August 11, 2015

The Appeal of Invisibility.


Who doesn’t find the idea of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak appealing?

I remember as a kid taking off my glasses during boring classes, telling myself that since everything appeared blurry to me perhaps I was blurry to everyone and therefore no one would notice that my attention was wandering as I doodled or daydreamed.

One of the things I’ve learned the hard way is that, most of the time, if you are not invited to be a part of a conversation, it’s probably for a good reason. News, both good and bad, will find you, so why rush it.

I used to think that I wanted to be invisible as I sat at a bar with my ex-husband and his best friend. But with hindsight I realized that I didn’t want to be invisible; I wanted not to be there. I wanted to be somewhere my presence mattered. In fact, I wanted to be fully visible. It was they who were making me feel invisible and that was what bothered me.

I realized that maybe, rather than wishing for an invisibility cloak, what we all really want is to be fully visible, to be completely present in our lives. My friend Karen’s mother used to tell her on the morning of a test to keep her head where her feet were. Wise advice, I think, from a wise woman; and Karen’s successes are a testament to her mother’s wisdom and how well she followed the advice.

Here’s the thing about being invisible that I don’t recall being discussed in Harry Potter (as much as I loved those books). I think that each time we try to be invisible, each time we aren’t fully present, it eats away at our insides and scratches at our souls. And, at the same time, the invisibility cloak becomes a little too comfortable and a little harder to remove. It’s a bad cycle. I still feel the lure of taking off my glasses when I am in a stressful or boring situation.

Here’s my call to action:

Be visible even when it’s uncomfortable. Be fully present whether writing on the computer, emailing a friend, exercising or having a conversation with a loved one.

And, if you don’t feel like being fully present, perhaps it is a sign to leave and be where your heart leads you.

Sometimes I wish I could push a pause button when sensory input is coming too quickly, but life does not work that way. Instead, I imagine my breath slowly coming in and out from my heart and engage fully from a place of appreciation and gratitude. And, if I am uncomfortable or if I do not want to be present, I do not take off my glasses or imagine myself invisible, I politely excuse myself.

For today, can you commit to being fully visible, to letting the people around you have the gift of fully seeing you in all of your awesomeness?

Then, try it again tomorrow. It’s a habit worth forming.


Author: Wendy Kuhn

Apprentice Editor: Lois Person; Editor: Caroline Beaton


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