I’m not a big fan of holidays, but Halloween is one I truly enjoy. So much so that for many consecutive years, my friends & I would brave the traffic and the crowds to be in Salem Massachusetts on the very day! There were so many scary Halloween masks.
Recently I wondered why I like this holiday so much. Here’s what I cam up with:
Halloween is a time where we put on costumes, masks, wigs, makeup, and try out being someone or something else. We can be anything we want: another profession, a movie character we really like, someone more sexy or outrageous. We can do this without consequences. It actually removes the “scary”!
It may feel like Halloween gives us an opportunity to “be” someone else. But could it really be that we feel safe enough to show more of our real selves to others than we do on a daily basis?
(If I could grow my hair this long, this would seriously be my “every day” hair!)
What if Halloween was a time to take OFF your masks and costumes–the personalities you wear for the world because you’re afraid to show any part of yourself that our society doesn’t reward or accept? What if instead, you used Halloween as a springboard for expressing more of your authentic self?
How to take OFF your masks this Halloween
That said, here are 13 “scary” ideas of ways to take OFF your masks this Halloween:
- Accept a compliment. No, REALLY. Actually let it inside your heart so that you can feel it, and from the heart, sincerely thank the person offering it.
- Say “no” to something you think you absolutely have no choice but to do, but that you know deep down doesn’t excite you. Once you’ve said no, let any worry or guilt go. See also 5 Ways to Alleviate Schedule Congestion.
- Take time to do something you’ve always wanted to do, or thought about doing but didn’t because you were afraid what others would think. Notice which idea makes you most uncomfortable and afraid of being judged or criticized, and DO IT ANYWAY because YOU’D LOVE TO.
- When an emotion (fear, sadness, anger, happiness, etc.) comes up for you, notice it as an authentic expression of YOURSELF, that is OK. Focus your attention on your breath. Relax your body. Feel any physical sensations. Watch your mind. Allow all this to happen instead of immediately pushing it away.
- Consciously communicate with someone you know you’ve been biting your tongue around. Express your true feelings kindly, and listen to their response. Accept your own part in where you are in your relationship.
- Explore your spiritual side. Perhaps explore something different than what you were exposed to growing up. Maybe embrace more fully whatever you truly believe. Or, investigate a different philosophy with an open heart.
- Ask yourself whether the career, hobbies, relationships, or other activities that you put energy into on a daily basis really FEED YOUR SOUL. A real hard and close look. If you find anything lacking, brainstorm ways you might transform this area of your life so it feels more aligned to you.
- Really SEE someone when you talk with them. Listen to what they’re saying that they’re not saying. Forget about your response. Be present with them, however they’re showing up for you.
- Wear something (non-Halloween) that you like that might draw people’s attention. Notice what comes up for you when you are SEEN. When others see you, try smiling at them!
- Do something YOUR way, especially if you think others expect you to do it some other way: a presentation, a school project, handling a challenge with your parents or children, etc.
- Listen to your body rather than your mind’s “should’s”. Does your body crave movement, or rest? A bubble bath or a run? Kickboxing or yoga? A burger and fries or a freshly squeezed orange juice?
- Notice when you want to say (or have said) something that didn’t feel quite right, because you were wanting to be liked or loved. What things do you tell people that you don’t truly believe, deep in your heart? Practice saying only things you feel are true for YOU.
- Notice what stories you tell yourself about what will happen when you pack your mask, costume, or personality away. Are they true? Are they all negative? Can you see any positives?
Could you live in Halloween every day? How scary can you get this Halloween by finding YOU underneath your masks and costumes?
Comment & let me know. Photos of costumes are also always welcome!