By Laura Mills
Just after Halloween 2012 I posted a blog that asked why, as human beings, we love disguises so much. With Halloween 2013 just around the corner, I thought at least part of that blog worth posting again….
“[And we disguise ourselves not] only on Halloween—after all, a disguise doesn’t require a mask, whiskers and a tail, or even unfamiliar clothes. However we go about it, we find comfort in fooling others about our identity, in others’ not knowing whom we really are. Think about it…as children, who among us didn’t at one time or another want to be invisible? Then, with time dawned the knowledge that we couldn’t make ourselves disappear, but we could do anything but. Now, short of donning fake fangs or a wig, we devise countless ways of hiding the person we are on the inside. Maybe it’s the tremendous relief from self-consciousness….
“Years ago, when I taught high school science, every October at least one student would ask me about my upcoming Halloween costume. I would always joke, ‘I’m going to be a chemistry teacher.’ Today, I see the actual seriousness of that statement. The most difficult disguise to wear is no disguise at all. Appearing as the real you—heart, soul, and everything in between, within and without—is more frightening than dressing up in even the scariest Halloween costume. But I have no doubt it’s also the most worthwhile way to let the world see you.”
This year, let me add that although it’s difficult—so, so difficult—to shed our disguises, every time we come to our mats we make progress. By its nature, yoga practice dissolves such things as fear, self-consciousness, and other obstructions of our true nature…and after the debris melts away, what’s left is an ever-brighter being, so much more than the costumed individual that first unrolled the mat.