Secret SelfWho is your secret self? How many of you had imaginary friends growing up? I did. Mine seemed to appear when my sister (two years older than me) started school and I had more alone time. I don’t really remember much about my imaginary friend, only that he died in a horrible crash driving his Knight Rider car off a cliff when I started kindergarten. Yes, such a violent noble death for the early 1980s.

Do I really have one?

Yes, we all do. Even if you didn’t have an imaginary friend, I bet you have played a few different roles in your life. Those teenage years almost require different personas just to survive. Sometimes it was fun. Many times we didn’t even know we were doing it. The glorious holiday of Halloween, fun for kids and adults, allows us to be our Secret Selves. Now we’re all grown up and there doesn’t seem to be time for any fun, which is why I think Halloween has become such a popular adult holiday. I’m not saying if you dress up as the devil you want to BE the devil or you’re evil. Maybe you just have a dark side (we all do) that you want to explore.

Think about your last few Halloween costumes as a starting point. Could these be subconscious secret selves you want to explore? Maybe, maybe not. You decide. Why is this important? Ahh young grasshopper, don’t you know? Discovering and uncovering these Secret Selves allow you to begin functioning in a more conscious and creative way. At least this is what Julia Cameron says in her book, The Vein of Gold, which I highly respect as a creative resource.

I have many secret selves, here are five currently on my mind…

JamesBondinOO7-2ndRex is a spy who knows multiple languages, has an overflowing bank account and is incapable of maintaining any real relationships. He never knows where he will be and who he may have to kill or blackmail. Rex lives life on the edge and can’t stand to stay still. He works out and has a perfect body. His closet is filled with designer tailored suits and shoes, a few guns and knives and a telescope.

Colin is a writer with limited social obligations. He’s an avid runner who lives in a simple studio apartment caring only for one plant and an aquarium housing four fresh water tropical fish.  Colin wants to get a dog but is afraid of the responsibility. He’s published a series of fiction novels dealing with various paranormal mysteries, a rabid fan base has developed.

Colin doesn’t relate to his fans and his agent is pressing him to broker a TV deal. He has lots of resistance. His closet is a bit disheveled with lots of t-shirts, khaki pants, baseball caps, sweaters, running shoes and a classic typewriter he picked up at a garage sale.

Barry is struggling actor/comedian, life of the party. He has a modest home in the Hollywood Hills (Valley side), which he was able to buy from a short lived sitcom in the early 1990s. Barry’s close to his family back east. He offers private acting lessons and makes it a point to go on at least one audition a week and enjoys starting political arguments at parties, getting people really riled up. His closet is a mix of Banana Republic and Paul Smith attire.

Hugh is a doting dad with an extremely active life. Running the kids to soccer practice, dance recitals, math tutors, etc. He loves to cook and throw big (yet laid back) parties. BBQ is his favorite.  Always there for his family, he’s able to balance his career responsibly. He enjoys his day job as an insurance adjuster and gives it all he’s got from 9am – 5pm. His closet has a soccer ball, old trophies from college, a few suits from Men’s Wearhouse and casual clothes from Target.

Kenly is a world traveler who pays the bills as a ghost writer for various travel companies. He’s a jetsetter who enjoys photography on the side. When he’s not traveling he creates photo books for private clients. The friends he’s cultivated in the last 10-15 years are his family. His closet is filled with travel gear, photography equipment, hiking boots, hats, tennis shoes and every color cargo pants /shorts imaginable.

Challenge: Name Five Secret Selves

Play some music, light some candles or incense…do what you need to do to create a different environment for yourself. Get creative. Don’t let resistance keep you from this exercise.

  1. List 5 Secret Selves
  2. Tell us about them.
  3. What’s in there closet?
  4. Choose your most FUN Secret Self and write about what your life would be like if THEY were running it!

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