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jodiJodi A. Zeramby has had a rich history of interacting with the metaphysical community before finding her way to the Lightarian Institute. She has received all Lightarian modalities including Lightarian™ Reiki, Lightarian Rays™ , Lightarian Clearings™, Lightarian AngelLinks™, the Expansion Program, and the Purification Rings™. In fact, she played a leading role with creating the Lightarian Purification Rings™ program. In addition to her role as a Lightworker, Jodi is an author, attorney, and educator. With her education and skills, Jodi offers a practical outlook to the Lightarian modalities.

To learn more about Jodi, please visit our Staff page.

Posted: December 2007

The Power of Intent: Personas
by Jodi A. Zeramby

Last Halloween, a holiday celebrated in the United States on October 31st, I partook in a costume contest at my workplace. I was unable to drive while wearing the full ensemble. Once parked in the company lot, I donned the full costume and waddled into the building. My costume consisted of the following: a one-piece zippered, oversized, purple fleece pajama suit; two kitchen trash bags stuffed with Fill-Air Inflatable Packaging packets; a green beret; two long sets of vines with grapes and leaves attached; and a sign attached to my chest which read “Don’t tell Welch’s that I’m here!” I was a runaway Concord grape. I loved my colleagues’ reactions. The best response occurred once I was seated at my station and someone began to walk by. I was so round that I could hardly reach the computer keyboard. Also, I found it more comfortable to rest my chin on the newly-acquired bulk. I had only stuffed the front side so I could sit down during the day. However, in order to sit down, I had to plan it carefully—reaching behind me to secure the seat before lowering myself onto it. I truly believe that if I had missed, I would have needed help to get off the floor.

At any rate, someone from a neighboring department began to pass by and happened to glance my way. She stopped short. Her mouth opened and closed several times, and then she began to laugh so hard that tears streamed down her face. Soon, she held her arms across her stomach, as if in pain. As the laughter subsided, she made the mistake of looking my way again. I was, by then, grinning widely, with my arms resting on top of my immensity. That set her off once more. Soon, many other colleagues came to check out what was causing her mirth. That’s when the picture-taking began.

A few minutes later, my company held its daily morning meeting. As I entered the conference room, the administrators got their first glimpse of me. Ha! They were shocked into silence. Then laughter. It felt good to cause amusement, particularly in such a serious place of business. I tell you, the response I generated due to the unexpectedness of seeing a rolly-polly grape in a white-collar industry made the effort worthwhile.

One of the best parts of transforming into a Concord grape was stunning people who thought they had me pigeon-holed. Since most of my colleagues only know a small amount about me, they have made certain assumptions. I think I destroyed some of them on Halloween. I am not just a colleague. I am not just a Massachusetts attorney. I am not just an educator. I am not just a writer, or photographer, or…the list goes on and on, not just about me, but for every person. We get labeled, but often inaccurately. I know, for my part, it is due to my caution with what I reveal. I choose what I allow others to see. I wear my business mask in the workplace. Even at work-hosted events, such as holiday parties and happy hours, I am careful with what I divulge. I may seem relaxed and open, but I am not—at least not until I have determined how intimate I wish to be within a given environment.

Have you ever thought of your behavior while with another person? More particularly, how your behavior changes according to whose company you keep? We present façades. I have several façades according to the given situation. With loved ones I act one way, with peers, another way. Strangers, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, clients, adversaries—all differently. I allow myself to be vulnerable to various extents, a sliding scale based upon the connection, my motivation, and the anticipated reception.

As an extension of these façades, I naturally slip into different dialects. While conversing with my twin brother, I’ll revert back to a slang-filled, blue-collar, inner-city dialect. The next moment, I’ll speak to an attorney regarding a real estate transaction, dipping into “legalese” language without missing a beat. Ask me about a favorite author, playwright, or poet, and I will dive into literary jargon. All these are natural outgrowths of my personality—created through experience, instinct, and societal norms. The dialectal changes ground me into the façade’s characteristics in a concrete, yet organic way.

From an early age, we learn to interact in certain ways—when to speak, when to be silent, when to act, when to remain still. We were shaped by our parents, friends, teachers, and siblings. Through this process we developed our personas, our façades, our masks. As we grew older, we became more adept at interpreting reactions and anticipating the best mask to don.

Have you ever attended a function where everyone is staid and proper? Then, in comes a stranger, flamboyant and loud, flitting from group to group and talking to everyone? Have you seen the reactions of the others in the room? Some are amused, others envious, and a few are down-right angry—angry that this person seems to be ignoring the tacit decorum which everyone else had been following. This newcomer did not don the right mask! This person is not presenting the correct façade!

What is fascinating about façades is how easy it is to slip into them—how fluid they are. At times, I don a mask to preserve and protect myself. We all wear masks. Do you remember the song “Masquerade” from the musical Phantom of the Opera? “Hide your face, so the world will never find you. Masquerade! Every face a different shade. Masquerade! Look around—there’s another mask behind you.” Most people are cognizant on some level that they play varying roles according to the situations presented. In fact, one could argue that it is irresponsible not to adjust one’s behavior at certain times. What happens, though, when you do not have a mask to don, such as in a new social situation? At those points when you find yourself out of your comfort zone, what do you do?

How about what happens when you confuse the masks? When you act the “wrong” way? When you use a persona that is “acceptable” in one type of situation for a different scenario? For example, what happens if you act reserved with your friends when normally you are outgoing? Do they ask you if something is wrong? Do they notice?

Can a person ever just be herself in any and every given situation, making no changes to herself whatsoever, regardless of the circumstances? Is it possible to know what that is like? Does that leave a person too vulnerable, not having self-created shields to protect her? Why do we need such protection? Do you know who you are when you take off the masks, release the façades, and remove the personas?

What do you think?

2007 copyright Jodi A. Zeramby

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