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Where is my mask?

Riding on a train from Hamburg to Berlin enjoying the green fields flying past, watching the beautiful artworks on the walls as we move station to station. Admiring the layers of colours painted all over the city, I can't help think that just like these painting and graffiti we can also brush ourselves in any colour or shape that we see fit for the society that we live in.

I remember back in school I was always told that I needed to act in a certain way, to dress in a certain way, to behave and not to question the system of education nor the books or philosophers. I was told that my personal opinion was inferior and that I could not argue with it. At work I was told to work harder, to put on a mask of self satisfaction and "happiness", to pretend and to swallow my arguments against my clients out of fear of loosing a big deal. How can we live like that, constantly in doubt and in the lookout to be accepted by others, to fit in. Could it be that we wear masks for the fear that the world is going to find us out. We put on a mask or two or ten, then take a few off, then put a couple more on … It’s exhausting! Worst of all, we start forgetting who we really are. As Fanny Brice said, “Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?” Is there no better feeling than to be totally and utterly naked.

This is where my yoga practice has helped me to clean up, to free myself from the layers of personas I painted myself in over the years.The effort that comes with hiding behind these faces is just not worth it, it is truly a full time job in itself. Set yourself free, take that step in discovering your true potential.

We rely heavily on assumptions, don't we? When people look at you, they see what they expect to see. If they have reasons to believe that you are smart, they will see evidence of intelligence in your behaviour, whether or not there actually is any. If they have reason to believe you are dishonest, they will interpret a lack of eye contact or awkward body-language as evidence that you have something to hide.

The judgements depend on the stereotypes, the groups to which you belong, your apparent similarity to other people and cultural attitudes. Why do we do that?

Why can't we accept people as they are without categorising or having an opinion on them?

With this attitude we are only encouraging the people around us to hide their true self behind some superficial shallow mask.

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first.”

― Jim Morrison

Let us help each other be free. Each of us is entitled to live and to be accepted as we are.


Nath xx

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