I shaved my head again last week.
It wasn’t in a moment of enlightenment or courage this time. It didn’t bring with it all the ecstasy and liberation. This time it was done out of frustration toward myself, almost like “pulling my hair out”. I had noticed how attached I had become to my hair, how much I cared about how it was looking, what it portrayed, and what others might think about it.
And that pissed me off.
Old patterns die hard, and even after several years of feeling free of that one, it had snuck back in. And I was not okay with that. I was angry. Mostly at myself. So out of anger, I shaved it all off again.
Like I said I didn’t feel so liberated and joyful this time around. Instead I felt horrible, ugly, and full of self-hatred. Yes, self-hatred – as I witnessed its power, I could barely believe it. (Self-hatred? Really? Yup. Full force.)
As the emotion began to settle back down, I saw myself start to ease back into that comfortable sense of Just Being Me…no gimmicks, no image, no persona again. But I also noticed that with my shift in energy came a shift in how I perceived the perceptions of others.
Last time I shaved my head, I felt so buoyant, free, and vibrant…cloud-walking and stardust-shimmering and all that self-loving goodness. And so naturally I perceived the world around me with as much Light and Love as I felt within. I had countless women approach me and ask questions, express their own desire to do the same, or compliment me. And when I noticed someone noticing, I felt beautiful and seen, and assumed they saw what I felt.
This time I just feel like me. Not artificially high on the exhilaration of it all. No longer in the anger or self-hatred. Just comfortable in my own skin. And so what I noticed was naturally different. I noticed curious looks, people pointing it out to others, and only one complete stranger expressing their desire to try it. I noticed it all without attachment to the stories (positive or negative) of what it meant. But mostly what I noticed was that there were times I felt self-conscious and times I felt beautiful and times when I didn’t even remember, didn’t notice anything outside me or within me.
I just simply Was. I could just simply Be without even thinking about it.
That’s curious to me. That true peace doesn’t necessarily look big and shiny and joyful. That real self-love doesn’t always come with trumpets and emotional highs.
That sometimes it’s the practice of noticing what ourselves and others notice, and choosing to be at peace with it, until finally you don’t notice it anymore – until finally it’s just a known fact, like the way we don’t notice the grass is green, and yet we know it is.
And I think that’s what I heard in Heather’s words above, that ALL of that is what we get to be thankful for….Life for the lessons, challenges for the practice, and our own inner wisdom for the guidance through our own witnessing of each moment of our experiences.