Most of us have developed personas or roles that helped us navigate through childhood to reach adulthood. These personas allow us to make sense of confusing times, and, when an experience is traumatic, provide us the means to survive.
These personas serve a valuable purpose, but at some point, we outgrow them. They no longer help us, and may, in fact, hold us back from realizing our full potential.
I’ve talked with several clients and friends about personas this week. Each has reached a point in his or her life where they are experiencing pain and frustration about their current life situation. As we talked, they realized that they were holding onto a persona that no longer fit their lives.
Once you realize that a persona is holding you back from moving forward and growing in your life, what do you do?
Years ago I realized that a persona I had created was no longer working for me. I spent time thinking about why I had created that persona and the role it played in my life. I knew I needed to release the persona, and decided to conduct a ceremony to do so.
I found a quiet place in the woods and created a sacred space, incorporating feathers, flowers, stones and other gifts from Nature. I asked my persona to join me in the sacred space. Once I fully felt her presence, I began by thanking her for her help – listing off the ways that she helped me through challenging times in my life to get to me this exact place in time. I spoke the words out loud to give more power to them and to fully honor the persona.
Then I explained to my persona that my life had changed, and, with that, my needs. I shared the areas in my life that I wanted to work on or needed help with, and asked my persona how she might be able to help me in those areas. I paused and listened for her answer in my heart, and then shared some ideas that I had as well. Together we defined a new role for my persona that played off of the strengths and capabilities that she had, but redirected them to other areas of my life.
I thanked her for continuing to be with me, in this new role, and asked for awareness if either of us fell into old habits so we could course-correct to the new role. I selected a visual cue to remind me of my new partnership with the persona and ended the ceremony with gratitude.
After the ceremony, I started to see drastic, positive changes in my life. My persona was working with me, instead of holding me back. Within a couple months, I had ended a relationship that was no longer working for me, sold my house, and moved across the country to a city that I loved. I was energized and invigorated with life…and was supported by both the Universe and my persona.