Wow we are fully in December. Can you feel it? I know it's December because my social calendar is cleanly booked for an entire month. It's December because I am already lusting for the quiet days of January.
So I got my haircut on Monday, the day after I launched the winter class for Self Care 101. It's an amazing group of 24 ladies who are going to go through a hugely awesome transformation together. (I have a big smile on my face as I type this. I'm so excited for them!)
I like to schedule hair appointments for the day after I launch one of my 10 week classes because it gives me room to mess up. I do the opening session in person (a grounding yoga class, a delicious healthy cooking demo + lunch with the brilliant Sarah Waybright, and lots of time for us to get to know each other as we start our process). Then we switch to an online format until our closing retreat.
This means I get almost 10 weeks of connecting over conference calls, webinars and our online forum. This also means that if I get a bad haircut I don't have to see my clients in person for a while. This means I feel freer to take a big risk.
Like shaving almost half of my head perhaps? Yeah, that felt like a pretty big risk for me.
I've thought about doing something like this from time to time. But when my hairdresser Roberto suggested that we really do it, I had to make a decision. I looked at myself and my pretty normal-looking hair in the mirror. I thought about changing it dramatically. It could be great or it could be horrible.
I got so scared! And I got excited! And scared! And excited!
A voice in my head told me to turn back and ask for a cute pixie cut. That's kinda edgy right? Half a shaved head isn't attractive or professional and I know some people will not like it. I love being pretty and likable! Why would I consciously do something to jeopardize all of that?
Then another voice in my head calmly told me that all that fear + excitement equals energy. It told me that who I am as a woman is not defined by my hair. Why is it so important to be pretty and likable anyway? The voice told me that I get to reinvent what professionalism means to me. It told me that if I never change things, then I will never change.
So I said yes. I bit my lip and held my breath. He took out the clippers and I saw my naked scalp for the first time.
My first reaction was that I had made a horrible mistake.
Within 10 seconds I kinda liked it.
By the time I walked out of the salon, I noticed I was walking taller then I have in a while.
It's been two days now and I feel so much new energy in all parts of my life. I'm realizing that a new identity has emerged from this haircut. I feel both kinder and stronger. I'm more dedicated to love and less likely to take shit from anyone.
In short, I'm feeling like a total badass--brazen, funny, and more compassionate then I've been in a while.
Isn't it interesting how a change in my appearance can lead to such a big identity shift?
I've been so interested in how appearance and identity interact since listening to RuPaul (one of the most lovely drag queens who has brought the art of drag into the public eye) during his brilliant interview on fantasy and identity for New York Public Library's podcast.
With wisdom that astounds me, RuPaul said that s/he realized that our whole persona is made up--so why not make it up in a fabulous way? Why keep telling ourselves the small, sad story of who we are? Why not dress up like the person you want to be?
Everyone has an opinion on my hair. Some people really love it, and others don't say anything (which I'm assuming means they don't). Surprisingly this new brazen me doesn't care too much about what others think. What I enjoy more than anything is that it's making them stop and pause. It's forcing them to think about what is pretty and expected and acceptable.
As I pushed my limits, I'm helping everyone push their own along too.
What I like most about shaving my head is that I'm redefining pretty and professional and likable within myself. I'm seeing that beneath the hair (and the clothes and the make up) is the spirit of a woman that wants to get bigger, bolder, brighter.
My spirit wants to grow stronger because the world needs strength right now. It needs brave people to shake things up and to tell us that we are allowed--even desperately encouraged--to search for and express our own internal truth.
Because when one of us finds it, then it makes it easier for everyone.
Of course I still hold myself back in so many ways. I could write you a book just about my fears. Yet I'm dedicated to working with them and through them in the sake of shaking things up for myself and for our world.
I hoping that in my small yet bold decision to get an edgy haircut, you can embrace a bold decision that will take you a step closer to your own spirit. I hope you doing this will inspire someone else in your path.
We can just keep sparking each other to stay bravely awake until we get a big fire started.
Then we'll sit around it, roast marshmallows and tell stories. You'll tell me about the time you quit that horrible job and the right one came along the next month. I'll tell you about the best haircut I ever got that made me want to cry at first.
We'll sit back and laugh at all the muck and fear that comes up as part of the growth process. Then we'll congratulate ourselves on all the beauty and hope that pours forth from risking to be ourselves. We'll encourage each other to keep going, to keep being a badass--no matter what.