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Transcript Things To Think About Podcast, October 8th, 2023

The Mask

Intro: Pounding bass note and a stirring fanfare of horns. Welcome to another edition of Things to Think about. Here's Stacy. The horns continue with a keyboard note held.

Relaxing piano music is in the background.

Welcome to the Things to Think About podcast, where we use fables and fairy tales to uncover deeper truths about our subconscious world. Sometimes we take out our frustration about our actions by playing the victim. Poor me. In this episode, we explore ideas of power and leadership. As you listen, note what comes up for you. And now, get comfortable and relax. Take a deep breath in. And exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. And if you'd like, you can slowly close your eyes.

That’s me. Sulking in the corner as once again, my brilliant insights and suggestions land as well as a fart in a perfume shop. Inside, I am incandescent with frustration. Outside, I hold my head high and enjoy a mental game of “I told you so.” My carefully crafted message had the right blend of vision and a clear call to action. And yet, there was no action. Didn’t they know this was vital and my tips would help them to shine and be superstars? I am a seasoned professional, but they treat me like I’m twelve. What’s the use of being this glorious, fabulous, and creative if no one responds? Pity part of one. Yup, that’s me.

I slunk out of the meeting room, dragging my feet. I took the stairs and got some fresh air to clear my mind. Darn! I went to the wrong exit. I don’t want to set off the fire alarm, so I trudge up to the next landing and walk over to the other stairwell. I nearly kicked it. What’s this? Feathers? I pick it up carefully. It was some sort of… mask? It was too soon for Halloween. I felt woozy as I handled it and noticed a faint glimmer. It was one of those old-fashioned ones with a stick. I stopped in the washroom to take a look. Maybe it was laced with something because I still saw my face when I peered in the mirror. No feathers. I did feel confident despite it being invisible. I kept it on as I walked down the stairs. I said hi to a colleague and noticed a tinge of panic in their eyes like an “Oh God, what did I do wrong?” look. Hmmm, strange.

I decided to wear the mask to our next team meeting. I felt a warm presence, as if someone had lain a mantle across my shoulders. The first time I said something, I was taken aback. My voice seemed to boom loudly and echoed throughout the room. No one covered their ears or said anything, so I chalked it up to the weird properties of the mask. What was even more shocking was that people were listening. They asked questions about the project, and a palpable excitement filled the room. What was happening? I subtly put the mask on the table and continued speaking with my co-workers. Once again, people started tuning out. Thankfully our Corporate sponsor was there and had started to stress the points I was making. Once again, they were engaged. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I put the mask back in place and set up deadlines with the group.

What had just happened? I took the mask home and decided to record myself. With the mask on, I asked, “Why are you feeling sorry for yourself?” I played back the recording. Wow, the impact was devastating. There was such power and compassion in that voice. I sat with myself and my earlier petulance. Did I not expect people to tune me out? Was I more concerned with my message or being the messenger? I put the mask on again. “Why would anyone want to listen to you?” I played back the recording to myself. Because I have something powerful to say? I trailed off meekly. “What are you trying to accomplish?” At this point, I was in tears, stripped bare. I was so focused on being seen as impressive, I had forgotten that I was incredible. I had made the message all about me instead of about we. I made a final recording wearing the mask, reminding myself of all my best qualities and also how awesome my team was. The next day, mask in hand, I was about to enter the office. A bizarre gust of wind lifted the mask out of my hand. I blinked my eyes several times. Did a giant transcendent being of golden light wearing a feather mask wink at me?

Where does your power come from?

Closing: Closing jazzy keyboard and thrumming bass. I hope you enjoyed today's segment. Tell a friend. See you next time. Music fades. "