By Terez Hartmann
The Masked Messenger
It was two days before my radio interview on the Pete O’Shea Show on WTIS 1110AM, and I was poised to launch my new brand, identity, and website, www.TerezFirewoman.com, after many months of preparation. My husband, John, and I had gone for a stroll on a lovely new trail in Oldsmar, FL, and we just so happened to look in the right direction as two adorable raccoons quickly made their way across the trail! What a nice little “sparkle,” I thought.
The next day (the day before my interview), we decided to stop by a Boston Market restaurant, when lo and behold, a young raccoon peeked his little head out, just long enough for us to see him, then quickly vanished behind an impossibly small bush, one of only a handful of green spaces in the parking lot of a very busy intersection! At this point, I was definitely thinking there was a message for us, but because we were focused on the task at hand, I would check into it later. But then…
…That same night, as we were heading home, a raccoon literally RAN INTO—and, thankfully, bounced off of—the side of my jeep while we were driving! John stopped in the nick of time, and the little guy simply scurried off immediately after. Needless to say, it was now abundantly clear that these creatures had a very important message for me to investigate ASAP!
Though I had a good understanding of raccoon wisdom before, as I read and researched more about their habits and symbolic keynotes, two aspects REALLY jumped out at me: their ability to thrive in ANY type of environment, and the idea of using masks constructively to evoke the ideal aspects of ourselves at the ideal time, while putting other non-applicable attributes “to bed” for a time.
Considering that I was about to unveil “Terez Firewoman,” an expanded expression of my SELF and business, and that I would be connecting with a dynamic host and audience with a strong and passionate focus on Christian values, my little masked messenger simply helped me to allow this aspect of my personality and teachings to flow. “Firewoman” most definitely came to the party that day; I LOVED having the freedom to talk about God/Source in this way on the air, and I came away enjoying every juicy second of my conversation with Pete!!*
What parts of your true self would you like to become more dominant in YOUR life?
*To hear my interview with the hilarious Pete O’ Shea, visit the “About” page of www.TerezFirewoman.com, then choose “Meet Terez: Audio & Video Links.” To catch Pete’s show, listen live to WTIS 1110 AM in the greater Tampa Bay area from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) Monday–Friday or listen live on www.WTIS1110.com
Summoning Your Inner Superhero and Beyond!
A few weeks ago, my sister, Debby, posted a fabulous cartoon rendering of a Facebook quiz result of her “superhero self.” When I saw this awesome redhead fireball with a sexy yellow, red, and black getup, I instantly felt a resonance and thought that perhaps “Firewoman” is actually my superhero name!
Like many of us, I have long been a fan of superheroes and have always been intrigued by how the mild-mannered “daytime” persona transforms into the “nighttime” super-powerful identity with the help of a cool mask or nifty outfit. Though humans typically assign a negative connotation to the idea of wearing masks, have you noticed that many of the heroes we love and celebrate wear masks in some form or fashion? Rather than use their masks/costumes as a malevolent tool for hiding or for being something they are not, in their case, the superhero uniform simply invites them to step into a bolder, more powerful (yet still authentic) version of themselves.
You may not be able to fly unaided or leap tall buildings in a single bound, but have you noticed that when you don the quintessential power-suit, pop on your chillaxed vacation/party clothes, dress in your “Sunday best,” step out in style, button up your work uniform, or gear up for a hike, that you tend to feel and present yourself a little differently? There is a magic to preparing and dressing with intention, so just like our superhero friends, why not allow yourself to use costumes or a specific mode of dress to bring out your BEST?
Here are some ideas for evoking and allowing YOUR Fab-YOU-lousity and superhero self this Halloween—or any time:
Masquerade as yourself! Though many find it fun to express the creepy and macabre aspects of the season, what if you used Halloween as a catalyst for fab-YOU-lous?! This year, dress as your favorite superhero, character, magical creature, or even invent your own costume. Wear something that makes you feel powerful, sexy, confident, magical, etc. and then get into your “role” by BEING the super-awesome-fabulous-Jedi-master-billionaire-light-hearted-crazy-sexy-cool version of YOU! You may find that giving this part of your persona a voice and opportunity to express encourages more of this part of you to shine through AND can allow you to thrive in your day-to-day life!
Dress to impress…YOU! When it all comes down to it, what you choose to put on your back really is more about how it makes YOU feel than anything else. Give your SELF a little extra love by dressing consciously: Wear fabrics that feel good on your skin. Steam or iron your favorite shirt. Add the special accessory or bit of bling. Take a little longer to do something cool with your make-up or to style your hair or beard just the way you like it. Showing your SELF a little extra love really can go a long way in allowing your awesomeness to flow, and when you feel good about YOU, you’re far more likely to let the good times roll!
Create your own “magic wand” or” amulet” We all have special shapes, symbols, accessories, etc. that give us a feeling of connection, fun, feeling lucky, or that we tie to a person we love or happy memory, so why not use these tools to your benefit? On days when you want to add a little boost to your superhero self (or want to add even more good Mojo to your already rockin’ good vibe), slide on that “Wonder Woman” bracelet or magic hat you love. Wear that pendant, ring, pin, etc. that reminds you of your core faith/belief system, your happy family ties, or that wonderful angel in your life. Put that crystal, “gratitude rock,” or special item in your pocket. Wear that amazing perfume or cologne. Put on those “ruby slippers,” “party socks,” or favorite boots that ground or elevate your spirit and you just may discover that you really can create your own magic!
Color yourself happy! A gazillion studies (yes, that is a technical term) have shown that color REALLY does have powerful effects on your mood and attitude.** And in my own experience, wearing bright, happy, sunflower yellow has even helped me keep my fire burning on even some of the darkest, soggiest days! Need to color yourself calmer? Try serene green or cool light blue. Need some fire and energy? Infuse some red into your wardrobe. Want to make new friends? Insert some social and adventurous orange into your ensemble. Looking to stimulate creativity and inspiration? Get your purple groove on! Want a great all-around happy, healing, and friendly color? Turquoise may be your new BFF! When life feels monochromatic, why not add some color to stir up some superhero magic!
**For a great book about working with color, check out Caryl Dennis’ Colorology—The Science of Color: http://caryl.ipower.com/wordpress/colorology/
The Bottom Line on Halloween Re-Purposed: Using Costumes to UN-Mask Your TRUE Self!
When it all comes down to it, we humans are a multifaceted breed, indeed, with so much potential for greatness teaming within every heart and soul. You are (and always have been) far more than what meets the eye. So perhaps the only real mask you or any of us ever actually wears is the one that disguises or mutes the true beauty, brilliance, and “superhero” eternalness that IS…
Halloween or any time, you’re my hero.
“When I see the dawn breaking through the clouds
I remember I was meant to live out loud!”
—From “Remembering” © 2014 TTRH
Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann,“Your catalyst for all things Fab-YOU-lous,” is the author of Allowing Your Success!, a proud contributing author of Transform Your Life! book one and two, a professional Keynote Speaker/Workshop Facilitator, Singer-Songwriter/Recording Artist, “Allowing Adventures!” & “Savor Vacation” Facilitator, and true Renaissance Woman, and Visionary. She keeps her fire lit by embracing and promoting a lifestyle of “Allowing,” and by using creative expression to elevate and ignite the human spirit, a passion that she shares with her husband, soul-mate and creative partner of over 15 years, John Victor Hartmann. Together they share “Allowing TRUE LOVE” workshops and experiences designed to help others attract, allow, and maintain extraordinary relationships, and create custom jingles and voice-overs in their Safety Harbor-based studio, THE Creativity Express. Visit: www.TerezFirewoman.com