Women and Emerging Futures

The next wave of my own evolution lies in exploring the potential of women to profoundly shape our world. Not only if women can but if women will...do what is required to make the difference. This demands redefining our notions of 'leadership' and reclaiming meaningful expression for women. To progress beyond historical notions of evolution through incremental change, we must redefine what it is to be human - and women are the key.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What color is your hair?

I think I started putting streaks in my hair when I was 20. I’m 56. That’s 36 years of not knowing what color my own hair is! So, for whatever reason, the impulse moved and I chose to pay attention to it – and I decided it was time for me to know what color my hair really is.

To accomplish this task, I had to learn to just let go. Do nothing. Invite and allow. Take my hands off the ‘project’ and just let it unfold as it will. That turned out to be a very interesting metaphor for my life.

Letting it all go….letting go of my and others' expectations (“What are you doing to your hair?!?!?!”) and the need to stay the same for the comfort of others (“I don’t recognize you anymore…what’s wrong?”) proved to have its moments of discomfort for myself and for others. Add to that so many years of my life being devoted to always ‘looking good’, I found myself wondering: is this a mistake? Should I stop this and go back to looking how I’ve always looked – to the way that it would seem I am expected to look – and resign myself to forever wondering what color my hair is?

I couldn’t do it. I could not stop this process that had begun. Every morning, I would get up and stare at myself in the mirror and wonder…who am I? Who is the ‘real’ me under the surface of who I have become over the years? Do I really know? Does who I really am match who I think I have become? And another day would go by…..

It’s been more than six months since I began this little adventure and I’m happy to say that I now know the color of my own hair….and I love it! It has lots of grey in it…a steely grey that somehow brings me comfort….and the dark blonde color that it nestles into seems to match my face. Go figure…who would have thought that the original design is still a good one!

I am discovering I really like the color of my hair. It’s unfamiliar. It’s not always the same, as the mix changes from one day to the next as more grey appears. I don’t plan it – it just shows up and takes up residency on my head! And I like it. I like its unpredictable nature. I like that it will not always behave. And I like that it’s mine.

What color is your hair? When was the last time you looked? How long has it been since you’ve taken a minute of your day, every day, to just look into your own eyes; to examine your own face…and to wonder: who are you? Does the outside of you match the inside of you? What aspects of you are you 'coloring' and covering up?

I am no longer caught in the habit of doing stuff to my hair. I’m no longer caught in the habit of needing/wanting to look/sound/be a certain way so that I will not experience the discomfort that goes with NOT being that certain way. Every day, I seem to look forward to and wonder who I will emerge to be today. I am coming to relax into knowing that I may not get approval or applause...and it's all ok. It’s not always easy, and it’s always worth it.

My ‘emerging future’ arrives one breath at a time…one sensation at a time…one signal at a time. All I have to do is nothing. Just let go, invite and allow – and it shows up. I’ll let you know if/when I don’t like what I see.

Breathing is good…..


At 11/02/2006 08:39:00 p.m., Blogger Lori Walton said...

As I reading your blog entry today, I am mindful of how beautiful we are when we simple allow ourselves to be... I know this... yet I have yet to truely metabolize this.

I read along think, yes, this is great and fabulous... then up comes a wave... "knowing that I may not get approval or applause..."

I have been struggling with still wanting approval of someone (no one person in particular), and I ask myself why? Why am I so culturally conditioned that I need external approval? When do we get rid of that? Are we ever able to really be free of all of our self doubt?

The answer lies somewhere within me, this I know. And I still have to get there...

Thank you once again for allowing me to comment, there is always more... and it is good.

At 11/07/2006 02:10:00 p.m., Blogger leona Macdougall said...

Ok ...so Louise I could NOT not comment....given that I have been coloring other women's hair for 24 year...and I also have returned back to my natural color....(in my Industry we call gals like you and I "born agin virgins")....lack of chemical hair dependency.....that's big/////and here is something that I have noticed(well one of the things anyway) is that not only do we ourselves forget that an IMAGE is not who we are but others do too.....so the response of other is very interesting for me as well...and what I have really become aware of is this... when the image choices are a reflection of our essence then the experience is reflection of who we are---brilliant, creative, intelligent and there is more!


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