Dis-ease can occur on many levels, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. How do we react to our illnesses, our turmoils, and our confusion? Do we become helpless victims, or do we take a proactive stance, willing to be partners with our doctors, healers, and therapists?
When we suddenly understand that we must play an active role in our own healing, insight comes, like a flash of lightning. We realize we are no longer helpless! We may not immediately be able to control our dis-ease but we can learn from it, grow, and possibly even participate in our own healing. Miracles, dramatic shifts in the quality of our lives, become possible -- even when physical healing is not. We see how our lives can change.
This mask depicts the nature of insight. Insight occurs suddenly, usually when we are least expecting to receive understanding. Insight connects us with our soul. The feathers on top of the head represent the crown chakra, the energy center in the Hindu belief system, that connects us with Divine will. Insight is really only a remembering of your own wisdom. The peacock feather over the 'third eye' is symbolic of intuitive vision. We really do have our own answers, if only we learn to trust.
Do you want to know what an illness, or upsetting situation has to teach you? What childhood wounds or emotional scars need healing? What truth do you need to own and speak and act? How could you treat your body better, or give your soul some rest? Ask, and wait for the answers to bubble up from within.
Insight allows us to look through a window into a different reality. Perhaps we aren't meant to suffer, but rather to learn, grow, and move into a more blissful reality. Insight is an eye-opener. We learn to listen to the whispers of spirit that tickle us like soft feathers near the ear. Insight is the key to a doorway. When we walk through that doorway, when we accept the fact that we aren't helpless, we initiate and begin to participate in our own healing.
The Second Face of Healing:
After insight, anger may come, erupting unbidden from the depths of our psyche. We've been taught to fear anger. We've been taught that anger is a negative emotion. In truth, there are no "negative emotions." Every emotion seeks to bring us closer to the truth of our soul. In fact, anger is an alarm system, a boundary violation warning. Every time you neglect to speak your truth you stuff a bit of anger into your depths. Done over enough time, the anger may create physical symptoms such as tight jaws, TMJ, tense shoulders, shortness of breath, or worse.
In a healing crisis, the anger may erupt like a volcano that has been waiting for years to release the pressure buried beneath the surface. Let your anger flow, in a nondestructive manner and don't judge yourself. Journal. Pound a lump of clay or some pillows. Take a wash rag and beat the walls. Scream. Cry. Let the words that never were expressed come flying out of your mouth. Write a letter expressing your anger, and then burn it. There is never a need for vengeance -- Spirit handles justice in the long run. We need only to face and own our truth.
This mask is used to trigger and transmute anger. The red mixed with darker colors shows that anger is really just personal passion that has been buried rather than expressed. The snake is a symbol with many meanings... shed the old skin, let go of the old emotions, and you regain the passion, enthusiasm and fire energy that snake represents. The spines near the ears tell us that anger reminds us to listen and take in only those words that express our truth.
Will we listen to others tell us who we are, or who we should be, or will we own our anger, and establish healthy boundaries without making others wrong? Only allow gems of wisdom and support to come into the sacred storage space of your soul. The flower erupts in the spring, breaking through hard ground to bring beauty. Yes, it is difficult at times to open our mouth and speak truth, but part of transmuting anger is to learn authentic expression.
The red gem on the third eye area reminds us that anger can lead you to find your vision without judging others. The barely perceptible spiral on the forehead is a symbol of growth. The feathers on top remind us that anger calls us to be warriors, zealously guarding the truth of our own spirit. The flames on top remind us that when we release anger, we find passion for living once again.
What you resist persists. Try not to be angry, and anger stalks you, making you edgy, tense, and irritable, or worse yet deadened and resigned. Face the anger in a constructive manner and you will transmute the emotion, discovering truth. What truth inside of you seeks expression? Ask the question, release the anger, and find that underneath the emotion is buried a treasure of passion and a surge of personal power.
The Third Face of Healing:
After anger is released the tears can flow freely. Why do we cry? What is the pain we feel? The pain comes from a realization that we may or may not have been living in accordance with our soul's truth. We cry for the past, mourning those times when we weren't true to ourselves, or when others insisted we give up our truth. We cry for the present, grieving for all those attitudes, beliefs, even dis-eases, relationships, and life situations that we are giving up. We mourn the death of an old identity, and in its place, a new life springs forth. We cry because we are tired from hanging on to emotions, beliefs, and dis-ease that would leave us trapped in a life we don't love.
We cry because we long for those who would love us as we are, not as they would wish us to be. We cry in terror, worrying if we can truly find this love and make our lives work if we walk through our fears, remove the masks, and show the world the true face of our soul. The tears release us from our bondage to the past and create the emptiness inside that is required for soul to find rest in our human hearts.
This mask is used to help us remember that there is beauty even in the pain of our grieving and sadness. Frog is a Native American symbol for cleansing. When you are at a pivotal point in life, clean your closets, check into your beliefs and sort through them, evaluate your relationships and your careers. What is your truth? Cleanse your life of all that is not you. Absolve yourself from guilt. Feel the pains of your sadness and your fears, and then let them go. Let the tears flow, and then let them go.
As the mask shows, the teardrops wash us from the inside out and then provide a fertile ground for new ideas to grow. The "water" falling from the ears tells us that we need to sort through all we have heard and been told about who we are and cleanse our minds of all that is not so. Who told you that you weren't lovable? Who told you that you weren't good enough? Who told you that life had to be difficult? Cleanse yourself of the lies that you've heard, and create a new truth.
From the tangled undergrowth of our confused thoughts, beauty arises. You feel empty inside, cleansed of all that is not you, and ready to grow into all that is truly you. You begin to bloom. Give yourself time to grieve when you are healing or in transition. This is a natural process of living. Tears are beautiful -- melted diamonds that represent the essence of our soul.
The Fourth Face of Healing:
Walking through Fear
After facing anger, and cleansing tears, we are usually faced with our own truth. We know what we must do to heal, whether it be changing our physical lifestyle, healing old emotions, letting go of old attitudes or beliefs, or simply getting ourselves out of unhealthy relationships or careers. This is when we face our fears.
Fear is a braking system, meant to keep us from changing too fast. Fear is meant to keep us safe, not happy. Fear is meant to keep us comfortable and for most of us, comfort means minimal change. When we face fears, the mythical "crack between worlds" opens and allows us the opportunity to pass through. Will we stay in the world we've always known, safe and content, but either in dis-ease or not satisfied? Or will we choose to face our fears, change our lives, walk through the doorway and find the life of our dreams on the other side. Fear is the doorway to heaven. Walk through your fears and find freedom.
As the mask represents, breaking through fear is like walking through a thick sheet of plastic. You can see everything you've ever wanted on the other side. However, right before you're ready to break through fear, you feel the fear, like the plastic pressing up against you, making you confused, tired, or unable to move onward. Fear is suffocating and the closer you come to leaving your fears behind, the more real they will seem. One more step. One more step. One more step, and you are free.
Butterfly broke through the walls and found freedom. As a caterpillar she crawled, taking life slowly and laboriously. Then she spun the chrysalis and entered a phase of life that felt like slow death. Nothing would ever be the same again. Freedom would be frightening. When we face our fears, we are the caterpillar in the chrysalis, about to give up life as we know it in order to spread our wings, show our true colors and find freedom.
What are you afraid to say? Afraid to do? Afraid to try? Afraid to release? Afraid to own? Face your fears. Walk through them. Heaven lies on the other side.
The Fifth Face of Healing:
Balance is an intricate dance between opposites. When we have transmuted our angers, cried our tears, and faced our fears, we find peace in the stillness. We realize that situations in life are, for the most part, neither good nor bad, black or white. We are at rest. We may or may not have 'healed' physical illness, but most importantly we have healed our spirit. We've learned. We've grown, and now we are wise. We live one day at a time. Instead of regretting the past, or worrying about the future, we face each moment with the innocence, purity of a child. We have learned to pray for, intend, and expect miracles to occur.
This mask represents the peace that is to be found when we achieve balance. The Chinese Yin/Yang symbol represents the balance between masculine and feminine energies. The feminine energies cause us to go into our own stillness, tap into our wisdom, and receive direction and insight. The masculine energies give us our drive to go out into the world and act, and produce results. When we are balanced, we go within to find our own answers, and then we act on those. We understand what we need to do to heal ourselves. We understand what we need to do in order to maintain our well-being. We honor our knowing and our feeling and we take action.
The mouth on the mask is closed. Because we are wise, we honor other's pathways. We have no need to give advice unless it is asked of us. We know our truth so we have no need to make others wrong. The blue gem on the chin represents the blue often associated with the throat chakra, or energy center. We express ourselves authentically. The rose-colored gem on the lips indicates that we speak from our hearts, sharing our wisdom with gentleness and compassion. The white feathers on the crown indicate that we have purified our spirit, and the owl-like feathers represent the wisdom we have gained from our experience.
Balance can be achieved when we are willing to suspend our judgments and honor the needs of our body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
The Sixth Face of Healing:
Creating Your Life
Healing, on any level, is really a process of re-membering, calling back the lost pieces of our spirit to become holy, or whole. The word "Spirit" comes from the Latin word "Spiritus "which means breath. As we breath the air fills our lungs, fuels our blood and courses through our being. As we call back the lost pieces of our Spirit we are infused with life and with a lightness of heart.
Once we become healed and whole, we realize our function is creative and expressive. What will you create with your life? What works of art, works of heart will you call your own at the end of this journey through this time and this space? Will your art be relationship, career, decor, landscape, poetry, writing, or other human lives touched by the brightness of your own soul. Dear ones, do not forget who you are. Return to the mythical garden of Eden.
The garden is inside your heart, waiting to be tended, waiting to be cultivated into a myriad expression of life and light and color. Dig inside, find the hard soil in rocky hearts and feed it. Spirit plants the seeds; what soil will they fall on? Fertilize them with your self-love, nurture them with the company of those who support you, shade them with rest, water them with tears, and in the soil washed clean, you will grow into the beautiful being that you are. You are the garden, of the garden, in the garden. Once you re-member, once you discover your wholeness and perfection, you will flower and bloom into your unique expression.
This mask calls us to remember that your life is unique -- you are unique. Out of the ashes, the phoenix bird arises, given new life. You are healed! You are free! Where will you fly? Will you choose careers and relationships that are right for everyone else but you, or will you create the ones you love? The sun shines brightly on your life. Every day is a new opportunity to create life as you would like it to be. Why color inside the lines? Life is messy!
Being human means being imperfect, or more accurately realizing that we are perfect in spite of what we label imperfection. Open your mouth! Speak your truth! Walk your talk! Wear your colors! Stand tall and be proud of who you are. Healed and whole, your function is creative. Live your life as a work of art. Express beauty in all that you say and do. What a wonderful tapestry we will weave together, each of us different facets of the same gem called humanity. Sparkle with your own light and live the life that is authentically yours!