I have a secret – I’ve never really liked this holiday! Maybe, when I was a kid I found it fun to get dressed-up and go trick-or-treating in my neighborhood. It was safe. It was fun, but I suspect our true identities were given away during the annual candy hunt because were always accompanied by our moms. As I got older, I outgrew the dressing-up part. I found the few Halloween parties that I did attend unsettling - I wanted to know who was really behind those masks. Even then, I didn’t like the idea of hiding, or not being myself. But, I probably never really was able to express that feeling clearly and out loud back then.
My focus this month is on removing the mask and nurturing our true essence to allow our inner being to shine. I’m not talking about the mask or costume some might choose to put on to celebrate Halloween, but rather the masks that many wear every day out of obligation rather than desire. As I’ve mentioned in my the last two blogs (October 7 and 14) there have been times in my life when I’ve realized that I was living according to false expectations for myself: the expectations of my family, my community, the world...and even the false expectations I put on myself because I was listening more to my mind rather than to my heart, soul, and true essence. Thankfully, I was able to recognize the source of my unhappiness...the source of the void I felt inside, even though, from outward appearances, I had it all. I was able to take off the masks and begin to nurture my true essence and allow my inner being to shine.
Last April, I was in Salem, Massachusetts, for a conference entitled The All and Everything Conference. This annual conference brings together many people from around the world for the purpose of learning and sharing information on how to be who we truly are. It felt odd to be in Salem for this conference. Salem - the town where years ago women were burned at the stake after being labeled “witches”, because they were different and/or misunderstood. They didn’t fit the current culture norm of what a colonial woman should be or do. They didn’t wear the mask expected of them by their geographic or religious community. They weren’t allowed to throw off the mask and let their inner being shine without serious repercussions. Thankfully, that’s not usually the case in today’s world. We have the freedom to be who we truly are. Don’t get me wrong, I know there can be repercussions for discarding the masks we’re expected to wear, but they’re not typically deadly. In modern society, we carry so many expectations, not only from our own mind, but also from many people, communities, and institutions outside of ourselves. Society doesn’t make it easy for anyone to just be who they are...to let their true inner being shine in the world.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “why can’t I just be Who I AM?” I think, deep down inside each, we each long to find that “I AM-ness” and nurture it and allow it to take the reins. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all long to remove the masks we believe we must wear to fit into our society, but we let fear keep us trapped behind those masks. Halloween is the year when many people find fear fun and with Halloween ten days away, we’re in the thick of it. We go to haunted houses. We put up spooky decorations. We watch scary movies. Those things can be creative and fun, but this year, why don’t we really make an effort to Face the Fear that’s holding us back? Take some time to consider what masks do you feel obligated to wear? How do those masks and expectations hold you back from who you are? How do those masks prevent you from living the life you want and need to live?
What if, during this increasingly Yin time of year, we take the time to listen to our true essence? You can learn more about the Yin time of year in my September blogs, but basically, it’s a time of quiet, reflection, retreat, and preparation for the new year.
Let’s take time to face the fear that’s holding us back and consider how we can be who we truly are and show our inner being to the world every day.
I wish someone would have handed me the answer to that question. I wish there was a road map to getting to the place where we nurture our true essence and our inner beings shine every single day without stress or fear. I wish I had those answers and plans for you, too. But, that one-size-fits-all road map doesn’t exist. That destination is a little different for everyone and the journey there is unique for each person. I was told at a young age, “the answers are inside you.” I didn’t understand it then, but thankfully, I began to get clues to understanding early on when I got out on my own and discovered yoga and meditation. But, it wasn’t until recently that I truly understood what that meant. We each must discover who we really are and no one can simply hand us that information or tell us how to reach that destination. The road to understanding and action is different for each of us. As I mentioned in my earlier October blogs, our inner being never abandons us. It’s always there waiting, like a loyal friend....waiting for your acknowledgement and your invitation for that true essence to step forward. The Universe gives us clues and a sense of knowing that, if we open ourselves to awareness, can lead us to the path we need to follow to remove the masks and nurture our inner being.
Many of us in the Feng Shui profession have a mission to guide people and help them see what the Universe is trying to share with us. I love helping clients uncover and understand those clues. Through Feng Shui and Himalayan Singing Bowl meditations, I can help you gather the information and begin to understand it. I can help you take action that will lead to more clues and information from the Universe and your true essence. I can lead you and help you find the beginning of your personal path, but you, my friend, must do your own work to remove the masks, just as those before you have had to do, too. You can do it. It won’t always be easy, but you can do it. If you take small steps, you’ll be well on your way before you know it.