The other day, here at our month long co-living experience with Innate in South Portugal, I gave everyone in the group a piece of paper and a pen, to do one of my favorite and most simple workshops that I learned in a men’s group some years ago.
One side of the paper would represent the front side of each of our masks. The part that we like to be seen as.
The other side, the backside. The ‘shadow’ self that we usually (sub- or unconsciously) try to hide.
We all took 10 minutes in silence to write down all the things on each side of the paper.
The ‘good’ side.
The successful one, the spiritual and present one, the professional one, the cool one.
And the hidden side.
The insecure one, the angry one, the fearful one, the one that does not have it all together, the one that hides its sadness.
And then we all shared, one by one, as a group in a circle. Both sides.
Giving full presence when listening to each other.
Revealing all the things to each other that we normally hide.
Oh, how freeing and natural it feels, how bonding it is, when we just share our human nature with each other, with all our qualities and defects.
And how insane it is, that we so often hide it from each other, some-times for a life-time, conditioned by a society full of pretense. Our perfectly imperfect humanness that we all share.
Unburdening, connection, love, relief. Including for myself, each and every time I do this exercise.
Simply by putting it all on the table.
Like: Here is what we are, no more hiding, let’s get on with it. We’re all in the same boat here of messy human life.
And in that shared, unpretentious essence, is exactly where we find love for each other, and what unites us as one.