So much strength and treasures reside within you, behind masks that you built yourself because your warped perceptions lead you to judged them and hide them far from sight. Fortunately, you can retreive them by lifting your masks.
WHAT MASKS ARE YOU WEARING?
Sometimes you are aware of one, sometimes they are hidden in your subconscious. Masks are as varied as there are people. However, there are commonalities: the good girl or bad girl; the cool girl; the dark brooding teen; the brainy; the cheer leader; the helper always available; the know-it-all; the prom queen; the mother; the tyrant; mother superior; the super-woman; the victim; the drama queen; the nun, and so on.
The beauty with masks is that when you see one it means that you have the maturity to look behind it. Secondly, I can assure anyone that the hidden part behind the mask is a vulnerable aspect of the self that was judged, pushed back in the subconscious and which resurfaces to claim is share of acceptance, love and reassurance.
INNER VOICES, POWERFUL FORCES
As we mature, the masks get more complex. Let me give you a few examples.
Mary, in her late 30s, is at a crossroads. Outwardly, she looked like she was totally self-assured and in control of her life. She came for a shamanic journey to reconnect with her purpose in life because she could no longer make clear decisions on important issues. She met with her tree of life and noticed it had a cavity. She wrote a song for it. As we ended the session, she commented that she felt we hadn’t really done much, unaware of the power of her talent. Two days later, she shared that this process brought her a lot of insights about forgiveness and encouragement to review limiting concepts. “I am really grateful for the obstacles I encountered and am proud of myself,” she said.
Fran and her spouse, in their late 30s, have been trying to adopt a child for almost a decade without success. They are now seeking the assistance of a fertility clinic, but they have fears and reservations. During her guided journey, Fran realized that she has been unconsciously wearing a mask. Of course, identifying who is behind that mask is a non-linear process in her quest for having a baby. She may identify it as taking too long because her biological clock is ticking loud and clear. Although she may be afraid of going behind the mask, she has opened up a new possibility for herself. The choice is hers as well as the method to do it.
Ann, at the peek of mastery in her field, now feels that she can no longer continuer doing the same job. She senses that if she continued, she would become ill. Confident in her inner knowing, she yet has to give her notice of retirement to her employer. Although she says she is mentally ready to do it, there still are a few attachments — including her image of I-have-to-take-care-of-everyone-before-I-take-care-of-myself — until she “gets out of the closet” that she actually occupies and officially starts promoting herself as the angel worker she wants to be.
Flora, in her late 40s, has been walking the spiritual path. She lately went on a pilgrimage with a group of other seekers of her faith. Once at destination, she was unable to even start the trek trip because of illness. She was also having confrontations with the guide and all the members of the tour group. She came for a consultation because she felt at a crossroad professionally as she feelt she no longer fit in and included references to that trip. She was hoping to gain clarity. She realized that she was wearing a mask built from her spiritual ego and that she would have to let get of it to go move on with her life.
Masks reveal to you the difference between the real you and false you. Once you chose to remove the mask, the new you shines and brings awareness to your higher levels of consciousness. It also increases your perceptions and abilities. Ultimately you serve as a models to others around you who also seek to grow. You reflect their own ability to aim higher.
HOW TO IDENTIFY MASKS
There are many ways to identify masks. You can examine the issues that are currently surfacing in your life?
Are there recurring situations happening in your life, for example:
– always the same type of relationship issues
– money issues
– difficulty manifesting aspects of your creativity and fertility
– lack of self-confidence in front of similar types of circumstances
– difficulty voicing your truth, etc.
– upgrading yourself spiritually?
Going within with help or without to explore where those difficulties come from will usually lead to a mask or a belief system that needs to go.
Even if your life is going well, you can still actively search for them with the homework provided with this class or with the help of a shaman, the arts such as automatic writing, painting, drawing, or a therapist of your choice.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT MASKS?
– Judging them
– Changing them
– Observing them
– Be compassionate towards the one who thought it was needed
– Talk to them. Ask them questions and listen to the answers without fear or pre-conceived answers.
This is a short and simple answer, the only one. Be patient with yourself as you go on. This is not an exercise of speed or of perfection. It is a lifelong process.
What to do when you see a mask on someone else? Say nothing and use the same strategy as above! It most likely is reflecting something back to you.
Make a mold of your face (as described below or any other method you know) and decorate the inner and external surfaces. This activity is fun and provides useful insights when you use it as a meditation tool. The molding part is much easier when done with a friend.
• 2 to 3 rolls of plaster of Paris (available in some pharmacies or craft stores)
• petroleum jelly
• Coloured tissue paper, glue, paint, feathers, glitter, pretty things found in nature, beads, etc.
Tissue, soap, your favourite moisturizer.
Molding your face
• Prepare your material
• Cut strips of plaster of Paris of about 1 in. x 1.5 in.
• Apply petroleum jelly on your face; make sure the eyelids and eyebrows are generously covered.
• Dip one strip of plaster at a time in water, strain a bit and apply asymetrically on the face, polishing the plaster for an even texture.
• Cover the whole surface of your face with 3 layers of strips to ensure solidity.
• If you want to wear the mask, keep the mouth and eyes areas wide open; otherwise you can cover them completely for a different effect.
• Keep the strips away from the hairline, otherwise hair will come off with the mask when you remove it from the face.
• Once the mask is quite dry and rigid, remove slowly and gently.
• Wash your face well, ensuring you removed all the petroleum gelly. Pat gently to dry and apply a healthy moisturizer.
• Cut the sides for an even contour, then add a finish touch by placing strips in U shape all around the edge.
Decorating your mask
• Decorate inside and outside as you see fit. Let it dry well.
• Puncture holes on the sides and add a ribbon or elastic band to tie behind the head.
Once the mold is done, let your inner and outer senses contemplate your work without judgment or interpretation. Simply ask questions to the mask itself. Watch for insights and write them down in your journal. They will come and surprise you.