Can you believe Halloween is upon us already? It’s a time when you can dress up to be anyone you want to be. Wonder Woman. A creepy monster. A magician. A sorceress. It’s kind of fun to play make-believe, throw caution to the wind, and let your freak flag fly. After all, we spend most of our days towing some sort of line and being all responsible.
One of my skills as a coach is the ability to meet my clients where they’re at; speak their language; match their energy. I’m a chameleon in that sense, wearing a bit of mask as needed. The time spent on the phone with clients is theirs, and while I certainly bring myself to the conversation, I am ultimately a conduit for their progress and change.
Whether it’s Halloween or not, we all tend to wear different masks at times, say as an employee, a boss, maybe even as a friend or spouse. When consciously chosen, masks are a necessary and appropriate tool. You don’t want to march into a business meeting with your Mom or Dad persona on. You want your straight-talking, savvy, negotiating, professional mask on.
Then there are those times when you adorn a mask and don’t even realize you’re doing it. Maybe you’re having lunch with a friend and, while you prefer to not talk about others behind their backs, you nod in agreement as he talks trash about a mutual acquaintance. Rather than speaking up and causing waves, you force a sliver of a smile and quietly wish for the lunch to be over.
Do you ever find, *|FNAME|*, that you don’t bring your full self to your relationships? Your conversations? Your life? In a sense, might you be wearing a mask even when the occasion doesn’t call for it?
Let’s say your soul is pulling you in a direction that goes against the status quo. You might keep those desires to yourself or downplay them when speaking with others to avoid questions or naysaying. You are with that person, but not fully present.
Are you being who you think others want you to be? Maybe you’ve done that for so long, you’re not even sure who you are anymore. It’s like that scene in Runaway Bride when Richard Gere asks Julia Roberts how she likes her eggs and she says “Whatever you’re having.” The guy she was with determined the kind of eggs she would get until she finally realized she didn’t like any of the ones she had been given. The scene highlights how much she didn’t know herself and had a habit of losing herself in other people. And the more you tone yourself down, the more you get used to playing small.
Any time we keep an aspect of ourselves tucked away for others’ benefit or for what feels like a need for protection, we end up validating the fear that we’re not ok as we are. Your young self, your dreams, your goals — they all need you to show up as fully as possible to your life. Anything else is self-abandonment. And when you have a habit of abandoning yourself, your soul throws a temper tantrum and you end up filling your life with clutter.
You look around and see only things you’re tolerating or fires that need extinguishing leaving you no time or energy to focus on your core values or life vision.
Maybe you’ve been wearing masks for so long, you haven’t truly seen yourself in years. You might not know who you truly are anymore.
Well it’s high time to change that.
This week, get reacquainted with yourself by doing some mirror work (a la Louise Hay). Ease in by setting a timer for 90 seconds and looking straight into your eyes in the mirror. Stay there through the self-criticism; through the desire to look away; through the feelings of silliness. Stare deep into your eyes and see the vastness of your being; the life force shining brightly; your vulnerability softening.
The more connected you feel to yourself, the less you’ll feel you have to walk through life wearing masks. Put down the mask and come home to yourself. Only then can you get back in touch with your dreams and step up to do the work needed to bring them to life.
I wish you space and clarity,