What follows are some guidelines to identifying, understanding and dismantling your masks.
I encourage you to make some notes about what you learned or where you needed help in this process and add them to your comments in the comment box below. I will address your comments and concerns in later posts or zoom gatherings. Please let me know if you would like to set up a private session for help with this practice of Identifying your Mask.
Identifying your Mask:
These practices will become second nature the more you do them. As you learn them today I hope you allow yourself the time and space to gain the experience offered.
Take a few minutes to turn your attention to your Song. And hold to that feeling as you explore and experiment. Here is a brief song meditation if you wish to be guided.
We are not our masks. Masks are separate and distinct from our Song. They are are not part of the truth of who and what we are.
Clues that masks are present are: fear, judgments, being unmotivated, looking for someone to blame, power over, better than/worse than. The masks tell us to complain, criticize, to be happy in our resignation, to hurry, to be stressed, to rehash the past and to worry about our future. Masks tell us to feel lost in webs of hopelessness.
They provide the instructions for our addictive patterns to: for example, food, drugs alcohol, sex, texting, gaming, patterns of our relationships…
They tell us to be afraid to let go of them – they say that we won’t know what to do with ourselves without the drama of the masks in our lives.
The goal of these exercises that I’m sharing with you is to help you see clearly your masks and your Song. In these exercises you are asked to take off the mask and to look at it from your Song — with unconditional love and unconditional acceptance.
Our masks are not a part of our totality. We don’t have to let them control us. We don’t have to give away our power to them.
Growing Song awareness: practice # I
One way to identify masks is to remember times when you were involved in expressing one of the NO NOs — judging, making assumptions, holding expectations, jumping to conclusions, feeling unworthy or arrogant or you can get ideas from the list of mask clues given above.
Pick one of these memories, one of these mask events, and follow the steps of learning to distinguish, understand and dismantle your masks.
1) Write out in detail the memory of one of the mask events that you’ve recalled, as you experienced it. No self-editing please.
2) Read it aloud slowly.
3) Be sure you are in your Song, then go back through and circle and describe the NO NOs present in your description.
That car just pulled out in front of me! What an idiot (judging, making assumptions – I have no idea what was happening for him and what motivated his decision to act in this way or his level of intelligence), who does he think he is (an indirect way to repeat the judgment). Doesn’t he know that could kill someone (assuming he doesn’t know – that he’s too stupid to know).
It’s not that these things may or may not be true (for instance, this kind of driving could cause an accident) – its that each of our thoughts, emotions and beliefs is a vote for our social values.
Now, rewrite the paragraph(s) from your Song which means speaking with clarity and honesty about the presence of the various NO NOs you notice.
We’ve been trained to give our power away to the commands of the masks. It can be surprising and relieving to look at them from a Song perspective.
That car just pulled out in front of me! My masks are telling me that the best way to respond to this situation is to jump to conclusions and declare him an idiot – to declare him less intelligent than I am. Even though I don’t have a clue what motivated his actions at the moment.
The masks is telling me that feeling indignant and angry is the appropriate feeling to have. It’s the best way to be successful at living from conditional love – better than/worse than etc.
Take time now to write out your description and to mark the NO NOs and then to do the rewrite. Do this from your Song.
In what way does the re-write feel different? Notice if the pull of the masks is less. If the sensations in your body are different.
Now notice the difference between the feeling sense of your Song and the feeling sense of your mask.
What is the difference in the feeling of living out of the instructions of conditional love and the feeling of living from your Song?
Sometimes when we have experiential data about what the choices are we have more clarity about what we want our lives to be like and how we want to identify ourselves.
I encourage you to take time at least once a day to write out a mask experience from your Song using the technique above.
Other times throughout the day when you notice the presence of a mask acknowledge its presence: Umm there is a mask present and it is telling me to say or to feel a specific way.
Developing this habit helps highlights the difference between your masks and your Song and presents an opportunity return your attention to the feeling of your Song.
Its also easy to notice quickly the difference in the feeling sense of your Song and the feeling sense of a mask that you are presently aware of.
These are good habits to form and the honestly and clarity can be relaxing and grounding.
Song strengthening practice # 2 coming soon.