Dear Dream Tending Community,
Each of us wears a number of “masks.” Referred to as personas, these outward-facing guises serve to protect, hide, enhance, and disguise. As life’s journey continues, you learn to wear external masks to extend your constructed identity into the world. However, there is more. Consider—What lives behind the mask?
Behind the mask exists the fertile ground of soul, your inner calling, and, too, your dream’s desires. To see within is to first discover who and what exists on the other side of the screen. When your eyes are closed, something more comes awake. Figures and landscapes, living images of psychic reality, animate. They take on an actuality of their own. These many soul persons and dream places offer guiding forces for soul’s calling. Learning to host their presence opens the dwelling place of your heart’s desire.
Tending Tuesdays is about supporting one another in listening to dream and imagination in a different way. Together, let’s discover what is being asked of us now. Let’s listen to the stories embedded in the living images of dream and imagination and offer back to the world their generative sparks.
Until next Tuesday . . .
In the dreamtime,
Simple Four-Step “Behind the Mask” Exercise:
1) Make a list of the various ways you present yourself to the outside world. Without judgment, put a name to your many personas.
2) Create a composite sketch—a mask—of how your many masks might appear to others. No worries about getting it right or perfect.
3) Now on the other side of this rendering, name several inner desires or dream images that personify your inner callings. Create a doodle or sketch of how this composite emerges.
4) For three days, take this two-sided mask with you. When there is an opportunity, hold it in front of you. With outward personas facing the world and inside imaginal figures turned toward you, discover how this affects your relationship with others and with yourself.
Inside The Curious Mind
A quote that resonated with me this week…
“Behind the mask of ice that people wear, there beats a heart of fire.”
— Paulo Coelho
Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned professor of depth psychology, an imagination specialist, and an innovator. He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies and institutions, and as a depth psychological content advisor to Hollywood film makers. He has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat is the Chancellor Emeritus and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.