Shedding the Layers

So.. This happened on New Year's Eve 😍

2.5 years ago, when I made my first trek down to the Amazon jungle, I entered into a whole new world than the one I'd grown up in and was introduced to entirely new ways of interacting with life. During my 6 months living at a healing center in Peru, I met a number of women who had shaved their heads and I heard their stories of how liberating it was to shed those layers.

Anyone who knows me intimately knows that I've been talking about shaving my head for a couple of years now, and two nights ago, in the company of some of my favorite people, my soul tribe, I ran the clippers through my hair in an offering to the new year ahead.

In a number of indigenous cultures, it's said that our memories are stored in the cellular memory of our hair. Our traumas, as well as our potential for power is stored there. This is why men and women undergoing initiation oftentimes shave their heads, to symbolize the transformation that is happening within as they let go of the old and make room for the new.

2015 was one of the biggest, most deeply transformative years of my short time on this planet. This summer I literally underwent a shamanic initiation, and continue to do so as I integrate my experiences and figure out how to practically fit it all into life. Over two years since I first learned that shaving my head wouldn't mean I was a lesbian, a crazy feminist, (not that I personally have any problems with lesbians nor feminists) or any of the other ideas that our culture has placed in my mind, but rather could be a symbol of me stepping across the threshold from a young woman to a mature woman embodying my power and living life on my terms, I finally found the courage to step out into the world in a new way, without my hair to cover me.

As women in our culture, there is so much of our identity wrapped up in our hair. When I was introduced to a community of women who had let go of the stereotype of females having a head full of luscious hair, I began to look deeper into my relationship with my own hair. Between the long blonde and curly red styles I've sported in my recent years, I've always been known for my hair and began to realize that I use it as a form of protection, a sort of barrier between myself and the world. Wherever I went, people would make comments about how beautiful my hair was and I started to wonder how people would see and interact with me without it, and how I would respond in return. So, I decided to give it a go!

A few things I've learned in the 36 hours without hair:

1. As I stood naked in front of the mirror immediately after buzzing off my beloved hair, I truly saw myself for the first time. I saw the raw beauty in each of my features, and the first thought I had was, "Hair or no hair, I'm still me." The 'me' that is my essence is always there, no matter what form my physical body takes.

2. It's a lot colder without hair! Time to invest in some new cute hats as I move into the upcoming New England winter :)

3. The people who love me, love me no matter what I look like. I shaved my head in front of a room full of people and when it was finished, everyone clapped, cheered, and gave me compliments about how beautiful it looked. I knew that they truly loved me because they don't care whether I have blonde, red, or no hair. As long as I'm happy, they're happy and that's how I know they're my tribe.

4. I'm super thankful that my parents did a good job alternating my head when I was sleeping as a baby. I have a perfectly round head, which makes this whole experience a lot more enjoyable 😜

5. People really love to touch buzzed hair. And it feels just as cool for me as it does for them!

6. I was a bit nervous sharing my new hairstyle with my family, but when I sent pictures, they didn't judge. They laughed and said, "It'll grow back!" I'm so grateful to have another reminder that although my family may not always understand me and my lifestyle, they love me unconditionally nonetheless.

Cheers to a wonderfully liberating 2016 as we all continue to explore ourselves and our lives unapologetically! 🎉