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  • Writer's pictureShelly Summers-Anderson


As children we are raised to be pleasers and peacemakers. Over the course of our life we add different masks to who we are. The different layers that we have of masks never allow us to be completely at ease with the real and true person who is underneath all of those masks. Whether it be the mask of being a parent or being a spouse or a son or daughter. We have masks of the person that we are at our jobs and with our different friends and family. There are all these different people that we are supposed to be and yet the world tells us that we need to be our authentic and real self. Which makes it really difficult because we have never had the opportunity to be the real us! It's frustrating and exhausting!

Over the last 5 years I have spent time finding the real and authentic me. The person I knew was underneath all of the layers of masks. It has been a journey and at times extremely difficult because I have had to examine the masks of who I WAS in order to become who I AM. I have examined my spiritual, physical, emotional and mental sides of me and I can honestly say that although, the woman that I was tried really hard to be who she SHOULD be, she missed the mark a lot.

One of the ways I have learned how to do this work of becoming and unbecoming me is to read. I had never really been a reader until 2018 and went through a divorce. I was in a place I had never been mentally and needed to find a way out of a really dark place. So I read many, many books to learn. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz was life changing.

In the Four Agreements you learn how ancient Toltec Indigenous tribes used these patterns on a daily basis to create a life of peace and honor. I found that when I practiced them was more at peace and life did not seem so chaotic. The Agreements are guideposts/lessons. Each one relating to the other in order to be fluid and understandable. They are:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word

  • Don't Take Anything Personally

  • Don't Make Assumptions

  • Always Do Your Best

They take practice every day. But can you think of a better way to live? Today, think of one mask you can peel off and put the Four Agreements into action in your life. Make this a small and attainable goal that you know you will succeed at and feel the joy that one small little win brings in your day. Whether it is making sure you say what you mean and that your actions align with your words, or that you go through a day not taking things personally or making assumptions about what someone thinks or feels, those small actions can make a huge difference in your energy and the energy around you.

Peel off the masks and be you. The world needs what you have to offer.

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