Halloween celebrates deception, costumes and masks, which disguise who we are. We can act out, howl and look extreme to play without fear of social disapproval. The more outrageous and original our costumes, the more compliments we receive! However, are we wearing a disguise or revealing an internal truth, a fragment of our personality we have suppressed, the shadow side? If you want to manage lifeís stressors and generate greater happiness, you need to be a whole person, embracing your shadow side and integrating it into your identity, like making peace with an enemy. Think about day and night. Is there something wrong with the night? Life is a tension of opposites held together in balance like mind and body, yin and yang, the individual and society. When you are out of balance, you get sick and feel unhappy.
What you choose to wear on Halloween holds symbolic significance regarding an aspect of your personality or your desire to transform into the next phase. And if you donít wear a costume, think about which one you might have selected. Here are some popular costumes and what they might reveal about you:
- Vampires symbolize immortality and sexuality. They also mock organized religion. Perhaps, you are not so much afraid of dying, as you are afraid of living. Itís time to be passionate and a bit more carefree. Consider also that you might feel people are taking advantage of you and as a vampire, you are trying to restore balance to your life.
- The Marilyn Monroe costume expresses raw sexuality. If you have been inhibited, especially by your appearance feeling a bit overweight, Marilyn reminds you to embrace your body. She was full figured and proud of it. Strut your stuff!
- Frankenstein symbolizes that you feel monstrous and misunderstood. People judge you by the superficial like your job, finances and accoutrements. Let them get to know the intelligent and sensitive side of you. Frankenstein was well read and caring.
- Pirates go on treasure hunts in the deep seas. Life is a great adventure in a destabilized medium. Sometimes you have to put up with a lot of useless, annoying conflicts, to uncover the buried treasure. Have you been obeying all the rules without questioning them! Itís time to leave your comfort zone and take a risk.
- Ghosts suggest that you feel like you are not connected body and mind. You do not express yourself naturally and truly, more like mimicking others and blending in or eavesdropping on life. Itís time to be yourself, show others who you are and manifest your destiny.
- Snow White, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and other childhood figures symbolize your quest for eternal innocence and childlike wonder. You long for relationships which express clear labels and simple sign posts. However, life is complex and all these characters have experienced poisoned apples or fallen into dark holes. Donít be afraid of problems, conflicts and changes. Change is good. You need to keep on growing.
- Tyrants like Saddam and Osama show you wish you had more absolute power. Often you feel like everyone is dictating to you as though you are some doormat. Itís time to reduce your overload and establish your boundaries. Rise to your full height by standing up in good posture with shoulders back and down and look people in the eye.
This Halloween choose your costume with greater awareness. And after Halloween wear your inner costume externally to transform yourself for your next growth phase. Sometimes itís hard to distinguish between whatís fictional and whatís real as they cross over. Itís similar to remembering a dream when you wake up; you might discover some truth about yourself.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout
and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul,
a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com