My daughter Julia is 5-years-old. We recently went to get our hair cut together. Prior to our appointments, there were many discussions and negotiations about her new length.
Julia’s hair was quite long, and she made it known that she wanted her hair cut to her chin. This meant cutting almost 10 inches of hair. After lots of conversations, we agreed that a shoulder length cut would be a better compromise and if she wanted more cut off next time we could do that.
You see I was afraid doing something too dramatic to her “look” would startle her. I was attached to her long, unruly hair. It reminded me of our shared womanhood connection. I loved her pigtails and braids.
When our stylist came to greet us, I explained that we wanted a shoulder length bob. The stylist took her back to the chair.
Julia is fiercely independent, has a confident voice, ideas and a creative imagination. Part of my parenting style is to trust and encourage that independence in safe places so she grows to fully trust her voice and sense of self. What better place than a salon chair?
30 minutes later when I came to see her haircut, my jaw dropped and eyes popped out at the sight of her. She indeed had gotten the haircut that she wanted-a chin length bob.
During the client and stylist consultation, Julia precisely explained the haircut she wanted and followed through by pointing exactly to her chin. The customer gets what she wants even though mom is paying! The truth is that Julia wasn’t fazed a bit by the dramatic change-I was. She was confident and proud. It was me who was agitated, irritated, distracted and annoyed.
What does a 5-year-old haircut have to do with my yoga mat? Just about everything. The practice of yoga and meditation brings awareness to the places we hold on to and turn away from. Life’s mishaps, regardless of how big or small show up in our mind and body.
Julia’s haircut shined a light on the challenges that I have to surrendering when things don’t go my way. It highlighted ways in which I like to be in control and how that shows up in my mind and body when I’m not. In my resistance and effort to hold on to my feelings of being right and in control, I didn’t see a young girl who was proud, confident, encouraged and happy.
I now love Julia’s haircut and all the reminders of letting go into the flow of life. . . regardless if it’s just a haircut.