Behind the Smoking Mirrors
Written by
Beatrice Adenodi

Smoking Mirrors: A Retrospective

In October 2018, Mindless Behaviors unveiled its first initiative of many, called Smoking Mirrors: The Mindless Behaviors Event Series. The goal of this series was to raise awareness of problematic behavioral issues affecting our society.

Our aim was to dive deeply into specific behaviors that keep people stuck in unhealthy patterns. We would explain the "why" of each issue and what sparks these behaviors, and offer tips on overcoming them. We wanted to give our attendees an opportunity to challenge their inner-status quo and evolve their perceptions of the world.

Our series would bring together small groups of people in a non-judgmental space and encourage them to be authentic and open in sharing their views. We wanted to guide them through an interactive journey, filled with thought-provoking conversation and rounded out with creative performances to give an artistic flow to the event.

Smoking Mirrors was the result of four years of dreaming, research, planning, and soul-searching. As the founder of Mindless Behaviors, this series would exemplify my worldview and the way I strive to live my life.

This would be the first step towards our vision of growing generations of hopeful people, and I wanted to make an impact. I knew I had to put on my thinking cap and draw upon my years of experience as a creative marketer.

Smoking Mirrors took shape as a three-part event series, happening once each month from October to December. Each part would focus on a different topic.

We kicked off the season in October with our first topic, "Contradictions", which raised awareness about the disconnect that occurs within us when we say one thing and do another. Our engagement at this event was a coloring exercise showcasing the consequences of not standing your ground. The attendees got to take their paintings home as a memento of the event and reminder of what they had learned.

In November, we journeyed into our next topic, "Mask". We hosted an open conversation about the faces of survival we wear on a regular basis that keep us from expressing our true identity. During this event, we provided different art supplies for the attendees to craft a mask that represents them. The audience was stunned when I instructed them to pass their mask to the person next to them. This interaction illustrated how we give our power away. As a memento, the attendees framed their masks to remind them to stay aware of their power.

We ended the season in December with “Pandemonium”. We walked individuals through negative emotions, or “garbage”, we carry through the lives that prevent us from coming into our power. Kelly Anderson, from Crayon Kelly, set up the simulation of the trash exhibit. Attendees were moved by the presentation and intrigued by the many signs placed to represent negative emotions. As a takeaway from the event, we instructed the attendees to write a letter to themselves about their chaos and how they overcome it on a regular basis.  I wrote my own letter and had the honor of reciting it to the audience. I was grateful for how attentive the audience was.  

Smoking Mirrors proved to be an intriguing, informative series. It was a learning experience, not only for our attendees but for me and the team at Mindless Behaviors as well. Each time I presented, I was amazed and humbled by how much love and knowledge people gave back to us. I unveiled a new initiative to the world and while at first, it was terrifying, it ended up being immensely rewarding.

We discovered that our platform is not only needed but wanted and valued by our community. We look forward to growing our audience and getting even more people involved with our upcoming series in September. We thank all of our attendees, sponsors, performers, and everyone else who made this event series happen. We could have not done it without your support.

The 2019 Event series is set to launch in September and we hope to see you there! Click [here] to get involved! We are always looking for community support!

[Watch our videos] from the Smoking Mirrors series!



Smoking Mirrors: The Mindless Behaviors Events Series is intended to spark communal discussion of different environmental and behavioral factors that keep us stuck in our lives. Our series reinforces the importance of intention and how unconscious behaviors can affect our social interactions. Each event uncovers a unique behavior that clouds our vision and prevents us from seeing our reflections clearly. We venture into the mental and physical roots of these behaviors to bring them to the surface. Attendees gather to lean into the discomfort of discussing this difficult yet relatable topic, forging new ways of thinking and strengthening our human connections.

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We build Social Experiences that focus on gather people and get them to talking in a safe, non-judgmental forum. When we learn to communicate effectively, our walls begin to break down and true connections develop. But where do all of our ideas come from? That's why we need your help. We are a community-driven platform and we're always reaching out for inspiration. If you have an awesome new idea or concept for our many initiatives, we want to hear from you!

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