We live mostly in our heads

Through the chaos and noise, dialogue and emotions that constantly accompany us, we feel who we are, sort of. But how many of us can see the whole picture? The parts of us yearning to be noticed, healed, challenged, nurtured or heard.

In other words, whilst we have a knowing of who we are, can we actually see the truth of all that we are? All that we hide?

We wear so many masks for all the different roles and needs in our life. These masks are not right or wrong — they are just there to create a boundary or veil that allows us to go about our daily business with some sort of control.

Much like the mask of the superhero, when it’s on, we can be that person with just enough anonymity that protects the more vulnerable human behind it. Our “face” gives us that space and permission to the best version of who we desire to be. It can also give us some “dutch-courage” when we don’t fully feel it. Sort of like an invisible power suit or magical red lipstick.

Unlike superheroes, we have more than one mask or form that we adopt on a daily basis. We are a parent, a spouse, a partner, a colleague, or an extrovert hiding an introvert. We are so many “things,” so many labels, to so many people and very different across many situations.

I would even hazard a guess that we are great at being chameleons that we aren’t even aware of the shifts that happen to us throughout the day.

The question is: do we ever fully remove all of our masks?

Is there ever a time during each and every day that we strip ourselves naked from all the layers and sit with our true self?

You might say yes. You might even go so far as to say you don’t wear any masks, you are a constant in every given moment. That you present the same person that you are internally, externally every day.

Well, I used to think that about myself, until I started spending a lot of time with children on the Rainbow Spectrum and the very elderly.

What I discovered over the years about these kids — who are considered socially unaware and who find the nuances, tricky non-verbal, non-literal cues of communications that pepper our society, extraordinarily confusing — is the fact that they are truly the most honest ones. They are constant with no mask developed to hide who they are, because it’s not relevant to them. They are more authentic in a way that we could never hope to be.

And while spending a lot of time in the geriatric-psychiatric wing of a hospital, I met a lot of characters. The one thing that struck me when I was sixteen — that hits an even deeper chord as I get older — is their total and absolute acceptance of each other. Live and let live; they were cantankerous, cheeky, timid, scheming, nostalgic, angry or desperate to leave this mortal coil. But they all put up with each other. They saw each other and saw themselves with such an acceptance.

I remember old Jim, who always wore his hat, waistcoat, and kerchief in his top pocket. When I used to make us cups of tea and join in the coloring sessions, he would forever drop his pencils to make me pick them up.

And Joan, who was forever in the armchair by the window, would call out “Love, he’s just doing it to get a peek of your bum, don’t give him the time of day, dirty old bugger!” and everyone, including myself, would laugh till it hurt. Old Jim’s motto was “you couldn’t blame an old codger for trying!”

There is something to be said for baring your warts and all, and getting to a place in your life where you can just be that kid again as an adult — who doesn’t give a rat’s arse about being anything other than who they are.

boy playhin

How does all of this help us see yourself more?

Well, funnily enough, I think we need, literally need to use our eyes to spiritually connect within.

You see, our eyes are fascinating things.

To put it simply, the back part of our eyes are fed by oxygen through the blood vessels that map our whole body. Nerves and miraculous machinations convert the external world into a picture we develop inside our head. They are very much a part of our internal organs and how we view the world — from what we see, overlapped with our beliefs, then translated into meaning.

The front, external part of our eyes absorb the outside. For starters, they not only take in images but they also absorb oxygen through the transparent lens and cornea.

So with the cliche that our eyes are the “windows to our soul” — if you look biologically at how they work, you can see that they are in fact a very important bridge of transmissions. From inner to outer, from outside to within.

In the world of Chakras, they are an essential part of our inner sight, as well. They work as a link between the Crown, Third Eye and the world around us. Wisdom from higher self or above brings intuition and guidance that can be used as our navigational tool to bypass illusions and self-created meanings. This helps us to be a more peaceful witness or observer to both worlds — the “in-here” and the “out-there.”

Through the gift of seeing we can internalize the outer world and with symbolic language, we can externalize the inner world.

This gets us out of living in our heads and being more connected to the world through who we really are.

We need to use our eyes to see ourselves. We need to use our eyes to peel away our masks. We need to use our eyes to get out of our heads and into our souls.

That’s where the acceptance and freedom we so desperately crave exists, for us to just BE.

close up face of man see yourself

Here’s what I mean

Have you ever looked deep into your own eyes? Not for a few seconds to check your make-up or an overall glance before you left home. Not in the way you might for a quick self pep-talk when you are feeling a bit heated under the collar.

I mean have your ever stood silently, with stillness, in front of a mirror, breathing deeply to center yourself, clearing your mind of clutter and looking deeply into the well of your deepest truth? Paying attention to what arises?

It is very different to the kind of soul connection you get from looking into the eyes of a lover or even when you have gazed lovingly into the eyes of your children or pets and felt a deeper communion.

If you mindfully and consciously look into yourself from the outside, using your intuition and higher guidance to help you feel and know your truth, you may be quite amazed by what happens.

All your masks will start to dissolve. You will find yourself seeing nothing and everything. It will be acutely difficult, uncomfortable and possibly quite emotional. At the same time, you may also feel the flood of compassion and kindness to yourself that has been lacking in so many ways.

It’s awkward at first, for sure. But if you are willing to have a go — and note down all the emotions, thoughts, senses, smells and even impulses that arise — you will be at the beginning of a love affair with your true self.

And when that starts to happen, by golly it’s liberating!

It only takes a few minutes each day and it really is a marvelous experiment in tuning into your own alignment and seeing yourself for really, who you are.

Because when you start to really see and hear yourself, you’ll recognize that glimpse of truth in others too. Like a beautiful piece of clockwork machinery, the cogs in you will start to move, shift, re-align and work magically. There will be more peace within and so much more flow, without.

— Asha Gill

This article is inspired by the Alan Watts’ course, Out Of Your Mind, course of the month on Soulvana. Click here to learn more.

Asha Gill
Asha Gill is an international television presenter and the host of Soulvana. Having worked in the industry for 20 years, Asha has interviewed the likes of The Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz and Beyonce. Now she is bringing her personal wisdom to her tribe in Soulvana, and her bi-weekly column on the MVA Blog.