Halloween has never been my favorite holiday. One of the lowest points in my life occurred over a Halloween weekend when I was in college. As the years pass, this holiday becomes less and less enjoyable for me. Halloween is often marketed as a celebration of fear. As a student of A Course in Miracles, I practice releasing fear and choosing love more consistently. Celebrating fear has never resonated with me. Even the seemingly innocent phrase “Trick or Treat” is based in fear. Not that most kids mean it, but what they are saying is, “You had better give me candy or I will play a trick on you, or maybe I will do something to your house!” Speaking of houses, you couldn’t pay me to go into one of those haunted houses at a theme park. There is absolutely nothing appealing to me about intentionally placing myself in the vibration of fear. The ego is a master at making fear seem fun, or at least normal. In fact, its very survival depends on it.
Now before you go calling me a Pumpkin Scrooge, I can also see the other side of this coin. Halloween is a time when people get to express their creativity and become someone or something else for a night. That can be fun. I had a great time as Ellen DeGeneres a few years ago. During the seven years I worked in the entertainment department at Disney World, I had the privilege of wearing some of the best costumes ever. Some of them even lit up! I also discovered that there is something extremely liberating about being behind a mask or in a costume where no one can see your face. You can do whatever you please and nobody knows it’s you! While dancing down Main Street, USA in a pink hippo costume, or bouncing through Fantasyland in orange and black stripes, no one could see John. I had permission to be as expressive and silly as I wanted to be. In fact, it was encouraged!
Believe it or not, that was a wonderful training ground for the work I do now. Those who have only known me a short time may find it difficult to believe I was once painfully shy. I assure you, before I worked at Disney, I was much more comfortable blending into the crowd than dancing down the street in front of one. Little by little, with the help of the costumes and puppets, I came out of my shell and became comfortable being in front of people. When I was cast as Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty in Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade, that comfort in the spotlight was taken to a whole new level. Now there was no mask to hide behind. I was standing on the front of a glittering castle float feeling very self conscious, wearing purple tights, a purple cape, and a purple cap with a feather. I didn’t exactly “blend in.” Not only did I have my picture taken by thousands of park guests, but the parade was televised on Christmas morning. I’m happy to say the Leo in me got used to this very quickly. Now it’s not so scary to be in front of people when I am facilitating workshops and classes. (Granted, I’m not wearing purple tights at these events.) And speaking of Leos, with all due respect to my Leo sister, Madonna, if you’ve never worn a cape, you really must try it. Something about it instantly transforms you into a superhero or royalty. It’s very fun.
So yes, I can see how wearing a costume has its benefits. My point is, life can be scary enough. Why add more fear by wearing an evil clown mask or chasing people with a chainsaw? There are many among us who feel like they are already in hell, trapped in a nightmare, living in fear of cancer, terrorists, losing their job, or losing a loved one. There seems to be no shortage of things to be afraid of. Why not put on a cape or some Ellen underwear and spread a little love today? This Halloween, I invite you to do as A Course in MIracles suggests in the very last section of the last chapter of the text.
Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there.
If fear is still getting the better of you, I have more tricks AND treats from A Course in Miracles and other sources to share with you. They have worked for me so I know they will work for you. Now is a great time to sign up for a four, six, or eight week Life Coaching package. Give yourself the gift of a great spiritual tool kit as we head into the holiday season. Family Constellations is another great tool to help you let go of fear and choose love more consistently. There are plenty of workshops coming up in November, or sign up for a one-on-one session in person or by telephone. Visit my website for more information. And the next time you’re knocking on life’s door desiring something good, instead of asking “Trick or Treat?” perhaps a better question might be, “Am I choosing love or fear?”
Wishing you a Fearless Halloween!