There was a great blog post from Spirituality and Health Magazine by author Eve Hogan, on Masks. Being Halloween, it fit beautifully with a piece we’ve been working on for a while. She writes, “Our authentic soul essence gets so covered up with masks and facades (the ego’s defense mechanisms) that we often totally lose sight of who we really are and what we really want.” – Read more at: http://spiritualityhealth.com/blog/eve-hogan/whos-beneath-your-mask#sthash.q1LXa9VZ.dpuf
Pomegranate’s registered art therapist employs several different expressive art projects in therapy sessions. For teens in the acute hospital, art therapy is scheduled in addition to individual and group therapy. Color and symbols can be full of meaning, expressing what an individual is thinking/feeling at a given point in time. One art therapy assignment is to paint the outside of a mask to represent the self you present to the world- symbolically. Part two of the assignment is to paint the inside of the mask, the portion which touches your face, to represent what you’re really feeling in your innermost being; who you are; the state you’re really in versus the side which represents you outwardly.
A Wikipedia article on ‘persona’ says, “A persona (plural personae or personas), in the word’s everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor. The word is derived from Latin, where it originally referred to a theatrical mask.” The famous psychologist, Carl Jung developed psychological theories about the persona. “For the growing child, the development of a viable social persona is a vital part of adapting to, and preparing for, adult life in the external social world,’ the article reports. “The persona has become one of the most widely adopted aspects of Jungian terminology, passing into almost common parlance: “a mask or shield which the person places between himself and the people around him, called by some psychiatrists the persona.” For Eric Berne, “the persona is formed during the years from six to twelve, when most children first go out on their own… to avoid unwanted entanglements or promote wanted ones.”
Which costume is closest to your heart? If you were to paint your own mask, what would the outside look like and what would the inside be? The mask exercise is a very good one for getting at one’s personal truth. Watch a video about masks, here: http://vimeo.com/65844322 Happy Halloween, all!
[photo credit: Famous Mask Makers of Venice by Christine Zenino, Chicago, uploaded 12-31-10 by russavia. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 originally posted to Flickr]