30 Oct Hiding Behind the Who
For as long as I can remember, Halloween has been one of my favourite days of the year. The opportunity to take on the role of a magical, enchanted character, to dress as if I was living in a fairy tale, or to be accepted taking on a dark role as a witch or a monster, typically undesirable representations of qualities within that I would not want to surface.
I took pride in my costumes, and even more pride in what they represented, a part of me that I was unconsciously either unwilling and scared to reveal, or a part of me that was longing to be be expressed. For this one day of the year, I eagerly and excitedly anticipted the opportunity to express myself freely.
This perspective changed for me significantly six years ago.
In 2009, I dressed up as a “Who”, from Whoville, a fictional town created by Dr. Suess and I hosted a Halloween costume party, inviting others to also put on costumes and come as someone else other than themself. This was the same evening that I spoke my last words to my Grandmother sending her love and wishing her peaceful passing as she prepared to leave this world just a couple hours later. I remember standing in my perfectly articulated “Who” costume. On the outside, I looked joyful, playful and wondrous, on the inside, I was grieving, feeling a vast amount of sadness, loss and despair. The “Who” on the outside was a covering of the essence of the “Who” on the inside.
The spiritual path of awakening invites us to reflect, “Who Am I”. An invitation to look at the parts of ourselves that we hide and are scared to reveal, as well as the parts of ourselves that are divine and wholehearted, longing to be born. The Tantric path does not separate the two. This path invites us to move into the space of who we are.
As we spend time in these practices, we are invited to spend time with ourselves. The silence and the space provided in these practices, allows for an opening and transformation for the inner beauty to surface. Amongst this beauty and grace also lies sadness, sorrow and anger.
My desire to wear a costume on one day of the year, has changed with my desire to take my costume off the other 364 days of the year. The more I understand “who I am”, the more I am willing to show up with a sense of vulnerability to be seen for all the characters and the qualities that reside within. Some days I reveal myself as a witch, while other days a graceful goddess, and others something as simple as a silent tree or bluejay flying free. All encompassing and all embracing, I am beginning to replace my costumes everyday with my divine nature.
Looking back, I am grateful for the “The Who” costume that I was wearing the night my Grandmother passed. Grateful that it reflected my playful, light-hearted nature on one of the darkest nights I remember. Yoga reminds us that the two are not separate and this practice has taught me, if nothing else, to embrace who I am, to let go of who I am not, and to wear the costume of my divine expression everyday, so that the other 364 years, I don’t have to hide behind the “Who”.
On the night of All Hallows Eve, may the costume that we choose to wear, equally reflect a part of ourselves that we are willing to reveal and manifest into Who and How we want to express ourselves.