30Oct Time to Play Dress Up!
“If human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween.” (Doug Coupland)
I love dressing up for Halloween. There’s something child-like about putting on a costume. It’s playful. It gives you a chance to be free. But past the age of 10 or so, it may start to seem a bit ridiculous. Society tells us that the older we get, the more “mature” we should behave. Halloween is essentially seen as a holiday for children; adults are merely to either a) accompany children while they beg for candy or b) hand out candy to the aforementioned beggars. I would like to use this platform as a way to state my utter disapproval of this line of thinking.
As Mr. Coupland states, it takes courage to put on a costume. To step outside of our comfort zone. The fear of being judged often runs deep in us. We care so much what other people think. From the clothes we wear to the cars we drive, we judge ourselves and others by outward appearances.
Yoga teaches us to go within. To let go. To accept ourselves as we are. These are the tools which help us embrace our fears. Especially that good old fear of being judged. For me, teaching has been the most beneficial tool in learning to let go. To stop caring so much what other people think. Because what I’ve found, especially in the Pilgrimage community, is that the more I let go, open up, and allow my own self to shine through, the more accepted I feel.
Now, I may not dress up every day, but you will see me sporting my new favorite panda hat. Oh yes, friends, you read it right. Panda hat. I’m a little bit silly, and have always been so, but I don’t think even a year ago I would have had the courage to wear a panda hat every day; no matter how much I wanted to. Now, somehow yoga has helped me love myself enough not to care what other people think. And you know what I’ve found? People smile when they see me. Whether they’re laughing at or with me doesn’t really matter. They giggle, and I smile too. Happiness is contagious.
So, if you’re thinking about it, wear those cat ears to work. Dress up like a zombie to get your groceries. Don a mask for your evening walk. Why not? Have the courage to play, I say. And maybe, just maybe, even treat yourself to some candy afterwards.