I just had an experience that I haven’t had in quite a while. I spent Halloween giving out candies to goblins, princesses and supermans (at my parents’ house in Canada) as well as walking around the neighbourhood dodging bunches of knee-high devils and dinosaurs. My own niece was the cutest 2-year old alligator as well…
Why would I be writing about this? Well, besides the central goal of collecting as much candy in as little time possible, these kids and teens were dressed up, with masks or make-up, pretending to be someone else.
And while Halloween is a once a year event in many countries, it is really something than many of us do every day!
I’m not suggesting that there is something wrong in doing this, but many people aren’t aware of the number of masks we wear in quick succession. For example, I’m a grown woman, daughter, sister, aunt, therapist, teacher, boss, student, athlete, artist, socialite, homemaker… and oh so many more.
So many roles, in one body!
First of all, look at yourself and make a list of your roles and congratulate yourself on being so many things (you probably never realised all the things you did in one day, did you?). It may take a little while to figure them ALL out but take a few moments and make the list (you can add to it later).
Now look at them closely – I like thinking about being a kid again at Halloween – and realise that there is more than a functional layer to each of these roles, and ask yourself – is there a prince(ss), goblin, super(wo)man, devil or dinosaur in it? Are there labels associated with roles you play that are no longer useful to you and achieving your goals?
For example, the concept of motherhood has undergone huge changes in the last century and will probably continue to do so. Are there any roles that are outdated in your life? It might be time for you to revise or even eliminate some, prioritise or reprioritise others (where your attention goes, your energy flows), but definitely give yourself a pat on the back about doing what you do with the resources you have at the moment.
Roles and feelings, the role of feelings…
As you look at some of the roles you play, you may notice certain feelings are attached to them – joy, anger, happiness, guilt, inadequacy… Remember that feelings are just there to tell you something is going on (bad feelings are meant only to direct you to an area in your life that needs some attention).
If you are interested in the way that feelings play a role in your life, “The Secret Language of Feelings” by Calvin Banyan is a great start (you can get it on Amazon or I have copies at the office). I’m also have a class on this very subject.
If some of the roles that you have chosen are connected with strong negative emotions, you may want to take special care in looking at your perception on the role and situation and see how you can transform it to better suit your life right now.
Role of Mindbody in your roles…
I’ve just read a book entitled “The Mindbody Prescription” by Dr. John E Sarno. I really enjoyed it and recommend it as a good read. The basic premise of the book is that the body and mind are inextricably linked and that body pains can, in part, be rooted in emotions that have not been dealt with.
I’ve had success with migraines and pain issues in dealing with the underlying emotional issues. (But you know that I don’t deal with pain issues unless a referral from a medical/health practitioner has been given.)
Here’s an interesting exercise – where’s your “pain” in the roles you play? I know that I have a high tolerance fo
r dust when I’m rummaging through old shops or looking for costumes in basements, but become highly allergic when I pick up a duster to clean. If you notice that something ‘acts up’ during certain situations in your life, might they be in your head as well as your body?
I’ve found that some of the people who do 7th Path self-hypnosis have experienced pains going away when they work through the emotional components. This method is non-directive, but can be highly successful.
I’m sure you are all well and getting better each day. Have a wonderful November and I look forward to communicating with you in the near future. Take good care.