This post has been tumbling around in my head for some time now, but the Britney incident finally moved me to action.
"You find Britney Spears inspiring?" you might ask.
"Not really," I'd answer, "But this hair thing, I can relate to."
Over the past couple of years, my hair has been grown out and then chopped and then grown out all over again. Looking back, I can see that altering my the length of my locks has been a reflection of my changing emotional and spiritual needs. Times of personal growth and opportunity seem to translate into lengthening tresses, however, when I find myself in a emotional or spiritual crisis, I can't cut my hair fast enough.
Early in 2005, I was getting ready to get hitched, and my hair was reaching lengths it hadn't seen in years. My hair grew until late December 2005, when I experienced my third miscarriage. Almost immediately, I found myself in my stylist's chair, demanding that she chop off well over 8 inches. She briefly tried to talk me out of it, but quickly realized that arguing with me would be a futile endeavor. I'm certain that I am not the first of her clients to experience some sort of juncture, tragedy, or loss, only to find themselves begging her to shear their locks, needing something to change immediately.
I kept my hair short throughout 2006 - a year full of grief, additional loss, and overwhelming amounts of stress. For me, 2006 was a time of simplification, of clearing out physical and emotional clutter, of redefining myself. I desperately needed a maintenance checkup in what Jen Lemen calls the "soul repair garage." However, as 2006 drew to a close, I found myself pining for long hair once again. It makes sense - this was a time of enormous change and opportunity. With the support and encouragement of my husband and my life coach, I left my full-time job at the end of the year. John and I began trying to get pregnant once again. I began to really focus on living my dreams and intentionally creating a life that is a reflection of what I value. I felt (and still feel) full of potential and possibilities.
Right now, my hair is in that awkward stage where it is nearly impossible to do anything with it that looks halfway decent. In fact, the only way I can really stand it is to have my hair pulled back into two pigtails. Yet, this uncomfortable stage is also an visual and tactile symbol of my inner journey. I'm clumsily emerging from the fog of 2006 with new priorities, a fresh perspective, and a blossoming awareness of myself as a spiritual being. I've established a renewed focus on self-awareness and on changing self-defeating patterns of thinking and acting. I'm exploring various spiritual traditions as I attempt to create a practice that grounds me and helps me to maintain my connection to the energy of the Universe. Though I'm well on my way, I have a long journey ahead of me. Just like my hair.
Britney has had a tough year. I hope her shaved head lightens the load she's carrying just a tiny bit. I hope it somehow nudges her towards healing.