Me and Masks

I have been thinking about something, which was said to me during a tarot reading a few weeks ago. The reader told me I have this external image of being peaceful, calm, and happy, however, there are things from my past, which weigh me down. In essence, there were masks I wore and parts of myself I did not openly share with others. Perhaps those were not the exact words shared with me; it is however how I remember it. Those words have come and gone from my memory. However, this morning as I was reading from Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements Companion Book. He wrote, “We know we are not what we believe we are supposed to be and so we feel false, frustrated, and dishonest. We try to hide ourselves, and we pretend to be what we are not. The result is that we feel unauthentic and wear social masks to keep others from noticing this.” he challenged the readers to think about what masks we wear around others? Why do we wear them? What would happen if we took them off? What would it be like to express who we really are?
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Releasing Judgment

Ah, to be seven again. It was interesting trying to explain the four agreements to a 7 year old last night. Trying to explain being impeccable with your word was fun. We talked about being positive in what you think and say about yourself and others and she looked at me with this and your point is kind of face. So following the third agreement to seek clarification, I asked her if she ever thought anything negative about anybody or herself. Her response was why would I. I then talked with her about the second agreement of not taking things personally and she again looked at me somewhat strange. So I said, well for example, if I told you that you were ugly, would you believe me. With her hands on her hips and a very strong face, she said NO! I am beautiful. Of course, I would not believe your lie. The other two agreements, seek clarification and do your best made so much more sense to her.
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My New Story

So here I am at 4:47 am, unable to sleep, and I am not sure why that is. Perhaps because I was thinking about how much I have agreed to accomplish today. Perhaps because I wanted to take advantage of this quiet time when Zoe and the cats are sleeping, the phone is not ringing, and the computer is not telling me I have mail. Lol. I do love these quiet moments where I feel the freedom, quiet, and space to write letters to myself. It is as if somebody has put me this do not disturb sign on my life. It was strange for me to read what I wrote to myself last week. I think I needed to write that for me because it prepared me to face a situation with courage this week, which was about putting me back in the spotlight – well maybe not the spotlight, but the physical classroom five times a semester. It meant that I had to push myself pedagogically from teaching solely online to teaching my first hybrid class and facing my fear of the unknown. I had never done this. How can I do this?
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The Divine loves me

Sometimes I forget that I went through a time when I wondered if God loved me. It is not until I talk to someone who has been convinced the Divine does not approve of them or their lives that I remember I had to go through a time of transformation as well. There were two main issues I struggled through in my life. One was being bi-racial. Most people look at me and just see a white woman, although when I had dreads people thought I was anything but white. Go figure. Growing up everybody wanted me to believe I was white, except for my parents who supported me in knowing I was bi-racial.
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The Power of Respect

I have been thinking a lot about respecting myself. One of the most powerful things I ever read in one of Don Miguel Ruiz’s books was that others can only abuse you to the level you are willing to abuse yourself. Abuse is a form of disrespect. I can take that term, substitute it into Don Miguel’s writing, and say others can only disrespect me to the level I am willing to disrespect myself. If I allow others to treat me in a way that violates my agreements, then I disrespect myself.
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Parasite Removal

I was lying in bed the other night nursing a sinus headache paying attention now and then to the television in the background. Sometimes the commercials are more entertaining then the shows and sometimes there seems to be more commercials then show, but I will save that for another time. last night, it was the Terminix commercial that resonated with my spirit. Not because we have termites, at least I do not think we do, but there promise of how they can come and remove all the termites from your house, keep them away, and if their treatment does not work they will pay for the damage. As I was sitting there watching this commercial, I found myself thinking that it is too bad there is not a parasite removal plan for our lives.
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These are my vows to me.

For the last few weeks, I have been spending quite a bit of time reflecting on the agreements I have made about perfection. It has not always been easy, but it has enabled me to release some things I did not know were still part of my agreements. It also enabled me to see how much I have grown, how much I have already discarded, and what I still need to work on. What I had come to realize is that this image of perfection sets me and everyone else up for failure. Once we are domesticated then we are not perfect for others or ourselves. Nobody is perfect in our eyes and we are not even perfect in our own. As I came to think through this, I came to a new understanding of what perfection is for me and that is love.
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Simply about Perfection

Recently a client asked me if I worked as hard on my own spiritual evolution as they felt they were. I found my heart smiling. I had to giggle because for the last few weeks I have been grappling with a single word – perfection. Don Miguel Ruiz wrote, “Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves; it is why we don’t accept ourselves the way we are, and why we don’t accept others the way they are.” In his Companion Guide to the Four Agreements, he challenged me to think about what my image of perfection is. I could not begin to answer that question or any of the other questions he asked because I could not find the words to define perfection. There have been days when this single word made me wonder if I really wanted to grapple with it and was this challenge going to be enough to stop me in my journey.
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Valuing my qualities

Don Miguel Ruiz wrote, “The most important agreements are the ones you make with yourself. In these agreements you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave.” As I have been exploring this in my own life and working to become aware of my own agreements, I have been thinking about the qualities I was taught I should embody, those I think I embody, what others think I have and those I wish I had. Growing up, I was taught to be compassionate and caring. That came more from my mother then anyone else. She was a very loving and compassionate woman and they are qualities I continue to embody and embrace today. I think, or at least would like to believe that this is how others see me as well.
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