The first time I put on a mantle I remember feeling free. It may seem weird that a hood—something that keeps you warm—could be liberating, but it's the truth. The mantle was grey alpaca with a black fuzzy lining that refused to quit being the softest thing in the world. Even though it was the beginning of a very humid summer in Philadelphia and I couldn't bear to wear anything more than a light sundress outside, I wouldn't take the sweltering thing off.
I am a fairy tale writer, in no small part because I always felt like some kind of mythical creature trying to make her way through a world without magic. For much of my life I tried to conform myself to the world that was presented to me: one where fairy creatures needed to put away their wings in order to be taken seriously; in order to succeed. After learning about so many magical storytellers throughout history, however, I realized that few things in life are truly worth the effort if you can't be yourself. When I put on that mantle, I thought "it's like fairy clothing!" It was like a voiceless nod of permission to be exactly who I am.
The mantle I take up in my life is to write fairy tales that spread magic. When I put on my Wild Mantle I feel like I’m wearing a costume that allows me to be myself. The power in that feeling is indescribable. We each have our favorite place in the world, our favorite item of clothing, or our favorite book—things that speak to a place deep inside of us that holds the truth of who we are. It doesn’t matter what it is, all that matters is that it serves as a shortcut back into your power at times when you feel lost or insecure. Some of us bring these touchstones of power with us on our journey, others of us like spaces apart where we can sit and refuel for a new day. Whatever the thing that gets you to that space of truth, embrace it. That is the space where you go to grow yourself into the person you have always wanted to be, because it is the most complete version of yourself.
It may seem such an insignificant thing, to put on a mantle, but to me it makes all the difference.
What special thing in your life supports you to take up your mantle?
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