The Masks We Wear.

 

bda8719cbbccdb7f48aefca461e9c803

Image found via Pinterest.

I don’t remember the first time it happened.

But I’m sure I was young when I first donned that mask that would allow me to be accepted, liked, loved.

Maybe when I pretended not to be upset.

Or laughed at a joke that I actually found offensive.

When I said, “Nothing” to the question, “What’s wrong?”

Or when I somebody asked how I was and I said, “Fine” when really I was trembling with sadness, shame or rage on the inside.

We learn at a young age to mold our outsides to be acceptable to those we love most, to those who don’t even know us at all.

I did it just the other day when my best friend of 37 years came over so we could go to dinner and a movie. I’d just gotten home from teaching, the house was a mess because I just didn’t feel like cleaning. But I did this brisk 30-minute clean before she arrived.Why? She is the last person who would judge me for anything much less having a messy house. I was judging me.

And there it is.

I judge myself harshly and then feel compelled to pretend I am other than who I am.

Yoga has helped with this. Not just the poses. We all know that the poses are the very tip of the yoga iceberg. The more I practice, the more I show up to my mat just as I am on any given day and do what I can do on any given day, the more I am peeling away those layers of masks.

Some days I just need Child’s Pose and Savasana. That’s it. I’m done.

Other days I need to sweat and move and build strength.

The biggest revelation is that one day is not better than the other. They are just days. Days when I show up to my mat. And when I show up to my mat, I show up to myself.

No matter what I do when I show up to my practice, whether it’s Child’s Pose or Warrior or Crow, I am shifting energy. Energy that has gotten stagnant and stuck in my body. When I come out of a pose that has gotten to be too much, I am honoring who I am, not trying to prove I am something I’m not. Same when I pass on going deeper into a pose just because the teacher suggests it.

Yoga has been about learning to trust myself. Trust my body. Trust what I feel. Trust what I need. Trust what I believe. Trust in the Universe.

And when I deeply trust who I am, there’s no need to wear a mask.

mask-truth-self-quotes12

NoTrumpVote Dedication.

screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-10-31-01-am

I dedicate my NoTrumpVote to my daughters, 22 and 19 and my two nieces, 15 and 6. Because it’s horrifying that we live in a culture where a man serves three months in prison for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster since it might derail his promising swim career. Because women are blamed for getting raped due to the amount of alcohol they consumed but men are excused by the amount they had. Because women who use their voices are shut down by men calling them cunts and threatening to rape them, reminding us that that is the only part of our bodies worth any value. Because women are literally valued less than men in 2016, making 77 cents on the dollar. Because a man who brags about sexual assault and getting away with it because of his celebrity chills me to the bone. Because what kind of policies would he enact or disable as president when he views women as lips to kiss, tits to ogle, pussies to grab? I don’t want to find out. Our power is in our voice, our voice is in our votes. Use both this election.

Thank you to Julianna Baggott for creating this space for hope in such a perilous time.


#DedicateYourNoTrumpVote