Face mask smile

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on April 5, 2020 in Uncategorized

Face masks are now recommended for any time we spend in public spaces. This adds another layer (literally and figuratively) to how we use our instruments of self. In a short amount of time, we have adjusted to teaching, learning and connecting through the glowing screen. Now, even in real space and time, our faces are covered. We connect via screens and we are partially screened when we can connect in actual time and space.

When I first began wearing a cloth mask, I felt as though I had to shout through the fabric. I couldn’t hear my voice in the space around me in the same way as sans mask. Then I recalled that my voice comes from my entire resonating instrument, and that pushing through the fabric would narrow and limit my instrument rather than express my voice. Opting for less push, more of the ground and a fully breathing back reduced strain and distress.

It was vaguely confusing to not see neighbors’ facial expressions, and to know they could not see mine either. Friendly waves resolved that issue, and notably calmed my heightened nervous system. Acknowledging or initiating a wave has become a new means of easing concerns, connecting in crisis, and remaining in community. There are also head nods, slight bows, and the jaunty and cheerful sidewalk step aside.

We are all learning to refine and adjust quickly these days. We can remind ourselves that we have the big brains and the unified fields of self to do so.

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