THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ed and Deb Shapiro Headshot

Finding Your True Self: Are You A Vampire, A Goddess, A Monster, Or A Nasty Politician?

Posted: Updated:

It's
Halloween and time to don your masks. What aspect of yourself will you be expressing? Do you see yourself as a
gangster, an angel, a beast, or a talk-show host? How do you feel when you dress up as
someone else?

One
year we became two geisha girls in tight kimonos and white make up. For Ed it
was a chance to experience his feminine side; for Deb it was a moment of
stepping into someone else's shoes and realizing how restricted such a
lifestyle can be. Another year Deb went as a lotus pond wrapped in a blue sheet
with paper lotus flowers pinned all over her, bringing out her meditative serenity,
while Ed went as a holy man in orange robes and a turban so as not to take the
spiritual journey too seriously.

Does
dressing up in a costume enable you to act out your secret fantasies? One year
we were invited to Dublin to be on  Kenny
Live,
a popular Saturday Night TV show, and we arrived at the hotel where we were
staying to find ourselves in the midst of an over-50's costume party. We were stuck
in an elevator surrounded by every type of costume you can imagine, with folks
aged from 50-80, so the fantasies were pretty outrageous! One woman was dressed
in a tight red outfit from head to toe, topped with horns. She was a hot sexy
red devil.

Does
expressing different parts of yourself highlight parts of your personality that
never normally see the light of day? Do you feel you are releasing some pent up
hidden part of you that you need to express?

Or
does it show you how you normally hide behind false images and labels, such as
your race, religion, or profession? We tend to identity with the content of our
lives, yet beneath all the labels is our essence, that which we truly are. Can
you find who is there without the masks or the façade, without all the
many images of you that think you are? We so identify with the masks we may
lose sight of what lies behind them. But the labels are only a part of us, not
the whole of us, and we need to honor our whole being.

Try
the questions below to get reconnected with who you really are:

Time Out:  Noting and Labeling

Find
a comfortable place to sit quietly. Have a pen and some paper with you. When
you are ready, begin by making a list of all your big labels, the ones that are
most obvious, such as race, age, mother or father, child, brother or sister,
religion, job, and so on. Build a list that would tell the outside world who
you are.

Then
make a list of all your personal labels, the ways in which you see yourself,
such as your physical health, size and looks; then your emotional and mental
labels, how you see your personality, strengths and weaknesses.

Then
make a list of all the masks behind which in which you hide your real self, all
the masks you use to present an image of yourself or who you would like to be
to the world.

Read
your list through a few times and see if you can find the real you, in amongst
the labels.  Can you find a you
that hides behind the masks? Are there ways that this inner part of you can
find expression in your life? Write down any ideas on how you could bring this
more hidden part of you into your life so that you can begin to let go of the
labels and the masks.

Who or what will you be this year? And do tell us your favorite Halloween story by commenting below.
You can receive notice of our blogs every Tuesday by checking Become a Fan at the top.

You can pre-order a copy of our book
at: BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can
Transform You and the World
. It will be published NEXT WEEK Nov 3rd!! Join
us for a booksigning: Nov 3rd at the Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder
CO; Nov 11th at Powell's, 1005 Burnside, Portland OR; Nov 13th at
Barnes &Noble, 2675 NW University Village St., Seattle WA; Nov 16th
at Barnes & Nobel, 150 East 86th St., NYC; and Nov 17th
at Gasoline Alley, 250 Albany St., Springfield MA. More details at: www.EdandDebShapiro.com

****

Ed and Deb Shapiro’s new book, BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform
You And The World
, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with
contributors such as Marianne Williamson, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Ellen
Burstyn, Michael Beckwith, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jane Fonda, Jack Kornfield, Byron
Katie, Dean Ornish, Jean Houston and others will be published Nov 3rd 2009 by Sterling
Ethos. Deb is the author of the award-winning book YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND. Ed and Deb are the authors of over 15
books, and lead meditation retreats and workshops. Enjoy their 3 meditation CD’s:
Metta
- Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi – Breath Awareness and
Insight; and Yoga Nidra – Inner Conscious Relaxation, available on their
website: www.EdandDebShapiro.com

From Our Partners