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Starting from scratch

Baking from scratch offers an incredible opportunity to create something wonderful by combining items together in just the right way. Sure, a packaged ready mix can get a quicker result, but then what is lost in taking the short cut? The masterful combining of ingredients to produce a delicious cake or cookie is in itself magical and gives the baker the gift of experiencing and spreading joy to others. Applying this same concept to the healing journey, I found myself wanting to start from scratch on as many levels as possible, including my hair which I have worn long for the majority of my life.

As Samantha put the finishing touches on my new pixie cut I grabbed a selfie.

Looking through old photos, even from as early as kindergarten, my hair was always at least shoulder length. As a kid, those flowing locks were a thorn in my mother’s side as they were often in a tangled state, leaving her the difficult task of dragging a brush through them in attempts to set things straight. Despite that downside, I held on to keeping long hair as a signature element of my identity. Only on a few occasions did I try a bob or pixie cut and it was always followed by a quick pivot back, because at the core I believed men preferred long hair on women and that was the ultimate influence. Being seen as attractive, sexy, and feminine was of the utmost importance because my self-esteem has long been tied to how I am perceived by men.

Focused on a graceful sashay into my 60’s – ideally in optimal health and rooted in my authentic self – starting from scratch had great appeal. With the long hair becoming more and more tedious and unflattering I began fantasizing about cutting it all off. And while this was an overwhelming idea at first, I couldn’t shake it and eventually made the appointment with my hair stylist.

The first phase resulted in a cute and much shorter style that still left me with hair to tuck behind the ears. It was liberating to let go of the strands that had lived on my head for the better part of 20 years – strands that underneath all the added color, were likely white or grey or some kind of color I’d not seen on myself before and, I imagined, held the residue of energy attached to my personal struggles. After trying on this shorter style for a couple months I realized it was still too much hair and continued to demand an unnecessary amount of my precious energy. More important, the reflection in the mirror was not yet resonating and I wanted a more complete stripping down.

At my next hair appointment, it was exciting to shed most of what remained and leave with a beautifully layered pixie cut. There was a thrill to letting go and allowing the features of my face to be highlighted – like my bright green eyes. For years my self-esteem had been in shreds, where every glance at myself in a mirror elicited a negative feeling inside. With each chunk of hair that fell to the floor I gained a piece of empowerment. Life is so much easier now, not just because it takes a few quick minutes to go from being a wet head to looking ready for a date with my guy, but because I am no longer weighted down with all the baggage that long hair held. Now with a little spray of water and a quick ruffle, I’m off and smiling through my day.

The final note to this story is that the path to living authentically does not necessarily lie in a pixie cut, but rather in asking what the soul genuinely wants and saying yes, yes, yes – for it is in that place one can thrive.


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