or see of oneself…
Realizing there will be some choice in what one sees….and asking the question…
This was for the kids…. some happy looking dogs, seeing their own reflections and thinking that this is such a wonderful house….
And, of course, the grumpy dogs….seeing their own reflections and thinking this is a horrible house…
Another kids’ page….realizing that each one of us does have the ability to choose….which side to choose?…
In addition, to understand…
sometimes we will “see” our own negative projections or reflections
in those mirrors…
noticing that the negative feeling doesn’t feel good in ourselves….
realizing we definitely don’t want to get that negativity back from others…..
taking several quiet, calm breaths….
noticing that we can make a choice….
thinking about what we want in this moment
and choosing to turn toward the positive side….
to be able to choose and shift….
Understanding that in each moment, we do have a choice….and to learn to choose consciously and carefully…
To also understand and accept that the mirrors are blank….. what we see in those mirrors will often be a reflection back to us of our own outlook….it’s often the meaning we add to them that becomes our reaction and interactions and life…and to understand that it’s one’s own responsibility to choose…
The mirrors are blank…. it’s often our own reflections we will see…to realize that and to choose wisely…
And so…Art from zendictive… I thank you for that story and the impact that it had on myself and the kids I teach…. such an important awareness and so easy to miss…so difficult to keep in mind….and so important…
Six of the 9 and 10 year old kids colored in their own blank mirror pages…. with colors, stickers, words and images that relate to how they perceive the 2 sides, the 2 choices….which of course is simplistic, but makes a point… the center mirror being that choice….and creating their own message that they can learn to make choices… maybe not all the time, but often….
All of the student’s pages were wonderful…here is one remarkable one…
these pages may look a bit like a children’s lesson….
but I think it’s a hugely important adult lesson, too….
at least it is for me….
a very special one that can have a very powerful impact…
on one’s own life and the life of others…
May we try,
as much and as often as we are able
to spend our lives in that more positive House of 1000 Mirrors…
Kathy, this is a remarkable approach to teaching the lesson of choosing what we want to see. I went paragraph by paragraph and paused after reading to reflect, and believe me whenever I am in the bathroom getting dressed, I will remember this post. The children’s art is awesome, what talent! The children are blessed to have a teacher like you. They will carry the seeds you have planted in them for life as we are impacted very much by teachers and parents in our formative years and carry the negatives and positives into adulthood.
Hi Marie, I got slightly lost, as I tried to write this post, amidst my explanations about the mirrors…felt a bit like stumbling into a few reflections and projections of my own….simple little story, but there are more complex ideas in there than I had perceived…the whole projection onto others ideas…but then there’s also the reflection back to oneself of what one gives to others…house of some veryyyyyy confusing mirrors I would say…
And yes, that piece of art is remarkable. Did you notice on the far right, the student used up side down happy face stickers to show unhappy mouths…and then the eyes of that sticker to be the eyes of the following face…wow…quite remarkable.
I sure hope some of the seeds will stay with them, and maybe even grow, as they move on to middle school…that’s why I did this story with them…to try to help them develop more perspective.
Kathy, Just took a look again at the drawing and noticed more details. This child is quite talented! I just subscribed to Art’s blog thanks to your mentioning his work. 🙂 I read his “enemies of the mind” and left a comment that I thought may interest you as I shared an experience I had about perception. His “Enemies of the Mind” story really got to me.
I agree…that student is very talented.
And yes, Art’s blog is absolutely wonderful….there are so many wisdom stories in it and uses stories is such an effective way to pass along wisdom. “Enemies of the Mind” is wonderful! (I don’t see your comment yet..maybe it’s waiting moderation, if it’s your first comment there?)
Yes, it’s my first comment, and the first time I read his blog. I told the story to my s/o and he liked it.
Wonderful story and cards, Kathy. Smiles are warm and welcoming.
Mirrors love smiles and so do I….oh, I am the mirror, too …. : )
so cool…love the story about the 2 dogs…a lesson for adults as well… 🙂
It’s a great story…. and I’m finding it a helpful lesson too….especially when I notice that I’m reacting in a less-than-positive manner… I don’t like those growling dogs. : )
wow, I am touched, love the childs drawing, it makes me soar to know one ounce of good is coming from these stories and that a child will carry this with them through life.
Your creative abilities are awesome to take something and decorate it with passion and art is amazing…
bows (~_~) humble
Wow! Kathy this is good..good..good.. for all of us..Thank you!
You’re very welcome…I find that I’m using it in my own life…when reacting to various circumstances or people…. it’s helping me pause and choose, too.
Pocket, you could never do better than follow after the lessons of Art at zendictive blog. The child’s version you chose to post is simply wonderful. Why, oh why, do we adults kid ourselves (double entendre intended!) that we are much in need of these lessons about choices? The children are more mature than we, wiser than we, in realizing without embarrassment that they should study these lessons! Hooray for the young! “Mirror, mirror on the wall…..” Thank you for this wonderful Epiphany post, highly enlightening!
You’re very welcome. Yes, Art really offered an important lesson…I’m very thankful to him for his many stories…so much wisdom there. And your reference to Epiphany… I see that is January 6…. if a person could really become experientially aware of the significance of the self/other, reflections, projections, and mirrors, and actually live with that understanding…. I think that would indeed it’s own kind of an epiphany.
wonderful creative, and profound. This was a fabulous concept!
Thanks…I’ve actually learned so much from those mirror pages….making a thoughtful choice in each moment and realizing to be very careful not to project my own thoughts/feelings onto others. Nancy Hatch at Spirit Lights the Way had a post on karma that has lots of overlap with these mirror/reflection ideas. http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/karma-the-great-cosmic-boomerang/