Best Costume Ever
By Laura Mills
With Halloween just past I’ve been thinking about disguises. Like most kids I loved October 31. Over the course of my younger years I disguised myself as, among other things, Pebbles Flintstone, Raggedy Ann, a princess, a witch, a hippie (several times!), and a cat. But Halloween, of course, isn’t just for kids; for plenty of adults, dressing up as someone or something else is just...FUN.
Putting the festiveness of Halloween aside, I’m wondering why we love disguises so much. 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.
CHOICES ALL DRESSED UP AND SOMEPLACE TO GO
JANUARY 20TH, 2010: We have a CHOICE. What we tell ourselves is reflected back to us by the world. How we see ourselves in term of the quality of our thoughts and healthy choices determines how others see us. Our view of self sewn together thought by thought creates the sacred garment we are always wearing around. This garment then is what other people see. So ask yourself what does your garment look like today? Have you arrived into this day wearing something that is torn and beat up because that is the way you are talking to yourself through your inner dialogue? Or have you chosen thoughts and actions with meticulous care like you would choose the best quality fabrics, rich textures to sew together a beautiful costume?
Now I have to tell you when I first started practicing yoga some years ago I would wear to class my loosest crappiest stuff. I figured if I looked like I didn't care then the expectation would be lower from the teacher and other students since I didn't know what I was doing. I certainly didn't want to look like I cared or that I was trying my hardest and really wanted to get it. I know I had a choice but my choices were conflicted. I wanted to make my life a work of art (Thich Nhat Hahn) but I didn't want to admit that out loud. But deep inside was this quiet voice that insisted on trying to be my potential. The more I practiced yoga the louder that inner voice got and the wierdest thing happened...I changed what I was wearing to class. I know it seems trivial but it was indicative of a bigger choice and change going on within me. My self-confidence grew with my self-expression.
Today, I dress up for yoga class. I bling it out. I make the choice in my thoughts, in my actions, in my words to aspire to greatness. I am not afaid to reveal my choices and the world treats me differently because I treat myself better. Sadie Nardini wrote in her book Road Trip Guide to the Soul "Our biggest mistake as humans is to look at our destructive, habitual patterns adn think we cannot choose again, because we have fallen prey to the illusion that what we have chosen repeatedly is how we are stuck with being. You ALWAYS have the POWER - and the RIGHT - to CHOOSE again."
On the mat each pose is simply part of the creation (shakti) of the garment we are choosing to wear and represent ourselves with in the world. In Vinaysa Flow yoga the breath serves as the thread that sews each pose seamlessly to the next, stitch by stitch. The way we practice our yoga truly becomes the way we live our lives and how the universe is reflected back to us. And the more we take ownership of our choices the more beautiful this energetic garment we wear becomes and we get excited to wear it around. We have purpose. This practice in a real sense helps us get all dressed up AND have someplace to go! Loads of love, Silvia