Many moons ago I was working in finance. Each day I woke up straightened my hair, put on make up, went for a run, had breakfast, showered, redid my hair and make up, put on stylish clothes, high heels and drove to work. Throughout the day I would retouch my hair and make up … you get the drift, image was important.
Fast forward a few years, I had a pivotal health scare (read more here) and my world changed. I could no longer use my brain the way I had been so I perused a career using my body.
I started out in personal training which didn't really resonate with me, so I did a 200 hour yoga teacher training course. On completion I didn't feel qualified to teach so I underwent a 2 year full time dipolma of yogic studies at Satyananda Yoga Academy. I loved it and wanted to immerse myself in the teachings so I quit my job, sold my car and went to live in the Rocklyn yoga ashram.
Whilst there it became evident how unimportant image was. I spent so much time, energy (and money) trying to portray a certain look so I would be accepted and approved by others and myself. The head swami of the ashram, someone I admired and aspired to was travelling to visit ashrams in India and invited me to join her. I jumped at the opportunity and organised time away from my responsibilities and studies at Rocklyn.
When in India I met a well regarded Guru who gave me a spiritual name and practices to do to help me connect with my Truth. I saw some others who were also meeting with this Guru having their head shaved as a part of the initiation and purification, I felt inspired to join them.
When the clippers switched on and I saw my locks falling beside me a sense of liberation arose. I had been so consumed by my hair, it's style, colour and volume and now all of that meant nothing. I realised for the first time that I was beautiful without superficial beauty. I had a sense of being more woman that I had ever felt even though I looked less woman. The notion that I was who I was – whole and complete regardless of what society may tell us.
I cherish this liberating experience and often remember today, if the children get my clothes dirty when we are out, or I walk around with pen scribbled on my face … it's all ok. We are whole and complete regardless of appearance.