I recently returned from leading a family retreat in Pahoa, on the Big Island of Hawaii. There were many moments that massively impacted my life and how things will unfold for me in the year ahead.
A ballistic missile threat sparked a huge revelation that forced me to take a long, hard look at my life and catapulted me to start shifting some things.
I am taking the time to plant some deep seeds of intention in this dark winter soil that will need some tender tending and nourishment as they take root heading into the Spring time.
This is the work of the Winter. To bring us revelations, inspiration, and intentions that we sit on right now. We explore what they look and feel like. We dream about them, gather wisdom about them, both internally and externally, and sift through them to decide which seeds to plant in the dark, cold earth. This is all we are meant to do in the Wintertime.
The other massive change needs the story told about how I got there....
Over the New Year, my Love and I spent time in sacred ritual to come up with the word that we each long to live by in 2018.
During a meditation, the word Simple came through. It wanted a voice that I have been paying close attention to. Every time there is a choice, I can choose the simple option. But it wasn't the BIG word.
Upon further reflection and going though my deeper yearly process of my year ahead, I came to the bigger, scarier word that wanted to be known for 2018:
This is a year that I long to be brave, passionate, authentic, and transparent. In order to do all of those things, BOLD needed to be embraced and welcomed.
Fast forward a week...
We are getting ready to leave for Hawaii, and I think about asking my Love to bring his clippers, in case I decide to shave my head. I went back a forth a few times, fighting internally with myself. Finally, I talk myself out of it and decide not to ask him.
Here is my transparent truth....
The urge to shave my head has been living inside of me for 2 years. Yes! 2 years!
If you have followed me for a while, you might remember a couple years ago when I had 75% of my head shaved, but had long hair on the top so I could easily cover up the shaved area and hide it if I wanted. From that time, I almost shaved it all off many times! Like, at least 10 times. My Love was even cheering me on and excited about me to do it.
Yet, each time, I stopped myself for various reasons.
The reasons to not do it that have run though my mind over the past two years have included:
I am having branding photos done for my site, and I don't want such a drastic change.
What if I hate it?
I would do it if I felt more comfortable in my skin and in better shape.
What if my family hates it?
We are getting married and that isn't how I want to 'look' in my wedding photos.
What if my friends hate it?
What will people who don't know me think of it?
And, most importantly,
Who am I without my hair? How will 'I' feel feminine without my hair?
Fast forward to January 11th....
My Love and I are sitting in a van in a parking lot in Pahoa, HI, waiting for my co-facilitator to get some printing done for the retreat that begins in 3 hours. We are answering some questions we will give the couples the next day at lunch for conversation to happen during their day. The questions are based on the work we plan to do with the separated wife and husband halves in the morning. Among the questions is: How do you foresee yourself living your chosen word of the year in the year ahead?
As I process this question out loud, "I am just not sure how Simple and Bold come together and play out in my life this year? ...OH! ......OHHH! ......OHHHHH! I know how they come together RIGHT NOW. I have to shave my head!"
My palms are sweating, my heart is pounding and I feel the fear rising up inside me.
I begin to hear all the reasons I have used for the past two years, including an upcoming work event that gives me a new reason not to just do it now.
So, I sit with it for a minute and here is what happens:
I remembered that, as a mentor and teacher, I can never expect those I work with to stand up and lean into their own fears if I am not willing to do the same. At that moment, I know that no matter how scared I was, I must do it. Not only for myself, but for every single person I choose to work with.
I look across the parking lot we are sitting and in, and guess what is there: a Supercuts. Yep! A place I would usually never consider getting my hair cut at, because paying for a good hair cut has always been really important to me. But, without my Love's clippers, I need someone else to do it for me.
So, I walk across the parking lot to see if someone is available right then, since we needed to check into the retreat center soon, and I didn't have time to wait.
"Yes, we have someone coming in right now who can do it for you." OF COURSE you do!
I walk back to grab my Love from the car and he walks over with me, hand in sweaty hand.
I sit down in the chair and the stylist asks, "So, what are we going to do today?"
"I need you to buzz my hair. I need it all gone." I said.
"No! No! NO! Your hair is so beautiful! How about I just clean it up for you?" She said with a look of concern.
From behind me, my Love says, "There is the outer manifestation of your inner voice, argue with her. Tell her why."
"Yes, really! I need it all gone. Here is why. I am choosing to live Boldly this year. My first big act in doing so, is this. I need it gone, despite thinking I might hate it. I need it all gone to embrace my femininity that has nothing to do with my hair. I am scared of what others will think of me, that my family and friends will hate it, and I need to just NOT care and do it anyway. I am tired of waiting and arguing with myself about why I can't do it. I need to be BOLD and I need to do it today." I replied. Tears are streaming down her face as she stands looking at me through questioning, but understanding, eyes. Which ignites tears of my own as I see an external reflection of my inner voice crumbling.
"Okay, that is so fucking beautiful and brave. Okay, let's do this."
As tears run down both of our faces, she starts shaving it all off.
"I think my word of the year will be honesty." She says. "It is time I am completely honest with myself and everyone around me this year."
"That's great! Tell me more." I say.
She proceeds to tell me how she is going to live her word, Honesty, this year.
Behind me, two other stylists are doing the hair of two other women, who begin conversations about me shaving my head.
"Wow, that is so brave."
"That is so beautiful."
"Good for you. I wish I had that much courage."
I sparked a feeling of bravery, honesty, boldness and living your truth that day and passed it on to all of those people in the salon that day. They were given the gift of being a part of my story so that they could witness and tap into the energy of being Bold, even if they weren't quite ready to do anything with it quite yet.
Here is the selfie I took right after it happened......
Since I shaved my hair off, I have felt pretty raw and vulnerable.
No longer can I spend extra time on my hair to fancy myself up. I am getting to know myself in a raw state. This is part of the reason it has taken me over 3 weeks to share this with you all.
The other is wanting to make sure I shared this whole story with you, because the whole story is important. It wasn't just about me. It was about the impact and shift I created around me when I choose to live Boldly.
Every time I look in the mirror these days, I am reminded that when a decision is to be made, to choose the Bold one.
We shall see how long I decide to keep it just like this, but I have already trimmed it back down to this length, so I think it might stick for around for the year.
What other Bold decisions will this lead me to make this year? Only time will tell.
Tell me! What Bold decisions are you making this year? What Bold moves have you made already in 2018? I would love to hear in the comments below what you think of my Bold move and what are doing, or plan to do, to live Boldly this year.