Many of us that go through life repeating the same destructive patterns that impact our health, our relationships, our energy levels, and our outlook on life. We might experience phases of exhaustion, depression, or loneliness, even though to the outsider, it seems like we are living a happy and successful life. It often takes an intense event such as losing a loved one, suffering from physical or mental disease, losing a job, or experiencing separation or betrayal, to start to change. Similar to hitting rock-bottom in the case of addiction, we often need to experience rock-bottom emotionally to find the willingness and commitment to reclaim our authentic self.

This journey is not easy, as it will confront us with the deepest emotional wounds and conditioning that are at the root of our survival mechanisms. To find the way back to our essence can be a challenge and can take some time. Tools and methods presented on the Relaxation & Meditation page and on the Feeling & Healing page can assist us in becoming aware of what lives in our essence. When we have suffered from trauma in early childhood or when our conditioning was so strong that it didn’t allow us to develop in a healthy and balanced way, approaches that are suggested on the Trauma & Conditioning page could be needed. In this healing process, we become aware of when and how we unconsciously made the decision to show the world a version of ourselves that was more ‘fitting’ in the structure we grew up in.

We can re-learn to feel all our feelings, by doing breathwork and body-practices that help us to stay centered in our body and assist us in becoming aware when we have an impulse to dissociate. We can heal our deepest wounds, and as a result, we develop a strong foundation within ourselves. With that foundation we trust in ourselves and in life, knowing we can survive the strong surges of overwhelming emotions. We practice being continuously present with ourselves, so we notice when something triggers a response from emotional pain. Then we have the opportunity to introduce our authentic essence to the world and navigate our interactions and experiences without the need for contraction, escape, control, or suppression.

When we release the masks that we used to wear on a daily basis, it can be an unpleasant surprise for the people in our lives. They have probably been quite comfortable with the mask-wearing version and might be resisting the change we are forcing upon them. Many of our masks have to do with showing socially acceptable behavior, tiptoeing around our radical and confrontational truth, and other ways to superficially ‘keep the peace’ and avoid addressing the currents of emotions and ideas that flow underneath the surface. Our authentic being might behave more spontaneous and direct. The resistance we receive from our social circle in response to our new self will most likely challenge us in our self-acceptance.

In case we have a social circle that lacks flexibility and open-mindedness, and maybe shows co-dependent attachments, it could be useful to practice and experiment with connecting from our authentic space in retreat settings. The people we practice with during retreats are new to us, so they don’t have expectations and cannot compare our presence and behavior to our old behaviors. A circle retreat provides safety, and at the same time, it provides an amplified energy-field that catalyzes our transformation. More information about these retreats is found on the Circle Retreat page.

The impact of releasing our masks and learning to express ourselves authentically will eventually result in a deep sense of liberation and a much higher energy level. The many years of ‘keeping ourselves in check’, and having to manage our spontaneous reactions, has cost us a tremendous amount of energy on a daily basis. That control is not necessary anymore, we don’t have to calculate the risks and repercussions as we no longer depend on external approval. The freedom to express our true selves, especially when we are met with the authentic presence of others, is well worth the challenging aspects of the journey.